Coalesce Inc.’s Blog

marketing, design and office fun

Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day

Posted by coalescemarketing on December 7, 2012

One thing’s for sure: there’s never a dull moment at Coalesce. We took full advantage of Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day this December 8. What we experienced, well, you’ll have to see for yourself by watching the video below. Fair warning: you may never look at cake (or Todd) the same way again.

Let’s time travel, together!


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Happy Have A Party With Your Bear Day!

Posted by coalescemarketing on November 16, 2012

We know everyone has one – corduroy brown, or pink and over-stuffed – that’s right, a teddy bear. Whether you keep yours on your bed for all to see or tucked away in your closet, today is the day to celebrate your stuffed friend.

It’s Have A Party With Your Bear Day.

So, show your bear some appreciation. Just make sure you let other people know you’re throwing a party for your bear…otherwise, it might end up going something like this:


Happy friday, everyone!

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Happy Tell A Story Day!

Posted by coalescemarketing on October 26, 2012

In observance of this national holiday, here at Coalesce, we wanted to share with you an example of just one of the many stories that can often be heard floating around inside our orange-colored walls. We hope you enjoy it, and maybe even learn something. Maybe not. But it’s worth a try.

We also hope you use today to exercise your story-telling rights. Tell them loud and proud, folks. This day only comes around once a year. 🙂

Happy Friday and Happy Tell a Story Day!

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Start thinking about holiday shoppers now!

Posted by coalescemarketing on October 15, 2012

Hey, Marketers! Think it’s too early to start thinking about holiday shoppers? Think again! This holiday season is poised to be the most mobile and online driven one yet, and if you’re not catering to customers where they are doing their shopping, namely online and through their mobile devices, you’re going to miss out on crucial sales.

Check out our talented account manager, Dana Kohlbeck’s article today in the Post Crescent. Dana shares some great tips for attracting holiday shoppers by reaching them at the point of purchase. For example, make sure you have a workable mobile website. Look into an ecommerce feature. Promote sales, products and services. All of these things make life easier for a consumer, and convenience is key, especially when shoppers are crunched for time!

Some other ideas for drawing in new business around the holidays?

Consider running a coupon campaign geared toward purchase-ready, holiday consumers. Tie your promotion to the holidays through its timeframe, design or offer.

Reach out to your already solid customer base with an eblast or direct mail piece explaining to them how you’ll make their holiday shopping easier this year. Direct them to your mobile website, offer free shipping or explain a new product or service.

Whatever you do, now is the time to start preparing your strategy for reaching holiday shoppers. Proper planning now will allow you to maximize sales later and ensure that your customers’ needs are met.

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Public Speaking 101

Posted by coalescemarketing on October 4, 2012

Public speaking – terrifying to some, exciting to others – will quite literally be taking the spotlight in the coming month. With the onslaught of presidential and vice presidential debates, all of us have quite an opportunity to gauge not only each candidates’ take on the issues, but also their ability to string together a decent presentation in a high-pressure situation.

Even after last night’s debate – the first of many – already critics and supporters of both President Obama and Governor Romney were throwing out adjectives like “smug,” “bored,” “uncomfortable,” “comfortable,” “confident,” and many more in their descriptions of the candidates. It’s clear that not only is the focus of these intense conversations on what is being said but it’s also on how it is being said.

Politics aside, there were many key public speaking takeaways from last night’s debate, namely, that things like posture, eye contact, humor and preparedness bode well for anyone who’s in the spotlight. This timely article was recently published on It includes many expert public speaking tips. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Also, keep in mind that these public speaking tips (and others like them) are not just applicable to large group presentations. If you’re pitching to a new business client in a small conference room, or talking to your employees at a staff meeting, using or tweaking some of the same techniques is a sure-fire way to come across as a polished, well-prepared speaker.

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Appleton’s Octoberfest!

Posted by coalescemarketing on September 27, 2012

It’s that time again, and we couldn’t be more excited. Appleton’s annual Octoberfest celebration kicks off tomorrow and runs through Saturday. The event is jam packed with a car show, family fun, musical performances, amazing food and drink, and spotlights on area businesses. Throw into the mix the over 100,000 people who will be in attendance and there’s no doubt it’ll be a blast. It’s the area’s biggest block party, and you don’t want to miss it.

We sure don’t, anyway! Coalesce team members will be tending bar on Saturday from 3:00-5:30pm near the WAPL stage and the Paper Valley Hotel (on the corner of Division Street), so come and see us! Public service announcement: Make sure to bring your ID…everyone gets carded.

