March Marketing Madness: Team Development


Getting the win begins with team development. As March is coming to a close, the madness of competition is never truly over. Sure marketing and basketball appear to be two different beasts entirely, but they are more similar than they seem.


Hitting the Gym: It’s all about preparation. Have you put the time into your marketing strategies to be elite, or are you falling out of the race in the first round?


In digital marketing the “gym rats” are your SEO counterparts. They lift the intellectual weights of analytics and insights to better strategize the on-court execution. It’s about getting in an organic position to field every available opportunity, rebound, and put-back dunk. These are the players on the team that give you hustle. They function as a teams back-bone when the battle get’s heated. Often overlooked as star players, and left out of the spotlight. These players do it for the love of the game, and they certainly make everyone on the team look better. If you’re calling the plays, don’t forget about the good guys doing the dirty work on the boards. Show them you see their hard work paying off, be an inspiring leader.


Team Development: If your leader is unorganized, unsociable and stressed out, what hope do the players being coached have for success?


How is your office morale? If you’re somebody’s boss you should be asking yourself that every week, if not every day. There are far too many leadership positions being squandered by ignoring this facet of teamwork and togetherness. If your employees feel like they don’t need you, if you’re just a figure head demanding respect without giving it back, you’ve already lost your team, and the game. Those players are going to leave for a better team, or they are going to stay and do sub-par work, because we all need to work whether we like it or not. Now, there’s always a chance to turn it around, and it starts at the top, be an inspiring leader.


Team Chemistry starts at the top, and works it’s way down. Encourage your team to socialize with each other. Create structured break opportunities for your players to have a chance to play together, especially if they wouldn’t have much contact in the context of the work day. Getting your moving pieces more connected emotionally, socially, and fundamentally is what team development is all about. It will not only give you a glance at what each players strengths and weaknesses are to better manage, but it also gives them something to work for that’s worth more than money. Team chemistry requires structuring an effort into your company’s ethos. It might not seem like it helps the bottom-line in the short run, and maybe that’s why it doesn’t seem to take priority for a lot of businesses, but in the long-run it is the only way to become a championship squad.


The Superstar: Again and again, make sure there is an inspiring leader in charge! That’s who your superstar is, that’s who they have to be. Have you ever seen a championship team without one? Not in this day and age, and not in tomorrows either. Like basketball, marketing is mostly about the fundamentals. Next time you’re watching a game, look for the similarities their team and your team have in common, and you’ll seem them in abundance. Let’s hope this is your year, and cheers to your championship run!



Take a Look at our past post about The Rookies:

At Spot Color Marketing we have had the opportunity to bring on many interns over the years and have had some very pleasant experiences with them. If you’d like to read about our advice when considering adding on an intern, click this link:


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Print Media Still Has An Impact

Let’s talk about “Print Collateral,” a term that includes print media for business marketing such as business cards, letterhead, capability brochures, fliers, postcards, folders, direct mail, signage, and more.

In today’s online oriented world, one could make the case that printed material is less than necessary. They could try to argue that point—but they’re flat out wrong. I am basing this on fairly solid experience, because I’ve been in the SEO business for roughly ten years and I have watched customers pull all of their budget from print marketing materials and dump it into Digital Marketing only to slash a major referral/lead (and revenue) stream.

Here’s a takeaway for you: You cannot rely solely on Digital Marketing as your only strategy. It won’t work. Want proof?

Have you ever received one of those postcards in the mail from Google? Maybe something offering $100 credit to advertise on AdWords? Do you know what Google, Comcast, MSN, Facebook, Intel and eBay all have in common (besides the obvious)? They all order print marketing collateral in the form of direct mail, business cards, forms, brochures, postcards, letterhead, and so on. Why? The short answer is because print media still works, like crazy.

You and I both know that the personal referral—word of mouth—is one of the best ways to build your business. If I’m looking for a house painter, an attorney, or a mechanic, I’m going to ask my friends and colleagues who they recommend. If a friend tells me about a new restaurant, product, or service they’ve tried, I’m more likely to check it out, too.

I’ll concede that referrals can take place entirely over the Internet, especially through Social Media. But when someone takes your business card or brochure, you’re communicating more than just your contact information. The look, feel, and detail of a high-quality printed marketing piece says that you are a professional. You offer quality work, quality service, and can be trusted.

So take a look at your print collateral. What do your business cards communicate? “You can trust me”? Or, “Yeah, I printed these at home on my old ink jet”? If someone asks you for more information about your services, what do you hand them? A sticky note with your web address? Or an attractive capabilities brochure?

