Emojis are not for every brand. Here's why.

Emojis are taking over e-mail subject lines everywhere. 

A study by Appboy finds that the volume of “active customer messaging campaigns that include emojis” grew by 609 percent in just one year (June 2015-June 2016).

And why not? Most people like emojis, according to the same research. Sixty-four percent said they like or even love emojis. But that doesn’t translate into liking/loving the brands that apply emojis liberally.

Of the 540 participants in the Appboy survey, 39 percent said brands that use emojis are fun; another 13 percent said the brands are relatable. The balance, however, found messages with emojis to be at best “normal” and at worst “childish” or “inappropriate.”

This tracks with research published in Social Psychological and Personality Science that considered how consumers react to a smiling face versus a smiley face.  What they found should give you pause before punctuating your next email campaign with an emoji.

Researchers discovered that people who smile are perceived as more competent than those who wear a neutral face—whether live and in person, or in a photo. But people who use smiley emojis are seen as less competent. 

This is especially true for work-related e-mails.

"The study also found when the participants were asked to respond to e-mails on formal matters, their answers were more detailed and they included more content-related information when the e-mail did not include a smiley,” said lead author Ella Glikson. "We found that the perceptions of low competence if a smiley is included in turn undermined information sharing" (Telegraph.co.uk, Aug. 14, 2017).

So, when is it okay for a brand to use an emoji?

Emojis aren’t made to be taken seriously. The Appboy study said as much (39 percent of respondents said brands that use them are “fun”). So, if you’re a light-hearted brand, say in the food and beverage business, travel and tourism or entertainment industry, an emoji may be just the right amount of cowbell for your campaign.

Some channels are more emoji worthy, according to the Appboy research. Survey participants were most open to receiving brand messages with emojis via text message (37 percent) or social media (28 percent) rather than through messaging apps, email or push notifications. Consider this sweet text from Baskin-Robbins. Now that’s fun.

Weekly Recap - September 15, 2017

Girl power! How a small statue rocked the advertising world. Not just Millennials. One-third of the U.S. population cares about company reputation. One-click ordering is the answer. Quick and painless checkouts could mean billions for retailers. Want to get the most out of your video campaigns? Contextual targeting may help improve your reach.

DETAILS, Please

Fearless Girl stole the world’s heart and brought this company millions in free marketing. The iconic girl standing opposite to Wall Street’s Charging Bull created a social media storm, but the marketing campaign had a deeper purpose. Don’t miss these insights from the campaign’s creators.

‘Corpsumers’ care as much about a brand’s values as its products. Millennials, high-earners, and parents seem to agree. Check out these stats from MWWPR to see how ethics affect consumer  buying decisions.

How the end of Amazon’s ‘1-Click’ patent will change web-wide checkouts. Before Prime, the simplicity of checking out was a huge component of Amazon loyalty. Now, retailers all over the web may start implementing simplified purchasing.

When it comes to marketing on YouTube, context is key. Consumers seeking out and watching certain content provides distinct signals about what they may be interested in buying. Here’s how to use those signals to reach the "unknown" demographic.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Skinny websites, snackable content and more from Digital Summit Detroit. Digital Summit Detroit 2017 delivered. In less than two days, the conference covered all means of email, content, website and mobile trends. Lots for marketers to consider and capitalize upon. A few highlights we just had to share. 

THE Topic of conversation

Millennials. Discover who Millennials are, why it’s important to market to them, and how you can increase brand loyalty and engagement. Download our free whitepaper “8 Rules of Marketing to Millennials.”

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Weekly Recap - September 8, 2017

Got data? Here’s how LinkedIn has become THE place for business-to-business digital marketing. Gens X, Y and Z all agree on this. Check out these stats from Influenster to see how women of all ages feel about branded content. Don’t mess with Texas. Matthew McConaughey uses the classic tagline to bring attention to hurricane relief. Price cuts aren’t always enough. Here’s how brands are attempting to build loyalty and compete with Amazon.

DETAILS, Please

Here’s how LinkedIn changed to become a hot social network. It’s not just somewhere to put your digital resume. Over the last two years, LinkedIn has evolved to become an essential marketing tool for reaching an executive audience.

