Jun
17
2010
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Marketing Perspectives: Selecting an Agency: Top Qualities

As an agency that believes in putting our clients first and coming up with creative solutions that fit their needs, we are constantly looking for feedback to understand how to better serve our clients.

Research seems to have shown that clients are looking for specific characteristics within an agency including flexibility, working within tighter budgets, experience, understanding of their company and proven results. While we agree that these are all very important points that we strive for every day, we wanted to ask you for your thoughts. What do you     think should be added to the list of qualities you expect in an agency? Do you agree with the qualities I’ve stated or would you put more emphasis on different ones?

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Written by soloflight in: Marketing Perspective | Tags: , , ,
Jun
17
2010
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Search Engine Pro Tips

I like to think of myself as a Google pro. I think that I can find anything if it can be found on the Web. Yet, after reading an article in January’s issue of Real Simple, I was surprised by the search engine tips that can make you even more of a pro.


For example, I never knew that using quotes around your phase can help or that putting a minus sign in front of a word will narrow your search. This really brought home to me the idea that when doing search engine optimization these types of search tricks can help put you on a client’s radar. So try out some new ways to search for your company’s information and see what you can find.

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Written by soloflight in: Marketing Perspective | Tags: , ,
Jun
17
2010
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Custom Content: Blurring Ads with Editorial: What it might mean for you?

Due to the current economic situation there has been a great deal of discussion related to the blurring between advertiser sections and pure editorial sections within magazines.

While the discussion has mostly focused on what this might mean for the state of credible journalism, those placing ads within these magazines should take the impact on advertisers into account.

If an advertiser places an ad within a special advertising section, readers seem to half-dismiss this content. Yet, you as an advertiser are paying good money for this placement. An alternative to putting your money into this type of advertising would be to turn that customized content related to your business and create your own publication for clients and perspective clients. To be successful though, you must give the reader something more than just a marketing brochure, you have to give them a reason to go back to that publication. Remember your clients are thinking about themselves, not you so add value for them, and they will thank you.

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Written by soloflight in: Marketing Perspective |
Jun
17
2010
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Marketing Perspective: Green Value

Going Eco. Emphasizing Green. Conserving Resources. However you define it, sustainability has become a buzzword for companies across the globe. Yet, how much value do these corporate sustainability programs really have? That is just the question that Heather Clancy addressed in her article “McKinsey tackles value of corporate sustainability programs.”

Analyzing The McKinsey Quarterly’s research related to corporate sustainability programs, Clancy noticed the trend that corporate sustainability programs seem to add more value when these programs meld closely with a company’s core values or ideology.

Customers understand continuity. Customers like to know that you are living up to the values that you preach. If those values include a real care for the earth’s resources, then a great way to show them that you are doing this is through promotion of a sustainability program.

This philosophy can be applied to other programs that companies launch not just sustainability programs. Soloflight’s work with L-3 Communications on their redesigned code of ethics put a new emphasis on corporate behavior. Soloflight refined the code of ethics to convey the ideas of momentum and connect that are fundamental to the core beliefs of L-3. To illustrate this, we employed bold graphics and used a line motif that was inspired by global connectivity. The redesigned code of ethics was so successful in informing and motivating new employees. L-3 believed in their code of ethics to the degree that they wanted all employees to have easy access these values by creating versions in 13 different languages.


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Written by soloflight in: Marketing Perspective | Tags: , , ,
Jun
17
2010
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Please allow me to introduce myself.

My name is Brooke Reid, and I will be interning here at Soloflight for the next two months or so.  Along with others’ Soloflight posts, I’ll be adding my own thoughts, images, articles, etc. to the mix–things I feel to be particularly inspiring or unique to give you further insight into the work we do here at Soloflight among other interesting finds worth sharing from an intern’s perspective.  From the heady to the simple, from the next big thing to that thing that’s been re-blogged more times than I can count, I’ll be providing bits about design, advertising, all other things creative and in my opinion worth showing: you name it, I’ll blog about it.