Here’s just a few of the reasons print media is still relevant:

Tangibility– A printed piece is a physical thing. It will not just disappear into cyber space at the click of a mouse. It will likely get more of a glance over because of its physical presence. Studies have shown that advertising effectiveness will increase by 70 percent when brands appeal to more than three senses. Being able to have the piece in one’s hand makes the content more real and present.

Credibility- Printed media has a sense of legitimacy. When looking to reach out to a new group of people the key element of building a connection is trust. Credibility is a key to building relationships and revenue. The reputation of print content is that it is the most accurate and trustworthy.  

Consumers give a score of 63% trust to advertising in print compared to 41% for television and 25% for online. Meanwhile, 90% valued direct mail above social media and nine out of 10 trusted advertising in catalogues more than commercial messages found on the internet.

Engagement- Studies show that we retain information better through physical interaction. Direct mail is more of a guarantee to reach an audience than digital content that can be trashed with a click. Other forms of print collateral are also more personal and more of a keepsake. Sure, you can put all of your information on the web (I wouldn’t), but that won’t have the effect of handing them a business card.

Still not convinced? Check the numbers: 96% of business-to-business technology companies still read print magazines. 75% of them on a weekly basis. 61% say that they see print remaining just as important or becoming more important in the coming years.

It’s simply about balancing digital and print media. You must know your target audience and the most effective ways to reach them. In a time when marketing is so competitive it is essential to reach potential consumers in many different ways.

-With these tips in mind you will go a long way to making your marketing efforts measure up and pay off. Need more help? We specialize in working on marketing strategies specifically for your industry.

Give us a call at 503-477-4355, or visit us online

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Remarketing Lists: Revisits & Conversions

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)


Remarketing lists can become a driving force for sales in e-commerce.

The mission of remarketing is to capitalize on visitor’s previous interest in your website.

This is better than a general target approach, because there is proof of existing appeal.

Data is used to create customer segments of previous actions and interests to target.

Once you learn how to define a segment, it’s easier to capitalize on what they want.

What you want is increased action: more revisits and sales. Here is a guide to get there.


Collecting the data:

First tag your website, this will serve as the data collector.

The easiest way to collect the data is a container tag, which will track all the data operations on the website.

Place a container tag in the global header or footer to tag the entirety of your site.

This central tag will allow the webmaster to edit new tags, and adjust existing tags.

Manage tags using Google Tag Manager, and no new code will be necessary.

A Chrome extension, Google Tag Assistant will verify tags are working correctly.

The master container tag will ensure you collect data from all paths on your website.


How to use the data:

The data compiles visitor interactions, we use that to create specific target segments.

In AdWords go to the Shared Library tab, and create a remarketing tag to set up lists.

Each remarketing list needs 1000 cookies to start, this could take a few hours or weeks.

In Shared Library click on the Audiences tab, then choose people you want to add to each list by defining the rules based on specific landing pages.

These lists are based on what they were searching for/the actions taken on your site.


Top 3 Remarkets: General Visitors, Cart Abandoners, and Recent Conversions.


General Visitors is the least specific remarket.

The goal here is simple, increase frequency and quality of interactions.

This list is everyone that has visited your site.

Look at the data to see where they dead-end, and build a route to the shopping cart.


Shopping Cart Abandoners showed a willingness to buy, but hesitated at action.

The goal here is to bring them back, and convert on the missed opportunity.

Target your ads to what they almost bought, and target upgraded models.

This could be the push to turn them from prospect to customer.

To define this remarket, a custom combination list works best.

Choose everyone that has added an item to their cart, and then exclude everyone that has actually converted.

This will leave you with the correctly targeted segment.

For thought: A cart abandoner is more likely to buy from you than a first time visitor.


Recent Conversions are customers who have recently purchased from your website.

The goal here is to up-sell, and cross-sell from their previous purchases.

If say, they bought a tent on your site, target sleeping bags and ice chests in your ads.

They already have proven interest in your products, now show them the accessories.

Keep them coming back with enticing product appeal. Matching gear works best.

To define the remarket list, select customers who have purchased within 180 days.


(Your best remarkets are Cart Abandoners, and Recent Conversions. They have shown the most interest in your business. Keep their interest peaked, make them a priority.)


Raise your AdWords bids on your Remarkets.

Your remarkets have a higher chance of conversion, so they are our hot targets.

With AdWords bid modifier, you can more aggressively boost your visibility.

