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Published by Jane Cirigliano , October 31st, 2014

Terrified Marketing ProfessionalIn honor of Halloween, here are some scary marketing statistics.

 
79% of your leads will never convert to customers (Hubspot)
Lead nurturing is an art. Find out what information your prospects need, and speak right to their pain points. Aid your efforts with marketing automation programs that prequalify prospects for follow up.
 
 
By 2020, 85% of your customers will complete their purchases without ever interacting with a human (Gartner Predicts)
Learning how your prospects make buying decisions has never been more important. Automated customer experiences through email marketing, social media, ecommerce, retargeted ads, and more will drive sales in the future. Personalize your content to target buyers as they move through your sales process and interact with your brand.
 
 
In 2012, there were 6 times as many display ads served up to website visitors as there were pages on the internet (Hubspot)
The information overload that customers experience on a daily basis has trained them to tune out ads. Even if you are reaching your perfect demographic through advertising efforts, it doesn’t mean that your message will resonate.
 
 
63% of consumers need to hear your message 3-5 times before it registers (Hubspot)
With all of the clutter out there, consistency and reach are key. Your brand message must be clearly defined and presented methodically across multiple marketing channels. Reach your customers where they are instead of waiting for them to come to you.
 
 
75% of consumers don’t go beyond the first page of search results (Hubspot)
Search engine optimization and content optimization are more critical now than ever before. Develop and invest in a content marketing strategy to ensure that you can be found in the deluge of information available to your potential customers.
 
 
A product recommendation from a friend is up to 50 times more likely to trigger a sale than a recommendation from a stranger (Hubspot)
While customer reviews are highly valuable, finding your brand champions and leveraging them on social media, blogs and other new media can have a larger impact.
 
 
If you are having marketing nightmares, contact Bill White for a solution.
 
 
 
 
Published by Bill White , October 23rd, 2014
Media coverage of the Ebola virus is hard to ignore and has filled many in this country with fear. The scale has been tipped greatly in favor of the negative. We hope to help spread some positive encouragement by applauding three of our clients who are stepping up and contributing to the Ebola response.
 
mobile Ebola waste treatment unit by STI BioSAFE
 
STI BioSAFE (Brownsburg, IN) has developed a mobile unit for Ebola waste treatment that is fully automated and can be transported in the back of a tractor trailer. (pictured above)
 
Rockland Immunochemicals Inc.(Boyertown, PA) has developed a purified immunoglobulin protein for use as a control in experiments to produce an Ebola vaccine.
 
Drug Discovery News (Rocky River, OH) has been reporting on the Ebola virus response since the publication's first issue in 2005.
 
We are pleased to be working with these companies who are making a difference.
 
 
 
 
Published by Abby Spung , October 16th, 2014
Abby SpungInfographic: an invented term that smashes together the words information and graphic that is thrown about these days like overused slang.
 
Incidentally, my computer is red lining this word, because even it doesn’t identify it as a real word in our language.
 
Nonetheless, everybody seems to want an infographic, whether they need one or not.  They are so popular that knockoffs have become rampant, diluting the value and reputation of this visual tool – which makes the need to better define them all the more important.
 

Defining an Infographic

The meaning of the word is a bit elusive. After all, it’s natural to treat it like a compound word whereby you combine the meaning of two separate words to arrive at a new meaning, like campground (a ground or area in which you camp) or blackboard (a board or surface that is black). Hence, it seems the definition would be information that is expressed graphically. But wait, isn’t that what graphic design is—communicating information using a strategic collective and application of graphical elements such as type, color, image, and so on? Well yes. So what’s an infographic then?
 
Perhaps it would be best to suggest to you that infographic is a noun, a thing whose purpose is data visualization—communicating complex information in a readily digestible way. The operative word here being readily. We all know people process visual information or images quicker than words. If that wasn’t the case, the cliché “a picture is worth a thousand words” would have never caught on. The point at which the picture takes too much effort to process, or understand, is when it’s surpassed its value as a visual aid.
 

Why Defining Infographics Matters

Clarifying what infographics, or data visualizations, are accomplishes two things.
  1. It helps those of you who, as of the last decade, have been repeatedly asking for an infographic from your creative team, art department or resident graphic guru understand what one is and decide if you really need one.
  2. It offers some insight and reassurance to those of you who often find yourself cocking your head and furrowing a brow while trying to decode what looks like a cross between the women’s restroom sign and the nutritional panel of a cereal box—which, by the way, is an infographic.
Why do I care? I believe you should get what you ask for, understand what you’re looking at, and be able to appreciate the intellectual effort and creative discipline it takes to turn an abundance of typically boring statistical data into a succinct, stealthy and very valuable visual.  When done correctly, infographics are beautiful components and tools for reaching your audience, and delivering your value proposition.
 
