New chick in the office? Yep, that’s me.
If I had three things in my apartment that best describes me, it would be: wine, my dog, and lots of workout clothes that, you guessed it, I don’t actually use to work out in.
More random thoughts about me. I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket. Secondly, I have 8 weddings to go to this 2019 year. Of course, I want another dog. Slow drivers are annoying. Therefore, I don’t like slow walkers either. I’d love to travel to every state in the US. Crab legs rock! Was that random enough for you?
I Like It!
And I’ll tell you this… I love marketing and I’m deeply involved in email marketing. That’s what led me to 77 Design Co. I’m working with them on the digital messaging side of things. They pay me in wine and a paycheck of course…. great gig we got! It’s pretty neat how well we all click. Rob likes wine. I like wine. Bobby likes baseball. I like baseball. And we all love marketing and what we do. We have fun doing it! Imagine that.
I’m sure everyone gets certain emails they signed up for and some ask, why on earth did this get sent to me? We have all been there. Consequently, that’s the fun of email marketing! For instance, let’s create content that is targeted to YOU as an individual. Nothing boring and canned. What are your wants and interests? Let’s send you a different email than the receptionist at your doctor. Or, maybe you guys are in the same segment? I guess we will find out!
So who has ever gotten a 50% off email pop up in your inbox before? Have you clicked it? Or did you delete it right away?
50% off is pretty awesome I would have to say! Heck, that may entice me to click through and do a little shopping. But what if there isn’t a sale…. is there anything in it for you?
For example, let’s say the last thing on this retailers’ website you were looking at were shoes but you didn’t buy them. Cool, everyone can use an extra pair of shoes am I right? Well, I think I am right… I like shoes. ****day dreaming about those cute flips flops I was looking at three days ago… **** Sidetracked… Anyway, you get an email a week later WITH THE SAME PAIR OF SHOES YOU WERE LOOKING AT BEFORE front and center of the email. MAGIC? Or Email Marketing?
Email marketing is a universe where anything is possible. Yes, you can track cookies on your website. If you don’t know what cookies are, they are in the junk food aisle at Giant Eagle…. bad joke? OK… Cookies are data that can be traced, and they leave “crumbs” based on your browser activity. WE ARE WATCHING YOU. Weird, I know. However, if it’s a business trying to sell something, it can really help profit. Business baby. Business.
So as I was saying, you can do a lot with email marketing. That is to say, someone signs up for a newsletter, bam! They get a welcome email, “Thanks for signing up, here’s a little bit about what we will be sending you.” How about when you make a purchase on a website? “Here is your order info, thanks for your purchase! We hope you enjoy it!” What about a few weeks later, getting an email, “How did you like your purchase, can you leave a review on our website?” Then I go back to my initial thought about shoes. If I “abandon” my cart and not buy, the retailer can send me an email saying, “Don’t forget about those shoes girl, you know you want them.” Dangit, how did they know? I really do want them! MAGIC. SOLD.
It can be fun being on the customer side of some creative email messages because you are receiving content you WANT to receive. Above all, it can also be exhilarating being on the creative side trying to get your customers to buy, or whatever need be. You can send anything, almost anything, in an email. “Share this post of ours. Write a review of our business. We are hosting an event near you. Since you bought this, you may like this.” And many more.
I can go on and on about best practices of email marketing and how you can automate your processes so you don’t have to put many hours into it. Certainly, we can dive deeper into all aspects of email marketing, however, I have some tacos in front of me right now that look really good so I’ll save that for future blog posts.
What would you email your customers? What email are you looking for that you haven’t received from a retailer or business? Do you like tacos?
– Email marketing girl
Analyze. Create. Achieve.
Memorial Day is a time of reflection. A time that we all remember those that gave the ultimate sacrifice for us.
Despite the divisive political views in our country, Memorial Day serves as a day of coming together. Take a few moments this Memorial Day to pray for, or acknowledge (however you want) the men and women who currently serve and those that lost their lives or suffered tragic injuries, protecting our freedoms. Our world would most certainly would be a different place without them.