Bid for the two top slots in the search engine results. Start with a +100% modifier.

After you activate the modifier, adjust the number up or down to hit the top spots.


Broader Keywords and Match Types

Remarkets are high-intent customers, so broader keywords can have more reach.

A general campaign would find these keywords and match types too vague.

For instance, if a Cart Abandoner was close to a sales conversion on a hat from your site. It’s reasonable to target them with a broader term of “hat” instead of specific style.

Broader keywords work in this instance because remarkets already know style options.

For this strategy, you will want to create a new campaign only for remarkets.

Then add broad versions of your previous, and highly-competitive keyword matches.

As for all campaigns, check on progress and make adjustments to fully optimize.


-With these tips in mind you will go a long way to making your marketing efforts measure up and pay off. Need more help? We specialize in working on marketing strategies specifically for your industry. Give us a call at 503-477-4355, or visit us online @

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Locations Near Me, SEM & Mobile Consumers

People are looking for information the moment they desire it. We are living in the age of the mobile consumer, and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is more important than ever. This should be a familiar experience to all of us. Looking for a coffee shop in a new location, your first instinct is to look around and see if anything is available right there. If that fails to produce results, no worries! Just search for a nearby location with that phone technology (probably already in hand.)

“Coffee near me,” that’s what I want, and I want it now. I’m ready to act on my purchasing desires, and that requires no planning. Now what company is web savvy enough to relay nearby location information to me quickly? If you’re SEM is optimized, you’ll be one of the first listings. I’m only giving away about ten to fifteen seconds of my time on a web page before I look to the next offer. Whoever has the combination of highest listing and smoothest web presence is primed to get that business. This is the case for most purchasable, not just consumables. Knowing you can search, and then immediately act has changed the game for consumers.

We sell ourselves on what we want before we even get to the store, a smooth web presence is a company’s best sales associate. Google has provided data supporting this consumer trend, the mobile data shows that half of all consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone will visit a store same day, and 18% of those searches will result in a purchase. 88% of “near me” searches are trafficked from mobile devices, and those mobile searches are growing at a rate of 146% a year.

The consumer journey is very much in the customer’s hands, figuratively and literally. Your company’s highest concern should be optimizing your SEM for mobile, and crafting a smooth road map to your location. Pair that with an easily searchable inventory guide, and you have given the consumer the tools to do the rest of the work for you. Are you ready to give them what they want, or will they have to look somewhere else?

-With these tips in mind you will go a long way to making your marketing efforts measure up and pay off. Need more help? We specialize in working on marketing strategies specifically for your industry. Give us a call at 503-477-4355, or visit us online @

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Seven Ways Your Nagging Mother Can Help You Refine Your Social Media Marketing

Hey, how are you doing? Look, I know it’s been a long time, but your mother called me because she’s been having a hard time getting a hold of you. And wowzers was she in fine form. She said she follows you socially and is shocked (SHOCKED! ) at some of the, “crap he’s been posting lately.” You’re in Social Media Marketing, aren’t you?

I thought I would pass along some of the high points of our conversation for your amusement and education, and can I just say, you are Spot On when you said that her nagging makes hugging a cactus look comfy.

Here are her thoughts on some of your posts that she felt were self-pitying, bragging, bad form and so on…

Digital Marketing Agency
Look, your mother and I love you very much. But we’re worried about where you’re heading socially. You just don’t have to have opinion on everything. Please view the tips we sent along as our effort to reach out to you before you have to hear about your social media marketing faux pas from someone less tactful than we are, like a potential customer. Also, and I can’t stress this enough, call your mother.

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Marketing Hype Trends Can Take You For a Ride

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As a premier Portland marketing company, we want to know: Are you using new technology to boost your marketing? If so, be sure to keep ahead of the hype if you want to surf the wave to success.

In something called the “Gartner Hype Cycle”, Gartner Research identifies an alarming trend in using emerging technologies (think new social platforms, app advertising and digital content marketing) in your marketing strategy. The trend? A steep success mountain (the “Peak of inflated expectations”) , followed by a dismal valley (the “Trough of disillusionment” … I’m sorry, but don’t both of these sound like locations from “The Princess Bride”?).

The good news is that the hype peak and valley is usually followed by a steady upward trend of moderate, consistent success.

The Hype Cycle follows the course of emerging technology, its hype and promises, and its accuracy.

Here is how Gartner breaks down the cycle:

Each Hype Cycle drills down into the five key phases of a technology’s life cycle.

