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January AZIMA Member Spotlight – Michael Arce

Breaking the Mold: How One Man Carved His Digital Career

“What do you do?” and “What did you go to school for?” are two overarching conversation starters at nearly every networking event and cocktail party. The real question is, do those two things have to be the same? According to Mike Arce, founder and CEO of Loud Rumor, if you love to learn and embrace constant change anything is possible.

For more and more professionals, finding the right career fit for their talents is more important than ever. Here is the story of an AZIMA member who decided to stop looking for a job to fill, and instead created a career that he finds fulfilling.

Being the founder of a swiftly growing internet marketing agency wasn’t always in Arce’s career plan. In fact, after leaving Arizona State University and owning his own personal training company, delving into the digital realm was arguably one of the farthest things from his mind.

It wasn’t until Arce’s cousin approached him to lend a hand in some business development efforts for her startup agency Crespo Designs, that the seed was planted.

(Enter Loud Rumor.) After falling in love with the industry, Arce and his wife, Marjon, started an internet marketing agency focused on helping small businesses gain new customers and grow their business. Loud Rumor originally found success as a web design company, they then developed a deeper passion for marketing websites, rather than creating them. With the addition of services like SEO,PPC, Facebook Ads, and YouTube Ads, Loud Rumor helps clients utilize their online presence to see real results.

While finding your niche is the first step, it’s certainly not the last on any professional journey. It’s also essential to stay on top of every trend in your industry. According to Arce, modern SEO has changed quite a bit and continues to adjust constantly. In fact, it used to be the main component of marketing plans for Loud Rumor clients.  While it’s still a component, more attention has to be put toward other adapting avenues.

Bringing on the right people is another thing that has kept Arce and Loud Rumor on track for success.

“The wrong people will demotivate you, and make you feel like nothing is going right.  I’ve been there. The right people keep you charged, hungry, and positive,” Said Arce “This includes the people you associate with outside of work. Make sure your circle is a positive one that loves to talk about ideas and creativity.”

Arce also recommends getting mentors, working on people skills as much as marketing skills, and overall taking care of your physical well being.

“If you don’t understand people, it’ll be very hard to find ways to attract them,” said Arce “Whether it’s clients, team members, vendors, or partners.”

Looking for a great place to network and meet like minded professionals in the digital marketing industry? Click HERE to join AZIMA today.

Mike Arce

Mike Arce
Title: Founder and CEO of Loud Rumor
Contact: [email protected]

January Board Member Spotlight – Ginelle Howard

A Look Inside:

Q&A (unedited) with AZIMA Director of Member Benefits Ginelle Howard

Ginelle Howard, Independent marketing consultant and Arizona Interactive Marketing Association’s Director of Member Benefits, has worked both the agency and corporate side of marketing and has befriended Fortune 500 brands ranging from make-up to pet products over the past 10 years. Currently, her expertise in brand planning, marketing strategy and business development has led her to independent consulting.

Why do you think the world needs more women in leadership roles within the industry and in entrepreneurship?

Mainly, because I believe that women make fantastic leaders and are incredibly creative, intelligent, resourceful, intuitive and beyond capable. I’ve also never met a woman that wasn’t brave and I think that great leadership demands that of any individual.

Beyond that belief, I think it is important for women to continue to strive for gender equality in the workplace and one of the most significant ways that women can work together to achieve this equality is to take a seat at the leadership table. Of course those seats can be hard to come by and that’s why entrepreneurship provides such an enriching and empowering option for women in business to carve out their own leadership and creative path.

How would you describe what the industry is like for those considering a marketing career?

In marketing there is never a dull moment. It’s not a routine field. It can be like riding a rollercoaster without always or (maybe more like never) having a seatbelt. The industry constantly changes and requires you to be a relentless and avid learner, which I love. What I enjoy most about the industry is that it involves an incredible convergence of worlds that in other fields you wouldn’t get to always experience so heavily. Art, science, psychology, sociology, technology and pop culture are all such major influences in a way that is very unique to the industry.