Analyze. Create. Achieve.
Marketing, and specifically content marketing, requires a little outside the box thinking. A little creativity can go a long way. Applying some important artistic techniques to your marketing materials and online presence can really make your business stand out.
Here are a few compositional elements that can add an aesthetic look to your marketing products. As a result, you can learn to train a customers’ eye towards what you want them to see.
*Line– lines can be a powerful tool in design and art. If used correctly they can guide a persons eyes towards something. Maybe its an offer or an image. Lines can also be simple or complex in creating borders. However, if they are used incorrectly they can look messy. Use your best judgement.
*Shape-shapes play an important role in logo design. Triangles have been used throughout the history of art. They have a significant role leading a viewer to a focus point. Triangles can be harmonious. For example, all sides connect to a point. This point can be used intentionally or subconsciously.
Circles and ovals create powerful logo designs. They also make for a specific singular observation. All sides spherically connect driving attention inward. Many famous works of art contain circular elements. In addition, circles balance and keep your undivided attention.
*Texture-Why not add a little texture? It helps create depth too. Texture creates a sense of touch. This makes a business card, brochure, or even web page really alluring. Not too much though, because you can draw too much attention to it. Furthermore, you can lose the message or offer you are presenting.
*Pattern-In addition to all of the above, pattern elements can be added. Patterns can be created by using texture, line, and shape. Patterns can also create any of the above.
There is way more that you can do artistically than could fit in this blog. However, hopefully this gives you or your team some ideas for creating new engaging marketing materials!
Analyze. Create. Achieve.
One of the things new business owners may struggle a little with is marketing. If you are a small business owner of 1 or 2 people, it’s probably not the easiest to self-promote. Self promotion is hard! However, it is a necessity. We want to help. For that reason (and many more) a few months back we have aligned ourselves with SCORE.
SCORE is the largest network of volunteer retired business professionals in the nation. The SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) mentors help individuals and small businesses with free mentoring, workshops, and multiple resources. These individuals volunteer their time to help local small businesses grow and succeed. We are proud to be a part of this fantastic organization.
As a side note, did you know that Spike TV’s John Taffer of Bar Rescue partnered with SCORE?
If you are starting out, or even if you have been in business a few years, SCORE can help. For example, by pairing with a SCORE mentor, your business can gain access to valuable developmental resources and increase revenue. In short, the mentor(s) will be happy to guide you in the right direction.
Our role with SCORE
At 77 Design Co our goal is to help small business. Period. That is to say, we offer free consults and advice whenever possible. Building a brand from scratch takes a lot of consideration. It takes a lot of work, thought, and creativity too. This is one reason we created our full service marketing firm, because we want be of assistance to others. We want them to succeed. Hopefully, they’ll take our marketing advice and build something special.
Our role within SCORE is to serve as marketing consultants. 77 Design Co is still very much an active business, therefore mentoring clients isn’t something we can do for SCORE. However, we help with advising on social media strategies, evaluating new business plans, marketing ideas, and volunteering to present for workshops. This role is something that we take great pride in.
The SCORE workshops that we present are fun, engaging, and informative. We’ve taken into consideration that not everyone who attends may be as familiar with certain marketing aspects as others. Consequently, the presentations are structured to be easily understood by all. We talk about the simple basics. For instance, some of the topics discussed are:
- Social Media
- Web Design
- Commercial Photography
- Graphic Design
- Direct Mail
- Content/Technical Writing, and much more.
Furthermore, the presentations are meant to be informative and humorous. We like to have fun with them. We like to poke fun of ourselves too. So far, the responses we’ve got have been very positive.
In conclusion, if you own a business in Westmoreland County and interested in learning more about SCORE, or would like to attend a workshop feel free to contact SCORE at (724) 539-7505 or visit https://westmoreland.score.org.
Analyze. Create. Achieve.
Running a marketing company is a full time, non-stop venture. This week on the blog we interview owner and founder of 77 Design Co, Rob Hoffman. He’ll entertain us with a few personal and professional things about himself and the company.
