Author: Elise Gould

Elise has 10+ years experience various disciplines within marketing such as public relations, digital marketing, search engine optimization, social media, content marketing, content strategy and customer experience. She oversees the agency marketing at one of the Southwest Regions largest Advertising and Marketing agencies, ensuring that eager clients can easily find and connect with LaneTerralever.

Ryan Smeets Shares UX & UI Optimization Tips for the Masses

Ryan Smeets HeadshotAs our use of digital devices grows, the quality of our digital contacts and content become increasingly important. How do we create web interactions that are intuitive, informative and worthy of a user’s time and attention? All marketers are faced with this challenge today. At the last AZIMA event on July 23, Ryan Meeks the Director of Client Strategy at Brushfire Interactive shared his perspective and advice on facing the UX & UI conundrum with wit.

Ryan is responsible for how content and technology will strategically shape overall strategies for clients across the country. Ryan brings to Brushfire more than 10 years of experience in strategic marketing and consulting for various clients in varying industries including: professional sports, healthcare, automotive, agriculture, and non-profit organizations.

Ryan earned his Bachelor’s degree from UCLA and his Master’s degree from Georgetown University, however he divulged with the nearly 100 AZIMA attendees that his proudest achievement was winning the “Showcase Showdown” on CBS’ The Price is Right. Yes, clearly Ryan and Bob Barker have a close relationship. 😉

Understanding the Difference Between UI & UX

For those of you who aren’t as fluent in nerd as I am, I’ll briefly define the two key terms at hand in Ryan’s presentation for context. UX Design refers to the term User Experience Design, while UI Design stands for User Interface Design. Both elements are crucial to a product and work closely together. But despite their close relationship, the roles themselves are quite different, referring to very different parts of the process within the design discipline. Whereas UX Design is a more analytical and technical field focusing on human behavior principles, UI Design is closer to what we generally hear referred to as graphic design, though the responsibilities are somewhat more complex.

An analogy I’ve heard used before describes it like this:

  • UI is the saddle, the stirrups, and the reigns.
  • UX is the feeling you get being able to ride the horse, and rope your cattle.

Despite how simple it sounds, they do have a complex relationship which Ryan didn’t delve too deeply into in his AZIMA presentation. Mr. Smeets did, however share a few little nuggets that stuck with me. He began with this phenomenal Da Vinci quote.

Da Vinci Quote

And These Gems

In Ryan’s light and entertaining presentation he shared with us what he calls the “trifecta” for UI.

Photo of slide on Trifecta

Ryan gave props to the designers in the room and declared, “Good design is frictionless, inviting, and familiar.” He noted “the recent big rise in the ‘C-level’ design director. It’s proof that design and detail matter.”

As part of his discussion on the way we as humans interact with our environment and the internet today, he added that “if it’s not mobile, it doesn’t exist.” The audience seemed to agree.

He used this imagery, and suggested that this highly integrated, ubiquitous state is where the web will be soon.

This will be the web

Mr. Smeets also explained how “one of the biggest challenges in software is that it’s never done” and went on to share a couple of short case studies about recent work that Brushfire Interactive had done.

He displayed some good examples of “intentionally low fidelity” wireframes and explained that “the goal of a wireframe is to facilitate conversation around features and functions.“

He went on to share how in some cases his team has found it useful to overwhelm the client with all of the suggested features and functions that might be useful in a product. They throw the proverbial kitchen sink at them, and then refine from there. This helps reach an understanding about the importance of simplicity and the Minimum Viable Product (MVP), which is a term used most often in the field of product development. It refers to the product with the highest return on investment versus risk. The term was coined and defined by Frank Robinson, and popularized by Steve Blank, and Eric Ries.

See it for Yourself

For a look at Ryan Smeets’ AZIMA presentation deck in its entirety you can find it on slideshare.

[slideshare id=50973925&doc=humaninteractionkeynotebrushfireinteractivejuly2015-150727150029-lva1-app6892]

After the presentation Ryan fielded a few questions from the crowd and spoke easily about his experiences and successes in software development. Based on the Twitter response (#azimaevents) the crowd was pleased with Ryan’s humorous and compelling presentation and are all looking forward to next month’s AZIMA presentation on August 20 by Jordan Koen on Using Data to Build Content. I hope to see you there!