Take this for example:

What’s Out There: Cool ad work involving the World Cup, or all things sports

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/world-cup-match-replay

(via Creativity Online)

Check out this high-speed replay of any game of your choosing (US vs. England is a particularly fun one) through what was posted on Twitter in real time from start to finish, goals, halftimes and all.

http://creativity-online.com/work/uniqlo-sportweet/20419

(also via Creativity online)

This interactive viral campaign integrates your Tweets to the beat of athletes’ movements as a way of promoting the Japanese design/clothing/concept powerhouse Uniqlo’s new line of sportswear.  For those of you unfamiliar with Uniqlo, it’s an international brand with its global flagship store in SoHo, known equally for the design of its stores and its high-tech clothing (read: shirts that react to your body heat to keep you cool and crazy things like that).  Its price point like a higher-end H&M, the Japanese clothing brand certainly offers items ranging from your typical T-shirts to those more expensive lines bearing the names of various designer collaborations, but you’re going to have to pay extra for the clothes with superpowers. As for the spot, I’d say it’s worth taking a look at–think Apple ipod commercial meets that crazy little thing called Twitter.


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Written by soloflight in: A New Eye |
May
03
2010
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Converting Print Publications to a Digital Realm. Where to Begin?

When considering migrating a print publication into the digital realm there are a few basic things to consider.

1. The intent of the digital publication.
2. Your audience and how they are currently interacting with the print piece along with how that will change when moving to a digital version.
3. The format you will use: Flash, Blog- and Website-based, Flip book, or a Hybrid approach.
The Intent.
Some print publications can transition into digital formats very successfully, offering viewers more benefits such as: a larger source of visual elements through photo galleries, more timely updates through social media such as twitter and RSS feeds, opportunities to provide feedback, and opportunities to engage with the community of readers through blogs and share-based avenues.
Your Audience.
Switching a publication to a digital format should not always be about reducing your costs, you need to consider what is right for your audience. It can be more difficult to attract and retain readers in the digital rather than the print medium, so you may want to consider either doing both print and digital, or consider slowly phasing out the print version. Whichever path you decide to take, you need to consider that all audiences interact with digital media in a very different way than print, so you will need to evaluate such elements as: typography, images, article length and content flow (navigation).
  • Typography: Traditional digital unlike print has more limitations with regards to size and font style, however if you have a highly designed publication you may want to consider producing it in flash as this will give you the most creative freedom out of all the digital mediums.
  • Imagery: Unlike typography, digital mediums offer more flexibility and freedom when it comes to images. It opens up opportuities to create large galleries or use more engaging background photography. Video can also be used to bring your site to life.
  • Article Length: People often read more quickly online versus print, so realize that a viewer is more likely to become bored faster. To combat this, we suggest using shorter paragraphs and breaking up longer articles into multiple pages. You can even offer a condensed version online with the opportunity to download a longer version in PDF format.
  • Content Flow (navigation): The No. 1 rule related to navigation is that it should be easy to find whatever you are looking for within the content of an online publication. Across the design, the navigation should be consistent, concise and helpful. We suggest engaging the reader with snippets of content to encourage them to flow through the site.
The Format:
There are generally four interactive formats that can be used for online publication each having their own pros and cons.
  • Flash-based: This is a great format for image and interactive heavy publications. This format can be more customized with graphics and typography compared to traditional web-based media. It offers extensive engagement through the use of animation, video and games. Social media can easily be used and re-distribution is very useful. A flash based publication can be portable by creating an application that allows a view to interact with the site without being connected to the internet. The main disadvantages of  using Flash are the limited use it has on smart phones (smart phones don’t support Flash) and search engine optimization will be more difficult. It is however a terrific solution for non-consumer based publication and ones that are created for a limited distribution.
  • Blog- and Website- based: This is a good solution for a publication that will be discarding the print version. Distribution is simple, and if a content management system is set-up then updating the content will also be easy. Unlike Flash if you want a highly visual publication then this may not be the right solution, or at least more consideration has to occur in the initial design. One major drawback to this option is the security, because of the ease that a viewer has to use the cut-and-paste functions, your copyrighted content can easily be stolen.
  • Flip Book: One of our least favorite options because it is the least interactive. Visually, it is no different than a print piece.The file size can be excessive, and on smaller monitors it is difficult to read.
  • Hybrid: This format is the combination of any or all three approaches above and also the one that we at Soloflight suggest to all our clients because: it gives the reader the best of both worlds and uses all the content generated for a traditional publication to its fullest potential while offering more substance to engage and build reader loyalty.