How is adapting technology changing the frontier of your industry?

In some ways it has changed everything and in other ways nothing has changed. There are more niche areas and the overall marketing umbrella is becoming much more expansive then it was in years past. Our ability to reach consumers is certainly much faster and we are able to connect with people on a significantly larger scale. And sure, the mediums and platforms we use to communicate are more varied with the advanced development of mobile technology, app culture, the continued boom of social media, and the vastness of opportunities the web presents, but these technologies do not create great marketing. Good copy is good copy in and of itself, not because it was shared on social media. Brilliant brand strategy isn’t brilliant, because it was put on a landing page using key SEO search terms and followed by a hash tag. Creative ideation and strategic insights will always be the pillars of the industry’s frontier and I don’t think any adapting technology will ever change that.

What is a tip that has helped you stay on top of your game?

I learned a lot from my first job. I used to observe everything I could from the CEO of the company. I learned that you have to be able to talk and understand all aspects of the business and stay very knowledgeable on a wide variety of industries. He taught me that it’s not enough to know marketing and to be able to talk marketing. You really have to be able to understand the nuances of many other businesses. No one can be the expert in everything, but always increasing your knowledge outside of your world as much as possible will help keep you in the game.

Any advice for someone looking into a career in this field?

Find a mentor. Heck, find five. There is nothing else I would recommend more highly. Also, I’d say to become clear and poignant about your own brand. I think developing and portraying a strong sense of who you are and what you stand for as a creative talent and overall human being is so important. It allows your distinct point of view to flow out naturally and authentically. I think when those things are very clear within you and you can articulate them well, that other people take notice and want to be a part of it. The most successful brands in the world do that and when someone starting out in the field can do that too it’s very powerful and will take you places.

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Ginelle Howard
Title: Director of Brand Marketing for Yandy
Contact: [email protected]

We Like it When they Give us Big Data: Forecasting Campaign Success With Staffan Hulten

First impressions are everything. When thinking about the elements needed to make a great advertising campaign, many start off with contemplating messaging, visuals and platforms for distribution. But the Vice President of Research and Analysis of Media (RAM) Staffan Hulten takes a different approach. He recognizes if you don’t catch the attention of the audience within seconds, the campaign is in jeopardy of failure. This makes understanding each member of the client’s audience from an independent level essential for campaign success.

We’re excited to highlight Staffan as our expert speaker for the October monthly AZIMA event and pick his brain about what it really takes to forecast the success of any ad campaign.

Using big data to create meaningful and memorable campaigns for audiences is key according to Hulten. As a founding partner of RAM, he works closely with traditional and digital media clients to develop robust research panels that truthfully mirror their client’s viewers, readers and listeners. This helps to dig down into the roots of the media medium and determine the most effective ways to reach their key audiences with their campaigns.

According to Hulten, with over 75 million interviews locked in and an additional ½ million interviews being added to their database every month, RAM is the Ikea for media data. This data gives RAM the ability to identify industry fallacies to provide valuable consultancy and education so their clients can focus on what matters most: generating results.

“A code that is placed on print and mobile ads can be monitored to measure different individual aspects of a user,” said Hulten. “Not many people want to know that they are being shadowed, but we can see exactly what they do and how frequently they do it.” That information is helping analysts and big brands learn.

Hulten notes that not everything users do online is being watched. Select things are examined to better understand consumer habits. Another big change in the industry is the ability to evaluate device preference. RAM evaluates their panel members by listing out the devices they use, which allows them to ensure a more accurate representation of preference and frequency of usage for devices and browsers.

Hulten stresses how important it is to get information from the individual level rather than the browser level. Tracing something like “reach” which is measured differently for every channel is not as accurate as measuring memory traces. Asking panel members and people if they remember a campaign and gathering data on that is much more relevant.

