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Happy spring! It is time for another round of Marketing Recommends, the occasional Socially Speaking feature in which the FGIA Marketing department’s members share what they have been reading, watching and enjoying – marketing-related or otherwise. This time, we’re focused on some trends in design, email marketing and some social media news making waves.

Angela Dickson, Marketing and Communications Director

Designing a Beautiful Email and Life

A few weeks ago, I attended a webinar sponsored by the American Marketing Association that focused on interesting and engaging email experiences. The speaker talked about the downside to email – it’s literally EVERYWHERE and you can’t get away from it, and the upside – it’s available to EVERYONE and is not affected by algorithms. The key is finding that sweet spot between what you want to say and what your audience is interested in hearing. But, keep your subscriber list tight…if they’re not interested, stop sending emails. No one wants to be a stalker. (I'm looking at you, expensive sofa that stalks me via Google Ads.)

I’m also reading “Make Life Beautiful” by Syd and Shea McGee – of Netflix “Dream Home Makeover” and Target home line fame. These two are #couplegoals! They’re literally building an empire – and a gorgeous one at that. (I’m still looking at you McGee and Co. sofa Google Ad.) What’s unique is the application of Shea’s design wisdom to life in general - embrace the process, find balance, elevate the everyday. It’s such an inspiring and fun read!

Lori Benshoof, Senior Coordinator, Web Services

Creative Resources and Influences

A great resource I have found very useful is Adobe Live, which provides challenges to work on with a live instructor. You can also go back and review past episodes as your time allows. This has proved to be very helpful in teaching myself how to utilize the different software offerings in the Adobe Create Cloud. Check it out.

One of my favorite sources for creative inspiration is a site called Behance, where people share different projects using Adobe products. You can search by projects, images, people or mood boards (collages that arrange images, materials and other design elements). This can be useful in creating brand or product designs.

Meryl Williams, Communications Coordinator

Social Media Moves (and Some Drama)

I found this social media news article to be interesting: Facebook recently announced it will give $5 million to pay local journalists in multiyear deals as part of its new publishing platform to help independent writers attract an audience and make money through the social media network. The move appears to be part of Facebook's answer to the trend of email newsletters, led by platforms like Substack. I appreciate that Facebook has recognized the budget cuts and overall deterioration of local newsrooms and is trying to step in and offer aid. I only wish they had done so a few years sooner!

Additionally, I have been enjoying watching a Netflix reality show called “The Circle.” The first season premiered way back at the start of the pandemic as a social media competition. In it, eight people are sequestered separately in their own rooms (very appropriate at the time, considering the social distancing measures we’ve all experienced since). From there, they chat the other players and compete to become “influencers.” Season two recently dropped, and while it’s a little less warm and fuzzy than season one was, there is a lot more drama. Go check it out!

Do you have any recommendations of what you have been reading, listening to or watching? If so, feel free to share them in the comments below!