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Jun 24, 2014 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Create in Peace, Tony Moore

From Carol Zimmer, June, 2014

I met Tony in 1991, 23 years ago. We worked at a Lansing advertising agency together and frankly…it was NOT love at first sight. I thought he was an arrogant young man, with a chip on his shoulder. He thought I was an arrogant old woman with a chip on my shoulder. Once we found this common ground – we became fast friends.

We left the agency within a couple months of each other and rented an office together. We shared expenses and client nightmares and laughs together for a couple of years, before our paths took different directions. We were helped along with good friends and mentors like Carl, Kirk, Ben, Tom, Dave and Sherry, Linda and Christine. We were so young and I really think we survived by dump luck.

When Tony left for Denver, I was very sad but excited for him. We kept in touch and, when he returned, my partner, Carl Fish and I, welcomed him into our offices so he could transition more easily back into the area. We have some great memories of working with him during that time.

Tony had an incredible talent – he used bold colors, hard lines, and strong type treatments. In fact, I used to tease him that if there was a page to fill up with color and type, Tony was just the guy to do it…no white space for him! Now, I see that Tony had so many colors, shapes and textures to share with us, and just not enough time to use them sparingly.

So…as I reflect on Tony’s life and my memories of him, I see colors – lots of colors!

The first color I see is purple…actually a pink/purple, maybe an orchid color. For those of you in design.…that might be PMS #253.
Tony was a worry-wart and looked out for people he cared about.
We used to call him “Gramma Moore”. His apartment was very close to our office and, without fail, if there was a severe weather alert in the area, the phone would ring. It’d be Tony on the other end of the line making sure we took cover. Or…if my car wasn’t in the parking lot for a few days, I’d get a text or phone call making sure I was ok.
Or, there was the time I was very pregnant with my daughter and he and I had to go to a client meeting. He held my arm all the way down the icy steps and helped me get safely into the car…then (as only Tony could get away with) he took a garbage bag out from under his seat and said…’Here, sit on this…your water is NOT breaking in my new car!”

The second color I see is a dark magenta/almost crimson. Somewhere around PMS # 1955.
For those of you who knew Tony, you know he could be feisty and stubborn.
I can’t tell you how many times he and I would stand toe to toe and just have it out over things that seem absolutely ridiculous with today’s perspective. Things like where to put the logo, size of the type, and…of course, his avoidance of white space. I’d say, “can you just air it out a bit, Tony?”…and he’d say “NO, I’m the designer – go away!”. I remember us standing at his desk just screaming at each other, then we’d just burst out laughing. Somehow we put up with each other. I used to call him my baby brother because we fought just like a brother and sister and yet fiercely defended each other.
Yet, this tough guy would put my 2-year old son on his lap and teach him to draw…Nate is now 24 and still calls him “Tony-Topony”. He was also the first person, besides my husband, to hold my daughter, Emily, in the hospital.

I see the color green – perhaps the color of MSU green (where Tony provided many of his talents). That might be PMS # 356? I don’t know, but you can bet Tony would…
Tony loved being a designer and an artist. And he loved his clients.
We all know he was a brilliant graphic designer, but he also loved to paint and loved photography. He seemed to always be trying to learn a new form of artistic expression, whether it was for himself or for his work. He enjoyed long relationships with loyal clients by providing cutting-edge work and exceptional service. He was a “whatever it takes” maniac that I saw pull overnighters way too many times.

Lastly, I see the color yellow – and not a wimpy yellow, but a vibrant, hot yellow, like the sun itself! Maybe a straight up Process Yellow.
Tony absolutely loved his family. He spoke to me about how much he respected his mother and his grandmother and valued his childhood memories. He told me about how proud he was of his father and how happy he was that his parents could retire while they were young enough to enjoy each other. He very much looked forward to his visits to the lake, especially if his sisters and nephews were going to be there. He was especially proud of his nephews and spoke often of them.

I will miss Tony more than I can say. The phone calls, the random emails with little gossipy tidbits, the lunches, and even the weather warnings. I will miss our friendship.

Tony, you finally have a canvas big enough for all of your great many colors, patterns and textures.

I hope you revel in your broad strokes of light in infinity. The heavens will be a more beautiful place with you in them.

For me, whenever I see blue/black storm clouds brewing in their beauty, or a glorious sunset with pinks, oranges and reds…I will think of my friend …and smile.

Dec 19, 2012 - strategic marketing    No Comments

ZimmerFish Year in Retrospect

In doing our end-of-year filing at ZimmerFish, we’ve had a chance to look back at 2012 and realize what a great and interesting year it was.

Carl Fish retired in spring and we all still miss his presence. But change happens in this life. With luck and an open mind it’s a catalyst for growth.