  • Technology Trigger: A potential technology breakthrough kicks things off. Early proof-of-concept stories and media interest trigger significant publicity. Often no usable products exist and commercial viability is unproven.

  • Peak of Inflated Expectations: Early publicity produces a number of success stories — often accompanied by scores of failures. Some companies take action; many do not.

  • Trough of Disillusionment: Interest wanes as experiments and implementations fail to deliver. Producers of the technology shake out or fail. Investments continue only if the surviving providers improve their products to the satisfaction of early adopters.

  • Slope of Enlightenment: More instances of how the technology can benefit the enterprise start to crystallize and become more widely understood. Second- and third-generation products appear from technology providers. More enterprises fund pilots; conservative companies remain cautious.

  • Plateau of Productivity: Mainstream adoption starts to take off. Criteria for assessing provider viability are more clearly defined. The technology’s broad market applicability and relevance are clearly paying off.

In close order we are likely going to see some of the most colossal marketing failures of all time. The reason for this is that there are just so many emerging technologies geared towards various aspects of marketing (SEO, social media, email, content marketing, PPC, app advertising, mobile remarketing … the list is endless) that make grand promises.

But, we are also going to see some huge, unlikely, surprising marketing successes in the near future as well for those companies that understand the hype trend, how to allocate (or not allocate) funds and Companies will ride the wave to success with a strong, consistent marketing strategy made up of a clear focus that addresses the needs of a market, consistency, and a toolbox including solid, proven digital and offline marketing techniques.
Are you concerned? Don’t be. Just reach out and we will walk you through what we will do for you.


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Manufacturer Marketing: Please Meet Our Friends


Image of slideshow2

Allow us to introduce you to some friends of ours at the LWO Corporation. These folks are the doers, they are the quintessential American makers: They are an American manufacturer that grew out of the construction trades to produce well-designed, durable wood products in answer to the inferior products that had been available.

In 1980, tired of the materials available to their remodeling business, a group of professional contractors founded LWO Corporation, producers of both the Woodway product line and the Arboria product line. They were determined to develop well-designed wood products that were durable, easy to install and beautiful to look at.
With an eye on uncompromising quality, the original philosophy of the founders included putting quality above all other considerations, earning them a nationwide reputation as designers and manufacturers of superior wood products for the home and garden.

“We are proud to feature distinctive, high quality sustainable furniture and garden structures as part of our Arboria and Woodway family,” said Loren Wohlgemuth, Sr. Marketing Specialist, LWO. “Our garden structures are made right here at our factory in Portland, Oregon from natural and renewable Western Red Cedar, Douglas fir and other fine woods. We have a complete line of wood products crafted from superior grade, sustainable hardwood as well.”

LWO’s philosophy of integrating fine design, materials and craftsmanship and their dedication to customer satisfaction are the legacy of years of experience working with clients to improve the quality of the spaces in which we live and play. This tradition of excellence continues with ongoing development of innovative new products and improved construction techniques.

At Spot Color Marketing, we are huge fans of the LWO Corporation, and manufacturers in general. Are you a maker? Are you a doer? We want to talk to you and recraft your manufacturer marketing strategy to get higher conversions. Please call or email us today.

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Portland SEO: Lousy Design Elements that Lead to Underwhelming Success


You’ve injected a healthy stream of funding into your pay-per-click and Portland SEO budget. You’ve got your email marketing completely dialed in. Your Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools and AdWords are all streamlined and you are getting fantastic traffic to your site. This is where the momentum stalls and dies, and you’re not sure why.


As a Portland SEO, web design and digital marketing firm with a focus on strategy, implementation and conversions, we’re constantly running site audits to check for conversation rate issues. That is: a site’s ability to funnel traffic into goals (sales, leads, etc.).


For the purpose of this short post, we will visit six common mistakes, and how we will help you fix them.


1) Missing Phone Numbers 


In this mobile-centric generation, every website needs to have a clickable phone number front and center on its web site, ideally at the top of all pages. More and more people are ditching computers and using smart phones and tablets as their main tool for surfing the web. Having a clickable phone number prominent on the site saves your future customers a step when they need to phone you.


2) No lead-capture forms


Paired with a prominent phone number, a lead-capture form is a great way to connect with people who are comfortable submitting a web form. Saving customers from the added step of having to navigate to a “contact” link in your menu is crucial.


Even a simple web form will boost conversions.


