Archive for June, 2011
Our e-newsletter, AMG Creative Express, is chock full of informational goodness—from resources and case studies to tech tips and industry trends. Basically, things you didn’t know you needed to know that you should definitely know in order to be in the know. We are on this journey, this knowledge trek, together. Let us be your guides.
Look familiar? This is a QR, or “Quick Response” Code, and it is changing the world of marketing. Using the camera on your cell phone you can quickly scan these barcodes and instantly access information about a company’s latest products, special offers, coupons, videos and more.
QR Codes can be easily added to promotional materials like direct mailings and are rapidly gaining immense popularity in the United States. The US Postal service recently announced a 3% postage discount for First Class and Standard Mail containing them from July 1, 2011 to August 31, 2011, so it’s the perfect time to give them a try.
Find out more about these excellent (and cost-effective) marketing tools here. Give us a call and ask about how QR Codes can be used to help you! In the meantime, relax and check out this interactive QR Code inspired music video!
QR Codes are becoming more and more common in America, and even the mailmen, err I mean, mail carriers, have begun to notice. the The US Postal service recently announced a 3% postage discount for First Class, Standard, and Presorted mail containing a QR Code from July 1, 2011 to August 31, 2011.
To qualify for the program:
- The barcode must be two-dimensional and readable by a mobile smart phone
- The documentation for each mailing needs to be submitted electronically to the US Postal Service
- Each piece of mail needs to contain a mobile barcode either within the contents or outside the mailpiece
- The mobile barcode must be used for marketing, promotional or educational purposes and be relevant to the contents
Think of it this way: Right now you can save money on your direct mailings by simply trying out a QR Code System. With numerous websites to create free codes available on the Internet, it is by no means an expensive venture.
QR Codes make it easy for your clients to find out more about your products, contact information, special offers, and coupons, and they can do so without much effort. It’s a perfect time to get an edge on your competition and give QR Codes a try.
Here’s a clever music video featuring QR Codes, which can actually be scanned and will direct the user to information about the artist and even enter them into contests.
We thought about making one of our own, but we couldn’t decide who would get to play lead cowbell.
Developed in Japan in the mid 1990s, QR Codes are a form of barcode readable by camera phones and special barcode scanners. The information encoded can range from simple contact information to special offers and video advertisements. QR codes have become popular in many countries because of their ease of use and simplicity. To get the information contained in the QR Code, the phone simply has to take a picture, and the user will then be directed to the information contained in the code.
Here are some quick facts about QR Codes today:
- Thirty-one percent of all U.S. mobile users have smartphones
Smartphones are projected to be in the hands of 43% of mobile users by late 2015
Many U.S. top brands are using QR codes. These include Starbucks, GMC, Google, Weather Channel, Best Buy, Ford, Pepsi, Facebook, and more.
Thirty-two percent of mobile devices users surveyed said they’ve used a QR code
Roughly 62% of those who have scanned QR code have done so multiple times
Seven out of 10 say they would be interested in using a QR code, for either the first time or again
The majority of QR scanning in the U.S. is performed by consumers in the 35-44 years of age bracket at 25%, with steady adoption being seen among those 18-54 years of age at 84%
Nearly four out of 10 of respondents surveyed in late 2010 said they use mobile devices to browse or research products and services. This figure has grown from 27% reported in spring 2010
Top uses of those who said they have scanned a QR code were to get a promotional deal or obtain additional information
Mobile barcode (1D and 2D) scanning traffic increased over 800% from this time a year ago
Four out of 10 of consumers ages 18-34 are using their mobile device to complete purchases of products and services with varying frequencies
Complied by the Rochester Institute of Technology.
These days there seems to be a million different ways to market your company. There are more tools available than ever before, and it can often be difficult to figure out which is the most effective. Here at AMG we are always interested in what our clients feel works best for them. So ponder for a moment and let us know…
Often the first impression a client has of your company is your landing page. After clicking an advertisement or a search engine result, it’s the first thing they see. Here are some tips to make your page as effective as possible:
1.) Use three to five bullet points on each landing page to make it easy for readers to quickly scan the page. This also highlights the main offers or messages on the form.
3.) Include the offer or deal in the headline of the landing page because it is the first thing the visitor will see. The headline needs to describe the offer so visitors know what they can get out of the form. Avoid headlines with lack of detail.
DO! (Be specific) DON’T! (Try what for free?)
4.) Always have the headings and bullet points start with an action verbs. This answers the question “What’s in it for me?” from the viewers. Shows the compelling value in the landing page offers.
5.)The alignment of the page should be balanced by using three columns if possible. This maintains organization so the viewer can navigate around the page efficiently without clutter.
6.) Remember that on a landing page, white space is a good thing. The viewer can lose an offer, message or leave the landing page altogether if it includes too much text.
DO! DON’T! (too much text)
7.) The entire form should be above the fold. This means the visitor should not have to scroll down to see the landing page content.
DO! (keep all content on one page) DON’T! (don’t make the form longer than the page)
8.) Avoid placing additional links on the page. Links may distract the viewer from the landing page offer. If you remove unneeded links, this potentially decreases conversion rates which means it is less likely for someone to end up clicking off the page.
