Sparks May 2004 -

Sparks May 2004

In the News

Promoting your site offline
A recent survey by Interland, a Web hosting company, found that small businesses are increasingly exploiting the benefits of the Web but are not integrating online and offline marketing effectively. Survey respondents rated Websites as the most critical marketing tool (69%), while community relations, e-newsletters, and direct mail held the middle ground (22-35%). At the bottom of the list were Yellow Pages listings, newspaper ads, billboards, and coupons (2-12%).

Small businesses are increasingly savvy about the cost-effectiveness of Internet marketing but there is a disconnect between their online and offline presence. Take the simple case of a Web address: While 88% of respondents include their Web address on business cards and letterhead, the numbers decline for other print communications: 70% include it on brochures, 54% include it on receipts/invoices, and only 53% include it in offline advertising.

Your Web address is as important as your phone number in terms of connecting with your customers. Your Website is your 24/7 storefront regardless of location or your brick-and-mortar hours. Include your Web address on all printed materials, including receipts, coupons, packaging and bags, fax cover sheets, billboards, and print advertising. You can also include it on your voicemail (so customers can learn about your offerings even when your physical office/store is closed), promotional items such as pens and keychains, company cars, company uniforms and name tags, and in any broadcast advertising. Basically, anywhere your logo or company name goes, your Web address goes there, too!

The fact is that more people (particularly seniors and anyone younger than 40) are looking to the Web for information about products and services. If they don’t see your Web address, they can easily find a competitor who has one. If you cater to a local or regional market, offline marketing will be your primary way of driving traffic to your site and gaining more business. So promote your site through offline channels to make the most of your Web investment!

Small business news you can use
A new monthly e-newsletter is in town! LiveWire is a great resource, chock full of practical news, tips, events, and Websites that give you what you need to make your small business a success. Published by the Bloomington-based South Central Indiana Regional Small Business Development Center, it puts the wealth of experience of SBDC resources at your fingertips. We’re proud to be a co-sponsor—sign up today!

VisoVerbo gallery online
We receive frequent feedback from Sparks readers about how much you enjoy our VisoVerbo designs. Now you can review many VisoVerbo designs in a new section of our portfolio: the VisoVerbo gallery. We’ll be adding to the gallery periodically, so be sure to check back!




This month’s winner: Chris Stanton!
In addition to the envy of friend and foe alike, Chris wins a T-shirt 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 T-shirt with a custom design! Check out your competition here.

Client Spotlight

American Student Achievement Institute
The American Student Achievement Institute (ASAI) is an innovative Bloomington-based organization helping schools meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. The Act requires that K-12 students improve their standardized test scores or their schools lose federal funding. While many of their competitors focus on improving scores or helping individual “troubled” children, ASAI takes a holistic approach where the entire community gets involved to create a learning culture. ASAI has assisted a large number of schools in Indiana but is ready to take its program to the national level. They hired us to create a distinct visual identity and develop a marketing strategy, including (eventually) to overhaul their Web presence.

What distinguishes the ASAI process from competitors’ is not just its positive results, but the way the process itself includes all aspects of the community. Our logo design captures the joy and togetherness of the ASAI process through multiple dynamic figures (created by illustrator Jim Johnson). Showing multiple figures where no particular person is “tops” communicates the “everybody wins” aspect of the ASAI process. The dynamism of the figures is grounded by the professional and warm color palette. We chose ITC Flora for the typeface, picking up on the fluid nature of the figures while retaining just the right amount of structure. We also developed the tagline to communicate ASAI’s holistic approach that begins with a visioning process and achieves great results. We created business cards, letterhead, and envelopes printed on recycled-content paper with a smooth finish and crisp feel. We’re now in the planning process for the site design.

View the identity system designed by Design