And, due to the recent Monday Night Football debacle, the Octoberfest executive committee announced that everyone who plans to attend the festivities should wear Green and Gold in support of the Packers. For more up to the minute announcements and event details, be sure to “like” Appleton’s Octoberfest on Facebook and check out their website.

There really is nothing quite like this local event. We’re thrilled to take part, and we can’t wait to see you there. Cheers!

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This and That

Posted by coalescemarketing on August 31, 2012

Since I can’t seem to organize my thoughts into one collective blog post, I’m settling for bullet points. There’s so much going on that I could write about, and I don’t want to miss anything! Here it goes!

  • Can you believe it’s August 31st? It seems like just yesterday we were talking about the beginning of summer and ways to maximize summer work (and free time!) experiences. Now, we’re gearing up for Fall. Bring. It. On. At Coalesce, we’re excited about new projects, opportunities and events that the season will usher in. What are your strategies for having a successful Fall? Share them with us on twitter (@CoalesceInc), Facebook or below in the comments section of this post!
  • Fall, of course, means football season. We’re pumped for the first full weekend of NCAA football and are excited to root on the Badgers tomorrow. Best of luck to all those competing at every level, especially area high school students! We all can learn a lot from your dedication, determination, and team-first spirit.
  • Did you catch that UW-Madison was recently ranked #1 college with the happiest students. Reading through the list of the top colleges got us thinking. Colleges, much like businesses, appear to be most successful when they establish what they stand for and stick to it. In a way, each of the colleges on this list has a set of brand attributes that make them what they are. They practice what they preach and it shows in their academic and extracurricular success (and the happiness of their student bodies). Watch for our upcoming issue of Vitamin C for more about living your brand.

That’s all for now! Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone! We hope it’s safe and relaxing.

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Plinko, anyone!?

Posted by coalescemarketing on August 23, 2012

Gina, Dana and Lisa spent time at the New North Investor Event on Wednesday. It was a great opportunity to network and share information about what we do at Coalesce. We decided to spice things up, and offered those that stopped by to see us the opportunity to play everyone’s favorite game, Plinko! Contestants tried their luck to win “orange” prizes such as Orange Crush soda, Orange Tic Tacs, or our brand new Coalesce Orange Tumblers.

Check out these photos from our day! And, if you’re interested in acquiring your very own Orange Tumbler, stop by our office and talk with us! We’d love to see you!

Gina and Dana pose by our Plinko game with some of our Orange prizes

Brian Rasmussen from Insight proudly shows off his new Tumbler

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Small Talk

Posted by coalescemarketing on August 17, 2012

In a recent article on, contributor Victoria Pynchon discussed the secrets of super negotiators. She argued that problems can easily be solved if all parties involved learned to master the art of small talk. Check out the article here. What do you think?

We believe the underlying message of Ms. Pynchon’s article is to remember that those you work with – whether they be friends or enemies; colleagues, collaborators, customers or competitors – are human. They have human emotions and are drawn out by the things they like. In the same way, they become withdrawn when faced with subjects that make them uncomfortable.

In our opinion, the message in this article is important to remember, not only when negotiating but also when networking and branding.

First, if you go to an event, meet someone and begin a conversation by immediately describing what your company can do for that person’s business, chances are you’ll be left standing alone, with no potential client. Taking that approach demonstrates that you’ve forgotten the human aspect of meeting someone and focused too much on your business motives. Getting to know people – what they like, what’s important to them – and truly listening allows you, as a networker, to set up a foundation that can be drawn on in future business. Really then, small talk can lead to big results!

When working to create your company’s brand or image, it’s important to remember that the individuals you are targeting are people. People with likes and dislikes; people who want to be taken care of. Keep the human aspect of your brand at the forefront of your marketing efforts and through social media. How? Allow customers to see the real you. Admit mistakes. Answer questions. Make jokes.

As Victoria Pynchon sums up in her article:  “Be social. Be authentic. Be transparent and have fun with it.”

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Email Blast Etiquette

Posted by coalescemarketing on August 10, 2012

Reaching current and future customers through their email in-box is only logical. Here are some tips for Email blast etiquette. Make the most of your email marketing efforts by following these tried and true strategies.

