Archive for the ‘Pittsburgh ad agencies’ Category

My Summer at the Box

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

When I signed up for a summer internship with Apple Box Studios I thought I would learn which agency role or department I best fit for success. Instead, I learned that value and growth will come from hyperconnectivity as well as hyperdeveloped talent. Let me explain. My name is Molly Fallone. I’m a senior at Duquesne University studying Web Development and Integrated Marketing, and I just spent the last three months interning with Apple Box Studios.

Throughout my college career, I’ve considered myself more of a hybrid marketing and design student fascinated by the art of video production. Although this path has had me a little confused as to which Duquesne department I belong in, it made me feel right at home at Apple Box. Not only does Apple Box design and develop communication tools, programs and advertising campaigns, it also offers video production, social media and branding services. All of which, I had the opportunity to embrace.

I was excited, but nervous when I started at the Box, because I have zero to no agency experience. However, the nerves were quick to go away as the team welcomed me with smiles, my own desk (and phone!), a content marketing project (one of my new fav topics), as well as blueprinting assignments. As my first few weeks rolled on, I quickly noticed the speedier pace of agency life – something I hadn’t been used to in my other internships. I also found with such a pace, problem solving and collaboration are crucial and constant. I felt lucky however, to learn from the team how to turn problems into opportunities for creating strong products and happy clients.

As I grew more confident and the team placed more assignments on my plate, I took on benchmarking assignments and even participated in a branding and identity project for a new client. The design student inside me was inspired and fascinated as I followed Dan Brettholle, through his Art Director’s process on delivering the product. I got to experience first-hand how benchmarking is an essential step in understanding the client’s tastes and exact needs. But the cool thing was, I noticed times when the client was actually unsure of what they really wanted, but through sessions, the team was able to fill in those pieces for them. It reminded me of the great line Steve Jobs once said, “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

I’m grateful I had the opportunity to jump inside the Apple Box this summer. Working and learning from the team was a rewarding, exciting and inspiring experience. It made me realize it’s ok to be interested in all aspects of marketing, design and production. In fact, most of the Apple Box team is just that. This professional culture makes for a passionate, collaborative team with hyperdeveloped talent.

Thank you team Apple Box, for making it a great summer at the Box and for feeding and fueling my hybrid marketing and production taste buds.

Joining the Team!

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Well let’s see where to begin. I am now into my second month here at Apple Box Studios and so far, it has been an amazing experience. It has been about 2 years since I have had to visit an office setting everyday, I worked freelance for the last two years and I called my home and car, my office. But needless to say, this transition has been smooth and everyone has been very welcoming. The crew is incredibly friendly and very willing to answer all my off-the-wall questions. It is great to work with a team that is incredibly creative and receptive to each others input. I come from a very eclectic background: catering, event planning, sales, cigar aficionado and concierge. I’ve lived all across the country from Ohio to Florida, Las Vegas to Pittsburgh. Landing in the steel city 7 years ago, I immediately knew this is where I was going to “hang my hat.” As a die-hard Steelers, Pens and Pirate fan, it just seemed natural to begin a life as a Yinzer.

My career paths may have changed but I have always been into business relationships and sales. To grow a business you have to have the right person for the job. This person needs to have gusto’, no-holds- barred attitude and tons of charisma. Not sure why they hired me? But if you won’t tell, I won’t.

With any sales job you have to believe in the product, love the product, use the product and eat-sleep-dream the product. My first sign that I knew I was in the right spot came while at the gym, I spotted a few ad spots on the TV above and just started to wander who developed those, how did they come up with it and so on. I would have normally never given a second thought to the development of an ad spot on TV. This started a snowball effect; I started noticing brands, ads, video spots, logos and thinking who did this and why.  My career in advertising was born!

I was born to help people, to be around people. I hate to wait around… I want action, I want to talk to people, learn their needs and wants and help them achieve their goals. Bringing customers and consumers together is my passion.  In a nut shell, I am pleased and thrilled to be here.

7 Realities of Social Media that will change in 6 months

Friday, September 17th, 2010

We’ve been thinking a lot about measurement lately at Applebox Studios. Not only measuring our efforts as an ad agency in Pittsburgh, but also our social media efforts, as well as our marketing initiatives and how it all plays out into today’s economy and it utlimately affects you, the consumer. Thus, we came up with a couple of absolutes that for now, make sense to us.

  • Social media measurement will adapt with the changing of external markets and it‚Äôs influencers.
  • The rules of engaging the consumer and marketing to that consumer are changing at light speed with the advantage shifting towards the consumer.
  • Social media engagement should be measured differently in tough economic times.
  • The tone of marketing and social media marketing is changing.
  • Consumer expectations of social media will not change during¬† the current economic woes because they haven‚Äôt set any precedents yet.
  • The importance of social media optimization and SEO has never been larger.
  • Social nets have a better chance to thrive now, more than they did at this point last year.

What Social Media is Not…

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Often times we get caught up in the semantics of what social media is and isn’t. In this slide share presentation we look at what social media is not.

What is Your Social Media Engagement Strategy?

