from Nathan Greenberg
Over the years, I have worked with many C-suite executives, directors, and other business leaders to shape, grow, and improve their branding. Often I tell them that they need to listen to outside opinions to better understand who they are and how their company is perceived. Why? Because business owners or managers -especially entrepreneurs- cannot view themselves objectively. Over the last couple of years, I have been listening to my fair share of outside opinions.
I became a shining example of “physician heal thyself”.
Arkside Marketing officially began on February 4, 2010. Our eight year anniversary will be celebrated in three days. Earlier in 2017 I came to realize that we were suffering from brandmark confusion.
To the left, you see our original logo (in a vertical layout). People saw our logo our logo as an “M”. People saw purple and brown. In fact, I vaguely recall the original designer of the logo asking me if it was an “M”, but I pushed right passed that! “No, it’s an ‘A’ and an ‘M’. I’m so creative!” Instead of learning from a few years of this reaction, I took it as a challenge to explain that it was actually an “A” and an “M” and the company colors were blue and yellow/gold. After 6 years, I asked our new Lead Designer to “clean up” our image with proper blue and yellow colors.
Before you ask: I have no explanation for why I did not try to solve the A/M confusion at the same time.
We also had a challenge with our name. It was clearly defined when we had a great employee named Mark. This was his cold calling introduction: “Hi. This is Mark, from Arkside Marketing.” Oy vey.
We suffered from Arkitis.
In 2017, something snapped. I heard yet one more person call our logo “the M”. That was it. The proverbial straw. It was time to change the logo. Only took me seven years to learn. But it also presented an opportunity to do something to our name that I had been thinking about for two years. It was time to shorten our company name.
This was an opportunity to practice what I preached. There would be no “design (or death) by committee”, but I valued the array of insights available in my own team. From production to accounting, I knew each had an opinion that could help the process while simultaneously reinforcing our culture of inclusion. This may be my company, but I appreciate the support and wisdom of others to make us all more successful.
We began with a good assortment of VERY different directions. It allowed us to refine what we liked and eliminate the definite no’s. Quickly I realized that if we were going to shorten the name, it would be ideal to do the same to the logo. The style was unique, just badly executed by me. This also helps avoid any mass confusion about the company changing. We would still be the same great company, but with a modified logo and simpler name.
With that direction, we changed the logo to be a true “A” and maintain the colors. “Arkside Marketing” became “Arkside”. We aren’t dropping any part of our marketing services. To the contrary – we will have some expansion announcements this year! We just eliminated the obvious. There were now logo layouts not previously possible with two long words. You will be seeing those across various media as the new brand is rolled out.
The result is the shorter name and logo we unveil today.
Just a shorter name and logo. At least when it comes to our brandmark. We are still the same awesome marketing resource you and many other companies have come to rely upon for the last eight years.
But there are other important changes coming this year. We look forward to bringing a new website online before Q2 with a more modern design and new capabilities such as a complete store of promotional products, custom apparel options, and even the ability to order print items such as business cards and banners.
We are also bringing new technology and processes to our in-house operations that will streamline customer service, order processing, and production.
To all of you who have given your opinions, insights, and ideas, I thank you. Certainly to those friends and family who have supported my ventures and trusted me with your business, you have made the last eight years possible. You mean more to me than I can ever fully express. But I will always try.
Thankfulness has been part of this company and I take this moment to refresh that practice.
So “thank you”, and welcome to Arkside again.
Early last year, we began a search for our official social media partner. Due to the varied nature of our client list, the sheer number of profiles we managed on a daily basis, and our commitment to cross-media integration, we needed a robust platform that could grow with us and be responsive enough to handle our requests and recommendations. After testing six different platform, including industry leaders Buffer and Hootsuite, Sprout Social was our ultimate choice. Together we have grown over the last year and we are both taking our next great leaps together.
“But what does that mean for me?” Good question. We’re very excited about the answer!
The Sprout platform has already enabled us to offer incredible results for our clients. Their content curation and posting abilities are strong compliments to our unique, cutting-edge social media strategies. When it comes to social, we strive to be a social media partner. Our clients routinely outperform industry standards for engagement every month. Now we will be working more closely than ever with Sprout and creating new opportunities. These are just some of the tools at our disposal for the benefit of our clients:
From Day 1, Arkside has always believed in treating our media vendors like partners. We treasure our relationships because the media is a partner in the success of our clients. That approach has paid tremendous dividends. This week is another shining example. Sprout has worked with more than 17,000 clients over the last seven years including UPS, Bentley, Hyatt, and Stanford University. They have won more than 25 awards since their founding. We are honored to be chosen in a small group representing less than 0.004% of their client roster to help launch their new Agency Partner Program.
