June Roundup: A Time for Reflection

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Yes, we know. We're well into July already with this June roundup.

It's been a busy few weeks. We've all taken some time off. A team member got married. We celebrated the 4th of July holiday. 

Life around the office has been a bit chaotic, to say the least.

As we thought about what we might like to focus on this month, one thing stood out.

Fisheye turned 2 years old on June 15. The past two years have been a period of great change, transition and growth for our entire team. We decided each of us would write a reflection on our time here—whether we've been around since the beginning, or for just a few months. 


TROY — Fisheye Turns Two

Fisheye Marketing officially turned two years old on June 15.

Wow.

It was a humbling feeling. It’s probably the feeling a parent has at their child’s second birthday party. How have I been able to keep something like this alive for two years?

The second birthday at Fisheye was bittersweet. I’ll start with the sweet.

We have awesome clients. We have an office. We have a team— a team that has families—and gets married (looking at you, Andrea). We have projects. We have work. We have meaning and a budding culture.

Every day, I drive to our downtown Sioux Falls office. I brainstorm other things I could be doing at the age of 28. Aside from playing golf on the PGA Tour, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing. That means I’m working, and living my dream life.

The sweet.

I’ll be honest though. Part of me in June of 2016 would have thought we’d be further along right now than we are. Maybe we’d hold more accounts. Maybe we’d have a larger team. I don’t know specifics— I just thought “further along.”

Sure, there are things I could have done differently. Lessons were learned, and experience gained.

But ultimately, I tell our team this.

“It’s a slow grow, but the biggest fish take the longest to mature.”

We have so much to be grateful for.

No two-year-old is a finished product. Not by any means. Most two-year-olds can barely talk. At least we can all talk.

But a two-year-old is something to be proud of. And I’m proud as ever of this company and our team.

Onward and upward!


ASHLEY — Balancing Motherhood & Professional Life

One of the most difficult decisions as a mother is whether to work at home or outside the home.

I never thought I would have such a hard time deciding. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart; it's a juggling act, a transition from sleeping in to sleepless nights to staying up late watching a movie to staying up late with a crying baby, and just finding time to be myself.

It’s also one of my most prized accomplishments. Watching this tiny human go through each milestone, learning the ABC’s, talking, and riding a bike make life a lot simpler and lovely. 

Working part-time during this stage of motherhood has been a time for me to think for myself, provide new challenges, have an income, and be in a job that still allows me to be a mother.

I knew I needed to make a change and I’m very thankful Fisheye Marketing is giving me the opportunity to pursue another avenue of my professional life.


ANDREA — One Thing After Another

The last twelve months have been marked by a string of major life changes—both personal and professional.

I graduated from college in May (go Augie!), started my first post-grad job in August, got engaged in December, and just a couple weeks ago, got married.

It's been an exciting year, to say the least.

Trying to plan a wedding in six months when you're only a few months into your first full-time job sounds a bit daunting, but I couldn't have asked for a better support system at work. 

From flexible scheduling and office hours, to co-workers who invest and care about you as a person, juggling these life changes went smoother than I could have hoped. 

While life might finally be slowing down for me, we always keep things interesting in the Fishbowl. It's been a year of rapid change, learning and growth. I remember fearing the lack of classes and general knowledge gathering that I'd lose out on after leaving college, but in a small company like ours, I learn something new every single day. 

I'm grateful to have such a wonderful team, and the opportunity to do work I care about. Here's to another year!

May Roundup: A Trip Down Memory Lane

Each month we round up some of the most interesting articles we've discovered, and share a few marketing-related thoughts along with them. 

This time around, Ashley started us off with an interesting piece on the Beanie Baby bubble, so Troy and Andrea decided to follow suit with commentary on other 90's nostalgia items. 

We're curious. How likely are you to purchase something, purely for nostalgia's sake?


