Monday, October 23, 2017

Digital Marketing Continues to Transform

Digital marketing has made significant strides over the years. Just about every business, including local mom and pop shops have an online presence and a social strategy. 

"There's a much greater awareness for digital marketing now. In the late 2000's people were using SEO and Google Adwords but few people knew the two," says Kim Brown, marketing manager at Duo Security

Brown has been in digital marketing for over a decade and has watched it transform first hand. She is still shocked by the shortage of experienced and knowledgeable people there are in the field. However, she notes that digital marketing tools are becoming easier and more accessible for people to utilize and be self taught. 

"Even five years ago the cost of marketing to businesses was expensive. Think about how expensive billboards are, and now a business can invest in Google Adwords for much less. Smaller businesses now have lower costing marketing tools," says Brown. 

Currently, Brown's favorite marketing tool she uses at her job is Marketo. She says this is one example of a tool that has simplified marketing. "It's amazing to do scheduled AB testing, reach people on your email blast that haven't opened it without having to manually look who they are, and send out automated reminders all in the same place," said Brown. 

As an EMU alumna, Brown is happy to see how dedicated EMU has become to making sure their students and  community evolves with the digital marketing world. She believes that the Center for Digital Engagement (CDE) at EMU is a cutting edge addition to the university. 

She attributes the CDE's success to the professors involved with it. Brown says, " The professors have a rich background in computer science and marketing, and all have the common goal of sharing their knowledge of the field with students and other professionals to help them thrive in their careers and business."

On November 17, Brown will share more insight on how she has watched digital marketing transform and how she utilizes digital marketing strategies in her current role at the Digital Marketing Workshop. Only a few tickets remain so be sure to get yours now

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Thriving From Digital Success

With so many exciting events and innovation, Washtenaw County generates millions of dollars in tax revenue every year from tourism.

Those tourism tax dollars are made possible from the help of the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Their Vice President of Integrated Marketing and Communications, Chad Wiebesick, works hard to incorporate digital and social media efforts into their marketing plans to see continous increases in tourism for the county. 

Wiebesick has a long history of working in the digital marketing world, where being able to maintain a strong, recognizable social media presence is important. In 2015, Wiebesick was among the nation's Top 5 Government Social Media Leaders, and his past efforts on the Pure Michigan campaign with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation led Michigan to be among the world's Top 10 destinations on social media. 

How does Wiebesick continue to excel in the world of digital marketing and social media? "Learning by reading books and websites, networking with professionals, and going to regular conference events throughout the year," he says. 

He also attributes his social media success on building relationships with his audience and among themselves. "There's a lot of distrust in society today, and people don't trust government brands and corporations. People only trust themselves and people like them," says Wiebesick. He stresses that the online community tourists build with each other by sharing their photos and memories on social media is what inspires them to keep coming back or visit a destination much more than government advertising does. 

With digital marketing jobs continuing to be on the rise, Wiebesick believes that jobs in digital and social media are the ones to go after. "Many organizations, both large and small, are looking for digital and social media talent to hire to accommodate the changes in consumer behavior," he says.

Wiebesick's recent efforts in his current role helped create a partnership between the Washtenaw County Convention and Visitors Bureau and Eastern. Together, they created a Youtube video for the college's #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign that highlights the accepting and diverse culture the city of Ypsilanti has to offer. 

On November 17, Wiebesick will further discuss his efforts and success with multiple digital marketing campaigns at the Digital Marketing Workshop. Only a few tickets remain so be sure to get yours today

Monday, October 9, 2017

Zingerman's National Success in a Digital World

Zingerman's is a community of businesses that has taken over the Ann Arbor and Metro Detroit area, becoming a household name. As a local brand, staying loyal to only having locations in Ann Arbor, most would be surprised that Zingerman's is a nationally recognizable brand. Over half their revenue comes from online sales through their Mail Order services.

Jenn Hayman, director of marketing for Zingerman's service network, believes that the brand's success is possible through frequent and effective communication. Even though each Zingerman's business is individually owned and operated, Hayman believes all the businesses thrive from communicating with each other. 

"Making sure you're talking and listening, and getting together to make sure all their information is shared are both really critical. Each business is each other's biggest customer. When anything changes they all need to know it," says Hayman. 

Before Zingerman's, Hayman's background consisted primarily of the higher education sector, but when she stumbled upon this opportunity she thought it was perfect for her. Being an Ann Arbor local, Zingerman's was a brand that she had known and admired, making her eager to jump into her position there.

"It was a welcomed departure. Being able to break branding rules that typically existed and being able to have something playful, not having to take ourselves so seriously, and inject humor in it and be creative is what caught my eye," says Hayman when comparing how different her position at Zingerman's is to her previous positions. 

Hayman believes that Zingerman's success will only continue to grow because of the high level of personal passions that their employees bring to the table. Upon accepting her position with the company, Hayman was happy to see how much the brand invests and develops their managers to not only know the in's and out's of the brand, but to also be leaders that their employees respect and look up to. 

On November 17, Hayman will be the keynote speaker at the Digital Marketing Workshop, further discussing how she markets Zingerman's local community of businesses as a national brand through digital channels. Few tickets remain so be sure to get yours now. 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

ContentOro Revolutionizes Book Content

"We want to help our customers effectively use content to be better advertisers and marketers," said Bob Chunn, founder of ContentOro, who will be speaking about his innovative digital company as the second installment of the Digital Marketing Summit Fall 2017 Series at Ann Arbor Spark on Friday, October 13.

