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Countless scientific studies have proven that playing a sport can add many benefits to one’s life. One unexpected benefit for an athletic enthusiast is a leg up when it comes to scoring that dream job! More and more employers are finding that applicants with a sports background make great employees. Does that mean you have to be a former Olympian or a retired professional football player to be first on the hiring list? Absolutely not! The Cornell Chronicle of Cornell University says, “Research with current workers and with retirees tell us: Participation in competitive youth sports ‘spills over’ to occupationally advantageous traits that persist across a person’s life”.

So what are these sought after traits that employers are looking for? Well, according to Elizabeth Covay Minor, Research Director at Michigan State University, in an interview with Fortune Magazine says, “persistence, attentiveness, organization and flexibility” are soft social skills that are important to employers. Other qualities that student athletes possess are: leadership ability, self-confidence and self-respect — also greatly valued by employers. Playing sports teaches future employees essential lessons in teamwork, reaching goals and even learning to cope with failure! Learning from these lessons will prepare former athletes for future professional workplace success.

Trent Gibson, Multimedia Engineer at MPSHere at Marketing Puget Sound, a great example of how playing sports has spilled over to benefit our team of professionals is through our Multimedia Engineer, Trent Gibson. Trent brings his semi-pro baseball skills with him to the office every day. His “team-first” attitude and competitive nature have added to our professional growth at MPS. Trent understands that teamwork is essential to reaching our goals, and our clients’ goals. As a key player of our Multimedia Marketing team in Tacoma, Trent uses his competitive nature off the field to guarantee every design we produce at MPS is a marketing masterpiece!



Small Business Saturday was a concept started by American Express in 2010, intended to help raise awareness about the products small businesses have to offer. Four years later, and the Saturday after Thanksgiving is more than just about raising awareness, but emphasizing the importance of supporting the community that has in return supported you. Small Business Saturday focuses on a chain reaction in the sense that, many local businesses owners, hire local, source local and choose to give back locally. As a Tacoma marketing firm and small business, we believe that there is so much to gain from choosing to shop small and we need to make it a greater priority.


At Marketing Puget Sound, a Tacoma marketing firm, Small Business Saturday is not something we participate in once a year, it is something that we focus on everyday. Many of our clients are local businesses/small shops, so we understand the major effects that shopping local can bring to a community. Statistically, spending $100 at a small business equals to $68 in the local economy. On the other end of the spectrum, $100 spent at a large retailer equals just $48 in the local economy. Even more, buying local cuts down on processing, packaging, and transportation waste, leading to less pollution and a cleaner community.

Yes, Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to shopping, but the concept itself has to do with so much more than the money. These local stores in your neighborhood are owned by artisans and people who are truly passionate about what they do. Working hard to provide you with products and services of high quality, because their demand is smaller. There is also this concept that the gifts you buy are entirely unique to your community; they embody what makes this neighborhood so important to you.

Small businesses generate 70% more local economic activity per square foot than a large retailer. That’s an incredible percentage! So the next time you go holiday shopping, truly consider visiting that local shop before hitting the mall or Do you need help marketing your small businesses? We want to help! Call 253-503-1227 for a free 30-minute consultation.


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Positivity is something that we choose. #PositiveByDesign encompasses just that. With every situation we face, there is the opportunity to design the path we wish to take. Will we opt to focus on the positives or take on a more negative approach?

Here at Marketing Puget Sound, we believe that positive thinking gives us a “Happy Advantage”, which was inspired by Shawn Achor’s TEDx talk on positive psychology. He explained that our brain at positive allows for a higher potential for happiness, productivity, energy and creativity. With so much to gain and nothing to lose, MPS has chosen to launch #PositiveByDesign, a campaign focusing on increasing happiness and positivity in all aspects.

Achor mentions five daily engagements, when accomplished for at least 21 days can lead to positive change. They include listing three items of gratitude, exercise, random acts of kindness, journaling and meditation. One of my personal gratitudes is the opportunity to be inspired by the creative work of others. I love discovering clever and imaginative media campaigns that really convey a message. If it happens to also make me laugh, that’s just a bonus. Take a little break from your busy day to peek at these great campaigns that illustrate exactly what #PoitiveByDesign is, both aesthetically and metaphorically.

 Ogilvy: Expedia Luggage Tag Campaign
Ad agency Ogilvy uses the three-letter airport luggage tags to convey some witty travel messages.


