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Clutch Identifies Leading Agencies in Boston

AMP Agency was recently named a leading agency in Boston from Clutch. The rankings showcase six Leaders Matrices that map the firms based on their services offered, client reviews, and past experience. Boston's advertising agencies are recognized for their ability to utilize traditional media alongside their efforts in digital and creative services. “These Boston-based firms vary in skill-set and technical expertise, but what unites them is their ability to deliver strong results,” said Ilse Heine, an analyst at Clutch. “They prioritize the needs of their customers, and take the time to understand their business objectives before selecting the appropriate solution.” Using a proprietary research methodology, Clutch analysts evaluated a number of companies in the relevant segments. In addition to market presence, clientele, and work portfolio, central to the ranking process are client reviews. Clients provide insights including the scope of the project, cost-effectiveness, and how skillfully a company handled communication and organization. Clutch’s ongoing research covers IT services, developers, and marketing agencies. Firms that are interested in being featured are encouraged to apply to be included in Clutch’s efforts. Upcoming press releases will highlight industry leaders in New York City, UK, and Canada. Take a look at our profile on Clutch to see all of our full-length reviews.  

Hungry For Data?

Boston, like many cities, collects a tremendous amount of data to make the City a better place. Enough to make the thought of sifting through it, analyzing it and creating a compelling, data-driven story driven seem daunting. At AMP, we're always looking for a challenge. We also happen to be data nerds who are obsessed with our hometown. So we put the team to work, asking them to translate the mounds of robust data into a visually compelling, interesting story about our beloved city. The result was AMP's Boston Data Lab. The Boston Data Lab's mission is to create interactive data visualizations where viewers can engage and interact with different data sources from and about Boston. Our first experience explores one of our favorite things ' food. More specifically, we're crunching the numbers on Boston's most famous restaurants to separate the tourist traps (aka all-stars) from the hidden gems. We wanted to find a way to separate Boston's best-kept secrets from city's tourist meccas through publicly accessible data. We also wanted to display those findings in a compelling, visually interesting way. Enter the All Stars vs. Hidden Gems Map. Like most restaurant recommendation experiences, our interactive map lets users explore by neighborhood. Ours, however, also lets you view by All Stars or Hidden Gems'the places the locals love, and those that draw out-of-towner crowds. Using Twitter and Instagram's APIs, AMP was able to pull tweets and photos from a restaurant's location and label them as 'local'? or 'out-of-town'? based upon their profile location. Lots of locals means it's a Hidden Gem. Lots of tourists make it an All Star. But tastes change and restaurants rise and fall. Our dynamic experience accounts for this by constantly pulling live, real-time data, reflecting changing opinions and creating a more robust experience over time. Click here to visit.

The Days of the Dashboard Are Here

A Dashboard Means More Than the One in Your Car What is the reason for a dashboard? I like to think of a dashboard the way many would think of a car dashboard. A car dashboard has so many data points that are projected right in your face that tell you what is going on in your car. Imagine not knowing your mileage, gas, oil life, what gear you are in, or how fast you're going. Scary, huh? In the digital world, a dashboard provides companies with a snapshot into digital performance. Think of it as an executive summary. In the one page dashboard, the business leaders have a clear view of the high level performance of their website and digital marketing activities. The one page dashboard includes visuals that, while informative, are also very easy to understand. There are many ways to build these dashboards, ranging from the simplistic, such as a Google Analytics shared dashboard to a slightly more difficult, such as a Tableau web-based dashboard. How do clients use dashboards?  At AMP Agency, we created a multi-view web based dashboard showcasing a client's data for 230+ multiple language websites worldwide. The dashboard enables the client to view high level data or filter by specific brand by site visits, average time on site, spend, paid search campaign performance and much more. With this quick access to multiple sites data, the Management Team can view their data in seconds rather than hours or days. A sample client dashboard:      How does the City of Boston use a dashboard? Recently, Boston's Mayor Martin Walsh requested 'a dashboard like Mayor Bloomberg (NYC) has'? from his staff. The data on these dashboards varies from Public Safety to Human & Basic Services, such as trash collection, street light outages or even number of potholes filled. These dashboards provide a quick glimpse into tracking daily operations and progress on more major strategic purposes. Compared to taking the time and effort of manually locating this data and putting it into an executive summary report for Boston's leadership, this dashboard provides a view that's more frequently updated and easier to digest. How can you create a dashboard? You can easily set up a dashboard for a website that has Google Analytics (GA) as its tracking tool, whether in GA itself, or through another medium such as Tableau or Spotfire. How do you integrate offline data? If this is so easy to do then why are we taking the time to write a blog post about it? The reason is simple ' the Mayor's dashboards are not reflecting any website analytics or EASY to collect data but actual live human interaction data, which first has to be made digital instead of analog.   How can you translate offline activity to an online portal? Here's an example provided by the City of Boston: Old Way: You are building an addition on your house in 2007 and you need the proper building permits, followed by a proper inspection. After the inspection was requested, two weeks later the various inspectors arrive at the home, perform the inspection and fill out a form to hand off to the city hall. The problem is that this form will then enter the netherworld of data as if it never were. New Way: Same scenario, only the inspector comes with an electronic form built into his tablet to submit the pass/fail electronically to Google Sheets. Through a Google Sheets API, this valuable data can be showcased using Tableau to display a real time dashboard. These dashboards give the city's leaders the best understanding of how well government employees are servicing the community. The Mayor and his team use pretty simple tools to collect this data and display it with Tableau software. The change from paper-based forms to electronic data collection was the foundation for the change and puts the city's leadership's ability to view data into hyper-drive. More information on the Boston dashboard can be viewed here: http://www.cityofboston.gov/mayorsdashboard/  

