Maximize your marketing dollars with E-blasts!

Maximize your marketing dollars with E-blasts!

Maximize your marketing dollars with E-blasts! When designing electronic communications, or “eblasts,” you can save money by leveraging the web hosting service you are already paying for. If you have a website, you’re already paying for hosting. Instead of subscribing to an additional eblast service to host your images, you can simply upload a directory of images to your hosting web server and link to the files from your chosen email client or HTML code. This option enables you to remain in full control of your images and content while saving you money.

Another potential money saver is to actively update your current mailing list. For example, if your database is 10,000 strong and you receive 1,000 bounce backs or undeliverable email addresses, updating these addresses will minimize the number of bounces you receive. Afterall, do you want to pay for emails that cannot be delivered? If you are paying per email address, in most cases, making these updates will save you some money on your monthly bill.

EXHIBITION OPENING Ringling College Patricia Thompson Gallery Presents Pedro Pérez Selection of work on display through October 21

EXHIBITION OPENING: Pedro Pérez.

Ringling College Patricia Thompson Gallery Presents Pedro Pérez
Selection of work on display through October 21

Sarasota, FL – Opening June 10, the Ringling College of Art and Design Patricia Thompson Gallery will host the work of alumnus Pedro Pérez, Class of 1996. This multi-media exhibition will include design work from his various advertising campaigns and present several projects he has completed over the course of his professional career.

An exploration of the creative process, this exhibition will lead the viewer through the behind the scenes decision-making and experimentation of advertising, culminating in several polished, completed campaigns that demonstrate the result of this foundational work.

Pérez is a founding partner of Nuevo Advertising Group and an adjunct professor of Global Brand Strategies at Ringling College.  He founded his first company, Merging Point Design, Inc., with fellow students while they were attending Ringling College. This first venture specialized in custom website design and development and quickly landed some impressive local and national clients such as Sarasota’s own Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, Lee Wetherington Homes, and Stardust Casino and Boyd Gaming in Las Vegas, Nevada. Merging Point focused on the front-end beauty and functionality of websites as well as the back-end management systems. 

Email tracking software, good idea or not? Featured on SRQ DAILY: TUESDAY June 7, 2016 – TUESDAY TECH TALK

Email tracking software, good idea or not?

Email tracking, Did you know the emails you send and receive can be tracked? The process is called “email tracking” and it is an invaluable tool you can use to ensure your clients and contacts have received, opened and read your email communications. To do this, a simple code is inserted into the email message when you send it. This triggers an email response back to you to alert you when the message has been opened, how many times, and in some cases if it was forwarded to someone else.

Email tracking is an especially great resource if you’re in sales. Once you are alerted that your desired recipients have received your initial message, you can further customize follow up communicators and provide additional information. Even learning that your desired recipient has received your message and has not responded back to you can be a great resource for next steps. Think of it like an electronic “message received” response.

Social network marketing is it worth the money?, Featured on SRQ DAILY: TUESDAY May 31, 2016 – TUESDAY TECH TALK

Social network marketing is it worth the money?

Social network marketing is it worth the money? Marketing online can bring value to any marketing campaign. One reason is you’d be able to target your customers pretty precisely right down to demographic, geo target, Interests, Religion. Simply by setting up an account on any one of the social network platforms and using that social network to publish your photos, Comments, or your family gatherings. Over time gathering enough content to make you a viable marketing opportunity for a potential business or individual thinking of marketing a product or service through any one of the online platforms.

Most of us do this without even noticing or batting an eye. Have you picked up your phone just simply see what your friends are doing online, to see what events are happening this weekend? Have you clicked on links of interest? All of these things add to your value as a potential advertisement consumer. Have you ever re-posted an item you found on a friends newsfeed? Do you play games that are in theory free on Facebook as an example? All of these things come at a price. By clicking on the links and then accepting the terms you have now shared your contact list, usage patterns, your likes and dislikes. All of these things are used not to pinpoint you per se but you as a demographic which in terms let’s advertisers more precisely target you in their advertisement messaging creative and how they deliver the message to you.

Mastering your Businesses BLOG, Featured on SRQ DAILY: TUESDAY May 10, 2016 – TUESDAY TECH TALK

Mastering your Businesses BLOG

Mastering your Businesses BLOG, How many times have you thought of writing a BLOG for your business? I’m sure the first thought is that it would be a great resource, a valuable opportunity to promote your products or services. Then reality sits in. “What am I going to write about?” you ask yourself. “How much time can I dedicate to getting this job done?” “What about my social networks?” How can you keep your business running and find time to add another “to do” to your list?

Here are some BLOG basics that should help. First, decide the purpose of your BLOG. Why are you writing one? What issues do you hope to address with your commentary? Will you be helping your clients with a problem? Sharing your unique voice or particular expertise? Announcing new products or services?
Once you answer these questions, start organizing your BLOG posts into titles.

Second, research what similar posts you find that are already available on the Internet. Will your BLOG add value to a similar topic? Do you have a different point of view you think can help your customers or readers? Once you determine those answers, you are ready to locate resources on other websites that may underscore your message. Sharing information from other websites in your blog can be a good way to showcase your expertise, however you want to be sure that doing so will not take readers away from your content.

