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Fish Stories
Jan 25, 2012 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Goodbye Flash, Hello HTML5?

Adobe has announced that they will be doing no further development of Flash for mobile.  This is a defining statement, as they drive so many trends.

What’s new and filling in the gap if Flash no longer applies? HTML5. This is the latest version of HTML, the standard the language that allows us to create for the Web.  It’s comprehensive and versatile and opens the door to animation, though it’s still somewhat in beta phases.  HTML5 is intended to enable seamless transfer and optimization from desktop to tablet to mobile.

HTML5, this youngster, is still awaiting approval by W3C (the powers that officially approve such things), so adoption has been slow. People are hesitant to invest in something without a guaranteed future.

Still, HTML5 has gotten the attention of digital marketers with promises that one can create and place ads of any size, rich with animation and interaction, taking consumers all the way through a transaction right within an ad.  Media planners can map campaigns across a greater breadth of channels than ever before.

Watch for even tighter geo-targeting, and two-way conversation for online purchases, letting customers ask questions about products.  The potential is still just that – great potential to be mined.

The trick is, as with all media, to determine when is the right time to apply it.  Simple answer? When customers are ready, meaning they’re on mobile devices.  HTML5 is knocking at our door and is likely here to stay.

Check out this very fun and truly informative little book with a bit about HRML5.


Jan 5, 2012 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Artist of the Month

Barb Hranilovich doing encaustic

Though we’re dedicated to our jobs here at ZimmerFish, we actually have personal lives, too.  Barb’s pretty much revolves around creativity and making messes of some sort or another. Barb does commercial illustration for our clients, but also exhibits her fine art in galleries.  She’s currently busy during her home time doing encaustic pieces for two two-person shows to go up later this year.

The Arts Council of Greater Lansing has  featured Barb this month on their website.  She was a 2009 recipient of an individual artist grant from this wonderful organization, which advocates for all arts in this region.

Jan 3, 2012 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Here’s to a creative new year!

ZimmerFish is looking forward. The point has tipped in marketing and advertising.  Customers are savvy and informed. They watch or read what they want, when they want, and we need to reach them where they are.

Here are some marketing tactics we believe it’s time to embrace:

Engage the senses.
Let audiences interact with your brand on an emotional and multi-sensory level. This enhances brand favorability, perception and recall. More than using a distinctive color or using a logo in a consistent manner, it could be part of the product itself, like a phone ringtone or the fragrance of a cleaning product.

Create a bond.
Help consumers experience a bond by encouraging them to interact with your brand in a specific way, like Oreo’s twist, lick and dunk campaign.

Make your customers your sales reps.
Word of mouth is the most powerful lure in the tackle box.  If you can create content so engaging that early discoverers will take pride in passing the word and being in on the latest, the response will be viral.  Office Max’s Elf Yourself is an example.

Tell a story.
Brands with a back story allow a culture and audience to be built around that story – earth-friendly, chic, or philanthropic.  Think Tom’s shoes.

Tie traditional mass media to fully realized search and interactive tactics. That likeable Super Bowl ad is just millions of dollars in the trash can without a fusion of search, website, promotion/contest, mobile site, social network strategy, print, radio and place-based media support and extensions. The better you integrate, the more bang you get for your buck.

We’ll talk more about each of these in future posts.
May 2012 be interesting and profitable!

Dec 13, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments

New QR Code for Sparrow

Sparrow QR CodeZimmerFish just created this QR code for Sparrow incorporating the rings from their logo.  It’s simple, but elegant, like the rest of their branding.  The more we work with altering QR codes, the more fun it’s becoming.  Despite the constraints of keeping a viable code, the possibilities are pretty endless.

Dec 7, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Experimentation in Illustration

Bundle Up illustrationEvery day brings a new challenge, which keeps life interesting.  Recently I decided to find out just what the Bamboo stylus could do for me.

Well, the working pad is small and awkward and I felt like I was three years old with my first crayon.  I know how to get to a sophisticated line, but the idea of trying to keep myself engaged in the artistry of a piece while switching from one setting to another for brush type, bristle length/width and the like left me sadly cold and frustrated. I’m used to working faster and more intuitively. I really want to like this tool and will keep working it out, but it just can’t compete with the sound of pencil on paper or the swish of my brush in the water.

