Tags ArchivesDetroit

Referral madness image

In today’s mail and email, I received offers for miles, rewards, points, a billing credit and a free ride. All I had to do was refer a friend or family member. Oh, and enter a code and have them enter a tracking code. Of course I recognize that referral programs are incredibly efficient (thanks Dropbox) and have a low cost per acquisition. A study was conducted by the Goethe University Frankfurt and the University of Pennsylvania on referral programs and customer value which followed the customer referral program of a German bank. That bank paid customers 25 euros for bringing in a new customer. The study found that referred customers were both more profitable and loyal than other customers. Referred ...

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Orange is the new orange image

Ah, it’s that time of year again … construction season. Lanes begin to change, roads fill with orange barrels and commutes seem longer than before. Nearly everywhere you go, you see another sign that reads “construction ahead.” This time of year can be a nuisance, an orange-barrel-filled, lane-shifting inconvenience. During the off-season, we can’t wait for potholes to be filled or crumbling roads to be repaved. However when it comes down to it, we don’t want to deal with the inevitable construction it takes to have better roads. Curious, isn’t it? We dread construction season even though it’s exactly what we wish for. The building or rebuilding period can be a time of impatience and frustration. Even though the end ...

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Organizing your organization image

The Container Store opened its first Michigan location in Novi on June 4, 2016. Across the street from 12 Oaks Mall, The Container Store stocks every basket, bin and bookend imaginable — it’s an organized person’s paradise. I decided to visit during opening weekend to see what the store is all about. The store itself is organized into areas dedicated to different organizational needs. There are sections dedicated to organizing closets, offices, bathrooms, laundry rooms and more. The closet section was staged to look as though I were looking at my own closet (in a world where it has any sort of an organizational system.) The store was buzzing with activity. Cashiers could be heard cheering as purchases were made ...

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Interrogation or Interview image

I have a lengthy list of interview questions saved in Evernote. This list has grown over the years based on suggestions from others, including frequently from interviewees. That’s because one of the questions I ask is, “Tell me the most challenging or strange interview question you’ve ever received?” I’ve catalogued some doozies such as, “What makes you howl at the moon?” “What’s the most controversial belief you hold?” And a fun twist, “Where do you see yourself in ten minutes?” I want SMZ job candidates to be relaxed, but I can’t divulge the entire list or else through digital digging some might arrive too prepared and too relaxed. What I have learned is to be careful with the questions. Recently I ...

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A mother’s recipe for combining data and instinct image

The results are in. The charting is complete. The analytics, testing and evaluation have been done. The data clearly points to A. There’s certainly a great deal of talk today about big data. Data defines paths and helps steer decisions. It helps create strategies, target ads and track activity (with an accuracy that can get downright scary at times). After all, numbers don’t lie. Ours is a business that relies on data. It’s useful and helpful and with the proper analysis, definitely helps drive results. But what about instinct? Hunch? Intuition? Gut? An idea that just feels right? GEICO’s Gecko was “hatched” with no research or intention of producing a long-running campaign. Look how that turned out. Sometimes common sense and ...

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SMZ welcomes Sara Voight image

Sara Voight recently joined the SMZ staff as Director of Finance and Administration.  We sat down with Sara to ask her about her vision for our finance department’s future and get a little personal dirt as well. What made you choose SMZ? It was the sense of culture I got during the interview process. It felt like there was a lot of activity but it wasn’t tension filled. It felt like people were happy to be here. I did my homework and knew the firm’s reputation for integrity and I liked that it was a privately held, family-owned business. How’s it going so far? I love it. I feel comfortable, relaxed. Many coworkers have taken the time to help explain ...

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Say hi to Michelle Hoskins image

SMZ welcomes Michelle Hoskins to the team as a new business coordinator intern.  Michelle is a recent Oakland University graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in advertising.  While at Oakland University Michelle was part of the OU News Bureau, a dedicated group of journalism students covering news of interest in the metro area.  She previously interned at Know Advertising as an account manager.  In her free time Michelle is an avid violinist and has been playing for 15 years. Welcome to SMZ, Michelle!

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Every day is an opportunity to create a meaningful customer experience image

It’s more than service. It goes beyond product: customer experience is the end-to-end journey, the cumulative impact — and in the ad business, an ongoing one. We always remember the bad parts. Concerns blown off. Being put on hold and forgotten. But then there are those amazing experiences, the ones that make you feel like, wow, these people really embrace their business. Really care. Go the extra mile. Like one of the owners of Zingerman’s Deli who can tell what you’re going to order before you actually do. That’s knowing your customer. The book, “Summit,” by F. Scott Addis, does a great job of breaking down the relationship between business success and elevating your customers’ experience with some key recommendations. ...

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SMZ welcomes Breann Wasson image

Breann Wasson joins us this summer as a creative intern. She’s a Central Michigan University graduate with a BS in advertising and a minor in media design production technology (a fancy way to say she took classes in photography, videography, graphic design, and programming). Breann is a graphic designer and art director who’s been building her skills ever since she opened Photoshop at the tender age of 12 to resize an Ashton Kutcher photo. She spent two years as an advertising designer and creative services manager at CMU Life, honing her design skills and developing advertising campaigns for local businesses. In her spare time Breann likes to hang out with friends and family, play D&D and watch old sci-fi shows. Breann said, “I’m ...

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A lesson politicians can learn from marketers and rock stars image

“It’s not always rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise that moves us along.” Maroon 5 “SHE WILL BE LOVED” With divisive politics littering media channels now more than ever, compromise has become a repulsive trait in today’s polarized society. Compromise has now evolved into a sure sign of weakness rather than a pragmatic way forward.  Pronouncements of “we will never compromise” are common themes in Washington and Lansing.  And all that hard-line rhetoric happens prior to any sort of discussion or dialog on issues of importance.  This rigid, seemingly principled attitude just disguises an inability to do two things that we in marketing practice instinctively: engage and listen, core attributes for any healthy conversation and key elements in in how we ...

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