Tag: Texas

15 Jul 2014
atreu

Diversifying a business takes as much time as launching one

In 1997 I started talking with a few like-minded people about starting a business and no longer working for someone else. We were like-minded in the belief that we could do a better job than the people we worked for in terms of managing the business and client relations, as well as producing high-quality work.

I was 31. I was a freelance writer for magazines and news periodicals, as well as managing editor for a local publishing company. I had experienced struggles and failures, but did not believe that failure was an option for me if I started a business. Looking back, I know that the guys I was talking with at the time did not believe the same thing. They just thought it was a cool idea. I was just stubborn . . . and ignorant. (Turns out that is probably a good combination.)

It is said a business start up takes between 2-5 years. From my experience and watching many, many others, I am convinced it is the better part of 5 years and then some.

From the move, The Never Ending Story
Atreyu learned the hard way after Artax drowned in the Swamp of Sadness.

We started the business as the Internet was taking hold. Websites were hand-written HTML code, load times were tough and online marketing was a very, very new concept. We struggled to develop websites for local companies and soon realized that was a bad business plan. So we diversified and developed what was just coming up everywhere – an online mall.

During the process we lost 2 of the 5 original players. Their tolerance for “working without a net” was very low. But the rest of us pressed on and discovered that applying some basic marketing ideas to our mall turned into results. We held contests, added book and music reviews. What we did not realize was that we had developed an online portal.

Not being like-minded to Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, we really did not know what we had. So after the mall/portal made us some money and got us some publicity, we started receiving calls from companies that were struggling to monetize their websites or launch websites and suddenly we turned into a Web design start up.

The portal/mall was abandoned as Amazon and other retailers became known brands and we lost traffic. We were creatives, not retailers, so we gravitated to what we knew.

Over the next 4 years we grew by adapting to change, as well as losing two more original founders but brought on a lifer with shared vision. For a time we were expert email marketers, even being the first to develop an email with embedded video for a major game retailer.

When email became spam, we moved to exploring the true needs of our clients, which was strategic marketing and execution. In this new landscape know as the booming Internet, major brands, corporations and small businesses were struggling to find success. Many wanted to abandon their traditional advertising and go with online only and other crazy ideas like that.

So we diversified yet again and began advising and developing integrated marketing and advertising concepts. We kept our head focused on the bottom line and advised others to do the same. “Don’t knee-jerk to new trends, just add them to your arsenal if they work for you,” we said.

Over time, the success our clients had experienced built up the belief that we had finally figured ourselves out – we were a full-service strategic advertising and marketing agency. Nine years later, we had it all figured out.

Not!

While the growth continued, we always faced times where change looked us in the face and we had hard decisions to make for the business. Once CMS software came online we had to adapt and accept that change. Search marketing and lead generation went through iteration after iteration. Adapt and change, recommend only what works. Mobile marketing only? No, just add to the arsenal.

The only reason bloomfield knoble has flourished for 17 years is because we diversify. Today, I believe we are at another point where diversification is necessary. We have experienced success focusing on the energy business and its unique advertising/marketing needs, as well as major brand retailers, retail foods, mortgage, finance and more.

Now, with the advent of content marketing and its impact, it has come full circle. All that we know now comes back to my roots – publishing. I find our agency now providing expertise and consulting on how to drive response and build awareness through content marketing. Well, in 1997 it was called publishing and that was my thing. Suddenly, what was a dying skill is now valued again.

The good news about this diversification is that there is no need to abandon anything we are doing now. It is just focusing on what we know. Oh, and bloomfield knoble has developed quite a track record working for local, state and Federal agencies. That is a major diversification.

Call it what you will – diversification, addition, subtraction, metamorphosis. Whatever. All I can tell you is that it takes time and the ability to adapt. Don’t be resistant to change. Don’t stand still because as businesses we are all standing in a swamp. Stop moving forward and that swamp will swallow you and everyone you are leading right to the bottom and no one will ever know you once made a difference.

 


 About The Author

clark-bachelot-headshotEric J. Hirschhorn is a principal at bloomfield knoble. For 17 years he has helped lead the agency from start up to becoming a premier, full-service agency whose clients include some of the most influential companies in America. Eric lives to spend time with his family, to work and to travel the world in search of unique fishing adventures.

Connect With Eric Hirschhorn
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Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

 

22 May 2014
photo

Are You Ready for Your New Twitter Profile?

bloomfield knoble helps companies make the best of changes like these.
Trying to figure out how to make the best use out of new features like Twitter’s wider header image?