AZIMA Academics & Internship Guide Connect Students And Interactive Employers

Are you an employer looking for a qualified intern or employee but just can’t seem to find the right fit? Or maybe you’re a student, fresh out of college looking for an opportunity as your first step into the working world. Finding the right match in the workforce can be tough, but luckily there are resources that can make the process easier.

AZIMA is providing a free fully comprehensive recruitment and internship guide for Arizona college students and employers. This guide will be available on the website and can be used to help companies and interns connect in the marketing/interactive marketing space. The guide provides a step-by-step, how-to map for employers desiring to post available job and internship positions through the official college websites, as well as contact information for the main personnel in each career service department. Some of the colleges listed include but are not excluded to Arizona State University W.P Carey School of Business, the University of Arizona Eller School, Devry College of Business, Thunderbird School of Global Management, as well as various other Arizona based community colleges like Scottsdale Community College, Mesa Community College and Paradise Valley Community College.

This model is the perfect guide for employers looking for interns or employees with fresh and innovative just out of college experience. The model is also a great way for students to check out the latest job and internship opportunities from employers. So if you’re an employer looking for the perfect fit for your position or an undergraduate or graduate student searching for new opportunities AZIMA is here to help

Download the free guide: Click Here

Intern with AZIMA and Grow

internsCollege graduates within each major have one thing in common: educational experience from an accredited learning institution. What really stands out to employers and makes a candidate more marketable is the amount of work experience a student has in his or her field. This is one of largest benefits to holding an internship. Internships also allow students to make connections in the industry and develop their skills outside of the classroom.

Arizona Interactive Marketing Association (AZIMA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps Arizona agencies, businesses, educational institutions and students improve their understanding and application of interactive marketing best practices.

AZIMA is offering an Academics & Marketing Intern position. The intern will help with administrative, marketing and academics research for AZIMA. AZIMA is made up of people from a range of interactive marketing disciplines: Internet search, design, mobile, video, social media, analytics and more.



  • This internship offers the opportunity to network with these professionals
  • Learn how to be an active part of the professional space
  • Gain real world experience in the field: blogging, assisting with social media marketing, performing online market research, copy writing and editing, assist in scheduling speakers and more.
  • Free attendance to all AZIMA events, including training sessions taught by world-class experts and social networking events with informative and entertaining speakers.
  • School Credit as applicable


The internship would require 5 to 20 hours per week and is unpaid. The intern would work from full-service marketing firm LaneTerralever’s offices in Tempe and Downtown Phoenix, when not on location at AZIMA events usually scheduled at the Scottsdale Hilton.


Those who are interested, please send a cover letter and resume to Elise Gould at

Next AZIMA with Tim Moore Sneak Peek

Last Friday afternoon, Tim Moore of CrushIQ sat down with the past president of the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association, Arnie Kuenn to discuss some of the topics he’ll be covering at the upcoming AZIMA event. Tim has been engaging in technology consulting for nearly 20 years, and provides counsel, marketing guidance, and digital relationship best practices. He has a wide field of rich experience from working at The New York Times Company in digital business solutions leadership role, to the founder of numerous technology start ups. He’ll be braving Arizona’s summer heat, making the trip all the way Willmington, North Carolina, on Thursday August 16th, 2012 to present at the “Google Plus for Business” Scottsdale Hilton. Watch the video interview to get a sneak peek at what Tim plans to present at the next AZIMA.

Tickets are available to see “Google Plus for Business with CrushIQ CEO Tim Moore”. Register now!

Save 20% on SES San Francisco with AZIMA

Attend SES San Francisco Conference & Expo, the leading interactive marketing event where more than 4,000 marketers and SEO professionals gather each year. Connect and learn on topics such as PPC management, keyword research, search/SEO, social media, local, mobile, link building, big data, video optimization, site optimization, usability, and much more. The event offers 55+ sessions, intensive training workshops, abundant networking opportunities, and an expo floor packed with vendors designed to better help you with your goals. Save 20{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903} when you register with code AZIMA20.

Joel Book Peels Pack the Pages of Effective Cross-Channel CRM at AZIMA Event

Guest Post by: Liam O’Mahoney

With all of the mobile, social and email activities consuming the marketing efforts of organizations in the B2B and B2C spaces, Joel Book of ExactTarget brought all of the planning, executing and evaluating together in weaving a concise web of how to manage cross-channel marketing and cultivate a more fulfilling customer life cycle of engagement.

