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Midwest Performance Cars Porsche Repair Services Ad // Behind the Spark

Posted by Sparkfactor on Jun 7, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Midwest Performance Cars came to Sparkfactor looking for help with an ad. They wanted to place an ad in the Porsche Club of America Chicago’s magazine to advertise their Porsche repair services. They also wanted to update the previous ad to look more inviting and have images take up more space.

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Topics: Advertising, Direct, Photography, Behind the Spark

#InspiredBy Independent Bookstore Day

Posted by Andrea Garcia on Apr 27, 2018 5:45:30 PM

Last April I spent a very rainy and cold Saturday traveling around Chicago with some friends, running in and out bookstores, collecting punchcards. It was the last Saturday of the month—Independent Bookstore Day—and we were participating in the first My Chicago Bookstore Challenge: if you visited 10 of the participating independent bookstores throughout the city and suburbs, you received a 10% discount from all participating stores for the next year; if you visited 15, you got 15%. We succeeded in visiting 11 participating bookstores and several more that weren't on the list, just for fun.

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Topics: Social Media, Marketing, Advertising, Business Lessons, Neighborhood Marketing

Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council Annual Report Brochure // Behind the Spark

Posted by Sparkfactor on Apr 26, 2018 8:30:00 AM

The Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council selected Sparkfactor to create an informational brochure and annual report for the Special Service Area #13, the Stockyards Industrial Park, which is under purview of the BYNC.

The content provided from BYNC detailed the services the SSA provides to the area, surrounding community, and business climate. They made it easy to inform their audience about what a Special Service Area is and what SSA #13 has accomplished. We used Adobe to create the tri-fold brochure. Each section has a different background color to distinguish itself from surrounding sections, and the brochure also includes relevant images.

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Topics: Direct, Behind the Spark, Neighborhood Marketing

Brighton Park and Archer Heights SSA #39 Brand Identity and Ad Campaign // Behind the Spark

Posted by Sparkfactor on Apr 19, 2018 8:30:00 AM

In Chicago, there are Special Service Areas (SSAs) throughout the city, streets that are economic thoroughfares in the neighborhood. SSAs are under local neighborhood organizations and provide services to business owners, like facade and building improvements and marketing and advertising of the area.

The Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council has several SSAs under its care, one of which is SSA #39 Brighton Park and Archer Heights, which was established in 2007. These two lesser known neighborhoods on the Southwest Side of the city are connected through the SSA, which runs southwest down a portion of Archer Ave from California in Brighton Park to Pulaski in Archer Heights. The SSA commission wanted to create a brand identity and an ad campaign to increase the awareness of the area, not only to bring in more visitors from around the city and tourists that happen to pass through the transportation in the area, but also to encourage locals to see their neighborhood as a place to invest in with their time and money.

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Topics: Web Design, Advertising, Photography, WordPress, Behind the Spark, Neighborhood Marketing

OnDevon Brand Identity and Ad Campaign // Behind the Spark

Posted by Sparkfactor on Apr 12, 2018 8:30:00 AM

The Rogers Park Business Alliance has a few different City of Chicago Special Service Areas (SSAs) under its purview, including SSA #43. SSA #43 includes a good portion of Devon Avenue (a busy east/west street in Chicago) and a part of Western Avenue (the city's longest continuous street). SSA #43 wanted to develop a brand identity for the area and an ad campaign to draw people—city residents and tourists alike—to the businesses to boost the local economy and show off what Devon has to offer.

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Topics: Web Design, Marketing, Advertising, Identity, Photography, Behind the Spark, Neighborhood Marketing

#InspiredBy Opening Day

Posted by Andrea Garcia on Apr 9, 2018 5:30:00 PM

Baseball is back! Today was supposed to be the opening day for Wrigley Field, but with the snow that fell this morning in Chicago, the Cubs decided to postpone the game, while the White Sox found a pretty ingenious way of dealing with the snow on their field to still play their home opener.