See below a sample of a Hybrid publication that we just created for AutoTrader.com or go to www.atcaboveandbeyond.com

Autotrader_home

Autotrader_championsAutotrader_champions2Autotrader_galleryAutotrader_volunteering

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May
03
2010
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GCHA Launches Refocus Publication

The Georgia Children’s Health Alliance and Georgia Department of Community Health launched their Child Health Report on April 29. Challenging readers to refocus their views on children’s health, the report provides an overview along with specific highlights on key indicators. Areas for improvement in both situation and data collection are emphasized to spur on community engagement. “It’s nothing but a report unless we bring it to life,” says Donna Hyland, President and Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

Soloflight Design partnered with the GCHA team and Georgia Department of Community Health to produce the campaign messaging of Refocus and solid framework. Putting a different spin on the data with bright colors, bold call-outs and strong photography gave the report an approachable feel drawing readers to connect with the document.

You can download your own copy of the report at: www.thegcha.org/report

GCHA_Refocus_Soloflight

GCHA_Refocus_Soloflight

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Mar
02
2010
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What is your client really experiencing?

Survey your audience, Great customer service.

“Have you ever felt that it just isn’t right to pay the same price for a container that has decreased by 10 percent?”

Well, that can be the same feeling that your audience gets when a brand message doesn’t fit with the reality of the service that you are providing them.

Yet, living up to your brand’s ideals can be difficult day in and day out, so assessing your current perception can give you a benchmark to gauge where you need to go with your service.

Conducting your own market research can help determine
where your brand stands.

HERE ARE A FEW TIPS TO TRY:

» Call clients you have worked with during the past year and get their thoughts on why they chose you.

» Ask your current customers how you have been doing compared to your competition.

» Assess if you are getting return customers.

» How you are getting your customers? If it is by word-of-mouth or referral then your brand is strong.

» Make sure your brand is integral to all parts of your business.

TECHNOLOGY TIP: Make it easy to manage and evaluate your findings. Create a free account with one of the online survey tools, and send yourself the survey titled with the client or customer’s name.  As you get feedback, enter it into the survey you sent yourself.  Do this for each contact you make, and at the end you will have a compilation of your results for comparison.

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Nov
02
2009
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Sep
28
2009
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A publication doesn’t need paper to be a publication.

When clients have limited distribution budgets, sometimes the best way to deliver the content is via the web. For those who prefer printed publications over interactive publications, we suggest including a downloadable pdf version. However, Soloflight’s  philosophy is that design for interactive and design for print should be parallel but not mirror each other. A designer should respect the differences between the two media and how audiences interact with each.

A perfect example is The BeltLine…Its Journey produced for the BeltLine Partnership.

The prospect of a larger audience and greater longevity pleased the Beltline, and we were able to implement design aspects that would have been impossible to print. Focusing on issues like usability, content sharing through social bookmarking sites and repurposing on social media sites a rubost site was created. Awareness and support for the BeltLine project has increased dramatically since the site’s launch. Check it out »

Story Telling Interactive Publication

Story Telling Interactive Publication

Traditional Supporting Print Piece

Traditional Supporting Print Piece

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