We recommend that we create a variety of forms for your site and perform A/B testing on them to make sure you are using a form with the best conversion rates possible. We’ll also test your forms on a regular basis to ensure that they are working as expected.


3) Being nosey


When asking for personal information, you need to be direct and concise. Whenever possible, only ask for the basic contact information. The minimum information you absolutely need will differ from industry to industry, but you don’t want to make a user jump through a lot of hoops in an effort to contact you and you don’t want to make them uncomfortable with your form.


4) Bad UX


Lousy user experience (UX) shows itself in user flow, bounce rates and low conversion rates.


Recognizing underwhelming UX can be tricky, which is why we want to do this for you.


Some of the things we look for include: navigation, user flow, readability, content clarity, call-to-action and the site’s ability to direct the user to act.



5) Impotent call-to-action


Your business has a goal. Your online properties need to have goals too. Goals can include more traffic, online purchases, lead-gen, or phone calls. Your site needs a goal and you have to convey that goal to your users immediately upon entering your site. We call this a call-to-action. And we make these awesome for you. We’ll make sure your call-to-action stands out on the page, offers value, and makes it easy for the user to take the desired action … Boosting your conversions and your bottom line.


6) What’s in it for me? What about my needs?


Your visitors need to clearly and immediately see why they should do business with you and what is in it for them. Think: money back guarantee, free shipping, no obligation quotes, and so on. Knowing your customer and what appeals to them will make identifying their bottom line and your proposition easier to craft.


In Conclusion


As you can see, there are several reasons why your website may not be converting traffic. Take a moment to reach out to us, we would be happy to run an audit on your website and start the conversation on how we can help.

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Portland SMM: When and where to post to get the most mileage from your Social Media Marketing

Your social media marketing efforts can really fuel your marketing strategy if you know when and where to use your gas. Here is a list of the average ideal frequencies to post across all your social media platforms to get the most mileage out of them. From our friends over at SumAll.

We know you, like anyone looking to market your business socially online, have wondered:

  • How do I get more followers?
  • What should I share?
  • When should I share it?
  • And how often should I be sharing?

Social media marketing includes a strategy that addresses how many times per day you should post. Read on (click to enlarge)…

Portland SMM

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Google: Facts (not links) are the future of PageRank

It’s been a year since marketing agencies started hearing buzz about Knowledge-Based Trust, a Google research paper outlining a proposal to score web sites according to the accuracy of facts. It didn’t take long for Knowledge-Based Trust to earn the nickname the “Truth Algorithm” due to its method of assigning a “Trust Score” to filter sites with erroneous or misleading information.

While the title of this post may be a little misleading (“Trust Score” plummets), the paper at least hints that trustworthiness might help sites rise in Google’s rankings if the algo begins measuring quality score by facts, not just links and content.

Here’s the problem: The internet is famous for gossip, untruth and misdirection. Discount Viagra websites make the front page of Google, and gossip sites touting “news” stories are a dime a dozen.

Google currently measures incoming links to a web site as a factor for ranking. Sites with lots of backlinks (among other factors) are ranked higher. The problem with this method is that it can be gamed to make websites like those mentioned above rise in rankings.

Now Google is testing a method to measure the trustworthiness of a site, rather than (solely) its inbound links and content. The model measures sites based on the number of incorrect facts. The outcome is a “Knowledge-Based Trust score”.

Currently, links are a huge reputation signal implying authority. Knowledge-Based Trust may be a direction the algorithm is heading in, focusing more on veracity of content and less on link signals.

As part of its discovery, the team: “…evaluated each website according to the following 4 criteria”:

  • Triple correctness: whether at least 9 triples are correct.
  • Extraction correctness: whether at least 9 triples are correctly extracted (and hence we can evaluate the website according to what it really states).
  • Topic relevance: we decide the major topics for the website according to the website name and the introduction in the “About us” page; we then decide whether at least 9 triples are relevant to these topics (g., if the website is about business directories in South America but the extractions are about cities and countries in SA, we consider them as not topic relevant).
  • Non-trivialness: we decide whether the sampled triples state non-trivial facts (g., if most sampled triples from a Hindi movie website state that the language of the movie is Hindi, we consider it as trivial).

The research paper goes on to explain five reasons why KBT isn’t yet ready to go live. What will happen once the team solves the five outstanding problems? As a Portland marketing agency, we will watch and report back… But watch out TMZ.

Can’t figure out what the heck this article is about or why it should matter to you? Call, click or come into our office and we will walk you through the details and how an updated marketing strategy will boost your bottom line.

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