Before a turnout of 100 attendees at the Feb, 16 AZIMA event, Book dove into research, reflections and the results of two case studies to portray how a proper CRM methodology should work. Essentially, given the “33 Flavors” of available channels (remember that Springsteen song “57 Channels and There’s Nothin’ On?), the key to attracting, engaging and serving customers is constantly delivering personal, relevant and timelyinformation while also respecting their boundaries. He cited the campaigns of Pei Wei and Volvo Construction Equipment for their successful database development, targeted customer engagement and very high redemption percentages.

For you academics out there, the thematic six-step disciplinary progression chart for a robust Cross-Channel CRM campaign consists of the following:

Acquire -> Engage -> Convert -> Serve -> Grow -> Retain (Brand Ambassador status!)

Book pointed to a major disconnect that often exists between the web content management department and the business development / customer engagement teams. Lead generation suffers dramatically when the call to action isn’t immediately visible or definable on the home page for the sake of being aligned with the needed data to initiate the customer relationship and nurture the engagement life cycle. The “Lead Management Workflow” relies on two factors – the speed of the response to an initial customer request (should arrive within 24 hours of receiving contact information) and delivering quality and qualified information into the hands of local dealers, agents or representatives.

He emphasized the importance of organizations having the courage to experiment with their data, the digital media tools and their methods of acquisition and measurement to develop the right formula that will work for their particular customer service objectives. He closed with the thought that social media is not the End Game, but is rather a step in the Cross-Channel CRM cycle of capturing emails and consistently following through on personalizing customer needs and interests. He summed up his presentation with the mantra that “Serving is the New Selling” on the quest to nurture a successful customer life cycle with data integration and marketing automation.

Joel Book’s Overarching Principles for Effective CCM & CRM

  1. Develop a customer engagement strategy – have a campaign management process.
  2. Maintain customer data integration and centralization –  ensure engagement at every stage of the life cycle.
  3. Marketing automation – have web and sales/service teams aligned to sustain the life cycle.

Key Takeaway Notes:

  1. In 1990, one television spot on the three major networks could disseminate its message to reach 80 percent of households across the United States. Today, it would take 20 messaging channels to attain that same figure. (Read: massive media fragmentation!)
  2. The ROI ratio of cross-channel marketing is $41 of revenue for every $1 invested.
  3. Organizations should regularly harvest referrals, opinions, evaluations, word of mouth (earned social media) to augment the lead management workflow and assist product distributors and sales representatives in the field.
  4. It is essential to have comprehensive CRM software for data cleansing and lead scoring to support the lead management workflow.
  5. According to a Forrester study, 30 percent of customers will start their purchase decision-making at an organization’s home page and 27 percent at a brand page.
  6. 58 percent of customers begin purchase process with search and 46 percent combine social media and search.
  7. The most effective CRM software should analyze customer activity points and frequency to calculate a rank profile and likelihood to buy.
  8. By 2015, 71 percent of sales leads are expected to originate through a corporate website.
  9. There is no such thing as a singe-channel consumer!
  10. CRM programs should embrace the Zappos model that service is the anchor of selling.

This post is a reprint of an original post shared by AZIMA member Liam O’Mahoney. Read the original post on Customer Relationship Management on Liam’s blog.

Prizes, Prizes and More Prizes!

Each and every month, we, the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association have the opportunity to award our growing membership base with fabulous discounts and amazing prizes that are supplied by our supportive sponsors.  This month, Cox Communications donated an iPod touch, which has been awarded to long time AZIMA member Eric Keosky-Smith.

As if that one amazing gift wasn’t enough for the month of July, AZIMA has also selected two random names from the roster of attendees of the last social event hosted on July 12th to award with free platinum passes to upcoming event SES San Francisco Conference and Expo on August 15- 19, 2011. This annual event, in its’ 13th year draws thousands of marketers and agency professionals and focuses on education (no sales pitches!). They’ll cover Search Marketing (including SEO, PPC management & Social Media), keyword research, local advertising, mobile engagement, link building, duplicate content, multiple site issues, online video, site optimization and usability. It’ll include high-level strategy, keynotes, an expo floor with 100+ companies, networking events, parties and more.  Congratulations to AZIMA members Liam O’Mahoney and Martin Zwilling who will receive these platinum passes valued at $2,995 courtesy of the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association and it’s partner SES!