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Scenario #1 You live in Pittsburgh. In fact you live in Mt. Lebanon. You want to go to PNC Park. Should you take the parkway? Should you cut through the West End?Which way are you going to go and why? Should you take the parkway because that’s the way you always go?

Scenario #2 You’re an ad agency in Pittsburgh. You’ve had success in working with Hospitals like UPMC in the Pittsburgh region. Alcoa has called you and wants to talk about you handling a social media marketing campaign for them. Are you going to take what you do and did for the hospitals and apply it to the Alcoa job?

Scenario #3 You go into the Chinese restaurant downtown by the Grant building. You order a hamburger. Why? Are all restaurants the same?

Different channels require different strategies. Different companies need different things and have different audiences. Don’t forget that no matter how good you are at social media and how slick your Pittsburgh marketing company is, you need to listen.

7 Tips to Stay on Top of the Social Media Wave

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Often times you have to step in it to realize you are in it. With social media, you would have to have lived in a cave on an island in the Pacific to not know how ubiquitous it is. With that being said, here are 7 “things” you should be aware of as we go forward in this digital world.

1) Look for more content to be produced by “others”. This means look to professional content creators. They will blur the lines so much-you won’t know where the value lies.

2) There will be a continued increase in the value of communities but you will also see more splintering of those communities into niches.

3) Mobile will be THE social platform

4) Social data will determine your next move in your future business engagements

5) Engagement strategies will be different on every channel because of the data returned from #4

6) Mitigating loss of control in social media will continue to be underserved and undervalued.

7) Search will still rule, but social search will drive customer engagement.

If there were a way to etch these in pencil, I would do it. Things change so quickly in the digital social world that nothing is finite and everything is fair game. But as an agency or marketing company trying to make heads or tails over what might happen-this is as good a start as any.

Social Media and SEO-Where the rubber meets the road

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Here are 7 tenets of social media and seo that often go overlooked. The problem exists when social media companies or ad agencies do one without the other, or none at all. Campaigns fall flat and expectations go unmet. It’s imperative that you understand the impact.

  • If you do not understand the correlation of search and social media, then you are leaving money on the table. It’s as simple as that.¬† If you do not understand the impact and relationship, here is some required reading.
  • Creating an SEO strategy that does not leverage the social web is a huge mistake.
  • Creating a Social strategy without understanding search is an egregious error.
  • The audience that you are marketing to via SEO is currently out there and being social-you need to find them
  • You build sites that are optimized for SEO-the purpose of SEO is to be found in search.¬† The role of SEO in social is to help your customers find your content which ultimately leads your customers back to you
  • Understand the content that you write for SEO and the content that you create for social-though they are different, the end result should be engagement.
  • How are you measuring your SEO impact? How are you measuring your social impact? You are measuring right?

The Social Media Time Suck

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

You’re probably wondering how you’re supposed to balance all of your usual workload with what is required of you in social media in order to propel your company to the next level. You’ve seen how long it takes to write a good blog post and you’re probably wondering how these so called “experts” do it.

Well what you need to avoid is the social media time suck. This is crucial to your success and it really comes down to understanding exactly what you’re doing online with your social media endeavors. Understanding it and measuring it. Social media experts manage their time¬† so that they are interacting with their communities and creating content. Social media agencies are networking, and driving business not only for themselves but also for others. The key is not to over indulge and not get caught up in reading tweetstreams for hours on end. Also…This is a space for learning not regurgitating.

Here is an example of what you could be doing versus what you should be doing.

Social Media is Ubiquitous…Not Really

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

I think it’s a mistake to say social media is ubiquitous. Facebook with 500 million users, can almost stake a claim to being ubiquitous, but not social media. Can we say Facebook is the internet and the internet is Facebook? Not yet but we’re getting closer.

To Gen Y, Facebook is the Internet. Gen Y doesn’t use regular e-mail except to set up their Facebook accounts. From there on out, they use Facebook mail.¬† As the social web continues to evolve, news websites still thrive and exist but more and more people just check their friends’ wall feeds for their news. Facebook as a social network isn’t the only game in town, but the competitors, just aren’t ubiquitous enough to even be mentioned in the same breath, though they may have the same functionality.

What does this mean for future generations? It means the web as we knew it, as a means for information gathering from news sites and sources, will be supplanted by the social web-where our news and our information come from our peer networks.

The Value of Context in Social Media

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Consider the following sentiments:

  • Pittsburgh Ad Agencies Suck
  • Pittsburgh Ad Agencies suck the life out of me
  • Pittsburgh Ad Agencies sucker punch ad agencies in New York
  • Pittsburgh Ad Agencies sucked clients out of Chicago
  • Pittsburgh Ad Agency, Apple Box Studios, Sucks…:)

Now consider each statement on it’s own merit. Do all 5 things mean the same? Do all 5 things mean different things? If you have answered correctly with No and then Yes, you now understand the challenges that are facing social media, the art and meaning of context in social media, and the difficulty in measuring sentiment. It’s manual, subjective and time consuming, and yet there is no way to take the human element out of measuring and understanding the value of the semantics of sentiment.