Now Hiring – Web Designer/Front-End Developer

Maclyn Group is a boutique creative agency in the western suburbs. We create and communicate powerful, timeless brands through traditional, social and interactive media. We design, strategize and deliver integrated marketing—always with an eye for communicating the real story.

We need a web designer to help us tell that story. If you are a brilliant web-head with a knack for crafting digital beauty, we should talk.

Our web designer will be mind-blowingly adept at:

  • Design and execution of websites, digital ads, landing pages, email templates, presentations and other web concepts for kickass marketing initiatives
  • Concepting and creating intuitive, engaging, and brand-consistent web experiences, staying current on evolving design and implementation practices

Things you need to start the conversation:

  • A quiet confident cool as it pertains to standard compliant web design tools, including WordPress, HTML, and CSS (PHP a plus)
  • Knowledge of and experience with responsive design
  • Have an eye for typography, palette development, intuitive layout, and a pixel-level attention to detail
  • Experience with cross platform browser compatibility testing
  • Knowledge of email marketing best practices

Things that will help you get in the door:

  • History with hospitality, beer and restaurant brands, B2B experience is a plus, but not mandatory
  • A collaborative attitude and a passion for the work
  • An honest work ethic

Please submit your cover letter, resume, portfolio, creative philosophy, and salary requirements to careers@maclyngroup.com.

 

Maclyn Group Hires New Creative Director

Jay Paonessa
Jay Paonessa, Maclyn Group creative director

Lisle, Ill. – Creative communications agency Maclyn Group in Lisle, Ill. is proud to announce the hiring of Jay Paonessa as creative director.

Paonessa joins Maclyn Group from Leo Burnett Group, where he served as a creative director at Arc Worldwide for the past five years. He brings more than 16 years of award-winning experience that includes creative work on a variety of brands including Intel, PayPal, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, United, Ted, Citibank, McDonald’s, MillerCoors and Coca Cola. Paonessa’s creative work has earned numerous awards including Golds and Best in Shows in the Addy’s, Reggies and Globes.

“My philosophy is to never create without the Idea. Beautiful art direction and witty copywriting is nothing without the Idea — the magic that connects customers to our brands. Historically, my creative teams and I make award-winning work that pushes beyond the scope of a brief, because challenging preconceived ideas in unique and uncanny ways bring people to brands,” Paonessa said. “Maclyn Group is already a exceptional boutique creative agency, and I am excited for the opportunity to bring my knowledge and ideas to directly affect the work we do for our clients.”

“Over the last seven years Maclyn Group has delivered outstanding creative and a diverse portfolio of timeless B2B and B2C brands in the Chicagoland area. We believe that hiring Jay will elevate our creative agency even further,” said Bill Murphy, Maclyn Group agency principal. “We are excited about where our agency can go with Jay’s creative direction.”

Paonessa’s responsibilities will include immediately immersing himself into Maclyn Group’s client creative strategy, leading their creative department and overseeing the quality of their final creative work.

About Maclyn Group

Maclyn Group is a boutique creative communications agency located in the Western suburbs of Chicago with a client base ranging from national icons to local start-ups. The award-winning agency is recognized for creating and communicating powerful, timeless brands through traditional, social and interactive media.

Media Contact:
Maclyn Group
Bill Murphy
630-852-2057
whoareyou@maclyngroup.com

Marketing Agency Maclyn Group lands contracts for new websites for DuPage Airport Authority, DuPage Flight Center and Prairie Landing Golf Club

Lisle, Ill. — Creative marketing agency, Maclyn Group, has been awarded contracts to re-design three websites for DuPage Airport Authority, DuPage Flight Center and Prairie Landing Golf Club, all located in West Chicago, Ill.

Bill Murphy, Maclyn Group agency principal, is excited for his team to begin work on the project. “We are proud to be awarded this contract. The DuPage Airport Authority is a first-class organization, and our team is looking forward to enhancing their web presence. We will deliver an exceptional design, enhanced with a highly functional desktop and mobile compatible website.”

The DuPage Airport Authority owns and operates the DuPage Airport in West Chicago, Ill. The airport primarily accommodates general aviation traffic, with a focus on the high-end business, corporate and general aviation users in West Chicago and DuPage County. The airport is among the best general aviation airports in the country and is a primary designated reliever airport to nearby O’Hare International Airport and Chicago Midway International Airport.

Located on the airport grounds, DuPage Flight Center is Chicagoland’s premier fixed base operation with four runways, on-site U.S. Customs, restaurant and catering, and it hosts more than 90-thousand sq. ft. of premium hangar space.

Prairie Landing Golf Club is also located just off of the airport and is a unique, high quality public golf experience that has been rated 4 ½ Stars by Golf Digest “Best Places to Play”.

