• The Zen of: Problem Solving 💪💡🔨

    Decisions, Doubts, and Daring With great growth, comes great responsibility. 21 days into our rebrand, we’re celebrating and tinkering, poking holes and singing our praises. What do we know? We’re editors, not perfectionists. We’re interested in deconstruction, in the service of building something better. We’re always striving to be more creative, more in-touch with the needs of businesses and the power of branding. And as we grow bigger, we want to stay connected to our community and honor where we’ve come from. We keep realizing how much we all have in common, and whether we’re coming up with a marketing strategy or addressing an HR issue, there are problems and solutions, and strategies and perspectives that help us bridge the gap between the two. This week’s content shares a few of those, while asking how the “connected consumer” has changed everything from our expectations for service to our relationship with technology. We’re obsessed with the HBR podcast – IdeaCast – and were enthralled by a recent episode titled “For Better Customer Service, Offer Options, Not Apologies.”   Jagdip Singh, a professor of marketing at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, and his team analyzed over 100 videos filmed…

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  • The Story Behind Our Rebrand: How Did Marketing Zen Become Zen Media?

    Rebrands are tricky things. They require introspection. Soul-searching. A commitment to facing the best and the worst in ourselves – and then, taking action. That’s what we at Zen Media did this past year, as we went through the transformation that took us from Marketing Zen to Zen Media. There were a lot of reasons we decided it was time for a new name and a new look, but the biggest one was that our company, itself, was changing. For the past two years or so, we’d been observing that consumer behavior – and no less importantly, consumer expectations – were transforming dramatically. If we wanted to continue to give our clients the best service possible, we had to transform too. That’s the short version of the story. But, of course, there’s more to it than that. So, for those who are interested, here’s the long version of how Marketing Zen became Zen Media. The beginnings of Marketing Zen Our founder and CEO, Shama Hyder, founded Marketing Zen back in 2009 after graduating from the University of Texas-Austin. Initially, she thought the company would be a general consulting firm – however, once she started working with clients, it became clear…

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  • The Renaissance of Retail

    96% of Americans do at least part of their shopping online, and 2017 marked the first year that shoppers expected their online holiday spending to exceed their offline purchases. With many traditional shopping malls standing vacant or glaringly under-occupied, it isn’t entirely crazy to wonder if offline retail is dead. The fact is, offline retail is going the way of the dodo. But the key word here is offline. As Wikipedia defines it, “Online indicates a state of connectivity, and offline indicates a disconnected state, specifically an internet connection.” The only retail that is dead is retail that is offline – retail that is digitally disconnected. At Zen Media, we’re raising retail from the dead. With a powerful combination of digital innovation, marketing moxie, architectural know-how, and creative design, we revive offline retail through digitally connective optimization, bringing brands fully “online” in dynamic places that customers will seek out to kindle their imagination and inspire a sense of possibility. A fascinating phenomenon is taking place. At the peak of digital domination, at the apparent apex of e-commerce, offline retail is making a comeback, only this time, on entirely different terms. Call it a resurgence of physical place over digital space,…

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  • The Zen of: Reinvention ✨

        We’re proud to announce Marketing Zen’s transformation into Zen Media. Innovation requires soul-searching—We’re always telling our clients how important it is that they remain agile and responsive to the rapidly changing digital ecosystem. We also remind them that it’s not enough to chase the hottest new trends and technology; they have to understand how those trends and breakthroughs are relevant to their specific industry and vision. So, in the spirit of eating our own cooking, we took a moment — a long, messy moment — to have a much-needed identity crisis, and emerge anew with content and offerings that fully align with our understanding of the connected consumer, and brands’ most urgent marketing needs. We’ve found what Frederick Buechner described as the place “where (our) deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” Check it out at   1. Learn, fail, thrive, repeat. Whether through helping small business superheroes with genius-level digital marketing advice @ChaseforBiz conferences, or wrapping our tongues around the name of our new client’s Polish beer – Zywiec – pronounced “zhivyets” — the Zen team has humbly recognized and can’t stress enough the importance of being a lifelong (and daily) learner. The process of…

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  • Your Tech Checklist: What Brands Need to Succeed with the Connected Consumer

    The connected consumer is nothing if not radically tech-savvy. They’re visiting review sites before they make a purchase – even if they’re in a brick-and-mortar store. They’re checking in to your restaurant on social media – and they want your coupons to find them. They’re searching for your brand on Google the second they see your social ad – and they want the answers to their questions right now. In short, today’s connected consumers are more empowered than ever before, and their expectations have risen exponentially as a result. Brands that want to capture this demographic must meet these customers where they are – on their devices – by implementing stellar delivery mechanisms and keeping their technology on point and up-to-date. The connected consumer demographic is growing – and that growth will only continue Consider these statistics. In the U.S. alone: 82% of the population now owns a smartphone 29% of consumers made an in-store mobile payment in 2017 20% of consumers ages 19-49 visit websites from four different devices each week If you don’t have the technology in place to give these consumers what they want, you’re missing out on a significant potential customer base. Your tech checklist: What…

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