How and where women prefer interacting with branded content. No surprise here - women of all ages tend to dislike branded content that is political. They prefer authenticity and entertainment.

The Ad Council and Matthew McConaughey join Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The storm may be over, but the clean-up has only just begun. Here’s how the ad industry made a formal effort to aid hurricane victims.

Amazon cuts Whole Foods prices by as much as 43 percent. On its first day owning the grocery chain, Amazon marked down many items and suggested there’s more to come. To survive, other brands need to create human connection and build loyalty.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Why longer sales cycles make for happier consumers.  Impulsive buyers may seem like a marketer’s dream. Theirs is more of a buyer’s jaunt than a journey. But as tempting as carpe diem consumers may be, they come with a lot more buyer’s remorse, according to CEB Iconoculture research.

THE Topic of conversation

Authenticity - Authenticity. Discover which brands are getting real and how to market authenticity across genders, generations and ethnic groups. Download our free whitepaper “3 Rules to Creating an Authentic Brand.”

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Healthcare Checkup - September 2017

Highlights here on how Hurricane Harvey is bringing out the best in healthcare workers, brands and doctors. Plus new healthcare social media insights, Ad Block strategies, and telltale signs of website demise.

VITAMIN B&P.

6 healthcare social media insights, with tips. Are you working in the world of healthcare social media? Here’s the perfect prescription for your digital properties. Just scan these six insights.  

5 doc training tips on patient-centered care. Did you know doctors wait an average of only 18 seconds before interrupting patients? Learn tips on understanding their mindset, physician empathy training and more to improve patient experience.

MARKETING SUPPLEMENTS.

Why the worst disasters can bring out the best in brands. While SE Texas begins its long recovery from hurricane devastation, one furniture store has transformed two of its locations into temporary housing for victims. Brands big and small can excel in a crisis, adding depth to consumer relationships.

Ad Block isn’t as scary as you think. Truth is, it’s manageable and even beneficial for marketers and consumers alike.

8 signs your website is past its prime. Time is not kind to websites. In the course of a year or even months, a high performing site can be dealt brutal blows that negatively impact results. Take a hard look at your site for telltale signs of aging.

INDUSTRY PULSE.

Hurricane Harvey and how you can help. Special message from AHA President & CEO Rick Pollack on the around-the-clock response of hospitals and health systems.

5 ways virtual doctors can help during a natural disaster. Harvey puts the importance of telemedicine in a whole new light. See it from the eyes of this Houston virtual medical physician determined to help the stranded.

Less than 1 in 10 healthcare organizations treat consumer expectation as a “high priority.” New Kaufman Hall study points to five key insights around healthcare consumer-based strategies.

MONTHLY DOSE.

Looking to market to all generations but don’t have the budget? Not a problem. There’s one common denominator across each audience. Can you guess what it is? Download our free guide, How to market healthcare to all generations, to learn more.

Weekly Recap - September 1, 2017

Faith in humanity restored. Here’s what brands are doing to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Sick of seeing fake news on social media? Facebook is, too. Are you guilty of email overload? Check out these stats from Adobe to see what consumers think of email promotions. Thumbnails are more important than you think. Follow this advice to help your videos get the attention they deserve.

DETAILS, Please

Here’s how brands are helping the Texas communities affected by Hurricane Harvey. Hurricane Harvey hit Texas last weekend, leaving thousands without food and shelter. Airbnb, AT&T, Chobani and many others stepped up to show support in different ways.

Facebook blocks pages that spread fake news from advertising. After the 2016 election, Facebook faced criticism for its part in allowing misinformation to spread. Now, pages that repeatedly share false stories will be banned from buying ads.                   

Consumers want emails from brands to be more informative and less promotional. Is your brand sending too many emails? 50% of consumers find excessive email offers annoying.

Video influencers share their best tips for creating viral content. This couple used their channel as an experiment to see what works with and against YouTube’s algorithms. Here’s their advice on video lengths, promoting content and choosing thumbnails.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Why the worst disasters can bring out the best in brands. When tragedy strikes, many brands are quick to respond. And it’s paying off big time.