On Facebook, each of your friends has most likely visited your profile page once – when trying to decide to Friend you or not. If it’s an ex, the frequency is greater – obviously in an attempt to see who you’re dating now to make sure you’ve moved on and are happy hoping to God that it’s a downgrade from themselves.

On Twitter, odds are nobody but you has ever visited your profile. But nonetheless, Twitter has updated its profile page – visually and functionally. Are you ready? You have until the mandatory switchover on May 28 to update the profile header image.

One of the things we focus on at bloomfield knoble, inc. is making sure our clients are always the prettiest girl at the dance. Keeping up with changes like this is part and parcel of that job.

Here’s what’s changed and some tips on making the most out of the new changes:

  • Larger profile photos. They’re now 400 pixels by 400 pixels, the same aspect ratio as before but with larger dimensions.
  • Customizable header image. This main image spans the browser, and users are encouraged to upload a 1500 pixel by 500 pixel image. Your current header image might fit, but the bigger scale might make it look a little fuzzy. Note that there are vast differences between how the images appear on mobile devices and desktops, so check all your devices before locking in on your image.
  • Best tweets. Your tweets with the most engagement will appear in a larger text size inside your stream.
  • Pinned tweet. You can now pin one of your favorite tweets to the top of your profile page. A very Facebook move.
  • Filtered views. When visiting someone else’s profile, you can choose how to view their tweets: tweets only, tweets plus replies, or tweets with photos or videos.
  • There’s also now a Pinterest-style grid view of your followers, who you’re following, and your visual content.

This is all a move to make what you see when you log into Twitter more visually appealing. Personally, I find the larger text for more popular tweets handy, after at first being confused by it. The new aspect ratio of the profile header seems prohibitive, but with a little effort, having a picture that works in that space is fairly stunning.

To make the most of these changes, get more visual. It’s long been known that posts with images get more Retweets, and that trend is likely to continue with this more visual redesign. Users have easier access to your visual content (if they visit your profile), so keep on being visual – photos, infographics, charts, whatever helps convey your point and stands out.

Be aware that there’s also easier access for visitors to view your Favorites. How have you been using that feature? Bookmark? The equivalent of a Facebook “Like”? A way to communicate to your followers that this is worthy of attention but not worthy of a Retweet? It seems like everyone uses it differently. Now it’s easier for others to see what you’ve favorited, so be sure you’re making the best use out of the feature.

But mainly, it’s the header image. The much wider aspect ratio completely changes how your header image is presented. As you play around with it, you’ll discover that many images that look like they’d work great (and particularly those that worked before) absolutely do not. But through trial and error you’ll find the right one.

One more fairly minor, unannounced change, is that he background image that used to appear behind your newsfeed is gone. It’s still visible in areas of your profile only accessible to you, but third party users who visit your profile no longer see that image. It will probably be phased out altogether in a future update.

If you manage a page for a business, keeping up with these changes is critical. If you’re just a personal Tweeter, hopefully this information will help you engage more friends … and finally get a RT from that celebrity you’ve been @ mentioning all these years.

At bk, we’ve helped companies ranging from mom and pop shops to Fortune 10 organizations build social presences that have shaped their business and public perception. Part of that is staying on top of trends, updates and changes in the industry.


 About The Author

jeff-carrington-headshot

Thanks to the shortening of attention spans and his inability to finish a novel (phenomena that are unrelated, he assures us), Jeff Carrington has found the perfect job for himself as director of communications and social media at bloomfield knoble. When he’s not developing social strategies for clients in 140 characters or less, he’s tweeting about dive bars and dog parks, both of which he frequents with his Spitz-Terrier mix buddy, Ben, and other random humans.
Connect With Jeff Carrington
twitter
facebooklinkedin_25x25youtube_25X25

# # #

Who is bloomfield knoble?

bloomfield knoble is a full-service, premier strategic marketing and advertising agency based in Dallas, Texas. Our clients include top 50 Fortune companies and unique businesses that seek a strategic partner to empower their offerings and growth. Whether developing an integrated advertising campaign, a direct marketing tactical approach, brand framework and positioning exercise, or daily creative, technical and consulting support, bloomfield knoble provides a one-to-one approach. Call Eric Hirschhorn to learn more at 214-254-3805, or eric@bloomweb.com.

 

06 Jul 2011

Join bloomfield knoble to Help Developing Countries Stay e-Waste Free

We’ve discussed responsible electronics recycling and the environmental impact of dumping e-waste in previous blogs. At bloomfield knoble, we pride ourselves on being conscious of and doing what we can to alleviate the damage to the environment caused by the technologies we use to make our lives easier.