There are thousands of individuals and agencies to choose from that offer social media management. As Founding Members of the Sprout Social Agency Partner Program, we collaborate with their amazing team which elevates our abilities to drive new brand awareness and revenue to your business. We offer expertise in organic and paid social media campaigns. Beyond social, we can analyze, optimize, and integrate other media such as radio, billboards, and Google into your media mix for the best possible ROI on your marketing investment.
For organizations that have an in-house marketing team, we work with seamless collaboration to ensure success. They are a vital element of content development. Our CEO and Digital Coordinator can train your existing staff (once or at regular intervals) on the latest social media best practices, internal process development, crisis management, and employee empowerment.
If you looking for a social media partner to see the best results from social media, contact us today. The consultation is free. We can even perform a confidential audit of your existing vendor to identify potential areas of improvement. Give us a call and let’s explore your possibilities!
Are you the best salesperson?
All of our career openings (jobs fill time – careers fill passions) are posted on our ad agency jobs page. So why are we writing a blog post about our current sales openings? Simple. One of our designers got it in her head to make an ad for them. Weird, right? An ad agency making creative advertising. Who would have thought?
So if you are good enough to answer “Yes” to the questions below, we want to talk to you. We’re looking for those people that care about customer service, want to solve marketing challenges, and enjoy a creative environment. Oh – the pay is good and benefits come with it. Learn more about the positions and contact us today.
Client: Arkside Marketing, Inc.
Campaign: “The Best Salesperson”
Designer: Amanda Johnson
Five years. Started during the depth of the Recession and thriving today. As we celebrate our five year anniversary in 2015, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of the joys, challenges, and educational experiences that have happened with me and my team. Most importantly, a look back at why our clients mean so much to us.
First I will state the obvious: This post is long overdue. Specifically, our five year anniversary was February 4th. Anniversaries are important for many reasons. If we were a client of ourselves, we would have had a party planned in advance, press release drafted and ready for distribution, new collateral material printed, fun promotional products made, et cetera. But we spend every minute of every day worrying about everyone else’s marketing. Remember that phrase about the cobbler’s children having no shoes?
When I started this company, I knew it would be difficult. I was leaving a good job with a good company and risking it all on a dream with the encouragement of friends, family, and colleagues. The last five years have been an emotional roller coaster. Difficult? Yes. But also rewarding. Arkside Marketing is not my first business, but it is my largest thus far. The challenges, successes, and lessons learned have been incredible.
The last year has been especially turbulent. Despite my years of experience in media, ad agencies, and the marketing industry as a whole, I experienced more unforeseen challenges than ever. The worst was a solar company that misled us and a few of our competitors. They lied about nearly every element of their RFP including their goals, marketing strategy, personnel, and budget. My team and I invested considerable time and money into our proposal. Although we were glad to win, we soon realized what a bear trap we had stepped into.
The best part of the last five years has been the people. I have been fortunate to surround myself with talented consultants, designers, and programmers. The aforementioned solar proposal unified our great team of professionals. We showcased a creativity, media knowledge, and strategy development capability unrivaled by our competitors. These strengths have continued with knowledge, fun, and excitement through today. The Arkside staff has doubled in our fifth year and there are bright prospects on the horizon to continue growing before the start of 2016.
We are blessed to work with some of the best vendors and media partners in the world. Each cares about our clients, our relationships, and the quality of their product. They have provided incredible customer service over the years and bring a fresh perspective to each project in which they participate. From the reps at our radio and TV stations to our partners at Google and various print shops, we value each of their contributions to the success of our clients.
Most importantly, we have had five years of wonderful connections to our clients. When I first started the company, I intended to work with nothing more than the heavily regulated industries in which I focused most of my career: law, automotive, healthcare, education, and financial. Fortunately, other opportunities arose within our first five clients. We were able to work with manufacturers, distributors, non-profits, retail stores, and other unregulated industries.
Having an even larger variety of industries than anticipated enabled us to bring more creativity and new ideas to all of our clients. It is perhaps one of our greatest strengths: the ability to take a concept that is tried-and-true in one vertical to a completely different vertical and modify it to step ahead of the competition.
Our growth has been more than a portfolio. In 2014 we moved into a new office in downtown Riverside which has given us a conveniently central location to the huge Inland Empire metro area and faster access to all of Southern California. Staff was consolidated in this one location, bringing about greater efficiency, team work, and creativity.
All of our staff shares a commitment to our community. Throughout the last few years, we have participated with or donated to many charities including the California Police Chiefs Association, “We Remember: A Night for Veterans”, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Revisiting that topic of our own advertising, that is the area in which we are most in need of improvement. What can we do better?
We are working on solving this hypocrisy. Soon we will be adding more videos to our YouTube channel. (Subscribe now so you can be one of the early cool kids.) You can also expect to see our new 5 year anniversary logo around the internet and on some of our collateral.
