Happy Hour with Snap Forward – August 11th, 2016

The week Nick was joined by Tim Hindes of Trailblaze Creative for Happy Hour. Tim runs a marketing company that has had great success with non-profits, especially when utilizing a shared services model.

1:00 – Beers of the Week

Tim brought a Long Trail Summer Ale that is “made to chill out summer’s hottest days”. Nick is drinking the quintessential summer beer, a Leinenkugel Summer Shandy. If you’re not familiar with a shandy beer, that usually means a crisp, light beer mixed with lemonade.

3:44 – Obnoxious Web Page Advertisements

A recent trend in web page advertising is drop-down ads. You may see them on websites such as Mashable and the International Business Times. They usually appear as a small banner at the top of the page and suddenly drop into view as they encroach upon the majority of the web page.

Nick finds these ads especially bothersome while viewing a website on a tablet. Many times, the ad takes some time to load, causing the words on the web page to shift downward and out of view while reading the article. Sometimes, everything shifts back into place, other times the reader has to hunt for their spot on the page. If the ad collapses, everything once again shifts out of view.

Another type of ad that we find particularly annoying is the auto-play video ad. They will begin to play at random moments, or as they sense you are rolling over them, but many times leave a user to hunt for where the audio is coming from.

Advertising is a game where companies try their best to get noticed but need to be wary of the methods they use. While some ads may seem “cool”, if they impose on the website reader’s experience, they will be motivated to leave or find a way to block the ads in the future. Both outcomes are not good for the site or the advertiser.

4:41 – Out of Touch Marketing

The holy grail of social media marketing is the viral post. They are usually free and speed around the internet at blinding speed. One good post can be seen by millions across the globe. As excitement for the Olympics builds, the International Olympic Committee did their best to ruin it for many social media users.

The IOC went as far as to threaten legal action if a non-sponsoring company hashtagged the word “Olympics”. According to this article on Mashable (beware the drop down ad), even posting GIFs of the events would not be allowed.

Short GIF clips create buzz. They generate excitement. It would seem to make sense that a GIF-worthy moment that got people talking around the internet would only create free publicity for the actual broadcast. The GIF ban and related hashtag embargo is shortsighted and out of touch.

9:45 – The Shared Services Model

Both Trailblaze and SNAP Forward use a shared service approach in their business models. Tim has found that it allows him to engage a client long term and positively impact their image over a long period of time. Many businesses and organizations lack the resources to hire a creative team or a single full-time employee. By utilizing a shared services model, companies get gain access to the resources of a creative staff without the investment.

Tim and Nick both feel that becoming invested in their clients’ organizations has proven to be a winning recipe. Using their respective shared services models, both companies have been able to create efficiencies while delivering higher level talent. The end result is better results for less money and investment than hiring in-house.

We know from our IT management services that most companies could not afford to purchase the tools that we use on a daily basis. Monitoring software, backup tools, and documentation costs are spread across many clients.

The same goes for creative tools and talent. We know what works and what doesn’t in marketing. We’ve tested marketing and advertising techniques. We have purchased tools and equipment to ensure the best video or image. We have taken the time to learn the correct way to run a campaign or produce content.

The final advantage to shared services is the insight that comes from partnering with a company fully invested in their client’s success. While owners may believe their business is completely different than others, there are basic hurdles that each business faces in any growth phase. Having access to a shared resource with a fresh perspective and a broad base of experience can provide immense value.

17:27 – Taking Vacations – Differing Takes

Tim tends to take a weekend or week away to satisfy his wanderlust. He finds that it regenerates him for the work that he tackles in the office. Nick tends to take mini-vacations and fewer long trips away. Neither approach is wrong, it all depends on what keeps you happy. In the end, as long as you are enjoying life, that is all that matters.

22:03 – Podcamp, RANT, and the EDS Food Truck Festival

PodCamp is coming up this weekend on the 13th and 14th. It’s an event held in Pittsburgh designed to give its attendees creative inspiration. It includes the study of information sharing online and how it affects us in new and different ways each day. Attendees can learn how to get started or grow their podcast. They will also be discussing different kinds of social media and how to use the latest online tools. It is free and walk-ins are welcome.

RANT: Rock All Night Tour is this weekend in Lawrenceville. It will last the entire weekend with over 230 bands at over 30 venues AND it will be free.

Finally, Economic Development South is sponsoring a food truck festival at the Baldwin High School Parking lot South on Tuesday, August 17th.

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Tim Hindes Joins Us to Discuss Obnoxious Webpage Ads, The Olympics on Social Media, and The Shared Services Model.

by | Aug 11, 2016 | Happy Hour