How the MBTA Should be Using Facebook

First off, anyone who knows me knows that I tend to rant about my commute (in essence the MBTA) often. In theory, it's not a bad commute.  Six stops on the red line and a 'quick'? switch to the green line for another two stops. It doesn't sound that bad, and should take about 40 minutes door-to-door on a good day. But on a bad day, which let's face it is most days for the MBTA, it can be an absolute nightmare. My most recent hellish trip home on a 90+ degree day took an hour and fifteen minutes (due to a derailed train, random schedule adjustment or 'just because,'? no one really knows). The crazy thing is that we're talking a driving distance of less than five miles! Although I guess I should just be grateful that I was on a train with working AC (it's the little things, right?). My chosen method of expressing my feelings about a given commute is often Facebook. When I'm sitting on a stagnant train (at one of those rare stops where I get service), I whip out my trusty iPhone and post whatever experience I'm having in that moment. And boom, what happens next?  Usually, a flurry of 'likes'? from friends and often a slew of comments from people commiserating about similar experiences. Ideally, my frustrated posts would elicit real-time responses from MBTA officials ' perhaps explaining the situation, or maybe even just apologizing for my frustration and acknowledging that they 'get it.'? In a recent webinar I attended, 'likeable social media'? guru Dave Kerpen said that without a doubt, 'I'm sorry'? are the two most important words in the social media sphere. If a business addresses the comments it shows that they're truly interested in customer feedback and committed to taking steps to making the customer happy. In the end, an apology from the MBTA wouldn't get me home faster, but I would absolutely appreciate the sentiment and their respect for my feelings and time. It would make me feel like someone is listening and that they fda approved cialis might even care. It's no surprise that when you do a Facebook search for MBTA, some of the top results are negative customer-created pages for people to share their tirades. In fact, the MBTA doesn't even seem to have an official page and therefore no platform that allows for them to shape their own message and potentially turn negatives into positives. Starting an official page is absolutely, positively, unequivocally Step 1 in my opinion. Next month, I'll be moving off the red line and into the North End where I'll have less than a five minute walk to work. I'm excited to have an opportunity to experience a new Boston neighborhood for sure, but I'm beyond overjoyed to be able eliminate commuting on the T from my daily life. Harsh, maybe, but true. Maybe if they had showed more of an interest in engaging me as a customer I wouldn't have felt the need to go off the map. In the meantime, I'll keep an eye out for their Facebook page'?¦ if anyone's listening.

