Sparks January 2007 -

Sparks January 2007

In the News

Happy New Year!
Welcome back to Sparks! Sparks’ annual December holiday let us recharge our creative batteries, move into our new space, and fire up the coolest computers around. Happy New Year!

Our re-design of Monroe Bank site receives national nod
Community Banker, a financial trade publication, featured the re-design of the Monroe Bank website by in its December 2006 issue.

The article, entitled “Re-Design Time,” profiled community banks around the U.S. who had re-designed their websites in recognition of their sites’ importance to overall brand health and profitability.

Our design for Monroe Bank was featured for its ease of use, its performance in search engines, the amount and quality of its content, and the emotional impact of its photography and design.
Learn more

Web searchers want your…phone number?
Research by Nielsen/NetRatings and WebVisible last year showed an increasing number of people using search engines to find local businesses. It’s official; the Web is cutting into Yellow Pages and traditional print classified advertising.

While the trend isn’t surprising, some of the other findings are. Almost 70% of respondents said they would use the phone number from a website to make first contact with the business. Only 16% preferred email and 6% would visit a vendor in person.

Searchers also don’t take action immediately. The majority bookmark a site and return to it before making contact with your business.

One of the most important findings was the impact of the website on word-of-mouth. Almost 60% of respondents said they verbally recommended the business to others after they visited it.

What does this tell us?
• Have a compelling website that resonates with your target market.
• Make sure it shows up in search engine results (preferably the top 3 results).
• Include your phone number on every page of the site (many people look at the bottom of the page for this info but you may want to give your number more prominence).
• Make sure your website builds trust with visitors; they’ll be more likely to return.
• Ask your customers how they found you! If they mention the Internet, you know to invest more in your Internet presence.
Learn more




This month’s winner: Alan Spott!
The unstoppable Alan wins a digital print featuring this one-of-a-kind design. Have a favorite quote or saying? Send it in! If your quote is chosen, you’ll receive a print of your custom design suitable for framing! Check out your competition here.

Client Spotlight

The Mercury
The Mercury is one of the coolest living spaces in Bloomington. With its downtown location and urban loft feel, it appeals to professionals and sophisticated grad students alike.

We worked with Olympus Properties, owners of The Mercury, last year on developing the Mercury brand. As part of their campaign to publicize an open house this month, they asked us to whip up an ad for local papers. Our parameters were to make a big impact, squeeze all the information in, but keep ad size manageable. Fast.

Our design is simple and upscale, reflecting the Mercury demographic. Our tagline, “Upscale living for the urban sophisticate,” distinguishes The Mercury from other downtown apartments and is rooted in our brand research last year. Text tweaks (like “exclusive tours” rather than “tours around the building”) also helped pump up the brand feel.

As the newspaper graphic shows, the ad pops off the page and communicates the style and sophistication associated with The Mercury.

The result? The event was a smash success and, according to Julie Cook, Olympus Property Manager, “the feel of the event was reflective of the sophisticated image of the ad!!”