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Posts Tagged ‘Detroit’

Good timing: Shinola making watches in Detroit

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

By Allan Maurer

Jacques Panis

Jacques Panis

As startups go, Shinola has a story that’s right on time. The company, founded in 2011, is making watches in a 35,000 square-foot facility in Detroit. No one has manufactured watches in the U.S. in 50 years,” notes Jacques Panis, director of strategic partnerships for the firm.

Shinola also diversified and now makes bicycles (in Wisconsin) and stationary products. But in an era when many people use smartphones or other digital devices to keep track of the time, we asked Panis, why watches?

“People are starting to wear watches more and more. It’s a trend,” says Panis. “People look at watches as part of their style or persona. A watch is a fashion piece in a lot of cases. People make a statement with a watch, especially in urban environments and among fashion forward trend-setters.”

Experience spans marketing, branding and sales

Panis has over 10 years of experience spanning marketing, branding and sales. He founded Webosaurs in 2007, an online brand created to educate children globally on the history and diversity of our planet. He collaborated with animation studio Reel FX to expand the Webosaurs project while running the Reel FX interactive division. Panis joinedShinola in 2010 to oversee product development and strategic direction for the company.

He’s among more than 100 digital and marketing thought-leaders participating in the Atlanta Digital Summit next week (May 14-15). The event includes speakers from brands such as Google, Twitter, AOL, Adobe, the Wall Street Journal, AT&T, and many others. Fewer than 100 seats remained for the event, the largest in the Southeast, as of Wednesday (May 8). About 1,500 people are expected to attend.

We’re story-tellers

Panis, who is on an engagement panel, tells the TechJournal, “We’re story tellers at the end of the day and digital channels and social are a big part of our marketing effort.” Shinola tells its story on product specific blogs (dedicated to bikes or watches, for instance) and others. It sold a 2,500 limited edition watches online supported by traditional ads in major newspapers.

So far, however, most of the company’s marketing has been “organic,” Panis says. It does have a good story – bringing manufacturing and jobs back to the United States.

Digital Summit

The Digital Summit is the largest event of its kind in the Southeast.

People who attend TechMedia’s events such as the Digital Summit often go not only for the programming – whether as participants or audience – but also to find partners, customers, and scope the lay of the digital landscape.

“We’ll be at the show (the Digital Summit) looking for a digital marketers who can help us drive traffic to our site and help us move watches,” he says.

The company isn’t looking for just anyone, though.

“We want a Triple A kind of guy or gal,” Panis says. “We want to shake up how people shop for watches and driving people to our site is critical to how we’re going to run this business. If we can find people to help us drive traffic and refine our funnel, it will be fascinating to see how the rest of the watch industry responds.”

Panis says he’s also looking forward to hearing more about what marketers are up to and how consumers are shopping online.


Is your city mobile-savvy? Houston tops list

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Houston, TXIs your city one of the most mobile savvy in the United States? As numerous reports say up to a quarter of shoppers will use mobile devices this year, Houston has claimed the top spot for the second year in a row  on the  Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and its Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence “Mobile Shoppers” study.

Houston’s number one ranking, driven by its mobile shopping versatility and dexterity, is closely followed by Seattle-Tacoma, which catapulted to the second spot from its number ten perch in 2011, followed by San Francisco, which is new to the top ten list. Among other notable changes, Boston made its debut in the top ten, while New York and Atlanta both saw slight declines. In comparison, Los Angeles and Chicago held steady in their rankings between this year and last.

The complete “2012 IAB U.S. Mobile Shopping Savvy Cities Index” is:

1. Houston 9. Boston
2. Seattle-Tacoma 10. Philadelphia
3. San Francisco 11. Washington, D.C.
4. Los Angeles 12. Detroit
5. New York City 13. Tampa-St. Petersburg
6. Atlanta 14. Phoenix
7. Chicago 15. Minneapolis-St. Paul
8. Dallas-Ft. Worth

The rankings were determined by reviewing data about mobile usage patterns, as well as the frequency of usage among mobile-savvy shoppers across major U.S. cities. For research and survey purposes, “mobile shopping” refers both to completing purchases via a phone or tablet, as well as to using a phone or tablet to research or shop for products that are later purchased in physical retail locations or online.

“Mobile is a growing digital retail platform that provides consumers with incredibly valuable, timely and convenient information touchpoints for product research and purchasing,” said Anna Bager, vice president and general manager, Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, IAB.