  1. Keep it short and sweet – If a customer isn’t used to getting emails from you, or isn’t expecting to, he or she is not going to waste precious time delving into your five paragraph essay. Rather, if your message is succinct and easy to understand, you’re more likely to gain traction by catching the customer’s eye.
  2. Make sure the message you’re trying to convey is above the fold – Again, a customer is not likely to scroll through pages and pages of text, but if your main message is appealing and visible on screen before any work has to be done on the part of the customer, chances are better that your words will get read.
  3. Avoid buzz words – Phrases like “Save Now,” “Free,” and “One time offer,” especially in the subject line, are often SPAM triggers. In the body of your email, avoid typing in all capital letters and using excess punctuation, no matter how exciting what you have to say is.
  4. A picture is worth a thousands words –  A well-designed email is both attention-grabbing and memorable while still being clean and legible. Email marketing is much like a highway billboard and must pass the 3 second rule. If interest is piqued quickly, then people will take the time to read more. Emails must also load smoothly. Sticking to more basic HTML programming will ensure a quick load time.

You’ve worked hard to build your email database. Follow the above tips to ensure that your message has the best chance of reaching your customers.

Do you have other email blast best practices? Share them in the comments here or tweet @CoalesceInc.

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The Olympics and Information Sharing

Posted by coalescemarketing on August 3, 2012

A week in to the 2012 Summer Olympics, we thought it would be a good time to step back and analyze the impact social media has had on the games. Much as we anticipated, more Olympic stories are being shared and talked about on social media platforms than ever before. The numbers are staggering.

Perhaps one of the biggest story-lines of this Olympics has been the way information is shared.

Something we didn’t consider when we first talked about social media and the Olympics was the hard time we’d have in remaining ignorant of the results of certain events until they actually aired on NBC. One ill-timed Facebook perusal spoiled the Men’s gymnastics final outcome for me, and I happened to be on Twitter when news broke that Michael Phelps didn’t even medal in his first event. I’ve wised up a little and curbed my social media in-take since then. There was no way someone was going to ruin the Women’s gymnastics results for me!

Although it was upsetting to have results spoiled for me due to social media, I figured I sort of had it coming. I knew that Facebook and Twitter are going to present information immediately as it happens.

What I wasn’t prepared for was checking the NBC Olympics website in an attempt to find a schedule of events and seeing the results listed on the front page. There was no way to avoid seeing them. A friend of mine complained of this (on Facebook, of course), saying that NBC has sole rights to the video coverage. He asked why the network would choose to put the information on their website hours before they aired it in prime time.

My response would be that NBC doesn’t want to lose out to other news channels and platforms. Everyone wants to be the “first” to broadcast the information, especially in this age of social media information sharing. What do you think? Is it smart for NBC to post results on its website before it airs the events?

The Olympics are a great example of the power of social media in information sharing. The games also have raised issues of information sharing best practices on the whole.

We’d love to hear your opinions. Tweet @CoalesceInc and let us know what you think!

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The Olympics Go Social

Posted by coalescemarketing on July 27, 2012

We have been counting down to the 2012 Summer Olympic Games for months now, and we can hardly contain our excitement that the Opening Ceremony is finally tonight! We love the competition and the spirit surrounding the games. There are so many stories to follow and “good guys” to root for.

We’ve been thinking a lot about how the 2012 Olympics will likely be different than previous summer games, mostly because of the onslaught of social media in the past four years. It looks like we weren’t the only ones to have this thought, as a quick Google search for “social media and the Olympics” revealed several articles like this one from Yahoo Sports.

Will social media be a good thing or a bad thing for the Olympics? That depends on who you talk to. But, one thing is for sure: social media platforms have turned into breaking news outlets. For the majority of young people, they hear about news stories first through Twitter or Facebook, and when they want to see something replayed, they go to YouTube.

The sharing of stories and breaking news that will be going on via social media and pertaining to the Olympics will be unlike anything the games have ever seen before. And, social media will likely help the Olympics to reach a younger demographic, not necessarily one that wasn’t interested in the games before, but just one who is now completely plugged-in.

For the first time, fans will have an intimate connection to athletes who choose to provide commentary on their experience through social media. This new type of connection can surely be a good thing, if used appropriately by both athletes and fans. But, already a few instances have been cited where competitors were disrespectful or inappropriate, and because they voiced their opinions through social media sites, they are now being punished.

We believe that social media and the Olympics should be treated very much like social media and business. You have to be smart, respectful, up-to-date and interesting to be relevant. If you are, people will flock to you, share what you have to say, and in the end, make you a social media gold-medalist. If you don’t think before you post, tweet, share, etc. you’re setting yourself up for failure.

Here’s hoping that social media serves as a positive lens into the 2012 summer games; providing fans with up-to-the-minute updates and interesting insights.

Let the games begin, and go Team U.S.A.!

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