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Fish Stories
Oct 3, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments



Today we are all mourning the loss of Brian Knoblock, guru and friend.  Brian has been a part of the ZimmerFish family, keeping our wires uncrossed, responding to absolutely any need at any time, pushing us to keep up with one cool app or gadget after another.  He built our Web site. He made us laugh and his enormous heart filled ours.

Unassuming and kind beyond measure, a true mensch.  We can’t imagine our lives without him.  He’ll be remembered daily, as we have our Brian questions. We’ll miss his expertise and willingness to explain things, of course, but we’ll work that out.  What we can’t do is get him back.

We love this photo, as you can see his intelligence, sweetness, and the warm sparkle in his eye.  His sunset photo, one of so many fine shots he took, seemed fitting.  Who knows where he would have taken his photography next?

Brian, we’re going to miss you so!


Sep 26, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Consumers are Moving with the Current of Negative and Positive Reviews

At ZimmerFish, we recommend that clients monitor customer review sites and Internet buzz to address negative reviews and promote positive feedback wherever possible. Agencies should help their clients identify “hot” and well-recommended products and services, feature those items, and develop selling strategies to entice consumers to consider related products.

Here’s why:

Per a new study from Cone, the Boston-based PR, marketing, communications, and brand reputation firm, 80 percent of consumers admit being influenced by negative online reviews to alter purchase decisions. This is a 13 percent increase in influence over last year’s survey data. On the plus side, the report, 2011 Cone Online Influence Trend Tracker, also notes that 85 percent of consumers are more trusting of positive online reviews, up from 77 percent in 2010.

Responding to negative feedback promptly and with solutions can turn a disgruntled soul into one who feels listened to. It’s good customer service.

Articles and blog posts are gaining in consumer trust (42 percent report seeking product recommendations from such sources), but product information (69%) and customer reviews (64%) are still the leading influencers.

Overall, says Cone, “Americans are 25 percent more likely to verify recommendations for high-cost purchases, such as cars, today than they were in 2010.” No similar jump occurred for moderate or lower-priced purchases.

Information provided by: Second Wind, an agency support resource based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Jun 22, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Put the Right Boat in the Water

At ZimmerFish, we develop strategies that are designed to move the needle. Here’s a little tidbit about the benefits of mobile search over desktop search marketing strategies…

No Results...No Point

Marketers are learning to be more precise in developing strategies around desktop searches versus mobile searches.


Think BRANDING – Think COMPLETE and LONG-TERM for desktop searches. Desktop searchers are most likely to be making a purchasing decision in the next 30 days. They use desktop searches to research brands or evaluate options. It’s a place where products and services are introduced and described in detail.


Think CALL TO ACTION – Think FAST and EASY for mobile searches.Many mobile searches are conducted by consumers who will make a purchase in the next 24-hours. These consumers have most likely already done the research via desktop searches or experience and are very specific about what they are looking for. Categories like Chinese take-out, travel, theaters, and emergency rooms are all appropriate venues for mobile search strategies.

Because mobile searchers are further along in the purchase cycle than desktop searchers, marketers need to vary the content for each strategy. When considering how to use mobile, keep in mind that mobile searches for travel-related terms increased 12 times and searches for specific hotel terms increased 30 times from 2009 to 2010, according to Google,

Jun 17, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Search Engines (Especially Google) Love Blogs


On the Web, content is king. We, at ZimmerFish, are committed to blogging consistently, just as we hope our clients are.

If you are blogging regularly, and the content is rolling over, and the relevant quality is high, search engines will take note. Google, in particular, has a knack for finding and listing blog content—so much so that in some cases, you need hardly consider listing with search engines if your blog content is really good and well-maintained. Blog content is generally very well-organized, subject-specific and usually archived by date (and sometimes hour) of posting, so the most recent items can be accessed first. Because blogs are text-based, spiders and crawlers can navigate efficiently without getting tripped up by graphics and Flash technology. Finally, links are easier to follow and index. All of these factors translate into improved search engine traffic.

The other search engine attractor is resource links. Relevant links are key to drawing search engine traffic. Most popular blogs are peppered with links to related sites and articles, which is another reason readers keep coming back. It is also why readers visit more frequently and stay longer per visit.