Is your infographic providing clarity or adding noise? Asking yourself these questions is a good way to find out.
  1. Does it communicate complex data in a simple and easy-to-read manner?
  2. Is it primarily graphical / visual or are you doing more reading? (Bar and pie charts don’t count.)
  3. Is the information of value to your intended audience – does it captivate them?
  4. Is the imagery, color, and treatment relative to your message or brand?
 
Here are three articles that I like and find to be additionally insightful on this highly overused term and its application that you may also enjoy.
 
 
What has your experience with infographics been like? Add your comments below or contact Abby Spung to discuss infographics further.
 
 
 
 
Published by Rebecca Miller, October 9th, 2014
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, you’re probably aware of the widespread adoption of mobile apps that continues to increase as the number of mobile device owners increases. Pew Internet Project research indicates that, as of January 2014, 58 percent of Americans have a smart phone, 42 percent have a tablet, and 32 percent have an e-reader. But mobile device ownership isn’t the only thing that’s changing.
 
Mobile device users are spending more time on apps than they do on mobile browsers. And we’re not talking a little bit more. According to Forbes, users spent 86 percent of their mobile internet time on apps, leaving 14 percent of that time to browsing. Given this large shift in behavior, many mobile marketers are asking whether they should develop an app for their business, some even considering doing away with having websites that are mobile compatible altogether. Before jumping to any conclusions (or premature app development), consider the following.
 
 

App popularity results from functionality and practicality, not the app itself.

It seems evident that mobile users favor apps, but is that what the statistic here is really saying? Let’s look at the data. The trend that emerges here revolves around lifestyles. Mobile users are downloading and using quality apps that naturally fit into their everyday lives – social networks, entertainment, communication, etc.— not just any app because it’s an app. People gravitate to the apps that appear here because they are quicker, mobile friendlier ways of doing what they already do on a regular basis. So before developing an app make sure it fits this criteria. Just don’t expect to compete with the likes of Facebook and YouTube.
 
 
Top Apps Used
(Publishers: Ditch your apps; focus on mobile Web, Digiday)
 

People use their devices for more than apps.

While apps have a large share of users' time, it's important to note that when users aren't checking their social, watching videos and playing games, which is approximately 70 percent of the 86 percent of time spent on apps, they are engaged in other mobile activities. According to Nielson's 2013 mobile consumer report, 86 percent of smart phone owners are texting, 75 percent are checking their email, and 82 percent are browsing the web. Speaking of browsing the web, did you notice which app holds the number four spot in the chart above? Google Search. Mobile web browsing is definitely still taking place, which means -- app or no app-- you need to have a website that is welcoming to mobile users and converts. This is also important for those who are clicking through your emails and viewing your website on their device.

 

Apps aren't for everybody.

As with all things, apps have their pros and cons. The bottom line is that not all businesses can benefit from an app, and there isn't a black and white, B2B or B2C answer to tell which ones are. Here are a few questions to ask yourself that can help you decide.
 
1. How much am I willing to spend?
If you aren't prepared to spend five digits, an app probably isn't for you. Especially, if you don't have a quality mobile or responsive website in place already. If you would like your app to be used on devices of different operating systems, you'll need to make more room in your budget. If you hope to make your app available through Apple's store, your app must be approved and you have to pay an annual membership fee.
 
2. What will the function of my app be?
As stated earlier, the point of an app is to make a task that your customer does on a regular basis easier. If your app doesn't, customers won't download it and certainly won't use it. If your app does, however, it provides excellent grounds for branding and strengthening customer relationships. Here are some great B2B app ideas from HubSpot to get you started in the right direction.
 
3. What is the goal of my app?
Apps can be used virtually anywhere in the sales cycle, whether you’re generating or nurturing leads, or building customer loyalty. Just make sure you are mindful of which you are trying to accomplish. During the development stage, you need to be just as intentional in defining the value your app will provide you. After all, what’s the benefit of creating an app that doesn’t help you in some way?
 