5 doc training tips on patient-centered care. In the world of healthcare marketing, doctors are a central part of the market mix. But while your Patient Experience Department is all abuzz about patient-centered care and improved patient experience, are your doctors on board with that?

THE Topic of conversation

Communicating with Visuals - Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

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Weekly Recap - August 18, 2017

The FOMO is real. Your vacation photos on Instagram could be influencing others’ booking decisions. It’s not easy to stand out in someone’s inbox. Use these tips to grab your consumers’ attention. Black is the new black. Black packaging is no longer reserved solely for luxury items. Do you consider your pet to be part of your family? Millennials want customization, convenience, and quality for their fur-babies.

DETAILS, Please

These are the images travelers share most on social media. Olapic’s data highlights what factors motivate travelers to create content on behalf of a brand.

29 e-mail subject lines that increase open and response rates. Not sure what to put in your e-mail subject line? The best subject lines are creative, interest-provoking, and informative.    

Why more packaging should be black, and why it’s so easy to get it wrong. If used carefully, black packaging can help products stand out from the competition.

44 percent of Millennials see their pets as starter children, and that’s a big opportunity for brands. Marketers believe the perception of pets has changed with this generation, and they can capitalize on that animals-as-kids perspective.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

Marketing vasectomies with bros and beer. Vasectomy is more effective, cheaper and safer than female sterilization. That’s why it’s the preferred choice for birth control in many countries like Canada and the U.K. But not the U.S. But marketing may change that.

Sex may be memorable but does it sell? Consumers remember sexy ads, but they’re fuzzy on the details—like product and brand. What does this mean for brands?

THE Topic of conversation

Millennials. Discover who Millennials are, why it’s important to market to them, and how you can increase brand loyalty and engagement. Download our free whitepaper “8 Rules of Marketing to Millennials.”

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Weekly Recap - August 11, 2017

Self-promotion is tough, but these artists are using Patreon to make it easier. You’ve heard of ad block, but it may soon find a permanent spot on the internet. Gulp, said marketers everywhere. That’s a story for later. Google is planting its own stories on the internet. Is it working? Apple has officially joined Instagram, and its “shot on an iPhone” campaign definitely is.

DETAILS, Please

Inside Patreon, the economic engine of internet culture. It’s the latest turn in the never-ending cycle of ways people have funded “free” art, from federal grants to corporate sponsorships to, most recently, impression-based advertising.

Google stars testing Chrome’s built-in ad blocker. Google is planning to introduce a built-in ad blocker for its Chrome browser next year.

Short stories are popping up in Google ads all over the internet. Each year, Matchbook asks for short story submissions and then circulates them online through Google’s Ad words program.

The flagship Apple brand has finally joined Instagram. Apple extends the “Shot on iPhone” campaign to the social media giant.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

6 healthcare social media insights, with tips. That’s why it’s important to keep a pulse on what’s happening now, and what’s expected to happen next.

Ad Block isn’t as scary as you think. Truth is, it’s manageable and even beneficial for marketers and consumers alike.

THE Topic of conversation

Instagram - Instagram. Learn how your business can use Instagram to build brand awareness and increase engagement. Download our free whitepaper "Why your business should be marketing on Instagram."

SHARING is CARING

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6 healthcare social media insights, with tips.

6 healthcare social media insights, with tips.

Across every industry, social media is different – and it’s always changing. Content that works well for a financial services brand? It might not perform for a hospital. And over time, it might not perform at all. That’s why it’s important to keep a pulse on what’s happening now, and what’s expected to happen next.

Are you working in the world of healthcare social media? We’ve got the perfect prescription for your digital properties. Just scan these six insights, then get some quick tips to implement. 

  1. Social can give a skewed picture to hopeful patients. Since its inception, social media has been a way for people to share their experiences and connect with those who have similar stories. For people with health issues, social media has also become a way to find solidarity—talking openly about physicians, conditions, symptoms and treatments. However, as patients turn to friends in these virtual communities, they’re often left with a sense of false hope. Because due to social media’s unregulated nature, many unverified and overly optimistic comments are made. And if it’s a solution that doesn’t work for someone, it can lead to disappointment, frustration and even bad decision-making.
    • Tip: Knowing this information, be cautious of what your brand posts to social media. Things like DIY treatments, news of new drugs and miraculous recovery stories could deflate your fans’ morale. Before you post anything, make sure you research the source, question the credibility and consult one of your healthcare experts.
       
