Monthly Archive: August 2010

Client Showcase #5

Danville Development Corporation is a property management firm providing HUD-subsidized senior housing in Salt Lake City, Ogden and surrounding communities. Bonehook was commissioned to refresh the company’s website.

One of the primary goals for this project was to streamline the application process, making it simple for low income seniors or their loved ones to locate an available apartment, fill out all the necessary paperwork and know exactly who to contact about the status of their application.

We also helped identify and highlight key selling points like free utilities, an allowance for pets and on-site Service Coordinators at each property to help residents with community services like Meals on Wheels or transportation to the doctor’s office.

We partnered with Corporate 3 Design in Omaha on this project.

Client Showcase #4

My friend and art director partner Cathy Solarana has successfully completed a rebranding project for Omaha health food restaurant, Blue Planet Natural Grill.

Blue Planet’s new brand identity is expressed in its new logo, menus, packaging, merchandise, signage, interior design and its recently relaunched website.

Cathy asked me to write copy for the web. She can be a demanding task master (which most writers need from time to time, myself included). Thankfully, her push for me to dig deeper unearthed some good copy.

In addition to their new site, Blue Planet also runs an active Facebook page with lots of deals and updates. For instance: “We started growing our own organic wheatgrass about two weeks ago and it grows fast! We’re sitting on a a bountiful harvest so we are temporarily cutting the price in half from $3/shot to $1.50.”

Perfectly Integrated Campaigns Are Tough To Achieve When Managing Multiple Shops

Steve McKee of McKee Wallwork Cleveland Advertising, and author of the new book, When Growth Stalls argues in BusinessWeek that it is harder than ever for clients to implement and manage integrated marketing campaigns.

He believes there are too many cooks in the kitchen.

Most marketers don’t know that an epic struggle is going on just beneath the surface of the marketing communications industry. Digital agencies are starting to offer more traditional services. Traditional agencies are adding digital capabilities. Ad agencies are offering PR. PR firms are selling graphic design. Design firms are calling themselves ad agencies. And every one is staking a claim to the new ground of social media. It’s a mess out there, with each company kicking the others under the table like too many siblings vying for too few pieces of pie. Somebody has to manage the chaos, and unfortunately, that’s you.

By “you,” McKee means the client. However, clients in my experience are typically busy managing much more than marcom vendors, or “partners,” as the case may be. Clients, especially in small- to medium-sized businesses, are busy with day-to-day operations like sales, cash-flow, hiring, etc.

McKee suggests the glue that binds here is strategy. “You may employ a host of companies to implement a variety of tactics, but to be effective they all must serve a singular strategy.” I agree, but where is the strategy going to come from? If it comes from the PR firm, it may look and feel nothing like the strategy from one’s design firm.

All of which brings me back again to the value a well-rounded background in marketing communications. I started at a high tech business-to-business agency before moving to a big sales promotion agency. I’ve also worked in general market advertising agencies, event marketing, design and digital shops. I’m a generalist, and there’s been much written about how in marketing it’s imperative to be a specialist, not a generalist. Yet, specialists tend to live in silos. The way they see the field and play the game is silo-centric. Let me give you an example. I recently advised a client to integrate their corporate blog into their main site. My client’s SEO firm has a different idea–they want the blog to be a stand alone site, so it can generate inbound links to the main site, something Google likes to see. I’m all for inbound links, but I believe you generate them with exceptional content (regardless of where the blog lives). This is one of those cases where we’re both right, although one of us may be more right than the other.

McKee’s article is about complexity and there’s little doubt that configuring an effective marcom plan in today’s media environment is a challenge. In my estimation, providing on-point strategic insight is key to a leadership position and the viability of one’s consulting practice. So is the ability to see the whole field and know what each player is capable of, and how best to use these different players to win the game on the client’s behalf. That’s what we’re striving for, and in the best cases, that’s what we deliver.