9.) Steer clear from using white text on a black background. The landing page to the left is too hard to read because of the extreme contrast. An easy fix is using a gray background color instead.
10.) Interactive sites are a great way to involve the viewers so they can actually see what they get out of the landing page offer. The landing page to the right incorporates a calculator you can use to figure out how much your digital shelf space is worth.
Your logo is a visual sythesis of your company, boiled down to it’s simplest form to represent you. It’s purpose is not to communicate multiple aspects or characteristics of you, but instead be a symbol or statement of who you are and what you do. It is the foundation of your company image and sets the stage for future branding materials.
Your identity is a whole different animal that moves beyond your logo. It’s all the “little things” that when put together create a powerful statement (if done properly) and define you on multiple levels. These “little things” are everything that connect you and your audience: a business card, a website, an ad, your newsletter, a t-shirt… the list goes on and on. When your audience engages with these “little things” they have a reaction whether they are conscious of it or not. The important thing to remember is, every one of these “little things” is an opportunity for you to continue to tell your story — define who you are. You are in control of what you communicate and the trick is getting that positive reaction.
When interviewing candidates for this summer’s interns, we wanted to find the best. What criteria did we use? Well, we wanted talented, driven and creative interns with a potential for greatness. Mostly though, we needed interns with really cool superpowers.
Through a rigorous testing process (top secret, of course), we’ve put together a team of superhero interns unmatched by any other before them. Nowhere else will you find a graphic designer who can shoot fish out of his hands, a copywriter who can spontaneously make Ovaltine out of nothing, an account executive with Google built into his brain, and another who, almost like Wolverine, has corndogs for claws.
Chris – Account Executive Intern (Google Boy)
Chris spent the majority of his younger years constantly asking questions, as if he needed to know something about everything. Do racing stripes make model rockets fly higher? Is it possible to overdose from twinkies? These were things for which he desperately needed answers. With the rise of the Internet he began to use Google to aid in this inexplicable quest for knowledge. One day during his usual Googling time (which was all day), he started to feel strange. He was slowly beginning to know the results of each Google search before he even entered them. Within a few days, Chris discovered something: Google had become a part of his brain, and he knew the details about anything he wanted almost instantly without using a computer.
This ability to harness information about practically everything has sparked a fierce debate around the office over whether Chris can fairly participate in AMG’s annual Trivial Pursuit Tournament, and if so, who gets to have him on their team.
When not impressing clients with his ability to answer their questions on the spot, Chris spends most of his personal time developing a pizza rating system which he hopes will one day become the standard of food critics everywhere.
Mimi – Account Executive Intern (Corn Doggerine)
Mimi likes eating. A lot. No matter how much she eats she always seems to want more. This could be due to the fact that she spent a large portion of her childhood being raised by street vendors. This constant need for food likely led to her super ability: Corn Dog Claws.
Although possibly less ferocious (but much more tasty) than Wolverine’s super strong adamantium claws, Mimi insists she could still be an effective crime fighting force; which we might believe if she didn’t do so with a mouthful of corndog. Not exactly the most effective superpower, sure, but at least we’ll never go hungry again.
Mimi currently focuses most of her attention on three things: our clients, eating, and Mortal Kombat. One day she hopes to be the first person to skydive into a McDonald’s.
Andrew – Graphic Design Intern (Captain Shore Shot)
On a hunting trip long ago, Andrew suddenly found himself lost. What to do in such a situation? Go fishing, of course. He found a picturesque lake, cast his lure, sat back, and waited for the first bite. It didn’t take very long; Andrew was soon struggling to bring something huge out of the water. But it was too much for him, and instead he was pulled under the water briefly. It’s unclear what happened while he was below the surface, but the next thing he knew he was back on the ground, and something was very different: He could now shoot fish out of his hands.
We figure this shocking ability could have a lot of potential, and we’re not sure if we should just get another aquarium or open up some type of seafood restaurant.
When he’s not littering the streets with flopping aquatic creatures, Andrew can be found designing the latest AMG creations.
Thomas – Copywriting Intern (Mr. Oval Tine)
Is there such a thing as too much Ovaltine? If so, don’t tell Thomas. He once drove to three different states in order to find a store that still had some in stock after he had used up the supplies of everywhere close to him. This enormous consumption led to a peculiar ability-Thomas can now spontaneously make Ovaltine on demand. This has led to a serious shortage of clean spoons around the office and what we’re pretty sure is a permanent chocolate milk mustache.
Despite the fact he now has an unlimited supply of the stuff, he’s still stingy about letting us have some. We might have to start hiding the milk from him if he doesn’t change his attitude.
When not focusing on his copywriting duties, Thomas currently spends his time writing a book about stirring techniques, which he expects will one day be made into a blockbuster movie.
Besides their wacky superpowers, each of our interns brings something special to our team, and we have no doubt they’ll be able to excel in helping AMG put forth the best work for our clients.
Welcome to the league, kids.
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