Harvey Nichols: #SpendItOnYourself
Ad agency adam&eveDDB, London created clever simple adds for cheap holiday gifts actually sold as a way to reinforce the idea of saving money and #SpendingItOnYourself

Saatchi & Saatchi: Schusev State Museum of Architecture
Ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi highlights the knowledge of information available at the museum by featuring famous Russian landmarks, but showing that there’s more to the story.

Rothammer: “When Love is Born, a Friend Dies”
Prolam Y&R Santiago, Chile created beer ads, with the phrase “When love is born, a friend dies”. Depicting friends mourning their buddies who have fallen for girls and have less time to for drinking.

Volkswagen: Precision Parking
DDB Tribal Berlin, Germany emphasizes Volkswagen’s new park assist feature.

Although all these campaigns are for very different brands, the common denominator is how effectively the messages are visually conveyed. I hope these sparked some creativity and imagination that you can use to get you through the rest of the day as you design positively!

Pumped up and ready to rock 2014, we want to share a piece of our marketing brains and explain what we do for local businesses. In particular, we’d like to chat about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how this technique will help maximize your business marketing plan for 2014. Maybe you’ve heard of the term, but never fully grasped its what it meant.

SEO is a very efficient resource to improve and promote your website to increase the number of visitors to your site through search engines such as Google. It’s an organic approach to ensure that your website ranks highly on those results page, and so that prospect who are interested in your specific product are able to find you.

Search engines determine what sites are ranked highly by routinely covering websites with crawlers. Crawlers analyze web content, copy the pages, and then index them so that users can search for the most relevant information to them.  SEO helps make your content more accessible to the crawlers and easier for them to read.  The easier your site is to read, the more likely it will be indexed in a way that it will be ranked highly on a web search.

Though SEO is extremely important to the success of a company’s website, there is much more to effective Business Marketing Plans. Marketing Puget Sound is a Tacoma marketing firm with an experienced team that proudly serves the growing business’s of the Pacific Northwest. If you have questions about Search Engine Optimization, tweet us @MPSTacoma!

Every other website these days announces ‘SEO is dead.’ Certainly, the radical increase in effectiveness and complexity of the Google algorithm has put a halt to a huge number of manipulative activities which marked the dark side of the internet in its early years. But still, marketing isn’t a crime and, although Matt Cutts and his spam team can clamp down on the worst offenders, it still remains perfectly reputable to wish your site to gain more traffic and readership. Since 2012, guest blogging has been the most commonly accept method of so-called ‘ethical’ link building but, as this area gets more and more competitive, other methods are rising to the surface, one of which is known as ‘broken link building’

What is broken link building?
Inevitably on a big site, or a site which has been running for a few years, some of the links are going to break. Websites rise and fall like sandcastles these days, or are simply updated. All of a sudden that great article compiling the ten best Albums of 2012 only links to nine, because one of the link no longer works. In a nut shell, the skill of ‘broken link building’ is for cunning SEO’ers to find these broken links, drop the website owner a friendly email pointing out their error, and then – here comes the trick – offer a new link to replace the old. For the webmaster this is a great opportunity to update their site and fix the error, and if you can offer a replacement of a similar quality, it can be a clever and ethical means to gain a good link.

What are the advantages of broken link building?
The obvious advantage is that, with the right tools and research, you can source a link it would be virtually impossible to get via any other means. Aged sites with extremely authoritative inner pages get broken links like anywhere else: so sourcing one of these means you might potentially gain yourself a well seasoned, high page authority site, perfectly on topic. Links don’t come much better than this!

The second advantage is that these links can be totally white hat. Contextual, relevant links from reputable websites are what Google wants and, these days, there are very few ways indeed to give it to them. Here’s one which works, and which, with persistence, can yield stupendous results. Russ Virante posted the Broken Link Builders Bible on Moz recently which goes in to even greater details.

What are the disadvantages of broken link building?
Time is the main factor here. Finding good quality broken links can be a hugely difficult task, although thanks to the advent of brilliant tools like Citation Labs tool, it has been vastly lessened. Nevertheless, with a conversion rate of around 2%, expect to send out a good many of these links to webmasters before one is accepted. Since this technique often requires creating a specific piece of content on your site which is going to fit with the broken link, having your efforts refuted can be dispiriting. Nevertheless prevail and keep at it and your efforts will be rewarded! This is one of the hot link building methods of the moment and, like the proverbial clove of garlic, may keep those Penguins away for a long time to come!

Piers Ede is the owner of Barefoot SEO, a digital search company based in London and a Team Blogger for MPS. He speaks regularly at industry conferences about organic SEO.