The new, mobile-friendly, websites for the DuPage Airport Authority and DuPage Flight Center are expected to launch in January 2014; and the Prairie Landing Golf Club is slated to launch in Spring 2014.

About Maclyn Group

Maclyn Group is a boutique creative, branding and marketing agency located in the Western suburbs of Chicago with a client base ranging from national icons to local start-ups.  The award-winning agency is recognized for creating and communicating powerful, timeless brands through traditional, social and interactive media.

Media Contact:
Maclyn Group
Bill Murphy
630-852-2057
whoareyou@maclyngroup.com

View the press release on PRWeb.

Email marketing is not out, but your tactics may be.

Written by: Courtney Brown, Account Executive

There is no doubt emailing marketing has been among the most successful mediums for communication with customers in recent years. Despite speculation that this tried and true tactic may be on the down side of a peak, trends are showing signs for bright future. That is – if you are using it correctly.

The New Email

This year we saw considerable innovation in email application offerings – apps released, including Apple’s Mailbox, are as efficient and – well, cool as ever. With this renewed energy, it’s a better time than ever for marketers to take advantage of their lists. The landscape however, has drastically changed. Before developing your next email marketing campaign, there are a few things to consider:

  • Consumers are becoming increasingly disengaged with the “message to the masses”. They are expecting email content to be tailored to their own interests, behaviors and trends. Try to segment your lists as much as possible – take a look at 3-5 target market segments you may have, and divide them accordingly. It may be 3-5 times the work to build different campaigns, but in the end you’ll see the return through increased engagement.
  • People are reading their emails on the go – and so should you. Studies continue to show significant increases in the number of emails read on mobile devices. Chances are you proof your email campaigns before hitting send, but if you aren’t testing them on your smart phone as well you could be missing out. Marketing Sherpa reported that email campaigns tailored to mobile marketing experienced a 53% increase in click-thru rates.
  • Know your audience. More importantly, know when they want to hear from you. Increase email campaigns to those with the highest engagement, and decrease to your unengaged audience. Note that Tuesdays and Thursdays are, typically speaking, days with the highest email volume. The hours of Noon – 4 pm have the highest open rates. Test different parts of your list to find out what days and times have the highest open rates for your company, and find out the sweet spot for email frequency among your different segments.

Overall, email continues to endure, despite even the most skeptical critics. The key is to develop relevant, specialized, content marketing strategies delivered to an audience both when and where they want it.

 

 

 

You Don’t Need a Tagline – You Need a Good Tagline

Written by: Ann Moss, Creative Director

Every so often, as a Creative Director, I get asked to create a quick tagline – just a little something that will tell everyone what we do. Sorry folks… to create a GOOD tagline we need to know who you are and what you really want to be for your customers. After establishing that – it’s my job as a Creative Director to bring it to life!

So, what does it take to create a good brand tagline? First, lets take a look at why you need one.

A tagline is important to branding and a key communication tool.

This is your brand promise, and communicates clearly to your customers what they can expect from your brand. We often like to divide our taglines into two groups:

  • Functional taglines clearly explain what the company does.
  • Inspirational taglines begin to speak to the brand personality and interact with the customer.

 Let’s give it a go.

For the purpose of this blog post, lets pretend our client is pencil manufacturer. They’ve been manufacturing high quality pencils since 1950. Their specialty is glow-in-the-dark yellow pencils (so you can write in the dark). The main benefits of the pencils are high quality, durability, and ability to see at night.

Examine the elements.

Let’s take a part these elements and think about what they really mean to consumers.

  • Since 1950 – that experience may resonate quality
  • Glow-in-the-Dark Pencils – that’s different
  • Manufacturer – straight from the horse’s mouth
  • Durability – a verbal guarantee

It’s important that each of these elements are brought out in a tagline – clearly communicating with your customer the information they need to lead to trust your brand.

Pencil Town

Manufacturing Long-Lasting Night Writing Pencils Since 1950

Now let’s try for an inspirational tagline. Based on our limited information, what would inspire someone to buy these? What is different about them? What is unique? What makes you feel this is a product that is worth a try? Who would use them?

  • Night Writing – who does that?—Kids!
  • Glow in the Dark – I wonder where they’re writing. Somewhere they might lose them?—In a tent, under the bed, in the back seat on a long road trip.
  • Who needs a fat, durable pencil?—Kids

Pencil Town

Manufacturing Night Writing Pencils Since 1950

Get a grip. Find ‘em in the dark. Write them under cover.

At this point in the blog post, everyone wants a night-writing pencil – c’mon!

