Category: AZIMA News

Jay Baer’s “Hug Your Haters” Book Launch Recap

If you are at all involved in social media and content marketing, you probably know who Jay Baer is – or have at least heard his name. After all, he is the world’s most retweeted person among digital marketers. As a prominent business strategist, keynote speaker and the New York Times best-selling author of five books, he has traveled the world helping businesspeople get and keep customers.

That’s why we were so excited to get him to headline our latest AZIMA event!

For AZIMA’s February event, Jay Baer came to Phoenix to share his knowledge with our marketing community. He led an afternoon workshop and delivered an evening presentation around his latest book, “Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Customers.” Everyone at the event received a copy of the book, as well as participated in a discussion around its key themes. Highlights from our time with Jay are noted below. He shared some fantastic advice for those looking to up their marketing game and turn haters into brand advocates!

After extensive research, Jay uncovered the following insights:

  • 80 percent of organizations think they are doing customer service well, but only 8 percent of their customers agree
  • Answering one complaint online increases customer love up to 25 percent
  • By 2020, customer experience will be more important than price

If this is the case, businesses need to make sure they handle customer complaints carefully and strategically.

Types of Haters

Jay says that online customer service is a spectator sport, and there are two types of haters: offstage and onstage. The majority of a brand’s audience are offstage haters. This group is composed of those who complain in private, either by calling the company directly or writing a personal email. Onstage haters generally want an audience, so they make their complaints public.

How to deal with each group should be part of your marketing strategy.

  • Offstage response: Contact the person via the platform he or she contacted you through. If they called to speak with someone, don’t respond with an impersonal email. These people call to get answers.
  • Onstage response: First, find all mentions of the issue across the web so you can get a complete picture. Then, practice empathy and answer publicly. Jay recommends keeping responses to only two per channel for this group. Violating this rule could drag you into a vortex of negativity and hostility – it’s also a waste of time. These haters contact to get an audience.

Your haters only know what they can see.

Knowing who your haters are and what they are looking for is only half the battle. To truly improve customer experiences, you need to be able to understand the challenges of your audience.

Haters might not know that all of your management staff was sick the week they had poor service, or that there was an equipment failure that slowed things down. They are simply reacting to their service. So, before responding to haters, try to understand their perspective and where they are coming from based on the information they have available to them.

The moral of the story is, don’t ignore your haters and assume they will go away. In an age of easy access to information, form a strategy to handle less-than-positive experiences and use them as a beneficial marketing tactic.

Thank you to all of you who made it out to meet Jay and hear him speak! We were so lucky to have Jay Baer give us a rundown  of his new book and share his insights with us. A special thank you also goes out to SpyFu for sponsoring this incredible event!

*A special thanks to Jessica Ropolo for her expert help with writing this post. 

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!

And the winners are…

AZIMA Most Valuable Board Member 2014 Award

Countless hours, an unwavering work ethic, a desire to connect offline and an enduring commitment to improving the understanding and application of interactive marketing best practices – these are the things that make outstanding AZIMA board members. Nathan Kinkead and Cristie Reed are two prime examples of that, as both recently won the 2014 Outstanding Volunteer award.

Join AZIMA in Celebrating Social Media Day on June 28 and Save on Registration!



There’s a lot of buzz lately about this year’s Social Media Day in Phoenix!

There’s a new format, a new venue, and a great roster of speakers lining up for the evening event which takes place on Sat., June 28 from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel. Valley social media enthusiasts, small business owners, media, marketing professionals and others will all benefit from educational content sessions and networking! AZIMA will be there and you can save $6 using our special promo code: AZIMA when you register today!

Social Media DaySocial Media Day was created by social media giant Mashable in 2010 to celebrate the digital revolution, and has grown tremendously since its inception. Today, Social Media Day (#SMDay) has transformed into a worldwide celebration that is recognized by more than 100 countries, six continents and 17 U.S. cities.

#SMDAYPHX is now being managed and coordinated by MoniQue Shaldjian, owner of QtheBrand, a Phoenix-based digital marketing company specializing in social media, SEO, web development and branding.

Enjoy light appetizers and desserts, signature cocktails, cash bar, photo booth, as well as the Social Media Day celebration! Purchase your raffle tickets for a chance to win over $3,000 in prizes from local businesses!  Proceeds from the raffle will ensure continued social media education for the Phoenix community.


6-6:30pm Registration (Lobby/Goldwater)

Content Sessions: (Goldwater)

6:30pm Social Media and The Legal Aspects Behind Using Intellectual Property

6:55pm Advertising on Social Media

7:15pm Social Media Fails (panel)

8-10pm Hors d’oeuvres, desserts, cocktails, and celebration. (5th Floor Terrace)

See you there!

