Website technologies are constantly changing. Design trends and functionality seem to have very short honeymoons and become Web standards in a matter of months. It’s not realistic or recommended to change a website every 10 months to simply keep pace with the latest trends. An investment in a smart, user-centered website should be able to carry a company for two to three years before a discussion of a new website needs to happen. If sites are properly designed and developed with the appropriate technologies, they should be able to stand a certain test of time regardless of your industry. That said, there are certain signs that indicate it’s time to take a hard look at your website and consider whether to embark on an updated website strategy.
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Planning season is just around the corner, when media teams will begin to sit down to develop strategic media campaigns. For the campaign, we first focus on the client goals, objectives and budgets for the year. As we work to create integrated and well-rounded campaigns, we must fully understand the customer. User habits continue to change and as media buyer/planners we have to continue to think outside the box to bring the message to the target audience.
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There are defining moments throughout your career that you will never forget. For me, attending the first ever Confab content strategy conference in Minneapolis in May of 2011 was one of those experiences. I’d been dabbling in content strategy for a year or so — reading blogs about it, downloading templates, creating a persona or two, and introducing a few new ideas to the agency and our clients. But I didn’t really know what I was doing. I didn’t have anyone who could teach me or answer my questions. I was really interested but didn’t know how to get started.
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Create a content calendar so beautiful you’ll cry Content calendars are more beautiful than a sunset. They’re more exciting to read than a treasure map. They have more knowledge in them than Sheldon and Amy combined. In fact, if content calendars were people, they’d be Renaissance people — outstandingly versatile, well-rounded and with many areas of knowledge. They are the ultimate content marketing tool and a content strategist’s best friend. In one visually amazing glance, you can convey your company’s content marketing strategy, target audience insights, content themes and content ideas.
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Two Rivers Marketing recently held our annual “Marketing for the Future” event. It’s similar to the traditional Bring Your Kid to Work day — but we like to add a twist. Instead of shadowing their parents and following them around tiredly, kids were given the opportunity to actually experience what their parents do at work on a daily basis.
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Nestled among the tall trees and a nearby lake in northwestern Minnesota is a Boy Scout camp called Many Point Scout Camp, where scouts are learning valuable life lessons, as well as potential careers. One such field is communications — something I happen to be quite familiar with. I recently had the opportunity to spend part of a week with my son at Many Point. It was a rare treat to step away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, working at a marketing agency and raising a family, to enjoy some time with my son and his fellow scouts in the White Earth State Forest. The experience is one I will not soon forget — including the thousands of pesky mosquitoes.
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I’ve been a member of Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) for about 20 years now, even though I have never lived in a city with an REI location. I’ve visited more than 35 of its 130+ locations across the country in my travels, making it a point to wait to buy my outdoorsy purchases until I’m going to be near an REI. As a member of the co-op, I get a percentage of my purchases back every year, which I roll into new items from REI. And not just their brands, but also many other excellent brands like Merrell, The North Face, Columbia and Pearl Izumi. Solid, quality brands, and items I’ve kept for years. My multiple pairs of Merrell hikers that I’ve worn through. My North Face duffel bags that have traveled the world with me and look as good as the day I bought them. My Columbia rain jacket I bought because it just wouldn’t stop raining in Seattle.
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What does Medusa — the snake-haired Gorgon monster of Greek mythology fame — have in common with Facebook’s search algorithm? Why, they’re both tools of war in the clash of titans, of course. The 1981 film, “Clash of the Titans,” is loosely based on the Greek myth of Perseus, son of Zeus. The movie adaptation centers on Perseus’ fantastic quest to reach his love, Princess Andromeda. The journey pits gods against gods — each with a vested interest in who wins the love of Andromeda. Needless to say, it’s very dramatic. But today, an equally dramatic and very real clash of titans is unfolding in front of our eyes. And again, love is the motivator behind this clash. I’m speaking (obviously) about the clash between Facebook and YouTube — titans of social media — and their valiant pursuits to gain the love and affection of video marketers.
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Over 20 years ago, someone in Japan created a two-dimensional bar code. It was a revelation. It could hold more information than a standard bar code and was quickly adopted by the Japanese auto industry for product tracking, document management and other logistical tasks. And then, years later, a marketer put these two-dimensional bar codes to use in order to solve a problem no one had. Today we call them QR codes (short for Quick Response codes), and they’ve been almost completely misused by marketers worldwide for the last few years.
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When I was 20, I packed my bags in a bitter January, flew out of Kansas City and 36 hours later made my way into Galway, Ireland, for the semester. I didn’t know anyone. Yet. What I soon learned is that Ireland doesn’t know a stranger. Sure, a Guinness or two (or three?) helps with this, but the hospitable nature of the Irish is woven deeper than a Celtic knot into their culture.
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