Archive for October, 2009

3 Excel 2004 Tricks for Budget Tracking

October 29th, 2009

As a project manager at Hodgson/Meyers my key responsibilities include the creation and management of budgets and timelines.  Creating these quickly and accurately, and keeping them updated on a daily basis requires the use of a trustworthy program.  My program-of-choice is Microsoft Excel.  Flexible and expansive, it allows me to be as straightforward or as complex as needed in my daily responsibilities.

WARNING:  If you are a creative person (I’m surprised that you’ve made it this far into the post!) this isn’t going to be pretty for you!

The “formatting” toolbar is one of the most common and useful toolbars in Excel.

Toolbar Shortcuts

You can easily implement standard formatting, such as font, alignment, text color, highlighting color, and outlining.  Additionally, it includes the basic “currency” functions, which are very useful on budget worksheets.


With just one quick click, you can format numbers in your worksheet to show as costs (using dollar signs), percentages, and adding or subtracting decimals.

Read more…

Top 100 B2B Agencies for Third Straight Year

October 27th, 2009

BtoB Magazine Top Agency 2009

OK, a plug for us.

Hodgson/Meyers has been selected as one of the top 100 Business-to-Business advertising agencies in the country for 2009 by B2B Marketing, Advertising Age’s Business-to-Business sister publication. This is the third straight year Hodgson/Meyers has won the designation, the only Washington State agency so honored.

Agencies were judged on criteria such as marketing capabilities, revenue, revenue growth, client list, geographic expansion, and creative awards.

We’re jacked about winning three straight. There’s no paucity of hard work or energized, conscientious forward-thinking around here.

Gary Meyers

Categories: awards Tags: ,

What is good for the searcher is good for the search engine

October 21st, 2009

More than anything else, the key to success online comes down to one thing, relevancy.

The key to a keyword’s high quality score in PPC? Relevancy.
The key to a landing page’s high conversion rate? Relevancy.
The key to an ad’s high click through rate? Relevancy
The key to a listing’s high position in the search results? Relevancy.

Relevancy is the key to ALL online marketing –– but particularly so to SEO.

Let’s take a look at how relevancy plays an influential part in SEO:
End-users want to find relevant content when they type a search query into the search engine. In turn, the search engine wants to provide relevant results to that search. If you want your website to be found in those search results, your website must be relevant.

Most people think solely of keywords when they think of relevancy but relevancy is so much more than just matching keywords.

Read more…

Categories: search Tags: , , ,

Spike’s Dart Team Update

October 20th, 2009

Enjoying Wednesday nights in Seattle’s best and worst taverns and dive bars.

After two years of finishing out of the playoffs, half the H/M Spike dart team defected to another team (you know who you are). The remaining Spikers’ contracts were bought for a Black Butte Porter and bowl of pretzels. Gary Meyers and myself now play for Cooper’s Alehouse “Chips” team.

After four weeks, we’re hanging on to first place over Dart Vader.  We squeaked past Who Darted (no kidding) for a third straight win, but were humbled last week by the Blind Nuts with an 11 – 10 loss.

Individually, I dropped to 8th in the individual league rankings out of close to 50 players, and Gary has been just shy of the top 10 all season.

Stop by Cooper’s this Wednesday to watch us take on the Unimeese.  First dart at 7:30 PM.

John Kennedy
New Business Manager

Categories: dart team Tags:

The Bike MS Ride: Raising Money and Awareness for MS

October 15th, 2009


I recently participated in the 175-mile Bike MS Ride. It was a terrific ride over two days on Whidbey Island and in the La-Conner-Skagit-Bellingham area.

My personal goal was to raise $1,000 for the event, which I surpassed with a total of $1,135. My cycling team, the Columbia Athletic Club, consisting of 95 riders, raised $48,000.00. In total, as of today, the Washington MS Ride has raised almost $1,600,000.00 for the National MS Society.

Every hour of every day, someone is diagnosed with MS. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society is committed to building a movement by and for people with MS that will move us closer to a world free of this disease. If you would like more information about the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, how proceeds from the Bike MS Ride are used, or the other ways you can get involved to create a world free of MS, please visit

Photo courtesy of Brian Snyder, Puget Sound Business Journal.
Gary Meyers

What Clients Want Most

October 13th, 2009

I just came back from a seminar in Chicago put on by Robb High, an agency consultant with a focus on new business.

His take on agency trends based on interviews and interactions with senior client-side marketing professionals.