Where did you grow up? Tell us a little about your childhood.
(Laughs) Well, it all started when I was an orphan in Poland, the year was 1948…All kidding aside, I grew up in Forest Hills, just outside of Pittsburgh. My life was pretty non-typical from what kids do today. For example, I left the house. I spent a lot of time skateboarding and riding a bike. A normal day for me was spending time outside playing and hanging around in the woods.
What is your experience in marketing and design? What got you into marketing?
I started in radio during and after college at Penn State. Consequently, you need a radio name, and mine was Speed Williams. I wanted to be in radio but at the time the only job I could get was sales. As a result, I spent a lot of time involved with newspapers. I worked a lot handling promotions, events, and doing marketing too. It was then that I realized there was way more to marketing a business than just radio ads.
What do you like most about owning 77 Design Co and doing what you do?
Taking the knowledge that I’ve gained over the years to help businesses solve their problems. It helps them get more people through their doors and as a result hopefully they can sell more. I say I’m 100% unemployable at this point because I question too much if I’m working for someone as an employee. Also, one of the best things is the independence I have as an entrepreneur. If I want to take a break and have a cigar, I do. If I want to take a day off, I do. I’m also very aware that it takes a lot of work to succeed. It doesn’t come easily most of the time so days off and breaks are pretty infrequent.
How does 77 Design Co help its clients?
With over 20 years of experience we can help take a business that’s at a stand still, or a start up, and help it become profitable. We’ll help them brand their business better so they are more identifiable to customers. We try our best to put these businesses on the right path to market their products and services better.
What is your role?
(Laughs) Haha, I say I’m head coffee maker and head lighting assistant on commercial photo shoots. Actually, I help to create strategies to figure out what’s best for the customer. Running the day to day business operations is also part of that role.
I’m remarried to Jamie, my awesome loving wife! I have 2 daughters, Ashley (13) and Sara (10) as well as Jamie’s girls, Emileigh and Jenna who are both 10 too.
What is your favorite beer? Bourbon? Scotch?
I don’t know 🤔, not sure I have a favorite but I lean towards craft brew IPA’s. Hmm, bourbon? I guess Makers Mark or High West. There’s 1 scotch for me, Macallan 12.
What are a few things 77 Design Co does that other marketing firms can’t or don’t do?
Numero Uno, the biggest we’ve found is in-house photography and writing. Our ability to create both visual and written content that supports the marketing strategy we’ve developed is key. We’ll create a story that reflects the customer, their personalities, and goals. No copy/paste ideas here. We shy away from using stock design or photos that don’t represent the business or the owners. Almost all of the art we make for marketing is custom made.
Where do you see 77 Design Co in 10 years?
As the #1 marketing agency in Westmoreland County. That is to say, we have lofty goals but we try to implement our plans towards those goals every day. Ideally, we’d like to bring on 8-10 trusted and creative employees to be the premiere marketing resource in Westmoreland County.
Who is your ideal business partner?
(Laughs again) Wow, that’s a loaded question! Obviously, Bobby! Seriously, though, there was a reason we sat down, partnered, and brainstormed this idea together. It was to make marketing better. For instance, we shared the same ideas, vision, and work ethic. It took the better part of 20 years to find that. We don’t argue, disagree (much,) or get pissed at one another. That’s hard to do in business. When we hit a pothole professionally, we keep moving forward.
Any other things about yourself you’d like to add?
Well, (laughing) you could insert a short joke somewhere here. I don’t believe in the separation of work and life. They are one in the same. I work hard to provide for my family and pay bills like everyone and that sometimes means it interferes with family things, but if it needs done it needs done. Therefore, I get up in the morning thinking of work, and go to bed thinking of work stuff.
If you can’t juggle the pitfalls of owning a business, maybe you are a 9-5’er. There isn’t anything wrong with that either. It takes a certain mentality to own and operate any business and try to be successful. You have to be willing to grind it out for results.
Also, my favorite Pink Floyd album…Dark Side of the Moon.
Analyze. Create. Achieve.