Ever since the roll-out of the Google Penguin update last year, there has been a debate going on among online marketers as to what is the right way forward with regard to promoting websites on the internet. Some say that because of Penguin’s clamp down on low quality links and web spam, old-skool link building is dead, and that content marketing is only way forward. Others say that content marketing is a red herring, and that traditional link building is still a viable strategy. Still others proclaim that a combination of the two is only way to go; this is my view.

The Growth of Content Marketing
Content marketing is not a new concept – it has been around for over 100 years. One of the first recognized forays into content marketing is seen as the Michelin Restaurant Guides, made for the first time in 1900; they were made by a tyre company (!), for the benefit of motorists who traveled the country, and were looking for places to eat. Michelin tyres were early pioneers in producing content in a “boring” industry; they did the now common tactic of looking for content ideas in a niche adjacent to theirs (restaurants), rather than endlessly struggling to say something interesting about tyres.

The term “content marketing” has become very much a buzzword in SEO circles over the last couple of years, and is sometimes treated as if it is a new idea, when obviously it’s not. The main idea behind content marketing is that rather than spamming Google with thousands of low quality paid for, automated, links, or manually going out and begging, buying or stealing links for your website, you actually provide something of value to your users on the web. Rather than using the traditional “push” or “outbound” marketing of old, where it’s all “me, me, me!”, pushing marketing at people who don’t want to see it, you instead meet people where marketing has traditionally said that they need to be met – at the point of the customer’s need.

Example: a luxury holiday company has been trying traditional SEO tactics to some success, but wants to take things to the next level; so they start hiring writers to write content for their site; specifically, histories of the countries they are selling holidays to. Users start to click on these histories as they research and plan their holidays, and trust begins to grow between these users and the tour operator, and they are more likely to purchase with them because they have engaged with the content and trust the brand more. That’s the concept in a nutshell; it’s all about earning interest and trust with users and customers, rather than begging, borrowing or buying it. It’s about being a great brand, not pretending to be one.

The Death of Link Building?
IMHO, the death of SEO and link building has been greatly exaggerated. Yes, since Panda and Penguin , a certain type of link building has been consigned to the waste bin (where it had always been, really – Penguin just nailed the last nail in the coffin) – I’m talking mass directory submissions, article marketing, forum and comment spam, plus all the other automated crap that black hatters seem to pollute the web with. Since Penguin, very few SEO Companies are selling these tactics to their clients. Talk of content marketing has taken over.

But white-hat link building is different – these white hatters take the manual approach, sourcing out link prospects individually, tailoring outreach individually, and looking to partner with sites, not just spam them with crap. This type of link building, which is more aligned with traditional marketing, has a future. Indeed, the future seems to be in a hybrid of content marketing and link building….

Content and Link building Together – The Future?
Many content marketers seem to forget the fact the term “content marketing” has the word “marketing” in; they just presume that if the content is good enough, then the “build it and they will come” philosophy will prevail. This is true in some cases, in most this is simply not true.

Yes, you have to build great content, but you have to market it as well. One of my favorite definitions of marketing is “creating something remarkable, then telling people about it,” This so true – you have to push your content out there, bang the drum, and get the word out there. In the online world, this largely means link building (in addition to social and other promotion – basically inbound marketing).

So we can see that the battle between content marketing and SEO/link building is not really a battle at all – the best long term strategy for success is a combination of both.

According to a recent report, marketers should slow down their migration to digital. It suggests that consumers’ distain for online marketing means that the old ways are still best, there is not much to dislike about digital marketing though, if you do it right.

Adobe’s “Click Here: State of Online Advertising” asked consumers for their ‘favorite’ advertising medium. Websites only secured 12% of the vote, behind TV and print which received 23% and 39% respectively. More worrying though, was their responses when asked to describe online marketing.

  • 62 % described them as annoying.
  • 45% said they were invasive.
  • 44% distracting.
  • Only 13% would describe them as eye catching.
  • 12% claimed they were clever.
  • 8% persuasive.

These figures though, at highly subjective, based on people’s perceptions. When asked to think of a print advert, we recall something memorable we recently saw in a magazine. It is likely to have been sleek and stylish, targeting your personal interests, if it wasn’t doing this, why were you reading the magazine?

When asked to think of TV adverts, we think of iconic family favorites, overly nostalgic Hovis adverts, or cute and cuddly meerkats. We look at traditional advertising with rose tinted glasses, not taking functionality into account. Realistically, we’re not going to buy any product just because we like the advert.