“If I let go of 1 million balloons outside of my hotel, I would have a reach of 1 million,” said Hulten. “But if no one sees it or resonates with it, it won’t have any impact. There are often huge campaigns with no impact at all.”

Staffan grew up in Sweden, moved to East Africa for several years then moved back to Sweden, where he attended University and currently lives. He and his partner founded RAM after noticing a big hole in the media evaluation market. What surprised them most was even though they were focused on print, any other form of media was simpler to provide feedback on. So they set out to make a system that made monitoring more lateral.

When he is not advancing campaigns with tactical data, you can find Hulten enjoying guitar music festivals and practicing his juggling skills for laughs. He advises colleagues and individuals entering this field to be open and very quick to understand and adapt to what really counts. Traditional measurement evaluation is still important, but analysts should be aware that they should monitor the things that result in impact or change

If you are interested in learning more about the world of marketing, be sure to attend our monthly events by signing up as an AZIMA member here: http://joinazima.org/join-azima/

The Harmonious Collision of Search Engine Marketing and Targeted Display

Targeted Display vs Search Engine Marketing

Although not quite as contentious a rivalry as Android vs. iOS or as entertaining as Bear vs. Shark, there are many heated battles taking place in marketing forums and conference rooms all over the country regarding the statistics, user privacy and budgets for this latest rivalry: Search Engine Marketing vs. Targeted Display.

Since they often compete for marketing dollars and are both victims of subjective statistics that favor one or the other depending on the mindset of the analyst, SEM and targeted display efforts are commonly bantered as marketers continuously try and refine their campaigns for the golden goal of higher conversions.

Last Thursday, November 20, the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association (AZIMA) hosted the witty and sharp David McBee, director of training at Simpli.fi, who presented his experiences, anecdotes and thoughts on the SEM vs. Targeted Display rivalry.

David started his presentation with statistical, sidebyside comparisons that highlighted these marketing tasks as separate, standalone campaigns. These comparisons solidified the notion of SEM and Targeted Display being competitors, but David’s presentation of a rivalry quickly rebranded itself as the stories and metrics illustrated that the two worked better in tandem.

Most of us have been involved in the bashing of display ads because CTRs are practically nonexistent as hardly anyone clicks on them. “Only 8 percent of internet users account for 85% of display ad clicks,” David pointed out. Most of those clicks are not from the targeted audience, but rather the very young and old. The 2065 age group simply doesn’t click on ads. Display ad CTRs average a dismal 0.08%. Furthermore, according to GoldSpot Media, 50% of those clicks are accidental.

On the other hand, SEM, specifically PPC, often have CTRs averaging 4%.

There are a few reasons for this difference. First, a display ad is a passive visual thrown out to a wide audience. Even though display has some great targeting abilities, for the most part it relies much more on volume visibility than PPC. The web surfer is usually doing something completely different than what the topic of the display ad represents. PPC ads are the result of a specific search and the likelihood of that ad engaging the user is obviously much higher. “SEM is actionbased. Display is visual,” David said.

Although it’s easy to see the differences and it’s mostly common knowledge that these two have different goals, it’s not common enough to combine the efforts. For truly better PPC, it’s critical to consider incorporating display. “Display impacts search. A good targeted display blends tactics and a display can increase brand searches by 38%,” David said. Since the best kind of search is a brand search, blending these tactics significantly improves the campaign.

On the surface, poor display ad metrics seems to be enough to deter the allocation of marketing dollars. However, David pointed out that the metrics are not representative of their effectiveness: “Compared to SEM, CTR can be a deceptive measure.”

According to ComScore, the average person only does 4 searches per day, spending about 10 seconds per search. “How much opportunity do you have when a person only spends 10 seconds?” David asked. This represents a limited window of opportunity and is clearly a better medium for a calltoaction campaign. Now consider that the average person spends 4 hours online. This chunk of time offers more opportunity for branding via display ads.