  2. YouTube is the place for videos both fun and fundamental. Believe it or not, YouTube is now the second-largest search engine, and it’s second only to Google. Every day, people watch this channel for hundreds of millions of hours, and together, they generate billions of views. When it comes specifically to the healthcare industry, short videos are a strong concept, and they’re one of the fastest growing. Information offered in a quick snippet makes for a piece of content that’s engaging, educational and easy to share.
    • Tip: Consider a video series that can live on YouTube and be shared across other social media channels. Or, if you don’t have the resources for it, consider advertising on YouTube with video assets you already have.  
       
  3. The best employees are becoming brand advocates. No matter their role, whether house keeper or heart surgeon, every employee has the power to push your brand forward. By simply sharing a Facebook post or pressing retweet, they can help increase awareness, expand your reach and maximize your impact.
    • Tip: Encourage or incentivize employees to share your content on their social media. But just remember: You can’t force an advocacy program. Employees need to feel comfortable with their involvement, and they’ll want to make sure the content aligns with their audience. If an advocacy program is something you’re interested in pursuing, try starting with a social media guide to help employees understand what you do on each channel and how they can help. If you want to take it one step further, there’s software that can streamline the process—like Hootsuite Amplify.
       
  4. Show, don’t tell. For so long, social media was a resource to spread the word about events and experiences. But with so many advancements, it’s now a place where you can make people a part of them—even when they’re not physically there. Through 360° photos and videos, and even live video, brands can create a virtual reality for fans.
    • Tip: The next time you have a major event on the calendar, consider some social media support. Not only can you promote in advance to increase the number of people in attendance. You can also include an asset that will make others feel like they’re really there.   
       
  5. Consumers want content that’s beautiful by nature. According to Forbes, practical posts get a lot of attention. Emotional posts have a greater likelihood of going viral. But it’s the inspirational and imaginative posts that are the strongest candidates for social media success.
    • Tip: Consider a few pieces of content without any kind of company positioning. Try a few posts that are artistic and aesthetically-pleasing, with beautiful images or sentiments.
       
  6. Investments will generate impressions. Today, less than 1 percent of your Facebook fans will see the content you post, and Facebook isn’t the only channel where this is an issue. Algorithm updates are constantly reducing your reach, and even when a post makes it to a feed, it’s competing with other clutter.
    • Tip: The best way to break through and beat the algorithm is to build a social media budget. Every channel has its own ad units to choose from, and you can decide how much you’re willing to invest. Obviously, the more money you’re able to put behind a paid post, the more impressions you’ll earn. And along with impressions, you’ll also get detailed insights so you can easily analyze your ad’s performance. 

Stay up to date with all the healthcare happenings, all year long. Subscribe to our monthly Healthcare Checkup today.

Weekly Recap - August 4, 2017

Wish you could create more followers? These influencers do, and Instagram is not having it. The social network still triumphs over Snapchat, which is still finding its groove to please advertisers. Can’t beat the heat? Stay cool with expert tips to dodge the summer slump. Or snoop on the competition to learn eight stats from brands that made waves this week.

DETAILS, Please

How wannabe Instagram influencers use bots to appear popular. This cohort — whose following base typically falls in the 10,000 to 100,000 range — is most likely to turn to bots to inflate their authenticity. 

Snapchat’s ad biz has matured but is still a shiny new object for advertisers. Snapchat's ad business has matured since the start of 2016, but it has not yet proven itself as a must-buy for most marketers

Avoid the summer slump: 3 tips from growth marketing experts. No matter how skilled a marketer you are, sometimes we all get into flat-growth slumps.       

8 digital stats from last week that marketing players need to know. Check out the eight digital marketing stats this week that grabbed our attention.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

4 tips for tackling negative online patient reviews. What should a practice do when Negative Nancy spills her story online and threatens to damage your reputation? Here are a few tips.

A marketer’s guide to augmented reality [featuring the dancing hot dog]. There are hundreds of opportunities with this new technology, as there are with any idea. But how is AR marketable?

