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July 2010 - Posts

  • INTERNal Feedback: Job Shadowing in the Light

    Jul 30 2010

    “So what are your plans after graduation?”

    These are the exact words that will make any recent college grad’s stomach churn. And aside from a handful of my colleagues who knew what they wanted to do since they could talk, most didn’t have a clue what to do.  So as graduation drew closer, I began to shift from denial to panic.

    By pure luck, an acquaintance mentioned the Multicultural Advertising Trainee (MAT) Program, which guarantees a paid internship, mentoring and networking with industry professionals. “Count me in!” I thought. So after passing through a nerve-wracking application and interview process, I waited anxiously to hear back from the MAT program as to which company they felt would be the best fit. The email finally came. The Phelps Group.

    My first impression of the agency came from their website. As someone who is very big on first impressions, I was immediately impressed. They presented themselves openly and honestly and their personality shone through.

    After two interviews and two weeks of agonizing thumb-twirling, I finally got the phone call that I had been waiting for. I got the internship! So a week after graduating from the University of California, Irvine, I got ready for my first day of work.

    Within minutes of arriving, I found myself sitting among strangers at the weekly Monday Morning Meeting. As associates talked about new projects and gave recognition to their colleagues, my first-day nervousness began to melt away. This was exactly the kind of place for me, where everyone’s contributions are utilized and appreciated.

    On my first day, the CFO took time out of his day to give me a crash course on W-4s and taxes, topics that no one has ever been able to clearly explain to me before. This is the perfect example kind of nurturing, warm environment that is The Phelps Group. Every Monday, after a catered lunch, a seminar is presented on a new topic to expand everyone’s knowledge base. Then, every Thursday, after another catered lunch, everyone’s creativity is combined to brainstorm ideas for new projects at the highly anticipated Brain Banger’s Ball.

    In just one short month, I’ve already come to feel at home here. Not once have I ever felt I was treated like an intern who should be seen and not heard. I’ve already worked with associates from almost every team and discipline, and they’ve all been not only willing to teach, but also to trust in my abilities. I could have not asked the MAT program to place me with a better company. I am truly thankful for the opportunity that I have been given here at The Phelps Group.

    Jessica Zhang | Intern

  • Mochi Minute: Minority Report Has Arrived

    Jul 23 2010



    Using facial recognition technology, Japanese advertisers are testing new digital billboards that are straight out of Minority Report. These billboards are fitted with cameras that capture your image, detect your gender and age, and then create a tailor-made ad on the fly. As the ad rolls, the computer determines how interested you are, how long you’ve watched, and then submits the captured data to the company.

    Watch the CNN Video.

    John "Mochi" Park | VP Technology

  • So, Do You Write the Ads?

    Jul 23 2010

    Throughout my life people have asked me what I do for a living. When I answer that I work for an integrated marketing company, people usually ask, “Is it like an ad agency?” I respond, “Yes, like an ad agency, but more.”

    Then, people usually ask if I “think up the ads”; to that question, I simply respond, “No.” Next, people ask if I “deal with the clients”; to this, I respond, “Sometimes.” And THEN, the inevitable question is asked: “So what, exactly, do you do?”

    Good question. I help clients market their products by defining their target audiences and recommending ways to reach them. I try to answer the question, “Who is really going to buy this product/service and what media vehicles (TV, radio, online, outdoor, or social media, etc.) will deliver the advertiser’s message in the most compelling fashion to get the target audiences to take action?”

    So, how do I do it? Basically, I combine an analysis of a lot of research and a dose of understanding about the customer’s “journey to purchase” with a little, old-fashioned, educated guessing. This combination gets refined and optimized as the campaign progresses and we learn more about its performance.

    Why do I do it? That’s an even better question. It’s an interesting job where I get to work with a variety of personalities, learn about many different industries and tackle client challenges. Since media options are always changing, the need to be curious and keep current is required. In addition, being good with numbers and being a bit of a people person is helpful, too.

    Is it as exciting as concepting an ad or writing a headline? Probably not. But remember, no advertisement has ever been seen by a consumer without a media plan behind it. As a huge contributor to any campaign’s success, I’m proud of what I do, even if nobody really understands it.

    So, when my parents last went on vacation, my mom called to say, “Honey, can you suspend your father’s subscription to the Wall Street Journal while we’re away – you deal with newspapers and stuff, don't you?" I answered, “Yes, that’s the type of stuff I do.”

    Mary Jo Sobotka | VP Integrated Media Strategy

  • Mochi Minute: Site Du Jour

    Jul 19 2010

    Share a piece of your history on Historypin, a new web app created by global-movement We Are What We Do in partnership with Google.

    Using Google Maps and its 'Street View' feature, users can explore, pin new photos and share the stories behind them.

    My favorite feature of the web app allows users to compare a location’s past with its present by layering an old image over the modern “Street View” on Google Maps.

    John "Mochi" Park | VP Technology

  • Measuring Social Media Success

    Jul 12 2010

    How do you measure the success of your brand's social media efforts? It depends on your goal.

    It's tempting to simply look at your fan and follower count; however, unless your only goal is to win a popularity contest, it's not always the best way to measure success. For example, retailers don't measure the success of their store solely by the number of people that walk through the door.

    It's important to differentiate activity from results. Gathering fans is an activity; whether or not those fans sign up for your newsletter or respond to your offer and buy your product is a result.

    If you're having trouble measuring and analyzing results from social media, you probably didn't have measurable objectives to begin with. Once you have a clear definition of what it means to reach your goal, it's easier to understand what metrics you need to look at.

    So whether your brand is already using social media, or you're just about to jump into social media, it's important to remember to approach it with a clear strategy. Figure out what you want from social media, set an attainable goal, use the medium in a way that will benefit your brand and help you reach that goal, and then measure your success.

    Read more.

    Nicole Griffith | Team Coordinator

  • Focus Groups on Steroids

    Jul 01 2010

    Much has been said about utilizing social media for market research, such as mining tweets for customer input but companies can use the concept of a social network to conduct market research more actively, with market research online communities (MROCs). Sometimes referred to as "focus groups on steroids," MROCs consist of a large group of people recruited to a private online platform to participate in research activities over time. Because MROCs are on-going, there's no need to start recruiting research participants when you need feedback on a particular question. Answers can be found in days rather than weeks.

    MROCs are typically comprised of a few hundred people and require an on-going commitment, as participants need to be kept engaged. This is typically done with a variety of online activities, such as online discussions, photo diaries, blogs, contests and surveys.

    Some examples of effective applications for MROCs include co-innovation (involving customers in the product development process), longitudinal input (obtaining information over the whole course of the decision-making process or input about product use over time), and even identifying trends.

    Glenn Schieke | COO