How the MBTA Should be Using Facebook

First off, anyone who knows me knows that I tend to rant about my commute (in essence the MBTA) often. In theory, it's not a bad commute.  Six stops on the red line and a 'quick'? switch to the green line for another two stops. It doesn't sound that bad, and should take about 40 minutes door-to-door on a good day. But on a bad day, which let's face it is most days for the MBTA, it can be an absolute nightmare. My most recent hellish trip home on a 90+ degree day took an hour and fifteen minutes (due to a derailed train, random schedule adjustment or 'just because,'? no one really knows). The crazy thing is that we're talking a driving distance of less than five miles! Although I guess I should just be grateful that I was on a train with working AC (it's the little things, right?). My chosen method of expressing my feelings about a given commute is often Facebook. When I'm sitting on a stagnant train (at one of those rare stops where I get service), I whip out my trusty iPhone and post whatever experience I'm having in that moment. And boom, what happens next?  Usually, a flurry of 'likes'? from friends and often a slew of comments from people commiserating about similar experiences. Ideally, my frustrated posts would elicit real-time responses from MBTA officials ' perhaps explaining the situation, or maybe even just apologizing for my frustration and acknowledging that they 'get it.'? In a recent webinar I attended, 'likeable social media'? guru Dave Kerpen said that without a doubt, 'I'm sorry'? are the two most important words in the social media sphere. If a business addresses the comments it shows that they're truly interested in customer feedback and committed to taking steps to making the customer happy. In the end, an apology from the MBTA wouldn't get me home faster, but I would absolutely appreciate the sentiment and their respect for my feelings and time. It would make me feel like someone is listening and that they fda approved cialis might even care. It's no surprise that when you do a Facebook search for MBTA, some of the top results are negative customer-created pages for people to share their tirades. In fact, the MBTA doesn't even seem to have an official page and therefore no platform that allows for them to shape their own message and potentially turn negatives into positives. Starting an official page is absolutely, positively, unequivocally Step 1 in my opinion. Next month, I'll be moving off the red line and into the North End where I'll have less than a five minute walk to work. I'm excited to have an opportunity to experience a new Boston neighborhood for sure, but I'm beyond overjoyed to be able eliminate commuting on the T from my daily life. Harsh, maybe, but true. Maybe if they had showed more of an interest in engaging me as a customer I wouldn't have felt the need to go off the map. In the meantime, I'll keep an eye out for their Facebook page'?¦ if anyone's listening.

Frantic for Food Carts

On a recent trip to Puerto Rico I found myself diving into a rotisserie chicken that I bought from a van on the side of the road. At one point I looked up, salty, tender meat in my bare hand, and thought, 'Why, oh why, can't Boston accommodate my impulsive need to buy and devour an entire chicken?'? Well, it seems that my wishes were sent to some sort of higher power because this week Boston unveiled the winners of what they called the 'Food Truck Challenge'? and now three food trucks are stationed at City Hall Plaza until October 28th. Fun roadside food for all! These three new food trucks will be stationed at City Hall Plaza all summer, and with enthusiastic responses to the portable kitchens, the City of Boston is asking residents to help propose new sites for future food truck locations. It's all exciting and hopefully this summer there will be a collection of locations where food trucks can stop and offer a rotation of different cuisines and flavors for local residents and workers to enjoy. As I was thinking about my future favorite food truck I was wondering how I'll know where to find it on any given day. Thankfully I was reminded of food trucks' secret weapon: SOCIAL MEDIA. With Boston's newfound love of the roving-cuisine phenomenon, how else would the rest of the city know where they can partake were it not for the constant flow of information hitting our newsfeeds? There are apps and Twitter users specifically dedicated to the locations of food trucks in certain cities, like Mike Krell of @AustinFoodCarts. Sharing reviews and locations allows users and followers to keep abreast of new additions to the scene and where they can find their existing favorites. And with Twitter's fairly recent addition that allows users to 'tag'? their locations, food trucks themselves can announce where they are for the day without detailing a specific location, because users are able to simply click on the most recent tweet. Food trucks and pop-up restaurants don't only use Twitter and Facebook to alert followers and fans of their locations, but also to announce menu options for the day, special deals, celebrity visitors (Menino?!), and also to post photos of their food and surroundings. Social media is an ideal platform for these roving wonders as it provides a portable and easy broadcast service for the them; owners can easily post new menu items to Facebook while on the road to their next stop without breaking stride. This is also good because, for the most part, the messages that food trucks need to send to their consumers tend to be short. Can you detail three menu items in fewer than 140 characters? I'll bet you could. However it is the constant flow of information that makes social media perfect, because should weather conditions change or the planned location be unavailable, messages can be sent out to fans and followers that let them know of any minute-to-minute bends in the road. Using services like Facebook and Twitter is also a good option as it allows consumers to feel involved with the new phenomenon ' locals are not looking simply to be fed, but to participate with this new cultural change to the Boston landscape. Momogoose, one of the winning food trucks that offers 'South and Southeast Asian Bistro'? cuisine, tweets back and celebrex generic name forth with followers on their Twitter page which further engages them with the experience. Followers tweet Momogoose about their positive meal experiences, but also about changes that can be made to the dishes. This exchange is something that is important for the owners to know so they hear feedback from consumers, although what they choose to do with that information is up to them. Social media allows for this consumer involvement in an open arena, which is something that previously was not possible. I know I'm not the only one who is excited to try out these 'chow wagons,'? but I may be the only one who is extremely disappointed if there isn't one with whole rotisserie chickens parked outside my office on a daily basis. Maybe I should start sending out tweets to see if anyone will listen, or even open my own truck'?¦

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