Category: News

It’s always been really important to me to make sure that everything we do as a company is authentic, honest and above all else beneficial to the people that we’re associated with, no matter the capacity.

That being said, I felt like it was pretty important to provide an explanation for why we’ve been so “quiet” over the last 9 months in terms of this blog, and our company social media profiles.

The simple answer is that there has be quite a bit of retooling happening behind the scenes – actually a lot.

I knew it was time to make some changes because we kept noticing that nearly every time people would ask us “what we do”, and we responded “marketing”, we were inevitably met with the puzzling question – “What do you market?”

To us, something that seemed so understood was in fact very, very misunderstood.  And considering what we do for a living, if we’re not delivering a clear message, then we’re not doing our job very well.

Let’s answer that question again.  What do we do?

We make your product or service irresistible to the consumer.

Now don’t get it twisted…if your product or service is no good, we won’t be able to make it irresistible to the consumer.  The great news about this is that experience has taught us when to avoid taking on those types of products or services, so we don’t take them on.

Here’s what we’ve been retooling so that we can continue to perfect our craft:

  • New offices in both Tampa and Fort Lauderdale in convenient locations for our clients
  • Some new talented team members that are bringing fresh ideas and perspectives to the table
  • Several exciting new products that we’ll be releasing throughout the rest of 2014
  • Our client base has been retooled to more accurately reflect our focuses and the areas where we know we’re strongest in making our clients’ product or service irresistible to the consumer

What hasn’t changed is our commitment to provide exceptional services to our clients. We’ve still got the same ridiculous almost obsessive focus on quality and results.  And we’re still the same fun people who aren’t afraid to laugh at ourselves.

This has been and still is a huge learning experience, and we wouldn’t trade it for the world.  Jump in with us, we promise it will be a fun ride.

 

 

After months of hard work, Exakt Marketing is pleased to announce the launch of their new website www.exaktmarketing.com! Since our merger in November 2012, we’ve been busy developing the overall message and experience we wanted to present to our users and we think we’ve got it “exaktly” right (well at least for the time being!)

The new site answers all of your burning questions including:

  • • What’s up with our name and why do we spell it funny?
  • • Which one of our “exes” has a dog with the nickname “Loco”?
  • • What is the real reason we like to work with the restaurant and hospitality industry?
  • • Are we giving anything away for free?

So what are you waiting for? Head over to www.exaktmarketing.com and check us out. After you’ve had a chance to explore through the site, be sure to shoot us a message to tell us what you think. Feedback will only help our site be extraordinary!

Out of the Basket Gifts creates one of a kind corporate and speciality gift baskets. In their words, “Our number one goal is to provide our clients with custom, personally made gift bundles that are filled with useable items from top to bottom and that are made of high quality products.” However, even though “basket” is in the name, they don’t use traditional baskets in their orders, “we incorporate a useful base that centers on the theme of the gift. By using innovative bases for our bundles it makes the gift giving experience fun and reusable.” (- www.outofthebasketgifts.com) So when Rachel and Debbie, the owners of Out of the Basket Gifts, came to Exakt Marketing to develop the brand of their new company, we had to think “out of the basket”.

When considering Out of the Basket Gifts’ brand development, our goal was to incorporate the fun, playful feel of the gift baskets, while also keeping a corporate appeal, because the target audience includes corporate industries as well as family and friends. We also wanted to show a visual of the “out of the box” personality of the company. These details were to be displayed through the combination of a graphic icon and clean typography.

Out of the Basket Gifts branding by Exakt MarketingThe resulting icon (shown to the left) uses a base shape of a square with two opposing rounded corners, creating a modern “O” shape. A square was used as the negative space  to show something unexpected. Shading was introduced to create a 3-dimensional illusion, the hard diagonal lines play tricks on the eye, pushing the corners “in” and “out” as your eye traces the shape. The base shape is repeated again, smaller and “outside” of the larger shape, the literal display of “out of the basket”.

Out of the Basket GiftsThe typography was kept clean. A san-serif font, was used for the company name and tagline, while the ampersand (&) in the middle brings back in the playful feel of the gift baskets.

The branding was expanded as we explored the marketing materials Out of the Basket was interested in on the web and in the realm of print. It was important to keep the branding consistent, yet new and fresh, across the different collateral. Along with using the same colors and fonts, the base shape was used to create a decorative patterning on the business cards, facebook page and website (shown at top of post). Brand consistency puts a “face” to the company and allows all their materials to be recognized as part of an overall system, a key component to a successful brand.

If your company is interested in branding or rebranding or any of the items mentioned in this blog article such as logo design, business card design, website development or wordpress customization and social design such as Facebook and Twitter, please contact Exakt Marketing today!

The social media train is nowhere near slowing, it is rapidly covering more ground and becoming smarter. Already, 2013 is providing updates and positive changes in your Facebook world and Twittersphere.