As a tech-savvy advertising agency, we rely on the latest innovations to deliver the best possible data to our clients. In order to improve their marketing and advertising, we often find ourselves upgrading our tools and gadgets. Our clients come to us for this reason. They rely on us to be up-to-date on the latest tools to execute their campaigns.

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25 Apr 2011

Are You Ready for Your Close Up?

Video is a great way to communicate to your target audience. A well-produced professional piece can not only convey your brand and message in an entertaining and engaging way, but it can also drive visitors to your video and brand thanks to Google’s search engines thorough indexing of YouTube videos.

At bloomfield knoble, we’ve been producing promotional and informational videos for our clients for years.

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22 Apr 2011

The Faustian Technology Bargain

From cell phones to laptops to flat screen TVs, our world is filled with electronics that help us be more productive, entertain us, and make communications quicker and easier. If you’ve read any of our other blogs on the subject, you know that the convenience our devices bring us come with a high cost in the form their toll on the environment. It’s the Faustian bargain we all live with in order to have immediate access to movies, data and music.

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20 Apr 2011

Honest Solutions for the Mortgage Industry

Over the last decade, bloomfield knoble has proven ourselves as one of the leading strategic marketing agencies serving the mortgage industry. Our dedication to doing the research and gathering data before embarking on a campaign is tailor-made for an industry where people’s lifestyles and livelihoods hang in the balance. We approach the industry from a knowledge standpoint to bring information and options to homeowners in an understandable way.

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18 Apr 2011

QR Codes – Practical Tool or Just More Static?

They’re starting to pop up everywhere – those little squares of black and white lines and blocks that look like static on your TV screen. Have you scanned one yet? If you haven’t, you’re in a shrinking group of smartphone users. It’s a QR (Quick-Response) Code, and they’re a quick (hence the name) way to drive consumers to your website, game, promotion, sign-up page or other mobile-oriented marketing campaign.

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23 Mar 2011

Scrub that Data

One of the hallmarks of the work we do for clients is our dedication to the data. We never fly blindly into a campaign and we’re never beholden to a particular medium. One of our mantras states that we are agnostic to the medium. We don’t choose what type of campaign we’re going to employ for any client until we’ve done our research.

Too often we have heard stories of agencies engaging with a client and leading them down a path to search engine marketing, direct mail or some other pre-determined format. This occurs because the agency has an expertise or formula they follow in a particular medium. This is not the most effective way to market (Dear Reader, Please make up your own metaphor and insert here).

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21 Feb 2011

Love and Marketing

One of my best friends is just about the greatest salesman you’ll ever meet. We got to know each other long ago when I was working as a copywriter at a software company and he was, naturally, working in the sales department. Most of the sales people who worked there were either on the obnoxious, overconfident side (compensating for something, perhaps) or they were the kind of pitiful, desperate need-to-make-the-mortgage-please-buy-from-me type of sales person (think Gil on The Simpsons).

Jason is not like that though. He has a calm, cool demeanor; he’s helpful without being cloying and gives you room to make your decision without being aloof or disengaged. I’m pretty sure he told his fair share of customers to go buy our competitor’s product if he really felt it would serve them better. Knowing Jason, his motivation to do so is two-fold: not only does the customer get what they want, but he doesn’t have to deal with them down the road when they’re unhappy with the product.

What makes him distinctly different from most salespeople is that he has a true passion for the art of selling. And to him that doesn’t mean just getting people to buy something, but rather helping people get what they need in a mutually beneficial relationship that makes both parties happy. He studies sales like an art. He understands what makes people tick and how to manage those relationships to everyone’s advantage.

We’ve been great friends ever since those days at the software company, even doing a little writing on the side together (anybody want to buy a couple of screenplays?).

Before Jason got married, we’d talk a lot about romantic relationships: finding them, what makes them work or not and how to game the system to have the most success in them. In talking about these things, we realized that managing sales and marketing relationships wasn’t all that different from how you pursue and manage romantic relationships. The steps to doing either are the same.
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16 Feb 2011

Is your website content playing its part?

Ask even the most seasoned Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialists and they’ll tell you that the rules of the game are constantly changing. Your website is at the mercy of the search engines and their algorithms. Google, Bing, Yahoo, Ask – they all keep their cards held close to their chest as far as what, exactly, causes one website to rank higher than another in their search results. Aside from Bing looking at what Google’s results give in order to augment their own results, nobody really knows the rules of the game.

But one thing that is clear is that your website content, i.e., the words on the page and behind the scenes (metatags, titles, captions, etc.) play an important role. Besides helping you rank higher in the organic search results, the words on the page are also crucial in influencing the people who actually wind up on your page – however they wound up there.
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