 

 

 

 

SoLoMo (Social, Local, Mobile) Marketing

Written by: Courtney Brown, Account Executive

SoLoMo is the not-so-new-anymore world of marketing. Today’s consumers are faced with more information than ever before and use technology to help make decisions. In an earlier blog post on content marketing, we shared the example of Suzy & Jim – a young couple looking for a new restaurant to try. By generating relevant content one restaurant was able to stand out above the rest. In this blog post we are going to take a closer look at how strategies on social, local and mobile can also affect consumer-buying decisions.

 Social

Forecasts show that in 2013 and beyond website traffic is going to decline as social sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn continue to be populated with the relevant and engaging content searchers are looking to find. Additionally, the Facebook generation (or young folks) saw a decline in email usage in 2012 and is predicted to continue on that path in the future. Social sites, cloud-based document sharing solutions, chat clients, and text messages are slowly replacing traditional email use. In fact, the only demographic that saw an increase in email usage during 2012 were aged 45 and above.

Local

The emerging workforce and Millennial Generation (1980-2000) wanted it yesterday. They search for convenience, location and ease of use. Their iPhone location services are always turned on, and apps like OpenTable, Yelp and Foursquare are utilized because it tracks the users exact location, so no time is wasted on searches outside their hypothetical backyard.

Mobile

Nowadays, when you are running late to work and need a cup of coffee, chances are there is a local coffee shop with an app that will allow you to order in advance so its ready when you get there. I mean, why wait when you don’t have to?

Developing your Social, Local and Mobile marketing platforms helps you reach customers on an entirely new level – that is easy and convenient for THEM. Take a look at who your target market is, and how they get their information. Do you show up in the search?

 

The Importance of Understanding Social Media Algorithms

Written by: Courtney Brown, Account Executive

Algorithms are defined as a set of rules for solving a problem in a finite number of steps, as for finding the greatest common divisor. Translated into English, and for the purpose of understanding their role in social media, algorithms are:

The set of rules or circumstances that define usage in a social platform. The patterns we can identify that help our brand’s existence on social media platforms.

Why are social media algorithms so important for marketers to understand?

Simply put, not understanding an algorithm is like opening your car door, getting into the driver’s seat and wondering why the car isn’t moving yet. To drive, you must have basic knowledge of how and why a car functions in order to get the result you desire (the ability to move it). Putting the key in the ignition and turning it, will spark the engine and allow you to drive your car.

Similarly, setting up a profile on Facebook or Twitter without understanding the basic algorithms will get you nowhere (and no followers). While Facebook and Twitter both keep their algorithms private, we do know a few things about how each one works.

Facebook = EdgeRank

EdgeRank defines which stories appear in a users newsfeed. There are three ways to measure EdgeRank:

  • Affinity Score – how connected your brand and/or message is to the user. For example, my brother and I are frequently writing on each others Facebook Walls and we have 123 mutual friends so my Affinity Score with my brother is very high. Affinity scores are one-way; I have a different affinity score to my brother than my brother does to me.
  • Edge Weight – how valuable the action is, a comment has more edge weight to a post than a like does, same goes with a share.
  • Time Decay – how old the story is, the older it is the lower the EdgeRank.

Every time a user logs into Facebook, they see the stories with the highest EdgeRank in their newsfeed.

As a marketer, what can we do increase EdgeRank?

  • Encourage users to write on your wall and visit your page frequently. Give them reasons to do so. Ultimately, we want people to read and view our posts, because that is where we share the relevant content about our brand, but the only way they will continue to see our posts are if they view our wall.
  • Encourage sharing and commenting on posts. Tip; don’t focus on likes because it doesn’t help your Affinity Score as much as sharing and commenting does.
  • Keep a regular schedule of posts. Your audience is not always on Facebook at the same time as you. By keeping a regular schedule, you are giving them multiple opportunities to interact with your brand.

Twitter = Trends

The algorithm that defines what is “trending”on Twitter. It identifies topics that are immediately popular, rather than topics that have been popular for an extended period of time (one day is an extended period of time on Twitter). Trending topics are found on the home, discover and search pages of the site. The foundation for trending is based on two simple factors:

  • Location – topics are localized to other users (individuals or brands) in their geographic region, based on 150 worldwide locations Twitter has defined.
  • Followers – how many times the people they are following have interacted with the message.

As a marketer, what can we do to create trending topics?

  • Posts should require action. Reading an article or clicking on a link are considered interactions with a post. The more people I follow or follow me that take action with a post, the more likely that it will become a trending topic for me.
  • Encourage retweets. A user retweeting your post is like a personal endorsement of your brand. Not only will all of their followers (some of whom may not be a follower of your brand) see your post, it is a strong action. Again, the more people take action with your brand the more likely it is to trend. Developing campaigns to encourage retweeting will drive action.