These winners will attend the conference along with at least two AZIMA Board of Directors, Arnie Kuenn, past President and Advisor who is slated to speak at the event and Jason Grovert, the Board’s Website & Technology Co-Chair.  All other AZIMA members and even occasional AZIMA supporters and friends can attend the event at 20{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903} discounted rate using the promo code ‘20AZM’

Don’t worry, though. If you weren’t one of the lucky winners to this give-away there is still plenty of time left to be included in the many random member give-aways and contest that AZIMA has planned this year! Attend the August 9th, event featuring Neal Schaffer discussing Social Media Strategy for Business and be an AZIMA member and you’ll be automatically included in the pool to receive a brand new Kindle courtesy of AZIMA and Cox Communications. One lucky winner will be chosen just after the event. Good luck to you!

Exclusive Chance for AZIMA Members to Win Free Passes to SES San Francisco Conference & Expo!

The Arizona Interactive Marketing Association has done it again! They have secured two platinum passes valued at $2,995 each to what is said to be the southwest region’s interactive event of the year.  SES San Francisco Conference & Expo taking place on August 16-19th brings together the most important voices online to talk about the industry’s most pressing developments – everything from Google Panda to Youtube LIVE.  Over five themed days, educators and experts throughout the interactive space, will be covering every essential topic: email, display, mobile, search, social media, video and more.

SES San Francisco Conference & Expo is part of the ClickZ Connected Marketing Week.

Sessions Include:Free Pass Image

Insider Tips to Ad Optimization

Automating Social Media

Crossing the Digital Divide: The Leap from Search to Display

HTML5: The Interactive Social Web

Advanced Paid Search Tactics

SEO Competitive Analysis

Only members of the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association will have a chance to win these tickets at AZIMA’s next social event on July 12th featuring a panel of local Chefs and Restauranteurs who’ve been reaping the rewards of creating thriving online communities to support their foodie customers. The only catch is that you do have to be in attendance at the event and be a current member of AZIMA. Are you feeling lucky?

There are 6,000 marketers, programmers, designers, small business owners, and affiliates expected to attend SES San Francisco so you’ll want to be there too! If you aren’t able to make it to next week’s AZIMA event to try your hand at winning free tickets feel free to use the promo code  ‘20AZM’ to receive 20{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903} off your tickets just for being a member or friend of AZIMA.

AZIMA Events & Logistics is Looking for a Few Good (wo)Men!

The Arizona Interactive Marketing Association works tirelessly to serve the AZ interactive marketing community to provide top tier educational and networking opportunities to friends and members and it mostly runs entirely on donations and volunteer power.

The Board of Directors couldn’t accomplish much of anything without the mighty help of its volunteers, who assist with everything from keeping up the AZIMA blog, assist in spreading the word about our events, raise the money, give advice and carry out all the other invaluable tasks it takes to keep things running smoothly.  If you’ve attended one of AZIMA’s monthly social events than you are keenly aware that there is a great deal that goes into getting these events off the ground. Currently the Events & Logistics Chairs are seeking a few good (wo)men to pitch in at these events and support these teams.

If you would like to join this merry band, we invite you to email and let us know how you’d be interested in pitching in at the events or preparing for them. We’d love to have you!

Can I Expect to See You at OMS This Week?

This week, starting Wednesday the 15th, Phoenix will host the Online Marketing Summit at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel (340 N. 3rd Street, Phoenix, Arizona). This year’s event will be more flexible and action packed than years past due to the new two-day format. Day 1 leads off with the choice of 12 intensive workshops covering the digital marketing essentials, advanced “how to” tactics, social media and more.  Followed by the Day 2 Conference Day agenda where Phoenicians will be able to attend sessions across 3 tracks covering online marketing best practices and case studies in search, social, email, integrated marketing and more – all presented by industry thought leaders.

Both days have jam- packed agendas! If you haven’t already gotten your tickets there are limited seats available! As always, OMS covers key topics critical to your success as a marketer – social media, search, email, demand generation, analytics, usability and integrated Marketing, brought to you by industry-leading authors, academics, brand marketers and online innovators. I’ll be there. How about you?