Below is an article I wrote in 1996 for the company newsletter at Scholin Brothers Printing Company where I worked from 1995-1998. I came across this recently and was impressed with how timely it still is. It is a great reminder that as much as the tools of marketing evolve, the fundamentals remain the same: great marketing begins with a great Product.
Marketing ROI: An Essential Tip
Marketing ROI is a hot marketing topic and regular point of discussion with our clients. Of course the pure definition of all marketing efforts is to drive sales. If the cost of our marketing efforts outstrips all income generated, then what’s the point? That is why Abra’s marketing programs always have a measurement component to track results and return on our client’s marketing investment, as should yours.
Abra Marketing, Santa Rosa Marketing Agency Update
By Kurt Hoffmann, Abra Founder and Creative Director.
I’m excited to announce that I’ve been hired to teach Marketing for the Spring 2018 Semester at Bergin University. A lot of people have not heard of Bergin so I’ll start with that. It’s actually a pretty cool story.
About Bergin University
Bergen University is located in Rohnert Park. Interestingly, Bergin is right around the corner from my first job when I moved to Sonoma County in 1998, working as Marketing Director for an independent record label. Bergin University was founded in 1991 as the Bonnie Bergin Assistance Dog Institute. It has been known as Bergin University of Canine Studies since 2007.
For People Who Run Businesses.
Marketing. It’s one of the primary challenges of running any business.
How much should you spend on marketing? Which social media should we be using? How do we measure marketing ROI? What’s the most effective media mix? Is our branding on point? Should we redesign our website?
All good questions and there are so many more we muscle through every day as a marketing agency. As I think of all the things we’ve helped companies do over the past 17 years, there’s one piece of advice I’d start with for anyone running a business:
Just start marketing.
What Is Marketing?
More and more I see people and companies who portray themselves as providing “marketing” services. Often their offerings are graphic design or video production or social media or building websites, etc. And yes, these tools can be used to market a company. But if the person driving that project does not have an understanding of how that effort will drive sales for the company, they are not truly marketing.
Purpose Driven Design
I had this “a hah” moment in the first months of starting Abra Marketing. In the beginning I wanted to be a graphic design shop. But having working in marketing for over 7 years (I started in marketing for 5 years, started over to become a graphic designer, then returned to marketing before starting the agency), I would be working on projects and realizing the headline was wrong, the copy was wrong, or the entire strategy was wrong. Hell, doing this print ad was wrong – this money would be better spent on direct mail (or another medium).
From the beginning, I understood that our projects MUST work. They must have a purpose to drive dollars and they must be guided by a solid strategy.
I have always loved great design, great creative and will always strive for that, but the greatness of a creative campaign must be how well it moves us in the direction of growing the client’s business.
At Abra, we pride ourselves on the way that we approach marketing. Being a full-service marketing agency allows us to meet a variety of needs for clients, it allows us to create a consistent message throughout, and it allows us to help all of a client’s marketing efforts work together and compound results. But in addition to those benefits, having an integrated marketing approach allows us to build long-lasting relationships with clients, and that long term involvement with a client becomes another benefit in the way we approach their marketing.
Abra Marketing has a unique history as a graphic design agency in Santa Rosa. This article provides a glimpse into my early years as a graphic designer and my intensive design production background.
I started the agency in November 1999 with the arrival of a new Mac G3. As a graphic designer I founded the agency with a focus on graphic design and branding. From the beginning there have been a few things that have helped our clients’ design projects be successful. One of these is my extensive production experience.
What Is A Digital Marketing Agency?
Digital Marketing is the number one buzzword for anyone trying to promote their business these days. But what is digital marketing and how do you select a digital marketing agency?
Digital Marketing covers the range of online efforts you can use to drive sales for your business:
- Social Media
- Online Video (this kind of falls under social media as well, but I like to separate it)
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
- Online Presence Management
- Email Marketing
- Inbound Marketing
- Marketing Automation
A Digital Marketing agency can provide any of these services, with some providing just one or a few and some providing all.
Digital Marketing In Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa digital marketing agency, Abra Marketing is proud to be locally focused in Sonoma County. Abra was founded in Santa Rosa in 1999. Founder Kurt Hoffmann had worked in marketing since 1989 before starting the agency. Our initial services focused on website design/website development and graphic design, however having worked in marketing for 10 years prior, we quickly found that the value we brought to our clients was not just in providing great website or graphic design projects, but the strategic marketing insight we brought to the table.
We helped clarify the purpose of the project and how it should be executed to help drive business for the client. To this end, we’ve never just built websites produced ads, but always have viewed projects as part of our work to help the client drive sales.
What is a B Corp?
Janae Lloyd of World Centric provides insight into B Corporations in Sonoma County, specifically the rigorous B Corp certification process.
World Centric is based in Petaluma, California and has been a certified B Corporation since 2010. World Centric is a socially responsible company that provides zero waste solutions to reduce environmental impact.
This video is part of a series looking at the B Corp movement and how it is manifesting itself among the B Corporations of Sonoma County, California.
Learn more about B Lab and the B Corp movement at:
Learn more about this video series at:
Abra Marketing is a digital marketing agency based in Santa Rosa, California.