This greater awareness opportunity of display ads increases the effectiveness of PPC campaigns. Although David and Simpli.fi represent team Display, he offers a compelling marriage of the two as a tandem effort that seems to appeal to team SEM.

Mindy Weinstein, SEO Manager at Bruce Clay, Inc. offered her thoughts on the event and the rivalry. “I am very focused on the SEO side of digital marketing, so I learned quite a bit of new information from David about targeted display. What stood out the most to me about David’s presentation is that doing targeted display doesn’t have to be in lieu of search engine marketing. You can and should still do SEO and PPC. Targeted display should be an addition—that’s how you maximize your results.”

While the Android vs iOS fans will never find peace and the Bear vs. Shark battles will forever live on, David’s concept of SEM and Targeted Display as “better together” clearly makes the most sense.

View entire presentation

Meet Adam Arkfeld: AZIMA Volunteer and President & Founder of ParaCore

Adam Arkfeld

Bet you didn’t know that Ron Burgundy is sending you emails about AZIMA’s programs and other events. Well, not the real Ron Burgundy, but close enough. Adam Arkfeld, president and founder of Tempe-based ParaCore is the talented web developer behind AZIMA’s email campaigns. He also doesn’t take himself too seriously, as evidenced in his “About Us” section on his firm’s website, where he and his “eclectic nerd herd” team have photos of their alter egos displayed. But while Adam chose Ron Burgundy for his alter ego, he takes his work very seriously.

“I primarily oversee operations and really enjoy building a business that revolves around systems, consistent experiences and great work,” Adam said. “My entire day is essentially problem solving and learning new things which are my two favorite things to do.”

Founded in 2009, ParaCore works with medium-sized businesses that are looking to use the web to automate processes and convert visitors. Automating processes allows clients to save time and create consistent experiences, while converting those visitors generates the actual revenue. “In addition to ground up development, we primarily do custom web work that helps different systems talk to one another like CRMs, the website, databases, email clients, social media networks and more,” he said. “We also love web based apps and hybrid native apps like PhoneGap!”

An Arizona native, Adam’s passion for technology started at an early age. “The first website I ever worked on was a site called Preserve Your Flowers for my aunt. She owned a floral freeze drying business and I used to sit in the Barnes & Noble coffee shop between classes at ASU updating her site’s HTML. This was in the early 2000’s so the sites were way different back then!” he said.

And while technology has improved, Adam said there’s still a lot of confusion regarding the best way to build and maintain a website. “The biggest misconception we’ve run across lately is that every website should be built on WordPress,” he said. “ParaCore does a fair amount of WordPress development; however, there’s a point when a site stretches beyond WordPress’s natural capabilities and a more custom solution should start being considered. If it’s a large site, oftentimes WordPress simply isn’t organized well for more advanced features like intranets or file sharing portals with API integrations.”

He also said there is a common misconception that creating an email campaign is easy. “Emails are one of the most painstakingly tedious projects a development company can work on,” he said. “It can take the same amount of time to create a visually attractive email that looks great and is responsive than it takes to test a small web project. It’s absolutely insane how challenging they are to look great and consistent across devices.”

AZIMA is very grateful for Adam’s volunteerism and his enthusiasm for our organization. When asked why he joined AZIMA, Adam cited the programs along with the fact that AZIMA provides relevant industry information. “The networking and people I’ve met are really amazing which makes my time spent at the events very valuable. I also appreciate the varied speakers, topics and presentations because I feel like I leave each event with some tangible value.”

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 joinazima.org 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

Learning Global Marketing Lessons from Fender Guitars

Richard McDonald of Fender Music shows slide of Jimi Hendrix

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work for a brand that claims the highest market share in every market it enters? Richard McDonald, the SVP of Global Marketing for Fender, knows. He grew up worshipping Fender, and now he not only works for it, he lives for it.