Digital marketing has a serious image problem though, when asked to think of online marketing, most people think of flashy banners, spam and popups. Television advertising is just as spammy, but payday loans, accident claims, PPI and Loreal’s pseudo-science seem to get forgotten about don’t they?

Public perceptions of online marketing are years out of date, but there are a few who still comply with them. Marketers need to look at their online presence from the point of view of the customers, if there is any way it could be interpreted as invasive, they need to stop what they’re doing, now.

Too much time is spent chasing business around the net, when we should be letting it come to us. A good digital marketing strategy is based on driving traffic through integrity, credibility and authority, not reach and volume.

People go on the internet looking for answers, so offer them a place to find them, there needs to be a reason for people to keep returning to your site.

Think of a fishing tackle shop, people generally don’t wander in to have a look around, they go in because they haven’t caught anything. A good store owner will then sell them the right product, based on their in depth knowledge of equipment and the local fishing holes. If the clerk can keep making the right decisions, his credibility will grow, and punters will keep going back to the store.

Now imagine you’re out fishing and have not caught anything, a man approaches you claiming he knows why and that he can sell you the solution. Most of us will tell this man to jog on, so why do so many online marketers opt for this method?

Google is always releasing updates that favour the tackle shops of this world. Contrary to the popular belief that they are pandering to the big names, they are just rewarding those who offer something of value.

Stop casting your nets wide looking for a big catch, use the right bait and they will come to you.

As for public perceptions, online marketing will never be vulnerable to them, no amount of spam will turn us away from our computers. The Go Compare adverts annoy every single one of us, but we still all watch TV.

Joe Errington is a Team Blogger for Marketing Puget Sound and  marketing social media executive for MITIE. MITIE is a strategic outsourcing company who looks after the facilities management in the UK and abroad.

Last week we showed you how to convert your personal Pinterest account now you will be able to take advantage of this conversion! Pinterest has launched an absolutely FREE analytics tool for Pinterest business accounts. If you have yet to convert your account visit last weeks blog post to learn how.

How to Access Pinterest Analytics

  1. To access your very own Pinterest analytics, log in to your business account and go to the top right corner of your screen to the dropdown menu.
  2. Make sure you have switched over to the “new look” which will be located at the very bottom of the drop down. *You can always switch back if you don’t like it.
  3. Refresh your page and visit the same dropdown menu in the top right corner of the screen and “Analytics” will appear.

Below you will find an example of’s Pinterest Analytics page:

What Kind of Analytics will I have Access to?

At the top of your Pinterest Analytics page you will see an option to select a date range as well as 4 menu items labeled Site Metrics, Most Recent, Most Repinned, and Most Clicked. You are also given the option to export the results for easy storage of data.

These categories allow your business to see exactly what your Pinterest followers find worthy of clicking and remembering. Data is information and information about your followers is POWERFUL! This is just the first version of Pinterest Analytics and we can’t wait to see what comes next as we enjoy this awesome addition.

To contact Marketing Puget Sound please call (253) 503-1227 or email!

Let’s face it most business owners struggle to find the time to market their product or service.  There are so many things to try to learn and understand that marketing 2.0 gets overwhelming.  The marketing landscape changes on a daily basis, below are a few resources that will help you stay up to date.

HubSpot | Inbound Marketing
When it comes to inbound marketing Hubspot has some great marketing tips on their blog, free ebooks, and webinars.  One of the aspects that sets apart HubSpot as one of the better Marketing resources is some of their marketing grading tools (twitter grader, search grader, marketing grader, etc.).

Mashable | Social Media News and Web Tips
If you want to stay up to date on the latest happenings in the ever changing Social Media environment Mashable is generally the first to report it.  Their marketing strategies are always cutting edge and their content is always fresh and relevant.

SEO Moz | Search Engine Marketing Tactic’s & Strategies
Search marketing can be a very complex puzzle but with SEO Moz they help make what is complicated very easy to understand in the world of SEO.  Whiteboard Friday’s are a must for any SEO enthusiast.  They also have some incredible SEO tools that will help you navigate your SEO marketing strategy.

In the comments below please share some of your favorite Marketing Website’s.

*Marketing Puget Sound is not your typical advertising agency.  We take great pride in the fact that we offer a wide scope of products and services focusing on the avenues that bring you the greatest return.  We know that diversifying into many different areas is important for any business.  However, not every business is the same; we create unique marketing plans customized to your specific needs and goals.