This little illustration took on a life of its own when I decided to “paint” areas with photographs, something I’ve not done before.  Now, that was fun and it’ll be nice to have this new technique in my bag of tricks.

Nov 17, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Get creative with applications of QR codes

QR code uses photoBusiness cards.  The most common use, but effective.

Scavenger hunts. Helpful for getting visitors to check out places they might not otherwise go.

Labeling.  Take people to a mobile site where they can learn more about or even buy your product(s).

Storefront displays. Post a Shop Online Now! QR code for after-hours visitors. A potential lost sale turns into an online customer who’ll share a lot more of their contact information with you.

Discounts and giveaways. Create discounts that are specific to the QR codes. Run the codes in ads or post throughout your store. Turn them into a “retweet” so that your shoppers share their discount with their followers.

Garments. Put your QR on garments or accessories. For more engagement, put different messages on the irems, so people take more scans of more of your codes.

Go after Likes and Follows. Create mobile-friendly landing pages with Facebook like buttons or lead them to your Twitter page for a quick follow. A like or follow can create a long-term marketing opportunity.

Supplement your retail space.  Link to how-to videos, or info about how products were sourced. Bring visitors to review sites for unbiased reviews of products, or to an e-commerce site to find out-of-stock items.

Build your email subscriber list. Use your QR code to send people to your email signup. Give people a compelling reason to subscribe.

Get the phone ringing. QR codes can make a phone call or generate SMS text messages.



Nov 9, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Customized QR Codes

ZimmerFish is creating custom QR codes and having a blast.

QR codes work.  They’re also awkward marks to have to add to a layout. One way to lessen the visual pain, draw interest, and support your brand is to customize your QR code.  There are many ways to do it, but the process takes thought, as you can only tweak so far and still have the code read well.

For times when the code needs to be used in a small scale, it’s best to keep alterations to a minimum.  For something to be printed in newspaper, stick with black, so registration issues don’t invalidate your code.

When you really want to make a statement (and isn’t that what we’re all trying to do?) consider using an inventive, unique and irresistible code, and ZimmerFish can help you!



Nov 8, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Best of the Best

Congratulations to Sparrow for its Feelin’ Good Mileage Club that recently received a Best of the Best Award from Club Industry, a magazine for fitness business professionals.  This award recognizes programs with proven, successful results.  Judges ranked programs based on goals, goal attainment, innovation, budgeting, member or nonmember participation, marketing, program effectiveness and follow-up efforts.

ZimmerFish was thrilled to work with Sparrow to develop a Web site to educate both school coordinators and families about the program and to facilitate registration and program management.  We had just six weeks to get this data-heavy site live.  The site tracked progress, sent progress reports and notifications, and helped coordinators with prize fulfillment.  With a goal of 10,000 registrants, Sparrow needed the process to be as efficient as possible.  It worked!  Sparrow reached 150% of their participation goal and feedback from coordinators and families was extremely positive.

We’re now in phase 2, adding features and information options to make next year’s program even better for everyone.

Click HERE to learn more about Feelin’ Good Mileage Club.

Oct 24, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Awards at ZimmerFish

Boxes of awards imageWe did a little housekeeping over the weekend. Here are a few of the boxes (we were a bit stunned to see how many) of awards we’ve won over the years at local and district levels. We’re thrilled to have won them and recognition from one’s peers feels great, but these don’t ever quite make it to our walls. At ZimmerFish we’re more about ROI. Our favorite kudos come when campaigns yield results. That’s why we’re here – to move the needle.

Oct 13, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Shrimp and Pasta Recipe

We’re due for a lighthearted post and I’m hungry, so here’s a recipe that’s REALLY good and REALLY easy.
shrimp photo

Start cooking angel-hair pasta

Season 3/4# peeled jumbo raw shrimp with salt and pepper.
Sauté the shrimp in olive oil for one minute on each side, or till pink.
Place in warm oven while you complete the sauce.

2t minced garlic
1/3 c dry white wine
1T fresh lemon juice
2T sun-dried tomatoes in oil, minced
6T cold unsalted butter
½ c shredded fresh basil

Sauté garlic in olive oil. Add wine, tomatoes and lemon. Boil to reduce by 1/3. Stir in butter and basil. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss pasta together with shrimp and sauce.


If you make this, please tell us what you think, or post your favorite fish recipe.