In light of the many lessons learned over the last five years, we will be launching a new initiative for non-profits. These small armies of passionate volunteers are usually the most in need of marketing help and least able to afford it. Stay tuned for our upcoming initiative in which we will help two charities reach their goals!
To all of my friends, family, colleagues, coworkers, and clients, I give you my most sincere thanks. None of this success would be possible without your support. I look forward to continuing the growth of Arkside Marketing and bringing new opportunities to others every day.
We are proud supporters of first responders. There are brave men and women who protect our rights, property, and lives by running in when others run away. Sadly, some are lost in the line of duty. They made the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their duties.
Each year, the California Police Chiefs Association hosts a training symposium which includes a tribute to fallen officers. Family members are brought to the tribute from around the state to receive the praise of colleagues and thanks on behalf of the community their loved ones served. Their travel and lodging are covered by donors. This year’s symposium and tribute is being held in Riverside, CA February 22-26, 2016, hosted by the Riverside Police Department.
We are proud to be a donating sponsor of this touching and worthwhile event. These families deserve to know that their loved one did not die in vain. Their sacrifice is appreciated and won’t be forgotten.
New opportunities have opened at Arkside Marketing, Inc. and we are looking for a driven, success-oriented, problem solver.
First, some background:
Arkside doesn’t operate like a typical agency. We don’t have typical sales reps (Account Executives). They take time to learn about our clients and how we can develop efficient and cost-effective solutions. They are never told to sell a product. We go so far as to discourage the use of the word “sell” in daily conversations.
Reach out today and we look forward to speaking with you.
SUCCESS through Sales and Marketing Integration
January 23, 2014
Canyon Crest Country Club
ATTENDANCE BENEFITS: Complimentary lunch
Nearly $1,000 in raffled business products and services
We were proud to co-host a great workshop titled, “SUCCESS through Sales and Marketing Integration” with our friends at Empire Sales Strategies. It was our first collaboration and the results were not only great for us, but for each of the nearly 50 business owners and managers that attended.
The goal was to highlight the benefits of integrated sales and marketing efforts to improve performance in both areas, increase revenue, and decrease wasteful spending.
For example, it was revealed in a national study that businesses which integrate their sales and makreting efforts see an average of 39% year-over-year revenue growth when compared to their non-integrated competition. Our CEO, Nathan Greenberg, and the CEO of Empire Sales Stategies, Ryan Stephens, used that fact as their guiding principle when developing the workshop.
Throughout the one hour workshop, both presenters illustrated the “why” and “how” to make changes in current business operations to improve performance and decrease waste. Each attendee was given a worksheet with five “take away” items they could apply to their business and begin making changes that afternoon.
As part of a good marketing program, each attendee was given a feedback form at the end of the event and asked to rate various aspects and the event overall. With comments like these, you can bet another workshop will be hosted in the second quarter of the year!
We would like to thank the following companies for donating a raffle prize to the event:
by Nathan Greenberg, CEO
We begin our celebration with words of thanks.
Those that have invested in our company have given us the financial security to make necessary decisions.
Those that have trusted us with their marketing have given us the relationships we value and seek to build in a unique and dynamic way.
Those who have referred their friends, family, and associates to us have given us the trust and support to grow.
Those in the media who have partnered with us and delivered amazing results to our clients have given us the tools to make marketing and advertising exciting and profitable.
Those friends and family who have supported our decisions, helped us avoid pitfalls, and let us toil away at odd hours and miss other moments.
To all of you I give a personal “thank you”.
Four years is only our beginning. This year, in particular, has been so radically and positively different from the first three. I humbly admit that every decision has not been right. Nevertheless, I remain committed to my foundation of giving the best customer service and building relationships with clients, the media, and our fans who have helped us grow.
I have more exciting plans for this year including new services for our clients, new opportunities for our clients and partners to network with each other, and bringing on new talent to further expand our well of services and abilities.
The years ahead are bright and I look forward to sharing them with all of you.
–Nathan Greenberg, CEO
Arkside Marketing, Inc.
Cardinal sin of advertising: racism.
Divine blessing of advertising: a good ad agency.
The law firm of McCutcheon & Hammer seems to be the unfortunate victims of advertising that they didn’t want. According to them, they didn’t even pay for it. Or ask for it. A commercial production company created the offensive ad below using a horrible Asian stereotype character and it was uploaded to the firm’s YouTube channel. Check it out below (on the production company’s YouTube channel) and then scroll down for updates since the video was discovered last week.
Things got weird once the video went viral. The law firm claimed that it never commissioned the video and that their YouTube channel was hacked. It is a fair assumption that a local TV production company doesn’t have the ability to “hack” YouTube (which is owned and secured by Google). So let’s assume the law firm is using some legalese and hinging the accuracy of their statement on the first part of the statement. They never commissioned this particular video and, therefore, never authorized it being uploaded to YouTube.
