Monthly ArchivesApril 2012

Facebook IPO: Are you in? standard

– John Gielow, Director of Digital Strategy With all the frenzy surrounding the impending Facebook’s IPO, does this week’s quarterly earnings announcement sway your position?  Facebook’s first quarter-to-quarter revenue declined for the first time in two years.  As most revenue comes from advertising, it’s critical to not watch the 900 million monthly users, but to watch the 58% (+/-) daily users.  In our world of managing brands and determining how Facebook fits into the puzzle, we care most about the daily users who provide the best opportunity for brand engagement.  As Facebook continues to tweak the user experience, building on the 58% daily users provides the real growth opportunity. So, should you dip your feet in and participate in the IPO?  ...

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Let’s Eat Grandma. standard

– Trish Cowan, Copywriter Wait—is she properly seasoned? One little comma changes the meaning of the whole sentence, doesn’t it? Since proofreading is part of my game here at SMZ, I admit, nerd that I am, it’s the kind of stuff I pay attention to. Let’s eat, grandma. In this world of texting, tweeting, Facebook and emails, punctuation and spelling often take a back seat. But it’s still important stuff. Like they say, “Retail is detail.” And though we break some rules now and then, Strunk and White’s is best to be followed. Because without them, sentences can be misread. Something that’s bound to matter to a client. So can a comma really save lives? A punctuation pundit like me ...

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Sharing secrets standard

– Trish Cowan, Copywriter Everyone’s different when it comes to sharing self-info. I, for one, am pretty tight-lipped. So I find Frank Warren and his blog/project especially intriguing. He asks people to send him personal, decorated postcards and share their secrets anonymously. Over half a million people have shared and some of those secrets are pretty amazing. Amazingly funny. Amazingly sad. Insightful. And frightening. It reminds me of how as a writer, I’m always looking for that truism, that nugget of honesty, that revelation that makes people think and nod. Or laugh. Tug at their heart. Or open their eyes. And how in this business, we use those same nuggets to help our clients and their businesses. And it ...

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$3.3 billion in revenue – still worth it? standard

– John Gielow, Director of Digital Strategy With this week’s reported sale of ATT’s print yellow page and business units to private equity firm Cerberus, the immediate reaction is … just another nail in the coffin for the yellow page business.  At SMZ, we have placed clients’ print and online yellow page business for 25+ years.  We’re not pretending to dispute the continued shift of print to online, but let us not forget the millions of US adults who do not have smart phones yet.  We’re not talking about the under 40 crowd who respond to these stories in amazement that anyone ever uses a print directory. We’re talking about your parents,  aunts, uncles who have lived a lifetime without being attached to ...

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Titanic lessons apply 100 years later standard

– Jamie Michelson, President The word titanic was around long before it became a capital-T brand, instantly, when the White Star Line luxury ship sank 100 years ago next week. It dates back to powerful Titan gods of Greek mythology, and gained lasting power in another context that moonless night of April 14, 1912. A century later, “Titanic” remains shorthand for avoidable disaster. Its saga spawned analogies so common they’re clichés, particularly in business. Small market shifts could be the tip of an iceberg. Cosmetic changes by a firm in peril are compared to rearranging deck chairs on that legendary liner.    For those steering companies — whether a retail business, a mid-size creative agency or a global corporation — the ...

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