Each platform is different, but understanding the basic social media algorithms will go a long way in developing your online brand and attracting the right audience.


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Identifying Your Target Market

Written by: Courtney Brown, Account Executive

Identifying your target market is the first step in building a successful marketing plan. No one can afford to target everyone. Focusing your marketing dollars on reaching the audience that is most likely to buy from you is a much more affordable and efficient way to get your message out. To identify your target market, look at your current customer base, see what your competitors are doing, perform outside research, and define specific demographics.

Case Study

In 2011, Wannemaker’s Home & Garden needed their brand repositioned in the market to reflect its 40 years of success as a family-owned and operated small business in Downers Grove, Illinois – with a reputation for variety and unusual selection. Wannemaker’s was known for freshness, vibrancy and customer service—and needed to get that message across to a targeted group of people.

How did they do it?

Look at your Current Customer Base

Look at your customers shopping in your store; identify what types of businesses tend to buy your product or service. For Wannemaker’s Home & Garden taking a look at their current customer base meant identifying who came through their checkout lines, who had signed up for their email list, and who was ordering products. They found that their typical customer lived within 15 miles, owned their own homes, and were aged 35-65.

See what your Competitors are Doing

Not only is this the best way to spark creative ideas, but often times competitors are a mirror of ourselves. Don’t just look to your direct competitor down the street – look at like businesses that geographically can’t compete with you. For Wannemaker’s, we looked for locally owned garden centers nationwide known for the same differentiators as them – family-owned, quality and unique products. Identifying your competitors target market helps provide you with a comparison and benchmark in identifying your own.

Perform Outside Research

Doing market research doesn’t always mean spending large amounts of money hiring experts, conducting focus groups, or performing large-scale surveys. For Wannemaker’s, we stopped 50 customers that came into the store and asked them to spend a few minutes telling us why they shop there. Not only did this help us understand their differentiators, but it also helped identify whom we should be targeting. Wannemaker’s high-quality products are one reason why people prefer to shop there, but not everyone can afford that kind of an investment. Therefore, we needed to reach an audience with an above-average household income.

Define Specific Demographics

Now that you have a lot of insight into who your customer base is or should be, you need put that information in quantifiable demographics. Some of the basic demographics that segment markets are; Gender, Age, Profession, Household Income, Geographic Location, and Renters v. Owners. Based on the information we had from Wannemaker’s we established their key demographics to be; People who owned a home within 15 miles, were aged 35-65, and had a household income of at least $100,000.

By establishing your target market, you can begin to look for marketing channels that are likely to reach that audience. Direct Mail can be segmented to lists that match a variety of demographics. Magazines and newspapers have endless information on their readership. Look for matching demographics and spend your marketing dollars there. Just because you are trying to reach a specific demographic doesn’t mean that you are excluding another – you are just hedging your money on the group most likely to buy from you.


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Content is King

Written by: Courtney Brown, Account Executive

What is Content Marketing Anyways?

Content marketing is the art of communicating with your customers and products without selling. Instead of pitching your products and services, you are delivering information that makes the buyer more intelligent. Defined by the Content Marketing Institution, it is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience with the directive of driving profitable consumer action. Here is an example:

Suzy & Jim are a young, married couple in their late twenties with no children living in Warrenville, Illinois. They tend to dine out a lot and tonight, are looking for a restaurant they haven’t been to yet. Suzy loves seafood, but Jim is more of a steak guy. Suzy pulls out her iPhone and searches “restaurants seafood steak”. Local restaurant, CityGate Grille in Naperville comes up on the first page of her search and catches Suzy eye with their catchy and relevant description of their dishes. She then pulls up her OpenTable application to see what others have to say and after reading a few positive reviews makes a reservation from her phone.

This sale was closed without Suzy ever seeing what consumers typically view as paid advertisements.

  • SEO was used to put CityGate Grille into a favorable position within the search engine.
  • Content Marketing was used to create relative and enticing information that Suzy was looking for in order to make a decision.
  • Online Profile Management was used to empower Suzy to make an intelligent decision; her peers favorably reviewed the restaurant so Suzy felt good about her choice to dine there.

In May 2012 Nielsen reported that over 50% of mobile owners use smart phones, and that number will continue to climb.

Number of smartphones users in the U.S. from 2010 to 2016 (in millions)

What does this mean for businesses?

Content is King. Content is King. Content is King. Content is King.

Gone are the days of lengthy and boring product descriptions that mean nothing to consumers. When developing content, consider the following:

  • Understand your target audience. This goes beyond defining them.
  • Know how your audience wants to reach you.
  • Every consumer wants one of two things: To get the information they want, right now, in the easiest possible way or; To be amused or engaged in your message.

So, give the people what they want. Develop your content around both of those.


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