Since both sides make opposing claims and the ad involves a very derogatory portrayal of Asians, the Natiaonl Asian Pacific American Bar Association has looked into the situation and made some odd discoveries:
1) Neither party is willing to produce documentation to support their claim.
2) Neither party is eliminating the idea that someone pretending to work for the law firm is responsible. (If this is true, the production company is disastrously negligent in their client authorization process!)
3) The video is still online.
4) The law firm has not followed through with any threat to sue the production company.
5) This is still very bad PR for the law firm and production company.
All that said, the judgment on this one is bad all the way around. The production company makes junk, and racist junk at that. The law firm has done terrible damage control. If this were professionally handled at the onset, it would have been cleanly wrapped up and the reputation of the firm would still be in tact. Such is not the case today.
It isn’t a rumor, nor is it a conspiracy. Facebook organic reach has been slashed. Facebook has admitted to changing its algorithm so businesses (or anyone else with a Page) are forced to pay if they want their posts to be seen. While most businesses saw a decline to about 15-20% organic reach last year, many are now reaching only 2%. In the case of the Arkside Marketing Facebook Page, we are seeing 5-8% consistently.
Facebook has become the bridge troll with a pay-to-play model.
The origin of this change reaches back about a year and a half. Facebook had one billion users and was the place to be. Many Fortune 500 companies were clamoring to get on the bandwagon but still hadn’t figured out how. Even at the end of 2012, only 66% of the F500 were on Facebook, let alone using it effectively.
But in May 2012, General Motors’ firebrand CMO, Joel Ewanick, made the decision to fire their social media agency of record and stop all advertising on Facebook. Quick way to save $10 million. The stated reasoning was that they didn’t see any substantial return on their investment so they would stop advertising and continue with their organic Facebook Page fan base of a few million followers.
Even with Facebook making it impossible for brands to reach 100% of their followers, most were still seeing what you posted. Why advertise? Faceb0ok was cannibalizing itself. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?
Not only did they just eliminate themselves as a top Facebook advertiser (and revenue source), but they did this the week Facebook had their IPO. Ouch.
We believe Joel was right.
Ewanick and General Motors exposed the flaw in Facebook’s plan. Spending wasn’t necessary because people were organically finding, Liking, and sharing brand content.
Facebook had to fix the giant hole in the ship. Now you have to pay to get on board.
Post-IPO, Facebook has been under immense public pressure (especially from our own Founder who has had issues with the platform). They have been busy addressing their failure on mobile devices and an unfriendly ad platform. Organic results were odd also. For many years, it has been frustrating for businesses on Facebook because they are treated badly. Even when a customer says they “Like” a business, Facebook doesn’t see that as permission to show your content. In their belief, just because a customer says they “Like” something, that doesn’t really mean they want to see anything from it.
In high school, guys wanted “no” to mean “yes”.
On Facebook, “yes” actually means “no”.
Now, “yes” actually means “no way in hell”. So what is a business to do? According to Facebook, a business is to pay for ads.
“Your brand can fully benefit from having fans when most of your ads show social context, which increases advertising effectiveness and efficiency“.
Perhaps the most offensive and glaring admission is this:
“We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.“
If someone tells you they like something and you block them from seeing it, how does that equal a meaningful experience?
1) Save Money and Reach Fewer People
There are many social media agencies and managers that we have spoken to whom have told us they will be focusing less of their time (and their client’s money) on Facebook Pages. In their view, the task of reaching a fan base is so time consuming and expensive that better results can be found on other social media or even traditional media.
2) Spend Money and Reach More People
Other social media agencies and managers have said they will pay, if necessary. Facebook wants to command paid media and may be a force that is too large to ignore. For those companies with substantial followings in the thousands or hundreds of thousands, a marketing investment may be a wise decision.
At Arkside Marketing, we have saying, “advertising is an investment. If it is only an expense, you are doing it wrong.”
3) Leave Facebook
Yes, we’re serious. For some businesses, the Facebook Page organic reach may have provided a nice bump in social interaction, but their new model decreases the return that could possibly be achieved. Could that time be better spent on other social platforms such as Twitter or the SEO-friendly Google+?
In the spirit of full disclosure, we have not recommended that any of our clients abandon Facebook. Each of them can continue to successfully reach their audience, but to a smaller degree. We also plan to continue our own Facebook presence, but will reduce our advertising to large announcements.
Although we agree with his decision, we blame Joel Ewanick for this. Ultimately, it would have occurred anyway. Facebook had to realize their shortcoming. But now that it is here, what will your business choose? The pay-to-play model is here to stay, mainly because it doesn’t seriously infringe on Facebook’s main product: its users.
If you would like an objective evaluation of your social media presence and strategy, contact our office.