Email – we all use it. Whether you’re keeping in touch with a high school friend in another state, thanking your grandma for that birthday money she sent you (yes, my grandma uses and loves email), checking out what’s on sale at your favorite clothing store, or sending a promotional message for your brand, email is a pretty integral part of our everyday lives. According to ExactTarget's 2014 State of Marketing study, 58% of marketers plan to increase spending on email marketing in 2014. It doesn't sound like email is going anywhere anytime soon, so let’s dig a bit deeper into the history and future of email marketing.
 
I battled with the title of this post for quite some time. It started as a tale about “Why QR Codes Are Dead,” but they’re not dead are they? In fact, these dang things are everywhere! From the vehicle driving next to you to the fruit you just picked up from the supermarket. No matter how much I’d like them to be nothing more than a distant memory of yet another silly, outdated and embarrassing trend, much like the fanny pack, marketers still keep them alive. I didn’t want to approach this as a “Do’s and Don’ts of QR Codes” type of article either, so I decided to take the angle of explaining why they exist in the first place and how the repeated abuse of them has, in my opinion, set them on a course towards extinction.
 
When it comes to utilizing billboards as part of any media mix, there are five key elements to keep in mind: keeping perspective of budgets, understanding the potential reach of a billboard campaign, knowing the strengths of out-of-home advertising, thinking about how your campaign goals might be enhanced by use of digital boards, and the importance of great, concise creative. There are 5 things to keep in mind.
 
When building a website, a common tendency is to jump straight into the visual design. “What’s it going to look like?” “What will the colors be?”  “Can it have a video on the homepage?”  We get these questions all the time and I don’t blame anyone; these are the fun and exciting parts of a website!  But we need to take a step back and start with the bigger questions, “Who is going to use this website?” “What do we want this website to accomplish?” “How will our users interact with the site?” We like to tell our clients that building a website is like building a house; you need to have a solid plan and strategy behind it, otherwise it just won’t do the job. So how do you build a solid plan for your website so you can hurry up and get to the fun stuff?  Here are seven key steps to the website planning process:
 
The Social Media Team here at Zion & Zion has taken a look at the new Facebook algorithm for paid advertising and why your Facebook Business Page may not be receiving many organic views.
 
Arizona’s recent bad press is a great tool to examine how to deal with negativity in the media when it comes to your own business. Over the last several years, our state of Arizona has taken quite a few hits nationally, from the controversy over SB 1070 to accusations of racial profiling by Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio to the latest debacle of SB 1062. Our reputation has taken quite the beating in the public eye leading to lost jobs, tax money and revenues. Similarly, your business can take a beating in the court of public opinion whether it is in the media or social media. Taking a look at ideas to help the Grand Canyon State improve its reputation (without getting into the politics) can give you some ideas for helping your business.
 
So I am a sucker for packaging. I have bought products simply based on their packaging, if it has a unique name or is made from an interesting material. For instance, I often find myself going out of my way to Target to purchase Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products – strictly for its packaging. Does it clean better than its main-stream counterparts? Not necessarily. But I still remember picking up my first bottle of counter cleaner simply because of its coral red label. Why? Because red is my favorite color? No. But it did stand out in a sea of solid white bottles with clean blue bubbles and zinging yellow lemon graphics in the cleaning products aisle.
 
One of the best perks of working here at Zion & Zion is that our bosses send us to two conferences a year, completely of our choosing.  While I have attended HOW Design Conference in Boston as well as Adobe Max as a result of this fantastic program, neither of these compared to the creative intimacy that was the 4th Annual Creative South Design Conference in Columbus, Georgia. This was a casual collection of some of the most talented illustrators and designers in the Industry, all coming together to talk about how they got to where they are today and what all of us aspiring creatives should be doing to be just as awesome. In addition to the two days of impressive speakers, my colleague, Scott Biersack, and I also attended a full day of workshops before the conference began. As a result of the skills we took away from the workshops, the incredible speakers, and the adorable quaint downtown experience that was Columbus, Scott and I headed back home feeling creatively energized and refreshed.