 
Always keep in mind that apps are just that, applications. Automatically, they are more limited than your website, because they are only meant to carry out a single or specific set of functions. One day, something might come along that replaces websites, but that day isn’t today, and apps are not the solution. A thoughtfully developed app, however, could supplement your mobile customers' experiences greatly and generate a positive ROI.
 
 
If you would like to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of apps, or would like to discuss app possibilities for your business contact Jane Cirigliano or Bill White at 1-800-606-1610.
 
 
 
 
 
Published by Bill White , October 2nd, 2014
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
 
It’s October. We painted a splash page on our website for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
 
I don’t care for pink. I’m not much into causes. So, as far as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I surely don’t need it to remind me of this insidious disease anymore. Every month is Breast Cancer Awareness month in our family.
 
This year I view breast cancer differently. For me, it is an excursion from one reality into a new one, a test of faith and resolve, a trial of patience, an affirmation of commitment, a clash of wills to avoid the negative while focusing on the positive and, in my case, something of immense curiosity.
 
It’s been 20 months since my wife was diagnosed. It was Valentine’s Day 2013. It wasn’t dramatic – or didn’t seem so at the time. You have this lump, the biopsy confirmed that it’s a carcinoma, we’ll take it out, check lymph nodes, and go from there. For her, it wasn’t a mystery. After all, she is a UCLA-educated radiation therapy technologist, she treated Hollywood celebrities at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, worked as a civilian in the oncology department at Walter Reed Medical Center, worked and instructed at UNC, Chapel Hill, and helped open two cancer centers in Ohio. She knew the drill.
 
Where we live we are fortunate to have a first-class treatment facility at The Strecker Cancer Center, associated with The Memorial Health System. It’s just three blocks from our house; we could have walked to chemo. Imagine having one of America’s great oncologists sitting in your family room, petting the dog and drawing pictures of cell surfaces and antigens, the same girl who grew up down the street, used to babysit our kids on occasion, and went off to Ohio State and to OSU Medical School to earn her angel’s wings. We were in good hands.
 
My wife had surgery on St. Patrick’s Day. She started chemo on April Fool’s Day, finished radiation almost a year later. For the better part of 2013 every Monday was Groundhog Day. Chemo. Nap. Dinner. Wine. She was rarely sick.
 
For a guy, this business of breast cancer is a strange netherworld, somewhere between marketing happy hour at Hooter’s and an intimate understanding of how receptors agitated by HER2 gene expressions are inhibited by a monoclonal antibody produced by Genentech, a company that works closely with one of our former clients. What was abstract is now personal. What was hypothetical is now an experience others are confronting today. What was frightening and uncertain is now a haze of chemo and radiation memories, her on an IV, me on an iPad.
 
All of which brings me back to work. Many of our clients are engaged in medical research at the most fundamental level. The medical and drug discovery media we monitor on their behalf serve up daily progress reports, much like this one. We know that breast cancer is deceptive, elusive, potentially deadly, disruptive and, as we are learning, treatable and curable. The products and services our clients make and sell have a direct bearing on how medical researchers -  molecular biologists, scientists deep into genomics and proteomics, even statisticians – select and invest in tools and technologies to improve their efficiency.
 
That’s why we take our work so personally. It is one attribute that differentiates OffWhite as a technology marketing company. What we do for our clients truly makes a difference to people all over the world. There is no “business as usual” in our office. There is no “wordsmithing." We get behind the technologies fighting cancer and other diseases, we understand them, isolate and identify their benefits and serve up a contextual understanding of best choices to researchers with starved budgets who must make that last contribution from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the American Cancer Society or your local 5K fundraiser stretch as far as possible.
 
As we shepherd our technology clients through business marketing plans much like an October corn maze, we assure them that we won’t spend their money twice. We think our way into their markets and offer real value to their customers who, in turn, will have more money to spend on research.
 
At OffWhite, we didn’t need my experience to validate what we’ve always done for our clients. But we did use it to give ourselves an extra measure of empathy. Now that we have it, we rededicate our firm – our skills and talents – to seeking out the best client companies we can find, and working hand-in-hand with them, we will bring the benefits of their products and services to a market in search of a cure for cancer, multiple sclerosis, heart disease and many others..
 
What we do at OffWhite matters where it counts. At home.
 
 
 
 
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Offenberger & White, Inc. (OffWhite) is an integrated marketing solutions company based in Marietta, Ohio, USA.
 
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