At the April AZIMA meeting, McDonald informed us that Leo Fender wasn’t a guitar player; he was a brand innovator, committed to his product, and willing to interact with his customers to ensure their passion was also his passion. He drove the business by letting his customers take the wheel, supplying guitars to musicians and crafting new models from their feedback.

McDonald presented us with three lenses of the Fender brand: protect, evolve, and transform.

  1. Protect the brand by creating compelling products
  2. Evolve the brand to create profitability and operational excellence
  3. Transform the brand to engage and grow the customer base.

As a company, Fender demonstrates these lenses by keeping its products relevant, engaging its customers, and daring to dance along the edge of innovation. McDonald urged daily customer interaction to enable the brand to do what it should do: reflect the customer. Staying relevant in such a dynamic landscape is difficult, but if you tell your story well enough, you don’t have to worry about your customers having misinformation.

For example, Fender decided to address negative online chat room buzz in an unorthodox way by inviting the seven loudest influencers to visit Fender’s headquarters. While there, these individuals received a firsthand view of the brand and the people behind it.

This visit demonstrated the value of interacting with customers and the impact of receiving immediate feedback. It wasn’t about who shouted the loudest; it was about having the right voice- that of the customer. If you can’t relate to your customers, you can’t solve their problems. And if you can’t solve their problems, your brand is destined to become a “what not to do” case study for MBA students.

Throughout the presentation, McDonald emphasized strategy. Not a brand strategy, not a digital strategy, but a customer strategy. No matter who your customers are, you have to know them, relate to them, and listen to them.

Technology today makes it both easier and more complicated to interact with customers. It grants instant access to feedback, while increasing the touchpoints along various channels of communication. More channels equal more feedback, which equals greater opportunity to either win customers or lose them. The use of technology shouldn’t be “checking the boxes,” it should be about putting your customers at the center so they can help you transform your brand to stay relevant.

From their first Telecaster® prototype in 1951, to their current position as one of the world’s leading marketers, manufacturers, and distributors of musical instruments, Fender has amplified the musician in all of us. They have consistently proven it takes more than just a big sound to be successful. That’s why Fender continues to hit the sweet notes by staying relevant, engaging their audience, evolving their products, and sharing their passion- one string at a time.

Newspapers Vs. Mobile Media

Back in the early 90’s newspapers dominated the coveted field of advertising,displaying visual print ads at a fraction of the cost of television.

In the two decades that have followed many major cities have seen the demise of the dailies replaced by interactive social media and the rise of  mobile apps for Smartphones.

According to Emarketer’s, Noah Elkin ,mobile advertising is on track  to lead the once crowded field of traditional media radio, TV, newspapers, magazines.

“Total mobile advertising spending (which includes ads on cellphones, smart phones like the BlackBerry and tablet devices like the iPad) in 2010, according to projections from eMarketer, will reach $743 million, a 79{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903} increase over 2009.”. “Mobile Advertising and Marketing: Past the Tipping Point.”

Will newspaper ads go into the media vault of yesteryear(think BetaMax tapes, VHS,tapes in general)?

Not at the moment as products and services will continue to appear in Sunday newspapers and  supplements, however as the Nielsen Company observes

“ Nearly all adults in the U.S. now have cellphones, with one in four having smartphones, pocket-sized

devices more powerful than the computers initially used to send men to the moon.”

“The State of Mobile Apps.”

But just as the past is a memory, the future of social and mobile media is now and surviving newspapers must make the switch to digital or face being placed on the endangered species list.

Guest Post By: Joanne Levin a marketing pro in targeted strategy,research and website content. Effective and essential marketing is her focus.

How to successfully market content: Do you know the steps?

Everyone in the industry knows that content is key, but not everyone knows what to do with it. Up and coming author and founder and president of Vertical Measures Arnie Kuenn wants to help you!

On April 7th at the Dynamic Worldwide training center in Tempe, AZ, Arnie Kuenn himself will be conducting a content marketing workshop to help professionals, students, and marketers alike, understand and learn how to create strategic content marketing plans.