THE Topic of conversation

Communicating with Visuals - Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

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A marketer's guide to augmented reality [featuring the dancing hot dog].

A marketer's guide to augmented reality.

Whether you love, hate, or love to hate Snapchat’s dancing hot dog guy, you can’t deny that he’s popular. On July 4, one of the first dancing hot dog memes hit Twitter and has captivated consumers ever since. With plenty of videos to choose from, the #dancinghotdog is sure to brighten your work day.

A marketer's guide to augmented reality.

But yes, there is a lesson here.

What makes this little guy so successful is the blend of technology and the real world. We’ve seen several viral trends aligning with this dancing ‘dog, like Pokemon Go and other snapchat filters. What do they have in common? Augmented reality. It’s your life, your face, your backyard, but with the addition of Squirtle or CGI hotdogs that just want to dance. Really, what more could marketers ask for? This trend could promote content the same way hastags and geofenced filters do.

To throw out some examples:

  • Follow the trail. Find your way around an event by following a virtual trail.
  • Multilingual audience? What if all your signs came with virtual subtitles?
  • Got a mascot? Bring ‘em to life!
  • Virtual mirror. This would be great for any beauty or healthcare marketer. Why not show a patient’s heart or bones? Why not show a customer how good your diamond necklace compliments her eyes from the comfort of her own home.

There are hundreds of opportunities with this new technology, as there are with any idea. But is AR marketable?

A marketer's guide to augmented reality.

The audience.

For optimized AR, you need a smartphone. Luckily, 77 percent of US adults do. Great! Who uses AR? That’s harder to say, with the technology beign so new. But going off Snapchat’s demographic (the creator or our favorite hotdog) , roughly 100 million people use it a day. Who are these people? Well, as of 2016:

  • 23 percent are still in high school
  • 37 percent are 18-24
  • 26 percent are 25-34
  • 14 percent are over 35 (2 percent are Boomers)

Snapchat’s data says on an average day, 41 percent of users are 18-34. Those are some good numbers. So when it comes to AR, think of people under 35. At least for now. The technology is so addicting I predict the audience will grow.

Brand usage.

We know 77 percent of Americans have access to this technology. But how easy is it for a company to use? A lot of brands, like Ikea and Disney, are already taking advantage of AR.

Ikea is already using an AR app to test what furniture looks like in your home.

Disney has teamed up with Tesco to let Tesco customers take selfies with their favorite Frozen characters.

Apple is working on a program that would let users experience augmented reality on their Apple devices. Running on Apple A9 and A 10 processors. See their site for more info.

Summary.

AR is here, and people under 35 like it. The technology allows for both entertaining and practical purposes. Dancing hotdogs are cool. With improvements to the technology being made every day, us marketers can really relish the possibilities.

Don’t play ketchup. Keep up with the latest marketing trends with the Brogan Weekly Recap.

Blog Category: 

4 tips for tackling negative online patient reviews.

4 tips for tackling negative online patient reviews.

We’ve all been upset while waiting a little longer than expected in a waiting room. We’ve all had a negative experience, or two, with an office manager or billing specialist who didn’t make things right. We all know someone who questioned that doctor (you know, the one with the freezing hands) for disagreeing with a Google diagnosis and Google is always right, right?

It’s experiences like these that cause patients to take their anger out on their healthcare provider through online reviews. As of March 31, 2017, Yelp has had over 127 million reviews with 6 percent of those (about 762,000) being health-related reviews. An apparently, they’re well read.

According to Healthgrades and the Health Management Academy research 60 percent of Americans are reading online reviews about physicians. Millennials (75 percent), parents (71 percent) and highly-educated consumers (73 percent) are even more likely to consult online reviews.

If you haven’t yet, search one of your practices or practitioners on either Yelp or Google. If nothing comes up, lucky you! You can get ahead of the pack by establishing your own Yelp page for your practice. If something does come up, maybe it’s great, but sometimes… ouch.

