Tag Archives: Futuramic’s Clean Water Center

Removing the First 30 Seconds in a Conversation

September 26, 2019 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Our marketing has a goal: ‘remove the first 30 seconds in a conversation about Clarkson College,’” said Clarkson College Director of Marketing Alex Maltese. “By that, I hope more people will know who we are, where we are, and what we do…If I can associate the who, where, and what of Clarkson College with a recognizable brand, I won’t have to burn time in anyone’s short attention span. I can get right down to the product or service that I’m trying to promote.”

Strong brands exude a clear sense of their core value. Think about Volkwagen and their eco-friendly brand, or Coca-Cola and their image of being with customers at every important event in their lives. That may be straightforward enough, but the word’s gerund form, “branding,” is more difficult to articulate. And that is becoming more difficult as the electronic world moves at the speed of a Porsche, not a Volkwagen.

Tom Luke, founder and owner of Luke Direct Marketing since 2004, said any branding, especially digital, is creating a look that people recognize and associate with an organization or company.

“Then creating a look that we use everywhere as much as possible to brand that business in a way that is consistent in every medium as much as possible,” he said, adding that with more channels than ever, “It’s become more complicated…Every day it’s something new and different in the Facebook/Instagram world.”

Clarkson College was established in 1888, so the public knew about the institution, Maltese said. Unlike Coca-Cola, which often gains a consumer in youth and retains it through the years, the college has to gain new clients every year, and they need to appeal to each generation. That is why they partnered with MediaSpark to work on digital branding—to define their image for a new generation while respecting long-established brand equity.

“We wanted to retain as much of that brand as possible because it was recognizable and strong, but at the same time introduce some new elements of it that were more appealing for people who are interested in pursuing education in 2019. It’s more of a ‘brand refreshment,’” Maltese said.

New channels, especially in social media, have emerged. “MediaSpark had a plethora of data sources that were able to allow us to really hone in,” Maltese continued. “We’re definitely dealing with a different generation of students.”

“We really focus on data-driven advertising, specifically in the digital space, PPC [pay per click] and social media,” said Patsy Sumner, who founded MediaSpark three years ago. “We pull research and understand who the audiences are. We reach them with the appropriate message and we measure frequency, we measure optimization; there’s a lot of data on the back end that we’re also measuring to drive these campaigns to the fullest potential. [With Clarkson] our role is to deploy that brand into the market, to get more applications and to find more people interested in nursing and health care careers. We’re using several tactics between traditional and digital.”

Clarkson has a strong marketing team and plenty of resources and cash flow devoted to branding, but the concept is as important for small businesses as large ones.

“Branding doesn’t make you quick money, it makes you money in the long-term,” said Phil Rhoades Jr. of Futuramic’s Clean Water Center. “As a small business that’s been around 50 years this year…we were branded well with our customers but had very little general branding.”

Digital media, especially social media, has been a game-changer for small businesses like his, Rhoades said. His company has been working with Luke on branding since 2016 with a focus on social media.

“As a small business you don’t have a big advertising budget,” Rhoades said. “Ten years ago only our customers recognized our company name. For us, the advent of social media and internet advertising in general has changed that. It has been affordable and is definitely showing big results.”

His company started using Facebook internally but didn’t have the resources to be as engaged with it as he desired. “We found we were able to get better results by hiring a professional; that’s how we were able to bump up to the next level,” Rhoades said.

As a small company, they lacked the manpower to be consistently or actively engaged.

Luke added Instagram to the mix and ensures regular responsiveness and engagement. Another branding initiative was making the company logo consistent (“We wouldn’t even always use the same font before”) and appling it across media, from Facebook to the company’s fleet of vehicles.

“It’s a very focused message. Now we are recognizable when people see our logo,” Rhoades said. Futuramics is finding that more people are aware of them specifically because of their social media efforts. They ask customers how they found out about the company and have discovered that customers are finding them through social media. About one out of three people recognize their name now—that used to never happen.

Luke said the biggest impact on customer retention and acquisition is to present a relatable and consistent brand. For Futuramics, he focused on the fact that the business is local, family-owned, and carries a reputation of high integrity.

“To really be a good brand these days you have to stand out, you have to be authentic and true to yourself and really follow through on that. And you can’t sit by idly; you have to adapt to the different types of platforms around us,” he said.

Sumner agrees that understanding the audience and presenting the business authentically makes good branding, and she is glad that her team can help organizations such as Clarkson.

“It is critical to stand behind your product or service and make your consumers happy,” Sumner said. “We deploy the messages to the right audience.”

Visit clarksoncollege.edu and omahawater.com for more information about the companies mentioned in this article.

This article was printed in the October 2019 edition of B2B. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Patsy-Sumner of MediaSpark

Patsy Sumner of MediaSpark

Best of Omaha Soirée

October 17, 2018 by
Illustration by Matt Wieczorek

Announcement of this year’s Best of Omaha winners will take place at the Best of Omaha Soirée: A Night of the Best, on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018, at the Omaha Design Center from 6-10 p.m.