Not Just Another Workshop

Unlike any other event, Arnie will provide guests with his uniquely developed, one of a kind process of how to create and market valuable content. Conducted in an exciting, hands on environment, Arnie will gracefully guide participants through the “Chain” of content marketing. The “Chain” consists of 8 critical steps of content marketing from developing exceptional content to implementation to measuring your success.

Each workshop member will receive a workbook filled with exercises, expert resources, and of course, a detailed outline of the step by step process. After a day filled of fun and learning, all students will leave the event with a pocket full of tools to guide them through the process of creating and distributing powerful content not only once, but time and time again.  For your added hard work, each student will be given a FREE copy of Arnie’s up and coming book, as well as five free how to guides on Facebook, Twitter, Blogging, Keyword Research, and Local Search Marketing.

Event Details:

Date: Thursday, April 7

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. *Food and Breaks will be included!

Place: The Dynamic Worldwide training center 4500 S. Lakeshore Dr. #695 Phoenix, AZ

If you feel like you understand what good content can do for you, but you don’t know where to go from there, this workshop is for you.

Register by March 1st to receive 40{2bbd478b6aadf2a9bb5e10dcf35d17c0d0772390afbaf5ac8145fb1096668903} off and guarantee yourself a seat!

How to Get the Most out of Online Video

Guest Post: Submitted by Gate6

These days, video is an incredibly popular way to promote a brand, drive web traffic, educate an audience on a subject and benefit your SEO.  YouTube has become a phenomenon in and of itself with many of its videos going viral – becoming extremely popular in a very short period of time.  And Forrester Research recently reported that videos are roughly 53 times more likely than traditional web pages to receive an organic first-page ranking on Google.  Clearly, it makes good business sense to capitalize on this hip medium, but how do you know what to do and what to avoid?  These expert recommendations will help you create videos that make a big impact.

Choose the Right Title

The title of your video seems very obvious and basic, but it’s a critical element and should not be taken lightly.  Make your title interesting, engaging and specific so people actually want to watch the video.  For example, if your video teaches viewers how to train a dog to sit, instead of naming it “Dog Training 101,” you’d be better off naming it “How to Teach Your Dog to Sit in Five Minutes or Less.”  Be as enticing and specific as possible.  A video named “Top 3 Secrets to Building Better Websites” is more likely to be clicked on and watched than a video titled “Website Design Fundamentals.”  Your title, in addition to being engaging and motivating, should also contain the keywords that people are likely to be searching.  Come up with a catchy, keyword-rich title for your video and you’ll vastly increase your viewership and success rate.

Make it Creative and Original

These days, people expect videos to be unique, fun, funny, entertaining, exciting, controversial, thought-provoking or somehow outside the box.  No one wants to watch a talking head on a screen drone on about some topic or watch a flat PowerPoint slideshow set to bland music.  Figure out what you want to tell people, and then come up with an original video idea to powerfully deliver your message.  Once you have a basic concept, continue to brainstorm ways to make it even more unique and compelling.  Ask yourself if people will really want to watch a video like this.  Spend time watching successful, extremely popular videos on the internet.  Be sure you devote plenty of time to your video concept and be as creative as possible to ensure the highest level of success.

Tell Viewers What You Want Them to Do

Many videos (and many marketing attempts in general) forget to tell the viewer what to do after they watch the video.  So they watched your 90-second dog-training video on Vimeo, now what do you want them to do?  Share it on Facebook?  Tweet it?  Post a comment?  Call your office for a free quote?  Visit your blog?  Take an online quiz?  Successful online videos always end with a clear and strong call to action that encourages the viewer to continue engaging with the brand.  Your call to action at the end of your video is a tremendous marketing opportunity so be sure to include it.

Video is a fantastic, fast-growing digital medium that can help you increase brand awareness and connect with your target market.  Incorporating these three critical elements will help you get the most out of your online video efforts.