We have digital marketing strategy down! We’ve nailed tracking and reporting to provide the most accurate ROI available in the advertising realm. Learning the processes, and more importantly seeing the results, have been truly gratifying.

We were honored to co-present these strategies with Sparrow at the national SHSMD (Society of Healthcare Strategy and Market Development) conference in Philadelphia. After attending other sessions we became acutely aware of how far ahead of the curve we’ve gotten. All the research and diligence to understand this medium from the inside out, and develop key partnerships, have paid off.

In other areas we’ve been charged with going inside organizations to design programs from the bottom up for efficiency and effectiveness; evaluating Web presence, marketing materials, personnel procedures and systems. It’s more fun than a 3-D jigsaw puzzle, and to see things turn around as a result is satisfying beyond measure.

Long-term relationships allow us to watch our clients grow and evolve. Helping them achieve their goals is a bit like being a parent and we share the pride of accomplishment.

We feel blessed to have the kinds of clients who keep us at the cutting edge, challenge us, and allow us to work with them in new and ever-more intriguing ways. Having a long mutual history allows us to look out for them, look ahead, make the best-possible recommendations, and work as a team. Collaboration is exciting and makes us look forward to coming to work every day.

We so appreciate our clients! We love what we do and look forward to seeing what 2013 will bring.

Jun 21, 2012 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Prezi – Yes, No, Maybe

ZimmerFish was asked to create a presentation using Prezi. This was a great opportunity (kick in the pants) to dive deeply into understanding this relatively new presentation software. We’ve now created several Prezis. We are not alone in having very mixed feelings about the software.

As with any tool, there are appropriate circumstances for its use.  Prezi can be an easy and fun way to add simple animation, links to Web sites, and video uploads to a presentation. With Prezi you can zoom in (seemingly indefinitely), layering information in an active or playful way.  It’s less stuffy than what people generally see with Powerpoint . Judicious use of features and effects can certainly liven up dry material or give exciting concepts the energy they deserve.

Anyone discussing Prezi warns against getting too carried away with zooming and spinning, as you can leave your viewer seasick.  This is no joke! It takes significant planning to keep elements of individual “slides” clean or at a level of focus that the eye/mind can process well.  Like all other communication media, a good Prezi requires forethought, an apt concept, well-chosen imagery, and solid design. To do it well takes time.

For presentations, Prezis can be downloaded and set up to run automatically, or shown live with ad-lib forwarding. They’re great for educational settings and training, as you can visualize the overall picture, then move ever deeper into details.  Still, an overlong Prezi can be every bit as tiresome, despite all the schnazzy tricks, as a static presentation.

Some features (like links) require online access, leaving presenters at the mercy of the venue.  Some elements in SHOW mode behave somewhat inconsistently, causing links to come up behind the screen and difficulty getting back to the program, or auto-zooming in a way you just can’t control.

It’s crucial to remember that the success of any presentation depends on a dynamic speaker.  No software can make up for someone who simply reads what’s on the screen or drones from scripts.  Too much activity on the screen can detract from the speaker, drawing attention to the action, but not necessarily the point being made.

I do recommend using Prezi. It’s a perfectly valid tool and ideal for conveying certain types of content.  Just choose elements and effects carefully.  Include enough animation to add flavor, but not so much as to overload.

Here’s a link to one of the best Prezis I’ve seen so far.  It fully demonstrates the level of depth that can be achieved, as well as most of the design/animation options.  While it’s exceptional, it still took me about 15 minutes to lose the queasy feeling that built up watching it.  It’s worth it just to see what Prezi could do for you.

 

Jun 5, 2012 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Winning a Gold Award is Better than Finding Sunken Treasure.

ZimmerFish is honored to have won a Gold Award for the “Moving Like Yourself Again” campaign, produced for Sparrow in Lansing, Michigan. Competition was stiff with a pool of close to 4,000 entrants.

The Twenty-Ninth Annual Healthcare Advertising Awards, sponsored by Healthcare Marketing Report, bases awards on creativity, quality, message effectiveness, consumer appeal, graphic design and overall impact.

Our winning campaign included creative and placement for:
Billboards
Print
Internet ads and analytics
Physician referral packets
Department brochure
Information Request brochure
Radio

ZimmerFish works first for results, but we’re happy as clams to have received this award.

Apr 12, 2012 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Pinterest Can Definitely Be Good Business

Here are just a few ZimmerFish picks of businesses which have used Pinterest effectively. By perusing these pages, you can get a quick sense for what pulls at your curiosity and heart, or drives some desire to share what you’ve found or dive deeper.

1. With a single board, the Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association offers big value for their members, nicely showcasing and linking each.

2. See Red, as a color takes on a strong branding role for the American Heart Association.

3. Here’s an accountant who understands how to think out of the box and bring some fun where others might not be able to imagine any.

