Portent Staff

Articles by Portent Staff

Portent Staff //  30 Apr, 2008

Creativity Versus Mediocrity: A Country Western Parable

  The day didn’t grow darker, exactly. But the light shifted in a way that was almost imperceptible, the day that Mediocrity rode into town. It rode a limping horse with a second-hand saddle on which it balanced precariously. Behind it rode its army: Whining, Ambivalence, and Lame Excuses. Taking a deep swig from its… Read More

Portent Staff //  17 Apr, 2008

When it comes to marketing, it’s always peanut butter and jelly time

When it comes to marketing, it’s always peanut butter and jelly time. No, this isn’t some lame joke about how lunchtime is the best part of an internet marketing gig, nor is it some vaguely incestuous reference to the necessary blend between technology and creative. Actually, this is a story about my fourth grade teacher,… Read More

Portent Staff //  11 Apr, 2008

14 Ways Internet Marketing Is Like Four Square

It Isn’t Not really. I mean sure, I could come up with some long winded post using the ball as a metaphor for links and making some contrived puns about bouncing. But it isn’t really anything at all like internet marketing. But that won’t keep me from going on and on about it on this… Read More

Portent Staff //  10 Apr, 2008

It’s a Bird. It’s a Plane. It’s Another Excruciating Marketing Metaphor.

  Sometimes a rose is just a rose.* In other words, a landing page does not have to be a ship, a sandpiper, or a head of arugula in order for your audience to listen to you-really! In fact, there are many other lonely literary devices out there that just might give your internet marketing… Read More

Portent Staff //  3 Apr, 2008

Marketing 101 – From the Beginning

Hello blog readers. My name is Stacy Conner. I’m a Senior Marketer here at Portent Interactive and my focus is on developing marketing strategies for our clients. Marketing strategy is a lot of fun! I thought it might be helpful to start a beginning level or 101 series on general marketing principals and Internet marketing.… Read More

Portent Staff //  2 Apr, 2008

When it comes to Gen Y Advertisements, Pigeonholing is a Major Party Foul

Yes, Gen Y is young, driven, spoiled, busy. But a slew of recent advertisements neglect to notice that we are also well-educated, scarily mature, and shrewd as hell. In other words, we know when we’re being talked down to. And now we are talking back with a message for you: When it comes to banking… Read More

Portent Staff //  28 Mar, 2008

Stayin’ Alive: What Internet Marketers can learn from Indie Bookstores

With the ‘R’ word hovering, the volatile internet marketing industry is bound to suffer right? Not so fast. One odds-defying industry offers inspiration to those of us in the ever-fragile web biz. Read on for survival tips culled from their mysteriously hardy shelves… Start With an Untapped Community If you cater to a targeted community,… Read More

Portent Staff //  20 Mar, 2008

Bait and Switch is Bad! But Bait and Sweetly Suggest Works!

Portent recently won an award for something I initially thought sounded very counter-intuitive, maybe even a little shady. But it turned out to be one of our most successful email opt-in campaigns to date. Below are the marketing insights I believe made all the difference. The idea was to add an email subscription page between… Read More

Portent Staff //  13 Mar, 2008

What kind of client are you? Introducing the Portent Client Matrix

Do you know it all, and just want someone else to take care of it? Or do you need help figuring out what to do? Save yourself a passel of hassle and know what kind of client you are before you call anybody for help.
Matched with a company who understands where you are in the Portent Client Matrix will reduce confusion and frustration and encourage achievement of your goals.

Portent Staff //  11 Mar, 2008

Pauli Exclusion for the Techie and Creative in Internet Marketing

Internet marketing is a blend of technology and creative. When putting together a landing page campaign or whole new site, you have designers who create the art and the developers who make it do magic.
Some companies make the mistake of having their developer also be the designer. Not good. You’ll end up with a really, really large title text in font size 32 mismatched with really small paragraph text in font size 10. Colors will probably consist of black, white, blue or red and no shades in between. Your background will have some sort of funky rainbow gradient. Not to mention the mega indignation from the developer explaining, “Yeah, it doesn’t look great but it works.”
Just don’t do go there. Get artists to create the art and lay it out nicely. Get developers to make the buttons do something. You’ve probably heard of the Pauli Exclusion Principle at some point in your science classes – no two electrons can occupy the same space at the same time. Think of web design roles similarly. Programmers are not designers. Designers are not programmers. They do not occupy the same brain space at the same time, or a design/functional collision disaster could be the result!
Don’t take my word for it, though. See for yourself.

Portent Staff //  28 Feb, 2008

The Struggle for Validation

  Earlier this morning, Ian sent me an email saying that the Portent Website code was great. Near perfect, even! But one thing was weighing on his mind. We weren’t passing the W3 Markup Validation. That giant red “THIS SITE ISN’T XHTML TRANSITIONAL!” message was searing into his poor SMX-addled eyeballs and I was the… Read More

Portent Staff //  27 Feb, 2008

Loves Poppies, Still Owns Piggy Bank: Write Personas like Ads

  All soccer moms are not created equal. Copyblogger makes this point in a recent post, and I totally agree. Until we go beyond perfunctory profiling and start creating vivid, charismatic, three-dimensional characters, personas will be of no use except to perpetuate stereotypes. Marketers need to go further in their persona development if they are… Read More

Portent Staff //  22 Feb, 2008

Stale Linkbait Works Best: How to Totally Ignore your Blog and Still Increase Traffic

Or maybe I should say, the best linkbait never gets stale. Basically, my goal is to assault your blogging worldview and contradict everything you’ve ever heard on the subject-all for a good cause, of course. In this post, I am going to tell you how to have a decent little blogging career, and even earn… Read More

Portent Staff //  21 Feb, 2008

Class up your link icons with CSS background images

I loathe the term “web 2.0”. I think catch phrases are easy and unimaginative, and calling the recent boom of easy to use and engaging websites “web 2.0” seems to cheapen them. It sounds too trendy. It sounds like there will be a “web 3.0” and that “web 2.0” will become obsolete once we get… Read More

Portent Staff //  20 Feb, 2008

QA is Like being a Priest in World of Warcraft

(A quick note: If you don’t know World of Warcraft, skip about 4 paragraphs down. If you do know it, it’s thoroughly worth reading and pertinent. We at Portent love to geek out now and then.) My best friend and her boyfriend recently started playing World of Warcraft, so I’ve reactivated my account after a… Read More