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Ashley

The Hustle - The Beanie Baby Bubble of '99

I definitely fell for it. As a child of the 90's, I became a collector of the wondrous Ty Beanie Babies. You could go so far as to say I was a die-hard, spending my weekly allowance on these bags of beans. Our local shops knew me on a first-name basis, as I would call them every other day to see if they had a new shipment, and yes, I would need tag protectors and a special display box for the more valuable beanies.

I needed these toys in my life.

Ty Warner had a solid business plan: sell a limited number to small local shops for a reasonable price, and skip the the giant chain stores. He created a sense of mysticism around his product, keeping consumers wondering if certain Beanies would be retired, or which stores were going to carry the toys. An illusion of scarcity was created, which drove the demand up even more. People became fanatical, robbed stores, and trampled children to get their hands on these little bags of beans.

Finally, in 1999, the end began as Warner announced the retirement of several Beanie Babies and nothing happened. The market didn't swell or increase in value. Collectors panicked and flooded the market even further, trying to sell off their collections. Eventually, Warner announced that all Beanie Babies would go out of production entirely at the end of the year. No one cared. Sales declined by more than 90 percent and most Beanies were worth just 1 percent of their original sale price.

The Beanie Baby frenzy was all part of a bubble:

  1. Hot product hits the market.
  2. Market reacts with euphoria.
  3. Boom in speculation.
  4. Bubble bursts, people panic.

Hearts were happy, people spent thousands, and now the toys sit in claw machines and carnival games.


Troy

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Skyword - What Is Content Marketing? The Unlikely Answer in Baseball Cards

In the spirit of writing about childhood obsessions, I’ll take a moment to write about my obsession with cards.

Baseball cards and football cards were a huge part of my childhood. I would say almost pivotal.

They were a key part of birthdays and Christmas presents. Allowance money was saved strategically with one objective in mind. Friends were trading partners. The obsession was real.

I found a blog published in 2015 by the folks over at Skyword that resonated with me. Sports cards may have laid part of the foundation for my love of marketing.

Cards were content. On the front was one of the keynote photos from their season. On the back, was a biography, statistics and more. I would memorize HR totals and receiving yard totals. I can name the colleges of thousands of NFL players.

In the earliest days, they were a nascent form of true content marketing, developing engaging content to tell their story.

Baseball and football undoubtedly gained hundreds of thousands of young fans through allegiances held by that one “special” rookie card. You know, the one that the Beckett Card Price Guide listed at a $45.00 value and you put in your hard cover.

Content marketing is really about creating content—any content—that your customers want to consume. It can be done with written word (blogs & articles), videos, pictures (photos & design), or audio (podcasts).

Create content, and develop a legion of diehard fans for your brand.

My stacks and stacks of cards sitting in my closet are a testimony.


Andrea

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PR Newswire - Mattel Taps Into 90’s Nostalgia with Relaunch of Polly

Since we’re talking old toys, I’ll follow suit and take on Polly Pocket dolls.

These miniscule plastic dolls (can you say choking hazard?) were all the rage in the 1990’s–an era I can just barely claim to remember, though 90’s nostalgia is resurging in a major way among millenials.

However, I was lucky enough to have an older sister with a behemoth collection of Pollys, all of which ended up in my possession once she became “too cool.”

Where are they now, you ask? I haven’t the faintest clue–which is unfortunate considering the latest eBay boom.

While I won’t be piling away extra cash for my vintage Pollys, Mattel has announced a relaunch of the tiny dolls and their compact playsets, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued.

There’s nothing especially practical or appealing about the dolls. They really are miniature–about the size of your fingernail–which, in my opinion, makes them not only dangerous, but annoying.

The appeal here is purely nostalgic, and Mattel knows it.

An article from gNovis, Georgetown University's journal of communication, culture, and technology put it best:

"From a marketing perspective, it’s significantly easier to bring back an old-school logo than it is to deliver new content. Brands from all industries are trialing with positive cultural memories because seeing a product in the condition we experienced as children triggers an emotional attachment, and therefore a higher possibility that we will act upon a purchase."

The content and the product already exist. Mattel simply has to relaunch.