4. Wisconsin’s Marquette University recognizes that Pinterest is a perfect tool for creating interest in campus life and traditions as well as making potential students feel comfortable and already somewhat engaged in the institution. We think this article about the potential of Pinterest for universities has some value.

5. Nationwide Children’s Hospital offers a little heart, a little education, a little branding. Yet another blog offers some thoughts about how hospitals use Pinterest.

And finally, one more resource to get you thinking pinterestingly.

If you find a particularly effective Pinterest approach, please comment below and post the link, so we can see. This is all still so young and new!  It will be exciting to watch businesses get their heads wrapped around how to create their best fit and maximize the potential.

 

Mar 12, 2012 - strategic marketing    No Comments

Pinteresting

Pinterest may be a passing fad. But, heck, Twitter was predicted to be short lived, and it’s still going strong.  So, ZimmerFish has gone PinFishy, in order to see what it’s all about.

Research has convinced us that Pinterest deserves our attention. Simply put, it is a virtual bulletin board with collages of images and comments. Much like Twitter and Facebook, the magic of Pinterest is in the interaction with other users – sharing, commenting, and borrowing material, not just posting.

For marketers it’s potential is huge. This is a new form of community… the on-line- drinks-with-friends, where you tell each other your latest great finds (a particularly female way to bond). What offers more effective marketing impact than having someone else talk about how wonderful you (or your products) are? Pinterest fills a unique niche in the spectrum of integrated marketing, providing lots of appealing visuals and unlimited reasons to share on other social media platforms. Do be aware of the copyright specifications, which essentially contradict the whole point of Pinterest.  You can read about that here .

Pinterest saw a 2,700+% surge in traffic since last year and people spend extended time exploring these these pages.  The average user household income is $100,000 and about half of users have families, so it’s a dream audience for most products and services.

If you intend to use Pinterest as a marketing tool:
• Post things people would want to share, gaining exponential visibility.
• Make it personal, moving, entertaining, informative, or collaborative. 
• Clarify your CALL TO ACTION. What do you want users to do…go to your website or blog to buy or learn something, enter a contest, share a posted item?
• Think SEO – when you pin your products, add your website link. Write concise descriptions and carefully choose keywords.
• Cross-promote the content you publish with your blog, Twitter or Facebook page.
• Add a “Follow Me on Pinterest” button to your website and blog as well as a “Pin It” button, making it easy for people to share content with a single mouse click.
• Comment and thank users for pinning your items. Follow other users. Pinterest has the potential to become a highly effective customer feedback tool.

Here are just a few possible applications:
Contests: Contests can get really creative on Pinterest and can be promoted across a business’ social media profiles. For example, hold a contest for the best image pinned of a customer using one of your products.
Market research: informal market research. Publish images of products, packaging, or ads in development and ask for people to share their thoughts through comments.
Education: Share your published how-to videos on YouTube or tutorials on your business blog. Create a pinboard for all of your helpful content to give it broader exposure.

Like anything new, this is fascinating, and comes with learning curves. Like any marketing tool or advertising medium, it has its place. It will be interesting to follow its trajectory.

 

 

 

 

 

Mar 8, 2012 - strategic marketing    No Comments

ZimmerFish Catches Bronze Award

ZimmerFish is proud to have received a Bronze Award from the 27th Annual Educational Advertising Awards sponsored by the Higher Ed Marketing Report.  The Big Benefits campaign we created for Cleary University provided consistent and recognizable branding.

The Educational Advertising Awards is the largest educational advertising awards competition in the country.  This year, over 2,900 entries were received from more than 1,000 colleges, universities, and secondary schools from all fifty states and several foreign countries.

Judges consisted of a national panel of higher education marketers, advertising creative directors, marketing and advertising professionals, and the editorial board of Higher Education Marketing Report.

Higher Education Marketing Report has been the nation’s leading marketing publication for higher education professionals for 26 years.  The monthly publication is read each month by thousands of marketers at colleges and universities throughout the country.

Feb 15, 2012 - strategic marketing    1 Comment

Hranilovich Billboard Going Up

Hranilovich Billboard

The Arts Council of Greater Lansing has arranged with Adams Outdoor to post billboards which help promote the arts in the greater Lansing area.  Barb Hranilovich, the ZimmerFish illustrator, enjoyed seeing the series from last year and will be one of the artists whose work is appearing in 2012.  She chose this image because the medium in which it was done (encaustic) is unfamiliar to most and she hoped the unique surface might pique interest.  The strong textures should also come to life at the massive scale.

Barb’s board will be going up Thursday, February 16th on I96, just west of  MLK(99). The timing is good, as Barb has two encaustic exhibits later this year; in April at Midtown Gallery in Kalamazoo and in August at Mackerel Sky in East Lansing.

Please let us know if you’ve passed by and seen it.

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