Winners of the 2nd Annual AZIMA TIM Awards


More than 100 people gathered at the Phoenix Art Museum to honor the best in the business at AZIMA’s 2nd Annual TIM Awards.

Named after Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, acknowledged father of the World Wide Web, the annual TIM Awards celebrated digital marketing professionals and their successful interactive marketing campaigns during 2013.

Here are the winners for 2013: 

Best Website

First Place: Global Rally Cross
The James Agency

Best Social Media Campaign

First Place: Ideas Collide, Best Western International’s Vacation Citation
Finalist: Wirebuzz, Breast Cancer Answers

Arnie Keunn

Arnie Kuenn, founder and CEO of Vertical Measures, was named Interactive Person of the Year for 2014

Best Integrated Interactive Campaign

First Place: Infusionsoft, Thrive 365 
Finalist: WireBuzz, Breast Cancer Answers

Best Email Marketing Campaign

First Place: Forty, 80s Tees’ Awesomely 80s
The Lavidge Company, Massage Envy Spa’s Guest/New Member Email Drip Campaign

Best Display Ad (Single or Campaign)

First Place: Flagstaff CVB 
Finalist: LaneTerralever, Lifelock

Best Rich Media Execution

First Place: Republic Media, Pink Jeep Tours

Marcus Sheridan, founder of The Sales Lion, hosted the awards ceremony.

Marcus Sheridan, founder of The Sales Lion, hosted the awards ceremony.

Best Mobile Marketing Campaign

First Place: FIdeas Collide, Best Western International’s BW Alive! Summer Promo
Finalist: LaneTerralever, Grand Canyon Visitor Center Mobile Fencing

Best App

First Place: Ideas Collide, Best Western International’s Best Western To Go
Finalist: Qualia, BlueSpark’s Web and Mobile App

Best Blog

First Place: iAquire 
Finalist: AZ Tech Beat

Best Online Video

First Place: Vertical Measures’ ‘Why Visual Content is So Important’
Ideas Collide, Best Western Indie Film Series

Brand of the Year

Best Western International (Ideas Collide)

Interactive Person of the Year

Arnie Kuenn, Founder and CEO of Vertical Measures

Be an AZIMA speaker: Share your expertise in 2014

Interested in sharing your interactive marketing expertise with hundreds of your marketing peers, or recounting a particularly successful campaign?  Or know someone who’d be a good speaker?

AZIMA is looking for speakers, home grown folks here in AZ or otherwise, to take the stage at our monthly social events. And I’m sure you’re looking for a New Year’s Resolution.  Share your expertise in 2014!

You don’t need to rush into it.  We’ve got a few speakers lined up already, but spots in 2014 will go quickly.  So, if you are interested, give us a shout. We ask you to fill out this short form to let us know what you are thinking about presenting: PROVIDE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR PROPOSED PRESENTATION.

Chris Goward

Chris Goward

Events are held at the Scottsdale Hilton and attendees will enjoy a light dinner menu while they have the opportunity to learn from the best in the business. During those monthly events, as usual, we’ll be featuring a mix of research, hands-on training, panel discussions, case studies and how-to presentations that will help eager marketers optimize their online activities by gaining insight into multiple related disciplines.

Jodi Gersh

Jodi Gersh

We’re looking for presentations that provide practical, actionable advice for interactive marketers based on measurable results and real-world experiences. Think about your own success stories in areas such as email marketing, content marketing, social media marketing, search engine optimization, mobile marketing, user experience and design, email marketing, paid search advertising, metrics and analytics.


Here’s the early lineup for 2014:  

Jan. 16 – Chris Goward, Founder & CEO of WiderFunnel. He’ll speak on “How to Create and Execute a Winning Conversion Optimization Strategy.”


Feb. 20 – Jodi Gersh, Director/Social Media & Engagement at Gannett. She’ll explore “Content Programming for the Social Audience.” 



Marcus Sheridan

March 20 – Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion, will be the MC for the evening at the  2nd Annual AZIMA TIM Awards. | Still time to enter any of our 12 categories.  Deadline: January 24, 2014.


April 17 – Paige Dell’Armi, Social Media Super Geek. She’ll share “Get the Perks: An Insider Look at Starbucks’ Social Media.”

Paige Dell'Armi

Paige Dell’Armi

Yes, that may be a tough act to follow, but we know you’ve got it.


Again, here’s the form to fill out to tell us what you’d like to share: PROVIDE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR PROPOSED PRESENTATION.




Bookmark this blog,, and follow along on Twitter: @JoinAZIMA and Facebook.  And if you have news to share or a job to fill, join the other 1,000+ members of AZIMA’s LinkedIn group.


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