On Tuesday, January 15,  Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg announced the new feature, Graph Search. This new feature may not be immediately available to you, as only a small fraction of Facebook’s billion users will see it. The feature is taking the slow-roll path as most of their changes tend to do. Reminisce back to the time when everyone on your feed was complaining about the new layout, or cover photo. This new feature doesn’t seem to be posing any aesthetic problems, so there’s no need to be alarmed.

Graph Search Breakdown:

  • It’s a search tool
  • It is limited to your connections
  • It is designed to replicate the way you speak
  • As of now, it is limited to photos, interests, likes, people, and places (so, status updates are not included)

    Examples:

  • “Photos of my friends in Hong Kong”, “Music my friends like”, “Photos of my friends in 1993”, “Friends who live in my city”, and can even become as creative as “Movies liked by friends who like Coldplay and live in Seattle.”

Facebook seems to have diminished any privacy issues because you can only find what your friends have chosen to share. So, start going through your interests and likes if you’re not ready to share that information with your Facebook connections. Though, you already have been sharing, just in a less-searchable way.

Meanwhile, in the Twittersphere, look at the new update at work!

Yes, Twitter did previously notify you when you were exceeding your 140 character limit; it presented the “-5” as seen to the right. But now.. your lingering tweet is highlighted in red to let you know in a more obvious way that you are beyond capacity.

Along with that, if you’re about to tweet at someone or provide a link to your awesome blog, your link will appear blue as you’re typing. The benefit with these updates is that you will know that your link is going to work, you won’t ramble on excessively about the galaxy, and that Twitter is adjusting to make things easier for its users.

So what do you think about these updates? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section, on Facebook, and/or Twitter!

 

the new myspace cover imageWith Justin Timberlake heavily influencing this iteration of the new MySpace, it’s certainly a valiant attempt to make a comeback (or bring “sexyback” if you will).  And rather than rip it to shreds as I’ve seen done on numerous occasions already, I’ll review without bias – just the facts.  Sorry, I made myself LOL on that one…there’s definitely some ripping.

Love

  • The look of this website is a pretty big deal.  Aesthetically they nailed it.  The cover images for your own page are full screen.  And when media is shared between users, the image in the stream is just good looking – no questions asked.

the new myspace music playerSex(y)

  • The entire site is based around music.  If you’re a music junkie like me…yeah, comparable to sex.  The relationships with the music labels must still be in tact because the music library is pretty extensive.  There is a decent music player that goes with you no matter what part of the new MySpace you’re in.  You can make your own  “mixes” (playlists), launch a radio station based on an artist or song and listen to other mixes made by people that you’re connected with.

the new myspace streamMagic

  • Calling this next feature magic might really be pushing the envelope, but unlike typical websites, your stream, music queue, and other content scrolls from left to right.  It’s an interesting twist on the “below the fold” concept because nothing is ever below the fold.  And that makes it almost seem magical.
  • The search function is a visual show and well, just fun.

Dead

  • The whole MySpace concept is dead (or probably should be).  It doesn’t take very long to go through the new MySpace to realize that you just don’t know what the hell it is or what it’s for.  It just feels like they’re grasping at straws to be something…but what that something is…???…
  • From a music perspective (both player and music library selection), Spotify and Pandora give the user pretty much the same abilities as the new MySpace.
  • From a sharing perspective, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter all provide the same or better functionality.  In fact, with the exception of Twitter, you can do a bit more with both Facebook and Google+ in terms of possibilities.
  • Now, in all fairness, the new MySpace is still in Beta so my connections have been with a bunch of people that I don’t know again (like Google+ when it launched); would my perception be different if my friends were on?  Perhaps, but it’s hard to forget the negative connotation associated with MySpace from before and every unsuccessful attempt thereafter.  My honest opinion?  Scrap the MySpace name and start with this new infrastructure as a completely different brand.

the new myspace affinity scoreGone (or what should be)

  • Affinity.  It should just be gone.  I don’t know what it means, how it’s valuable or the point, but with every person or piece of media that you connect with on the new MySpace, you get this affinity score that really proves useless in terms of overall experience.
  • Search.  As it currently stands, the search results are a jumbled mess of everything.  This needs to be cleaned up before it could ever be labeled as cutting edge.
  • Too many options with no clear purpose.  There will always be the die-hard “first responders” who will come to the rescue of any new platform release and defend its nuances.  In fact it could be argued that I’m one of those people.  But if I were a betting man, I would bet that the new MySpace is going to be a failure in terms of mass appeal – not a colossal failure, but a failure nonetheless.  There is no good reason that I could give anyone at this moment to use the new MySpace on the regular.  There are lots of pretty buttons on the road to nowhere.

P.S. – I’ve still got some invites, so if you are one of those “first responders” like me, you won’t be able to help yourself and will have to check it out.  Comment with your email and I’ll be happy to send you an invite.  Let’s compare notes.