Verizon FIOS sells out to Frontier and what a mess followed

Verizon FIOS sells out to Frontier and what a mess followed

Verizon FIOS sells out to Frontier, Raise your hand if you’ve had serious technological issues with the Verizon Fios to Frontier transition during the past Three weeks. Take it from me, the companies should never have done the conversion on April 1. Not only did they set themselves up to be the butt of “April Fools” jokes, they seemed utterly unprepared. My experience is that there was no strategy, no redundancy planning, and no expert guidance to aid the customer service staff to help their customers. After countless phone calls, demanding that my issues be elevated to supervisors, and countless frustration, I’m happy to say our video services are now back up and running – but it took us a week back-and-forth with Frontier to make that happen, and no small thanks to my own troubleshooting.

Here are some simple steps you can take to remedy the potential problems you may be experiencing at home yourself:

First off, let’s take a walk outside your house to the location where the Internet comes into your home. Look at the Verizon/Frontier box. Is it damaged? Does everything look like it’s connected? Once you’ve determined that, take a flat head screwdriver and open the box. You’ll should see a bunch of flashing lights with a legend next to them explaining which lights are responsible for what action. Make sure you have no orange or amber or red lights flashing. Take note and then close the box.

Good people as technology assets,  Featured on SRQ DAILY: TUESDAY April 26, 2016 – TUESDAY TECH TALK

Good people as technology assets

Good people as technology assets. For the past few months I’ve been talking about technological issues as they relate to specific products or mindsets. I’d like to take a moment to shine some light on the biggest resource we may have to tackle tough technological problems. It’s the people we meet every day. The people we work with, and the bonds and relationships we make. How many times have you found yourself incredibly frustrated trying to find an answer to a technological problem? Of course. there is always the Internet, and thanks to Google, most answers are now at our fingertips. With a little ingenuity, you can easily use the Internet to research your idea or problem and to find potential answers or information.

As an adjunct faculty member at Ringling College of Art and Design, I have had the opportunity to meet some of the most kind, generous and hard-working students I’ve ever known. They have all far exceeded my expectations. This new wave of future leaders and artists – digital “natives” – have grown up with technology and understand better than most of us its current and potential impact on our lives and in our work.

Home security monitoring systems, what to consider when purchasing,  Featured on SRQ DAILY: TUESDAY April 12, 2016 – TUESDAY TECH TALK

Home security monitoring systems, what to consider when purchasing

You can’t go a day without seeing or hearing the latest ads from countless home security monitoring systems. Having one can lower your homeowners’ insurance rates, deter crime, and give you peace of mind when you are not at home. Video surveillance systems are becoming very routine throughout our lives at home, at work, and in public venues. We are being watched when out in public or in a residential neighborhood. So what’s the purpose of the security system, anyway? And how do you really decipher what’s a good option for you? Here are some quick pointers to aid you in your buying decision.

The first step is to determine what you want to monitor. Is it the access to the exterior of your entire property? Your house? Your front door? Or just the inside environment? Do you want to monitor your home only when you’re not at home? Do you have pets inside when you are gone that may trip a motion sensor? Do you want to check in from your mobile device? Are you confident with the do-it-yourself set up? Most security systems today come with everything you need out-of-the-box. Taking into consideration what you really want to monitor will help you determine the right system for you.

Innovate or disintegrate – why keeping current with technology is a must, Featured on SRQ DAILY: TUESDAY April 5, 2016 – TUESDAY TECH TALK

Innovate or disintegrate – why keeping current with technology is a must

Innovate or disintegrate – I had the opportunity to attend an event in March regarding empathetic design presented by The CEO Forum and BIG (Big Ideas on the Gulfcoast) guest speakers Dr. Deena McDonagh and Walter Herbst. Dr. McDonagh is an Associate Professor of Industrial Design in the School of Art + Design at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and faculty at the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology. Mr. Herbst founded Herbst LaZar Bell Inc. in 1962 which has grown into one three largest independently owned product design and development firms in the country.

The two focused their talk on the growing emphasis technology usability plays in the consumer marketplace. What I found most compelling was learning how our assumptions and design concepts are being put to the test. Dr. McDonagh shared a few very interesting case studies including everything from how we use a roll of toilet paper to how we tattoo ourselves with brands like Harley Davidson.

She emphasized in one of her examples that it was clear the designers were men and the women’s perspective was never taken into consideration in designing the product. She went on to illustrate how the product was useful and well intended but the lack of understanding and efficacy for the user in the design and implementation of the concept left quite a few people with the inability to fully use the technology as it was intended.

The benefits and risks of using geo-location on your mobile device, Featured on SRQ DAILY: TUESDAY MARCH 29, 2016 – TUESDAY TECH TALK

The benefits and risks of using geo-location on your mobile device

The rise in precision of geo-location features on smartphones and mobile devices can have enormous advantages for you as a consumer – as well as extremely dangerous consequences. So, just how does your smartphone know where in the world you are? When location services are enabled on devices, the precise physical location of your phone (and you, assuming you are chained to it…) can be pinpointed via latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates down to a matter of feet.

As a user, this can be great for you if you are dying for a Starbucks in the middle of Manhattan, lost in a new city trying to get to a job interview, or wondering why in the world your kid isn’t home at curfew. And, as a business, you can take advantage of geo-location with geo-targeting – knowing your customers’ locations and serving them selected offers based on their proximity to your business.

However, there is a darker side. When GPS or geo-location is enabled on your devices, it may embed the exact location you were when you took photos with your smartphone or mobile device.

You have all of this fantastic technology at your fingertips and everywhere you see great opportunities to capture a lifetime of memories: family fun times, vacations, work events, or just documenting what you had for breakfast! We all do it. We take a quick snapshot, upload it to one of our favorite social networks, and voilà! In a matter of seconds, our lives are on display for thousands of people to enjoy and comment on. Or, do something far more sinister…