Blogging Benefits

  1. No special programming or HTML code skills are needed.
  2. Software is FREE! Low investment, high returns.
  3. Blogs are an ideal source of targeted, FREE traffic.
  4. They are an SEO solution that greatly improves on news-events web pages.
  5. Whatever you publish is immediately visible.
  6. You can establish “expert” credentials and build a reputation through blogging.
  7. Blogs can help build an e-newsletter/subscriber list.
  8. You need not worry about spam filters—unlike e-newsletters, the traffic comes to you.


Blogs can ultimately out-maneuver slicker but less-content-filled sites. The Web is all about content. If you can deliver content that is relevant to your readers, you can draw traffic away from competitors and right into your parlor. Blogging is an interesting method for keeping them in their seats.

A Word of Caution

Blogs (at least those that earn a reputation and become popular) tend to be forums for no-holds-barred expressions of opinion, plenty of attitude and the occasional off-color remark. Not all advertisers will be happy associating their brand with a media environment they cannot fully control. Plus, while a pro-blog might attract upwards of 40,000 users per day, that is still a mighty small audience compared to the draw of more traditional mass-market media. Between the risk of distasteful association and the non-standardized content, blogging is obviously not for every brand, nor should it be automatically included in every client’s brand strategy.


Jun 3, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments

ZimmerFish Nets Awards

Ad | You Deserve a Rapid Recovery

We recently learned that two campaigns ZimmerFish produced last year for Sparrow won Bronze Awards at the Twenty-Eighth Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards sponsored by Healthcare Marketing Report.  These were chosen from a pool of 4,000 entries.  Awards are based on creativity, quality, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design and overall impact.

You Deserve a Rapid Recovery—A multi-media campaign for Sparrow Robotics

One Sparrow Moving Forward—an internal campaign for launch of new branding

The best award, however, was the effectiveness of each of these campaigns.

May 16, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Consider Twitter

Pesky or precocious, Twitter is here to stay (for at least the foreseeable future) and it’s a valuable tool. 

Here are some things to consider when posting tweets.
1. Twitter is better than a sneeze for spreading content.
Your 140 characters are often best spent as links to valuable information.
2. Twitter is immediate.  Current, timely messages can be released, then spread for you in minutes.
3. Twitter is a powerful tool for gathering information.  Follow interesting people who bring interesting information and resources to your table.
4. Twitter is an extremely valid form of marketing.  No matter what you (or a client) have written, found of interest, or accomplished, you can tell your followers.  Engaging reporting draws in engaged followers.  Even if you have only a few followers, if one of them has many and retweets your piece, you have exponentially increased your exposure.
5. Twitter encourages dialogue.  People may respond, retweet, or write in more depth on their blog and link to your content.
6. Twitter can keep you current, as you research through, read, and react to the tweets of others.
7. Twitter creates communities around topics, geographic areas, events, and cultures.  Communities share what’s important to them and each other with enthusiasm  – even better if you become part of that community.
Please, follow us. We enjoy following the greater Lansing Twitter community.



May 11, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Internet Marketing Terminology…the end

These are the last of the terms we think are essential for communicating effectively about the ever-changing and exciting arena of Internet marketing.  If we all speak the same language, we can be sure your needs and goals are being met.  Here’s an extensive glossary, just in case you’d like to know more.

S to the end
Splash page:
also known as interstitial, this is a preliminary page that precedes the home page of a Web site and usually stresses a particular site feature or shows advertising. The splash page is timed to move automatically to the home page after a short span of time.
an advertiser who’s ads have helped sustain a Web site.  A sponsor may support a special feature of a site, such as a writer’s column, or a series of presentations on a given topic.
purchasing ad space in sites and within sites to match a campaign with a specific user demographic.
User session:
a unit counted when a user’s unique address enters or reenter a Web site during a specified time period.
Unique visitors:
a person who visits a Web site more than once within a specified period of time. Software that tracks and counts Web site traffic can distinguish between visitors who only visit the site once and unique visitors who return to the site. Unique visitors are measured according to their unique IP addresses, which are like online fingerprints, and unique visitors are counted only once no matter how many times they visit the site.
Visit – a unit counted when a user’s unique address enters a Web site for the first time in a given day (or a different time specified). The number of visits is about the number of different users who visit a site in the specified time frame. This term is ambiguous unless the user defines it, since it could mean a user session or it could mean a unique visitor that day.



