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7 December

The cobbler HAS shoes.

Posted by in Marketing, Spoke News on December 7, 2016
The cobbler HAS shoes.

You know that saying about the ‘cobbler’s kids with no shoes’ (implying he’s too busy with work to take care of himself). Have you ever noticed that it’s the ‘cobbler’s kids’ and not the cobbler himself? I bet the cobbler didn’t just have shoes, he had really nice ones (for the record, my great-grandfather was […]

28 November

Networking is not working…it’s partying.

Posted by in Marketing on November 28, 2016
Networking is not working…it’s partying.

Spoke Friday, The Best End to Any Week. How our intimate get-togethers turned into a networking party. When Spoke started, we used a lot of freelance designers, illustrators, and developers. We thought it was a shame that these talented people never got to know each other to the degree that typical co-workers did. We knew […]

23 November

The Secret Sauce for A Successful Content Campaign

Posted by in Marketing on November 23, 2016
The Secret Sauce for A Successful Content Campaign

Don’t write content just because all the other kids are doing it. Yes, content marketing is important. Per a recent article in The Harvard Business Review, nine of ten organizations are using content marketing as part of their marketing efforts. However, approaching it without a holistic strategy is a waste of time and resources. Like […]

2 November

The brands, they are a changin’

Posted by in Marketing on November 2, 2016
The brands, they are a changin’

First, let’s get one thing clear; a great brand is no guarantee of success (pets.com was fun while it lasted). As marketing pioneer, Bill Bernbach famously quoted, “a great ad campaign will make a bad product fail faster.” In other words, you can only fool people once. Successful businesses create their product or business models […]

27 October

All your base are belong to us

Posted by in Marketing on October 27, 2016
All your base are belong to us

Artificial Intelligence – not new, just better No, the alien robots from the 1989 video game Zero Wing aren’t coming to get you. The perceived increase use of Artificial Intelligence (Augmented Intelligence or AI) in marketing is just that, perceived. Marketers have been using computers and algorithms for years; the reason for the increased awareness is […]

26 October

Don’t hit the play button (I dare you).

Posted by in Marketing on October 26, 2016
Don’t hit the play button (I dare you).

Video killed the content star. “If a trend becomes obvious, you’re too late.” – Elon Musk OK, not everyone can be a trendsetter (wrote the guy wearing tattered Chuck Taylor’s and well-worn Levi 501’s). One of the things I love most about our industry is that it’s constantly changing; it requires an unwavering commitment to […]

15 July

Nobody loves your new product (sorry).

Posted by in Marketing on July 15, 2016
Nobody loves your new product (sorry).

You love your new ‘precious’ product, don’t you? It’s okay, admit it. The problem is; nobody knows your product better than you. If you hope to have any chance of selling it, that’s got to change. Like now. According to Forbes, there are an estimated 250,000 products launched each year. What makes yours so special? […]

22 June

I can’t say ‘squishy ball’ with a straight face.

Posted by in Marketing on June 22, 2016
I can’t say ‘squishy ball’ with a straight face.

No knock on the promotional products industry, but the sales and marketing effort for your tradeshow shouldn’t revolve around the tchotchke that you give away. I’ve yet to make a purchase decision based on the logo on my squishy ball or pen. The strategy for your tradeshows should dovetail with your overall marketing efforts, which […]

9 June

Guide Your Customers Through the Buyer’s Journey

Posted by in Marketing on June 9, 2016
Guide Your Customers Through the Buyer’s Journey

There’s knowing who your customer is, and then there’s knowing your customer (hint: the second one is better). Unless you’re selling snow cones on a scorching day (and can control the weather), you’ll get better results from both inbound and outbound marketing by understanding your different customers: what makes them tick, what drives their behavior, […]

20 April

A Persona Can’t Drive Your Car (but they can drive your business)

Posted by in Marketing on April 20, 2016
A Persona Can’t Drive Your Car (but they can drive your business)

As we set up clients’ marketing automation programs, we’ve found that many are confused by creating personas. “How is it different than my target market?” Personas aren’t different; they’re better. A target market is like an x-ray; a persona is an MRI. They’re better defined, and they’re based on more data. The purpose is to […]