Clients want true marketing integration, but often feel that agencies are too territorial to work with other agencies when additional expertise or skill sets are required. Clients also feel that internal agency specialists and teams are too siloed. EG: the Web folks don’t talk to the media folks. You agree? Or not?

Clients want branded content that can be expressed and re-expressed through a variety of channels––online, PR, advertising, promotions. Content is king right now.

Clients want measurable ROI. No shocker there.

And mostly, clients want “renaissance” marketing advisors, those who are Internet-savvy and multi-channel disciplined.

What do you think clients want most from agencies? Whether you represent agency-side or client side, we’d love to hear your candid assessment.

Gary Meyers

Categories: good marketing Tags:

Study Shows Strong Correlation between Search Marketing and Social Media

October 8th, 2009

GroupM Search and comScore, Inc., a leader in digital marketing intelligence, recently released a study demonstrating the strong correlation between a brand’s social media exposure and users’ engagement with their paid search ads.

Essentially, the two key findings are:

1. Users exposed to both distributed social marketing content AND paid search are nearly three times more likely to search for that brand’s products compared to users who only saw paid search.

2. In organic search, consumers searching on brand product terms who were exposed to their social media marketing are 2.4 times more likely to click on organic links than the average user who only saw that brand’s paid search ad.
Read more…

A lesson in hype gone wild, Chicago loses the 2016 Olympics

October 6th, 2009

Orange Fountain at Daley Plaza before Chicago Olympic bid announcement

A first-hand report from Daley Plaza in Chicago

I was in Chicago on N. Clark Street last Friday for a morning business meeting. I was right next to Daley Plaza where United States Olympic organizers had planned a big celebration for the impending announcement that the City of Chicago was to be awarded the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. I joined the crowd just minutes before the first vote was announced. There were thousands of revelers all dressed up in theme orange (even the Daley fountains were spouting orange) and ready to celebrate their winning bid.  The plaza and surrounding streets were packed with party-goers, organizers, volunteers, politicians, Olympic heroes, dignitaries, police, and of course multitudes of news trucks.  A giant stage and huge video screens surrounded the square.

Chicago’s Big O celebrities, the Obamas and Oprah, had jetted into Copenhagen and “wowed” the International Olympic Committee voters the evening before. WGN Chicago quoted Charmaine Crooks, an Olympian and former International Olympic Committee member from Canada relating, “Everyone is mesmerized by Oprah.” Oprah herself told the news media, “It’s a seven-year party, and the party could start tomorrow.”

The headline in Anderson Cooper’s 360 blog on the morning of the vote was “Michelle Obama steals the show in Copenhagen.”

All the Chicago news stations had been buzzing for two days how Chicago had the advantage or at least would be in a showdown with Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro in the final round of voting. Tokyo first, and then Madrid would tumble against the onslaught of the City of Big Shoulders.

And then… the announcement.

Chicago was the first city to be eliminated. Their vote total was a paltry 18 out of 94. In sports terms, they were spanked. The first time a U.S bid had been eliminated in first-round voting. Ever. From where I stood in Daley Plaza, the entire contingent was in disbelief. Shocked. No one knew how to react. The last thing anyone expected was to get booted hard in round one.

So what happened?

Plenty, underneath the glitzy surface.
• Chicago’s funding was not even close to being guaranteed.
• There was considerable dissent, within Chicago over finances and the siting the games’ venues.
• The was unresolved acrimony between the United States Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee over TV rights and other issues.
• There was a massive, rancorous personnel shake-up in the U.S. Olympic Committee executive levels at a critical time when continuity was needed.
• The obvious: There were of course, three other highly qualified countries and ultimately, the opportunity to host the games on the South American continent for the first time ever.

(Interestingly, and offered up as a total non-political aside, I was standing below the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and he blamed Internet news coverage of Chicago youth violence for the loss. And George Bush.)

The marketing lesson? Substance trumps hype.

News trucks at Daley Plaza before the Chicago 2016 Olympic Bid Announcement

Gary Meyers

How NOT to Get a Job in the Communications Industry

October 1st, 2009

OK, I get job inquiries a lot. Many from recent college graduates with communications, marketing, and English degrees.

Here are two emails I received recently. The first inquiry is verbatim in its entirety (including case and punctuation). The second is an excerpt. The names have been mercifully changed.

Inquiry #1:

my name is Janie Doe, Im interested in getting into advertising and
trailor making of major motion pictures and i came across your
company. I’m a graduate of the UW in 05/09 and am looking for an
internship possibility or if your hiring some time soon
thank you


Inquiry #2:

To: Hodgson/Meyers
Read more…

Gary Meyers