May 9, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments

More Internet Marketing Terms

O through R

Opt-in e-mail:

e-mail that a user has chosen to receive by filling out a Web site’s form and choosing which categories/subjects/products are of interest.  E-mails of those who opt in are sold to a company who compiles and sorts the e-mail lists, then sells them to advertisers, at which point the original Web site is paid a small fee per e-mail address.


in contrast to advertising fees based on impressions, advertisers may arrange to pay for each click.


when the advertiser pays for each sales lead generated (generally meaning someone has filled out a form).

when a user clicks a link from one Website to a product on another and makes a purchase, the first Website gets a fee.  This it typical for affiliate programs.
Pay-per-view (per impression):

the prevalent method of payment formula for larger Web sites.

Proof of performance:

a report, generally weekly, stating which ads appeared on which sites and how often.  Unlike print media, there can be no tear sheets  and each user sees different ads in different rotations, so there is no simple way to see that an ad has been placed.  Using reputable brokers on reputable Web sites with reports is recommended.

Psychographic characteristics:

personal-interest information gathered by Web sites who ask users to list sites they visit.  This helps advertisers determine the suitability of a site for their ads.

Reporting template:

there are not yet any industry standards for reporting data for Internet advertising.  ZimmerFish helps you understand your results.

Rich Media:

ads which are more complex or interactive than a simple image.  These  enhanced banner ads may include pop-up menus (so a user can choose a link), video, or other extra visual element.


return on investment…results relative to the dollars invested.  This might be sales, but could also be leads, registrants or other criteria the advertiser has defined. As we always say at ZimmerFish—no results, no point.

Run of network (RON):

an ad placed to run on all sites within a given network of sites.

Run of site (ROS):

an ad placed to rotate on all non featured ad spaces on a given site. Placement rates are generally less for these than for specifically placed ads.



May 5, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Internet Advertising Terminology, Demographics through Media Broker

D through M

information about the size and characteristics of a certain population (for example; age, gender, income level, purchasing history, personal preferences etc.)

immediate analysis of a user Web page request to determine which ad(s)

Fold, or Above the Fold:
taken from print/newspaper, this is the area which immediately appears when a Web page opens, no scrolling necessary. User screen resolution settings(640 x 480 pixels or 800 x 600 pixels) will affect the fold area, so graphics and information need to be placed accordingly.

the sending of a single file (an HTML file, image, audio or other file type). Since a single Web page has many files, hits are not accurate indicators of the number of visitors to a page

the appearance of an ad on a Web page when. This means each time a user opens a Web page and that ad appears. Most Web advertising is sold by price per 1,000 impressions (CPM – cost per thousand). A good ad will have branding impact as well as lead to click-throughs to specific destinations.

Insertion Order (IO):
a printed order to run an ad campaign, identifying the campaign name, the Web site receiving the order and the buyer placing the order. Included are the ads (or information about who will provide them), the ad sizes, the campaign begin/end dates, the cost per thousand impressions, the total cost, any discounts to be applied and reporting requirements. Penalties for failure to deliver the impressions may be stipulated.
the total number of ad views/impressions that a Web site has available to sell during a given period of time (typically figured per month).

Media Broker:
one who selects Web sites for ad placement based on demographics and other factors determined by the advertiser and agency.



Mar 31, 2011 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Internet Terminology – C is for Click


an action (clicking on an ad or video, not just viewing it) taken by a user (anyone using the Internet) toward a desired Web destination. The action counts as a click whether the user waits to reach that destination or not.

Click Stream:

the record of a user’s sequence of clicks on links through a site or sites.  This is vital information for understanding the effectiveness of various advertising and site elements.


essentially the same as click, but the user arrives at the desired Web page or product.  It indicates an ad’s effectiveness and results in a viewer getting to the advertiser’s Web site, where messages are provided.

Clickthrough Rate (CTR):

the percentage of ad views that result in clickthroughs. Clickthrough rate will depend on the audience/message match and whether the ad entices (leading toward an offer or further information).  The clickthrough rate for an ad diminishes  with repeated exposure.


tying one product or service with another, so that two entities/brands appear as a joint enterprise.


a file on a Web user’s hard drive that stores information about that user’s Web activity. Some software can access this information to see which ad a user has seen and adjust the ad rotation accordingly.

Cost per Action (CPA):

what an advertiser pays when a visitor takes a specific action beyond clicking on an ad, such as then subscribing to a newsletter or clicking on yet another link.


a more specific form of cost-per-action, where the visitor provides enough information to be used as a sales lead.

Cost per thousand ad impressions CPM):

an industry standard for selling Web ads.  (M is the Roman numeral for 1,000).