The Creative

ProPoint in the News!

September 12, 2014, Charlie Tranen, Demitri Alexander, Design, Infographics, Monica Siguenza, Shaunna Randolph

Here at ProPoint we pride ourselves on the premium design solutions we create for our clients. Client satisfaction is the most important success metric, it’s been that way from the beginning and that suits us just fine. From time to time we also get nods from other places. When that happens, we have a little extra spring in our step. Below are a few reasons why our week has been a bit brighter.

Demitri-AlexanderSuperbWebsiteBuilders Interview Demitri Alexander

Our work with Showtime on their (now Emmy winning) documentary series, Years of Living Dangerously, has really turned heads. The Electronic Press Kit (ePK) was acknowledged on The FWA public shortlist and Adobe Muse Site of the Day. Now we have a feature on superbwebsitebuilders.com, a website dedicated to building…well superb websites. Demitri Alexander explains to author Howard Steele how we created the microsite in such a short time with memorable results.

Inc.com: 4 Tips to Help You Close Your Next Big Deal

Charlie Tranen has some really great advice about sales. We always knew this. Remember his series about commercial teaching? Entrepreneur’s Online recently asked sales people for their tips on how to close a deal. Charlie and our co-founder Dan Pries put their heads together and shared this great piece of advice.

Handshake_37976

“It’s easy to get bogged down in details when it’s time to close the deal. That’s why we close a deal by ‘selling’ the process. Our Strategic Accounts Manager, Charlie Tranen, really brought this to light. When we get clients to envision the working relationship, they see our value on a deeper level. Come time to close, we’re already in the right ballpark for the scope of work and pricing. Focusing on either of those commoditizes our service. By changing the question from ‘What will we get?’ to ‘How will we get there?’, we avoid minutiae and get excited about what we will create together instead.”

Daniel Pries, EO Philadelphia
Founder and Chairman, ProPoint Graphics

marcom-awards AMCP Recognizes our Daylight Saving Time Infographic

The Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals has the unenviable task of reviewing thousands of entries for their 2014 Marcom Awards. That isn’t to say they are not having some fun with their task. From time to time they recognize entries that stand out by writing about it in their blog. We’re happy to say that our Daylight Saving Time infographic is one of the first.

 

Written by Shaunna Randolph, PPG Marketing Manager

Images from ProPoint Graphics, INC.com and ACMP.com

The Design Process: Listen, Think, Create and Deliver

September 9, 2014, Best Practices, Design, Rich Robinson, Strategy

 

Working with PPG

Every time I begin a conversation with a client I like to start off by explaining to them what we’d like to do WITH them—not for them. That might sound harsh but it is not meant that way. You see, we are not looking to simply make presentations look better. We can pretty much create anything imaginable, but our service does not end there. It does not even begin there.

The ProPoint Design Process

When I work with you, I want to understand your business, your audience, and what message you are truly trying to convey. There’s no point in just making something look good if the design decisions aren’t actively supporting your story. The only way I can achieve this is by engaging in a real dialogue with you and staying true to the process.  That is where the WITH comes into play. We work together to create what you envisioned before contacting us at ProPoint. The designers here can be the creative hands that help form the pieces you need to make your venture successful. The best way to do that is to build a partnership that extends from concept all the way through to execution.

Listen:

The most important part of creating something meaningful for another person is to understand that person’s final goal. We listen to understand the overall mission, which helps us get a better grasp of your needs and the goals of your project. Listening also builds a better relationship and mutual respect. Thanks to that respect everyone who is associated with the project gets comfortable with each other and the process we’re about to undertake.  I’ll also try to learn more about the subject, which helps foster meaningful discussions about how to properly convey the message through intelligent design. When a client realizes that I understand their business they get excited. They realize that they are working with someone who understands what it is they are trying to accomplish.

Think:

To me these projects are puzzles to be solved, and in any puzzle you need to understand the overall picture and examine the pieces you have to work with. To even launch a  design program before you’ve spent the appropriate amount to time thinking of how to approach the project is often a recipe for failure. After years of working through these projects with countless clients I find that they are all different and unique with different needs from client care to deliverable. These things all need to come into play before creating anything. We provide custom solutions. To do this you need to customize your thinking on a client by client basis. With both proper thinking and listening I find that I can move on to the next phase with more confidence.

Create:

Of course this my favorite part! It’s easy, thanks to the fact that we have properly moved through the process together as a team. I’ve gained useful knowledge of the project and messaging, and hopefully we’ve built a great working relationship through the first two steps. When the entire team has confidence in the concept we’ve developed together, it all becomes a question of execution. In the creation phase it is important to now use what you’ve learned to execute the RIGHT design. When designing for someone else it is important to design with the best solution in mind not something that simply looks better.

Deliver:

I like for clients to understand that we’re moving with a sense of urgency, yet we are taking the proper time to guide the project through completion with care. An open dialogue and an iterative process throughout the project provides clients with a peace of mind as we move towards the deliverable date. To be totally honest if you work through the first three phases of this process correctly this stage usually takes care of itself! In the delivery phase it is important to do just that DELIVER.

When you build a partnership with your designer, you’ll get a lot more than just a good looking deliverable. You’ll have a more effective and persuasive way of ensuring that your message is heard.

 Written by: Rich Robinson, PPG Senior Designer

It’s 2014. Do You Know Where Your HTML Newsletter Is?

September 5, 2014, Best Practices, Carlos Serrano, Design, Interactive, Mobile

Best Practices for HTML Newsletters

In a world where a new social media platform seems to launch almost every week, it looks like HTML newsletters have been forgotten. This is a shame. In reality HTML newsletters outperform Facebook and Twitter in terms of customer acquisition, being third only to organic search and Cost Per Click ads. They are a great tool for reinforcing your campaign, measuring responses and feeding your analytics. HTML newsletters build a valuable direct and personal relationship between your brand and your customers. It’s a letter after all. And people love letters.

HTML Newsletter:  A Simple Breakdown

If you consider that HTML email is basically a web page, then email clients can be seen as web browsers that translate code to visuals. But email clients are not as good as browsers at interpreting code, so what you see on your end may be completely different from what your audiences see in one of the main 10 email clients people use most today. Even more, most email apps are viewed on mobile devices, so you can be sure that at least 50% of your clients are looking at that carefully crafted newsletter either on their phones or tablets. With 90% of smartphone owners checking their email on both mobile and desktop, it may be time for you to check how your HTML newsletters adapt to various screens and devices.

Enter responsive email.

The purpose of responsive web design is to serve the best possible experience across a wide range of devices.  Responsive HTML newsletters make use of fluid layouts, images and media queries to adjust content to screen, so the content is optimized, readable and trackable.

On the other hand email clients render very rudimentary HTML, reduce CSS and accommodate almost no Javascript. This limits your newsletter’s options when it appears on the screen. But you don’t have to live with these limitations. With a strategic approach on both content and coding, extensive testing on different platforms (browsers and devices) and being aware of your audiences’ prefered browsing methods, a responsive HTML newsletter can deliver the best experience and maximize conversion.  Taking a bit of extra care will result in a stable and almost fail-proof newsletter template.

Responsive HTML newsletters are more than just laying out content. They are capable of delivering custom content based on the device on which it’s being read. For example, you can prioritize different images on mobile, enable high contrast color schemes and increase text readability when you go responsive.

Email works.  It’s a powerful tool. Consider that retail has quadrupled the customer acquisition rate through email in the last 4 years. With stats like that, perhaps you should spend some quality time with your own HTML newsletters and make sure your content and various devices meet in a proper way.

 Written and Illustrated By: Carlos Serranno