As we drift into the end of the month, and the end of 2012, I introduce Google’s Zeitgeist 2012 video.

I was in a journalism course in 2010 when my professor showed me the Google Zeitgeist for the first time. I was absolutely amazed and almost cried in class. The video was put together so flawlessly and it’s something truly meaningful that they give back to us. I believe that was also the start of success for One Republic’s ‘Good Life.’

Regardless, upon finding the Google Zeitgeist video in the Tech section on The Huffington Post, the article linked to “Golden Tweets of 2012: Twitter’s Most Popular Posts of The Year“.

Twitter made a similar move by creating a website dedicated to capturing “2012 Year on Twitter.” Yes, please!

Twitter executed this website beautifully and features “Golden Tweets”, “Pulse of the planet”, “Only on Twitter”, “Trends”, “New Voices”, and “Your Year on Twitter”.

Nice. When a powerful social media source incorporates what has happened on their website and in the world, it’s a beautiful thing.

In the “Golden Tweets” section, you see the tweets that boasted the most retweets of the year. At the top of the list, President Barack Obama’s “four more years” tweet with the photograph of him embracing Michelle Obama. President Obama earned more than 810,000 retweets along with his reelection. Mind you, this tweet was sent out before he even went on stage to affirm his reelection. Social media FTW. Twitter also provides you with the opportunity to reply, retweet, or favorite the tweet if you haven’t already.

Justin Bieber came in second place with his heartwarming tweet to fan, Avalanna who had passed away. TJ Lang of the Green Bay Packers, Team Great Britain, and anime voice actor Kouichi Yamadera were the other winners of Golden Tweets.

If you are an active member of the Twittersphere, you probably recognize some, if not all, of these hashtags or phrases:

  • #throwbackthursday
  • pretty little liars
  • iphone
  • #syria
  • Dark Knight Rises
  • coachella

Yep, I knew you would!

(And don’t worry– Starbucks, McDonalds, and Taco Bell were on the list in the Food category. Sounds like ‘Murrica to me.)

Twitter explains that rather than just choosing “what terms were consistently popular” they chose the hashtags or terms that caught our attention. The geniuses in Twitter headquarters have provided us with insight as to what we, social media participants have cared about in the past year. It’s a smart move and I love it.

 

It’s no secret that the world around us is constantly changing. Some companies, like Apple and Google, are at the forefront, driving change and innovation, while others are happy to sit just behind the “bleeding edge” and jump on board once some of the early adopter risk has vanished. Still others, failing to change and to “keep up” become completely obsolete almost overnight (anyone remember Hollywood Video?).

Among many other factors we considered, the premise above is one of the main reasons that Visual Alliance Media, Moonstruck Marketing Group and Good Dog/Bad Dog Creative Design decided to ink the deal that would create Exakt Marketing. Speaking for Visual Alliance Media, which specialized in social media marketing, it became clear to us some years ago that we were riding a wave that would eventually dissipate somewhat as the idea of “social” became more and more integrated into marketing, PR, advertising and customer service as a whole. Often times, I’ve likened the development of “social media marketing” to the mad dash created by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 which prompted building owners to retrofit their facilities to meet the requirements of the new legislation. Architects that specialized in “ADA Compliance” popped up everywhere to meet the demand. Over time as the retrofitting was completed, the specialists went away and now, ADA Compliance is just the way buildings are designed in the normal course of business.

And so it was true with companies as they rushed to incorporate “social media” as part of their operations, retrofitting their strategy, if you will, over the last five years or so. Firms like Visual Alliance Media grew out of the requirement of companies large and small needing to incorporate some form of social media marketing into their platforms. But as time goes on, we’ll continue to see “social media marketing” as just another component of “marketing” … and firms like Visual Alliance will either diversify, go out of business, or scale back to become niche players. So for Derek and me, when the opportunity to diversify our services, broaden our market sectors, grow our client base and bolster our creative abilities by merging with two other reputable Tampa marketing agencies came along, we were there!

That’s not the only reason, however. As our new partners from Moonstruck Marketing Group, a brand communications consulting and visual design firm, and Good Dog/Bad Dog Creative Designs, a firm specializing in website design and website development, will attest, all three legacy firms were very proud of our ability to foster and maintain longstanding relationships with our clients. And knowing that our clients benefit most when they have a cohesive marketing strategy as it relates to their brand, being able to offer a broad base of services with our in-house team made perfect sense.

As the press release and several articles that have been written about Exakt Marketing since have noted, our new company will continue to work with clients from many different market sectors, but we’ll put particular focus on restaurants and hospitality, health, wellness and fitness and meeting and conference planning. Exciting times are ahead as we move into 2013 … assuming the world doesn’t end on December 21st … fingers crossed!

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