For Chunn, ContentOro came to light in 2014, after realizing that there was a need for content on websites to gain organic searches. With the help of his background as a director of digital at Border's before they closed their doors, he knew there were many books with a lot of content that could help companies get recognized online.

To get this content to companies, Chunn and his team developed a software that could help break a book down into individual articles to be used online. By the end of 2015 this software was live. They obtained their first customer at the beginning of 2016, and since then, have been able to help provide content for some of the biggest brands in the world.

When asked how ContentOro measures their success, Chunn said that they do so by "...getting our customers to believe they are in the right place."

Their customers so far have seen an increase in pageviews and longer visits. This is a critical statistic for the company to measure their success with because it demonstrates that their content leads to an increase in customers. Due to ContentOro's success so far, the company has been able to gain the attention from larger agencies as well.

Chunn and his company are very pleased to continue to work with EMU's Center for Digital Engagement and have seen great results from interns they have obtained through it.

"We have had a great stream of EMU people come in. They are willing to work hard, are very excited about what we are doing, and are talented enough to keep up with us to learn new things,"  said Candace Chapman, the VP of Marketing and Sales for ContentOro.

Chunn is, "Happy to be able to come and speak to the Center for Digital Engagement and think it is a good audience!" Tickets for this event are available at Eventbrite.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Upcoming Digital Marketing Events

Join us for our Fall 2017 Digital Marketing Summits where we share the unique insights we gained from our summer clinic with companies in Ann Arbor SPARK’s high tech incubator. In our Fall centerpiece, The Digital Marketing Workshop, we gather more than 20 subject experts to provide actionable insights on digital marketing. Find us at:

TrueJob, Where Analytics and Content Are King Our Digital Marketing Summits will kick off on Friday, September 15, at SPARK Central from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. At our first summit, TrueJob will tell the story of how it is acquiring customers using content to fuel their growth. TrueJob started as Scott Goci’s passion project to revolutionize job search with data analytics. Register at

ContentOro, Widening the Sales Funnel The second Digital Marketing Summit will feature CEO of ContentOro, Bob Chun, on Friday, October 13 at SPARK Central from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Chun founded ContentOro to mine the value of professionally produced book content and is using this idea to boost customers’ sales. Register for this summit at

ShapeLog, Finding Your Customers The last of our Digital Marketing Summits is Friday, December 8, at SPARK Central from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. This summit will feature Brian Hayden CEO of ShapLog and will explore how ShapeLog is finding customers who want a fit and measured life. Register at Digital Marketing Workshop This year's Digital Marketing Workshop will take place on Friday, November 17, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Eastern Michigan University Student Center. Join over 20 expert panelists for sessions on integrated digital strategies and The New Face of Main Street! Learn more about this event at and register at

Friday, August 18, 2017

Wrapping Up The Digital Summer Clinic!

Our interns have learned a lot this summer! Here’s what they had to say about their unique opportunity in the Digital Summer Clinic!
Nick Staroba - TrueJob
Nick said, “Having this internship helped me learn that I’m at the point in my life where I should be operating my own company.” Nick will be continuing his current full-time employment and finishing up his education at Washtenaw Community College and Eastern Michigan University. He also plans to pursue a freelancing and a career in iOS development. Nick said the Digital Summer Clinic helped reinforce his future career choices and enjoyed the opportunity to explore the Ann Arbor tech and marketing industry.

Joshua Truitt - AdAdapted
“I learned how to use Android Studio, the basics of Swift and Xcode, and I learned more about video creation through creating my tutorial videos. I also learned what it was like to work in a professional environment in a specialized field,” said Joshua. His plans after completion of the internship include going back to school and working a job. Joshua said, “I feel like I got to dip my feet in the software industry, and it was great to get a taste of what it would be like. I've always said that I'd either like to work in software or with French and, after a good experience, I'd say that this internship affirmed that choice.”

Andy Kapelanski - AdAdapted
Andy said the best part of his internship was learning his value, benchmarking his performance with peers and getting out of his comfort zone to network in a relaxed environment. After the internship, Andy is finishing up his degree and will continue to intern with Flipsi while also pursuing other career opportunities. “This internship made me realize that I enjoy analytics and turning bulk data into relevant information and affirmed that I do enjoy my field of study, but made me realize how many marketing specializations there are,” said Andy.

Dorothy Gacioch - Ascape Audio
“I would absolutely recommend this experience! I have had chances to attend several networking events, volunteer for tech events, meet professionals in my field, and listened to distinguished speakers. I gained real experience working for a fantastic local startup company by photographing products, preparing online ads for social media, designing large-scale print ads, tracking and analyzing business progress, and analyzing website activity, improving it for a better and stronger user experience.” said Dorothy. She is going back to school for the fall semester but will be graduating in the spring and looking for a job in graphic design. After completing this internship, Dorothy said she is more open to the tech and it has opened her considerations for potential positions!

Andrea Scheffler - ShapeLog

I would highly recommend this internship! I learned how to effectively take what I've learned in the classroom and apply it to real-world business situations and that office culture is just as important as the work you're actually doing for the company. High-quality marketing material and social media content can really make or break a company's sales, especially for a startup. Working for a startup is great, and it allows you to fill many different roles.” Said Andrea. After the internship, Andrea will return to school to finish her degree and will be applying for digital marketing or event planning jobs after graduation. “This internship helped me see that digital marketing really is one of the things I love to do. I love creating content and making meaningful material for companies to use. This experience helped me confirm that I'm in the correct field.”

Our internship program was featured in an article by Second Wave Media! Read more about how we're pairing students with startups for a mutually beneficial relationship! "Summer internship program pairs students with local startups, expert mentors"