So what should a practice do when Negative Nancy spills her story online and threatens to damage your reputation? Here are a few tips:

  1. Take them seriously. If you have multiple patients all saying the same thing, do something about it. For example, if you encounter multiple negative reviews about the front desk representative along the lines of “Jan at the front desk was rude, inconsiderate, and ignored me for 10 minutes as I stood there waiting to sign-in,” have a conversation with Jan. Re-train her to have better customer service skills. Create a new check-in process that doesn’t involve relying on one person. Your reviews are telling you where problematic areas may be, so look at them as an opportunity to improve.
     
  2. Don’t let one Negative Nancy ruin your day. Let’s say you have a high rating on Yelp/Google and lots of positive reviews. According to Yelp 17 percent of consumers pay attention to the quantity of positive reviews you have versus the amount of negative commentary. If one Negative Nancy posts a poor review, message that person privately and apologize – even if it wasn’t your fault. Choosing to apologize to the dissatisfied patient and letting her know she has been heard and acknowledged might just solve your problem. She might even give you a second chance.
     
  3. Respond when appropriate. Online reviewers just want to be heard. If Positive Polly is showing you lots of love, thank her. It can only make her image of you more positive which might influence other users. Approximately 90 percent of users on Yelp say positive reviews are their main deciding factor to influence their buying decisions, or in this case, choosing your practice. If a Negative Nancy is referencing a time of day where you know your practice was super busy and short-staffed, apologize and explain how hard your employees were working to see everyone as efficiently as possible while providing the most compassionate care. If a positive or negative review clearly states the patient’s name either in their actual review or in their profile display name, respond privately. Responding publicly may violate HIPPA and no one wants that, or to be safe, consult a legal advisor to help you determine the most appropriate response.
     
  4. Be proactive. Today’s healthcare consumers are shouldering much more of the costs associated with their care. Copays and high premiums have a way of making long waits and lack of urgency all the more excruciating. Take stock of your office operations with an eye on the patient experience. Are they being nurtured and cared for at the same level that you would demand for your own family? Work with your team to map out an efficient and thorough patient journey. Good reviews will certainly follow.

For more on managing user generated content, see Critical resource or just critical? Tips for docs to deal with Yelp’s fortified UGC.

Weekly Recap - July 21, 2017

Amazon has officially started a supermarket war. With its recent purchase of Whole Foods, the online behemoth and Walmart are on a mission to take over the grocery industry—brick and mortar and online. Does your brand have a proper mission? Promote it in video to build loyalty. Your brand too can be a YouTube star with these pointers. Maybe even connect with Gen-Z.

DETAILS, Please

Amazon to buy Whole Foods for $13.4 billion. A deal that will instantly transform the company that pioneered online shopping into a merchant with physical outposts in hundreds of neighborhoods across the country.

12 truly inspiring company vision and mission statement examples. Often, the reason we stay loyal to brands is because of their values. The best brands strive to combine physical, emotional, and logical elements into one exceptional customer- and employee- experience.

7 vital elements of a successful YouTube video. YouTube is a marketer’s paradise. The statistics are mind blowing.

Move over Millennials, Gen-Z is now the largest single population segment. According to Nielsen’s new Total Audience report, Millennials and Gen-Z now comprise 48 percent of the total media audience.

Meanwhile, back at the RANCH

5 stats about marketing to Baby Boomers. With a median household income of $40,581, Millennials earn 20 percent less than their Boomer parents did at the same age.

How banks and credit unions can connect to Gen We.  Just because a kid has a bank account, it doesn’t mean she knows how to manage it.

THE Topic of conversation

Communicating with Visuals - Visual communication. Did you know that 93 percent of communication is visual? Amplify your marketing and discover how your brand can communicate visually. Download our latest free guide, "Communicating with Visuals."

SHARING is CARING

Like what you see? Share the Brogan Recap.

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  • Brogan & Partners has worked on a wide variety of health issues for us over the years. They have not only consistently provided innovative ideas and award winning campaigns, but they continue to help us work towards our overall goal of improving the health of Michigan residents.  Their creativity, expertise, and enthusiasm makes them an invaluable partner in our... More

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  • When launching a startup, resources are very constrained and a startup has to pick its partners very carefully and with deliberation. There were many services that we have had to forego in the early stages of our company, Memloom. One crucial need, however, was identifying and aligning with a strong marketing partner who could help us with our brand, positioning and... More

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