Posted tagged ‘agency’

Crowdsourcing has my mark

June 29, 2010

Image Source: Tangentism

Very recently, the project of developing a 12-page brochure for work was ever-so-lightly placed on my workload dinner plate. Working at an agency, I managed hundreds of design projects, however, it’s a teeny bit different at a small tech company – your million dollar budget and design team is missing. Not only did I have to produce 12 pages worth of content, but also create 6 professionally-designed spreads on a one-time graphic design pre-req class education on a limited budget? One might think impossible.

What’s is this? Crowdsourcing, you say? Sure, I’ll try it.

Basically, I typed up a detailed PDG (ad speak for project brief) and posted it to 99designs, including my $600 “prize” of how much I wanted to spend. The whole process took me about 20 minutes.

Time well spent…

I was blown away by the amount of talent I had access to. I received about 10 submissions from 10 different designers. I was able to cut designs right away that had completely missed the mark, or offer suggestions to the designs that were oh so close to what I had envisioned.

The final design that “won” exceeded my expectations on all accounts. Not only was his work phenomenal, he was very understanding with my multiple rounds of changes and nit-picking of his work. And (maybe the best part) he was Australian, which made him that much more fun to communicate with. It’s hard to get angry at messages in your inbox as you’re walking out the door when the subject line is “Good Morning, Love!”

I absolutely still see the need for design agencies and will continue to use them for large projects, however, this brochure would have easily cost me upwards of $2,000 and a month’s time if I would have gone down that road, and I wouldn’t have been able to have such a wide range of options.

I’ve also heard that Elance and Crowdspring are other good resources to use.

I absolutely recommend trying out crowdsourcing for your design projects.

What do you think? Have you used crowdsourcing before?


5 Questions Your Boss Will Ask You About Social Media

April 30, 2009

Suggest adding social media to your marketing budget and here are 5 questions you are bound to get from your boss:

1. What’s so special about it?

What’s so special about quarter-page B&W newspaper ads that are almost always printed blurry? Whether we like it or not, newspapers are a dying medium and everything’s going digital. Reach these online markets in the best way possible. Social media is a way to market in a smart, direct and personal way that has been producing increasingly effective results at a staggering rate. Do the research, you’ll be surprised.

2. Isn’t it expensive?

Social media is one of the least expensive tools you can use in the marketing industry. Most sites are free or have minimal costs for upgrades or optimal accounts. Even if you’re in the mindset of time=money, you’ll still be getting your dollar’s worth. 

3. Who is going to manage it?

Large and small companies alike are joining the social media revolution by using their own marketing team or advertising agency to run their social marketing executions. Depending on what your goals are, it is very possible to start implementing a program with a single social marketing employee aka me.

4. How does it produce results?

Like I mentioned earlier, the stats are there. Social media can generate higher sales simply by creating brand awareness and communicating services and promotions to a specific or general audience. The good news is that social media is continuing to grow and it’s not just for college students anymore- I was on the bus yesterday into downtown Chicago and overheard two Golden Girl-aged women have a conversation about who they’re following on Twitter.

5. When can we start?

Here’s where you can say: Right away! Try not to be surprised when a raise comes your way for suggesting such a great idea.

Please meet my dear friend, social media.

April 10, 2009

My love affair for social media started way back in my high school years when I was introduced to livejournal. Granted I mostly wrote about dances, dudes and drama, I still blogged my thoughts and constantly browsed my friends’ feed for theirs. This was the beginning.
From there, I’ve grown to love the social media world and what type of exposure it provides for your thoughts, ideas, overall your brand as a person. I can only imagine the infinite possibilities of how effectively social media can be used to increase the brand awareness of a product, in fact, I’ve seen it done.
Not to mention how incredibly cost-effective social media can be. There are literally hundreds of ways to utilize social media varying in hundreds of different target audiences that are completely cost-free and hundreds more for a low fee, relative to the millions of dollars you’re paying for other emerging digital media exposure.
So why aren’t agencies jumping on board to take part in this marketing phenomenon?

Is it the amount of time needed to manage the accounts?

Is it the lack of knowledge?

Is the sheer number of social media outlets too overwhelming to bear?

So many companies, especially in this recession, are still trying to figure out what the most cost effective way is to use their dollars to target the 18-35 year old market, when the answer seems so simple to me. This generation is tech-savvy and always looking to experience new online environments, so why not at least experiment with social media technologies as a marketing tool?

Whatever the excuse is, I’m looking forward to seeing more and more agencies, large and small, add more social media to their flowcharts and thus join this wonderful marketing opportunity that so much of us are already apart of. Kudos to the groups that have already taken full advantage of this opportunity.

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