Performances by Flowtricks Entertainment will astound guests throughout the evening, with OEAA-nominated DJ Shor-T setting the mood. Delectable appetizers from several Best of Omaha winners will be making the rounds, including: Attitude on Food, B&B Grill and Arcade (formerly B&B Hot Dogs), Granite City Food & Brewery, Jason’s Deli, Le Bouillon, Noli’s Pizzeria, The Omaha Bakery, Pettit’s Pastry, Ray’s Original Buffalo Wings, Scooter’s Coffee, Smitty’s Garage Burgers and Beer, and Voodoo Taco. Futuramic’s Clean Water Center will keep everyone hydrated. Cocktails, beer, and wine will be provided by Granite City Food & Brewery and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits.

This event will feature networking with hundreds of fellow winners, business owners, and managers, in a magical setting with endless engaging entertainment. Attendees will include the Best of Omaha winners, Best Doctors, Best Lawyers, Top Dentists, and 2018 FACES of Omaha recipients.

There will be a lot of interesting new connections to be made—everyone from Greater Omaha Chamber President David Brown to school superintendent and business ownersso come dressed for success.

VIP tickets for this event are going fast, so buy one now and you will be entertained by one of Omaha’s best local bands, eNVy. VIPs receive complimentary drinks during the VIP hour (6-7 p.m.) and valet service and two drink tokens for the main event.

General admission tickets also include two drink tokens and food samples in addition to the live, entertainment from Flowtricks. General admission ticket holders can add valet parking for an additional $10. 

Sponsorship spaces are available now, but space is limited and will be reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. You can purchase tickets ($40 general admission, $60 VIP) at localstubs.com.

Help us spread the word. We are very excited about the 2019 Best of Omaha Soirée! If you have any questions or would like to be a sponsor, please don’t hesitate to contact me at:

Tara Spencer
Event Director
W: 402.884.2016

Monster Smashing Weekend

October 11, 2018 by

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Pick of the Week—Friday, Oct. 12 to Sunday, Oct. 14Road trip to Grand Island for the Prairie Lights Film Festival. This is a three-day showcase of filmmaking featuring 38 films with six filmmaker Q&A sessions. Most importantly, all the films were shot in Nebraska or produced by Nebraskans. You will see short and feature-length films and will include a special Nebraska Women Filmmakers panel on Saturday afternoon, featuring a discussion with five filmmakers. Weekend passes are only $10 and will allow you access to all 38 films, Q&A sessions, mixers, and after-parties, plus discounts on food and drinks. Get your ticket to this blockbuster event here.

Friday, Oct. 12 to Sunday, Nov. 4: She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes Evans, a young woman who is grieving the loss of her sister. After discovering her sister’s secret world in a notebook, she enlists the help of a dungeon master to help her learn more. We won’t ruin it for you, but suffice to say this unique play is a “high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies” and many other fantastic, fantasy characters. Jaunt on over to the Omaha Community Playhouse to catch it before it’s gone! Tickets can be found here.

Friday, Oct. 12: Monster Jam Wanna see 12,000 pound monster trucks spin donuts and race each other? Head on over to the Mid-America Center this Friday and check out some real monsters going head-to-head to see who’s best. The coolest part about it? You’re the judges! All you need is a smartphone. Just be sure not to get too caught up in the show and forget to vote. Get your tickets here now.

Saturday, Oct. 13Still haven’t been to the B Side of Benson Theatre? Verse Inc. An Evening with Marcey Yates is the perfect excuse to make this your weekend to check it out. Rapper, spoken word artist, and music producer Marcey Yates will be making an appearance along with cellist Maurisa Mansaray and violinist Heather Horste in this installment of “An Evening With…”. Tickets are only $10 and you can purchase them here now. Learn more about Yates in this 2017 article in Omaha Magazine.

Saturday, Oct. 13It’s the first ever La Vista Fall Festival this weekend. There will be fire pits, s’mores, and outdoor games, not to mention live music from Omaha’s favorite dance band, Eckophonic. End the night with snuggles while you watch Cars 3 with the whole family. The music and the movie will take place outside, so be sure to dress warm. Learn more here.

Countdown to Soirée: Mark your calendars! The Best of Omaha Soirée is coming up faster than you might realize. We have just four weeks left for you to say yes to success, and VIP tickets are going faster than you can say “Soirée.” Still undecided? Let us persuade you. Circus-style performers will be entertaining throughout the evening, with DJ Shor-T setting the mood.  Delectable appetizers from several Best of Omaha winners will be making the rounds, including: Granite City Food & Brewery; Le Bouillon; Attitude on Food; Noli’s Pizzeria; Pettit’s Pastry; Jason’s Deli; Smitty’s Garage Burgers and Beer; B&B Hot Dogs; Scooter’s Coffee; and Futuramic’s Clean Water Center. Spirits will be flowing thanks to Granite City Food & Brewery and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. And if you luck out and get one of those VIP tickets, you will get to enjoy music from one of Omaha’s favorite local bands, eNVy. Don’t wait. Get your tickets here now.

Ticket sales for the event below have ended, but you have the chance to win two tickets if you’re the first to message us on Facebook.