As the Cubs were prepping for Opening Day, I'm sure they wanted to get as many people as possible in the stands. In the days leading up April 9, I came across Facebook ads in my feed reminding me that Opening Day tickets were still available.

The ads themselves are simple: nine words, the Cubs hashtag for the year, and a couple of photos with stadium seats. But there's so much communicated in such a simple ad that it should act as the template for your future social ads.

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Topics: Social Media, Advertising, #InspiredBy, Photography

9 Essentials Every Neighborhood Organization Website Must Have

Posted by Andrea Garcia on Apr 3, 2018 11:00:00 AM

 

Neighborhoods rely on local businesses to bring in visitors and revenue to the area. Some businesses can do a great job of marketing and advertising their own company, but often it's up to various neighborhood organizations to bring area businesses together to draw participation from local residents, city-wide visitors, and tourists.

The foundation for these organizations should be their website. It can be the first touchpoint for new visitors to the area and should show off a good first impression. The following website essentials should be considered when discussing a new or redesigned website.

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Topics: Web Design, Neighborhood Marketing

Why Plagiarism is Bad and How to Prevent It

Posted by Andrea Garcia on Mar 28, 2018 8:00:00 AM

With the new ruling affecting images and Twitter retweets, we thought it would be helpful to update and re-publish this post about plagiarism, first published in 2016.

In a world of content marketing, when over 2 million new blog posts are being published every day, will someone really notice if a few lines, or paragraphs, or articles are the same as others?

Yes.

Even with online tools (see below) being used to catch plagiarism, which makes it easier than ever to spot a fake, plagiarism is still rampant. Continue reading to learn what plagiarism is, how it can negatively affect your business, and how to prevent it.

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Topics: Business Lessons, Inbound Marketing

New Ruling on Embedded Tweets is a Good Reminder of Copyright Compliance

Posted by Andrea Garcia on Mar 20, 2018 11:00:00 AM

We all know—or should know—that plagiarism is bad. And in this age, it's pretty easy to prevent outright violation of copyright: you can easily link to sources with in-line hyperlinks, Google and other software can easily show you where phrases or whole paragraphs appear throughout the web, and Internet trolls are just waiting for someone to make a mistake they can call out.

But a recent ruling could change all that. Wired reports that a judge recently ruled that those who embed tweets that contain images could be in violation of copyright. It seems like a minor infraction and something where some could claim plausible deniability. But if this ruling holds up—the current ruling can be appealed—it could change how media and other content creators across the Internet use not only tweets but potentially other forms of information and could have ramifications in terms of monetary fines for violating copyright.

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Topics: Marketing

Resources You Need to Develop a GDPR Strategy Immediately

Posted by Sparkfactor on Mar 13, 2018 2:00:00 PM

Most of the information below was found in HubSpot's Create a GDPR Strategy Lesson, as well as other resources, all listed at the bottom of the post for your convenience. This post does not constitute as legal advice and you should always seek legal counsel to see how this regulation will affect your company or organization's specific circumstances.

If your business collects personal data from subscribers, leads, and/or customers, you should have already heard of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and know that it goes into effect on May 25, 2018. If you haven't heard of the GDPR, read this post to understand the fundamentals and check out the resources to have a better understanding, then contact your legal department to know how this new regulation affects your business, then gather your marketing team and put a plan in place to become compliant with the GDPR.

The GDPR is a regulation by the European Union (EU) to protect the digital personal information of its citizens. HubSpot puts it this way: the GDPR enhances the protection of personal data of EU citizens and increases the obligations on organizations who collect or process personalized data. While most of our audience is in the United States and might not do business directly with countries in the EU, please hear this: The GDPR will affect companies in the US, if they collect personal data of EU citizens, knowingly or not. Companies not compliant with the GDPR that are found to be in violation could face fines up to 20 million euros or 4% of the company's global annual revenue, whichever is greater.

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Topics: Marketing, Business Lessons, Email Marketing

   
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