“Identifying mobile shoppers and delivering relevant consumer messages to them on the go, as they shop, represents a key opportunity for brand marketers.”

“Determining which cities are more receptive to mobile can be a critical component in driving successful campaigns that reach audiences in the palms of their hands,” said Pam Goodfellow, Consumer Insights Director, Prosper Mobile Insights. “Whether planning for a last-minute holiday push or looking to mobile platforms for other advertising opportunities, this sort of regional intelligence can make or break a marketer’s efforts.”

Some of the other findings explored in this report include:

  • More than 80 percent of smartphone owners have accessed retailer websites or apps on their device
  • Sixty-eight percent of Americans owned a smart mobile device (smartphone, tablet, or eReader) in 2012, up strongly from 57 percent in 2011
  • Nearly half of U.S. consumers say they have a QR code (barcode) reader app on their mobile device
  • Smartphone shoppers are evenly split between males and females and tend to be younger than users who are desktop-based retail shoppers
  • Over half of smartphone owners, and nearly 30 percent of tablet owners, have used their devices in a store in the past three months

To download this years “Mobile Shoppers” study, please visit

To view the 2011 top “Mobile Shopping Savvy Cities” list, please visit

Salaried workers see small raises, performance pay more common

Monday, August 13th, 2012

AonIf you’re like most U.S. workers, you probably saw only small salary raises if any the last few years. But you may also be able to put more money in your paycheck by meeting performance goals.

If you’re in Denver, Austin,Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, San Diego, Houston or Kansas City, however, you may be seeing a bit more than the average raise in your paycheck in 2012..

A new survey by Aon Hewitt, the global human resources solutions business of Aon plc (NYSE: AON), reveals that salaries for U.S. workers continue to rise incrementally as concerns remain about the stability of the global economy.

However, workers have the potential to offset low base pay increases through performance-based awards.

Salaries rose 2.8 percent in 2012

According to Aon Hewitt’s survey of more than 1,300 U.S. companies, base pay increases for salaried exempt workers were 2.8 percent in 2012, up marginally from 2.7 percent in 2011. Salaries have inched upwards year-over-year since 2009 when pay increases reached an all-time low of 1.8 percent.

Pay increases are expected to rise slightly in 2013. For executives, salaried exempt and salaried nonexempt workers, Aon Hewitt projects base pay increases of 3.0 percent in 2013.

“It is unlikely that salary increases will reach pre-recession levels of 4 .0 percent or higher any time soon,” said Ken Abosch, compensation marketing, strategy and development leader at Aon Hewitt.

“Companies are more impacted by the global economy than ever before, as a result organizations continue to be conservative with their spending, but we anticipate that attitude will remain even after the economy rights itself—holding down spending on base pay is the new normal.”

Historical U.S. Salary Increases
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013


Executive 1.4% 2.4% 2.8% 2.9% 3.0%
Salaried Exempt 1.8% 2.4% 2.7% 2.8% 3.0%
Salaried Nonexempt 1.9% 2.4% 2.8% 2.7% 3.0%
Nonunion Hourly 2.0% 2.4% 2.7% 2.7% 2.9%
Union 2.2% 2.5% 2.6% 2.5% 2.6%

Performance-Based Awards
According to Aon Hewitt’s report, employers continue to offer variable pay, or performance-based awards that must be re-earned each year, as a primary way to drive performance and increase engagement while minimizing their fixed costs. In 2012, 90 percent of companies offered at least one variable pay program, in line with 2011.

Variable pay spending continues to rise

Overall spending on variable pay as a percentage of payroll continues to rise steadily for salaried exempt workers. In 2012, companies spent 12.0 percent on variable pay, compared to 11.6 percent in 2011. Spending is expected to rise slightly to 12.1 percent in 2013.

Nonunion hourly workers saw the biggest jump in variable pay in 2012. As a percentage of payroll, employers spent 6.0 percent on variable pay rewards for nonunion hourly workers in 2012, compared to 5.2 percent in 2011. However, spending is expected to fall slightly to 5.6 percent in 2013 for this group.

“Organizations are being more strategic with the limited compensation dollars they have to spend,” explained Abosch. “They are spending less on base pay increases for all workers, and instead, are rewarding high performing workers with larger performance-based awards. This allows them to better control spending, while still providing incentives for their best employees.”  

Historical U.S. Variable Pay Increases
2009 2010 2011 2012 2013


Salaried Exempt 12.0% 11.3% 11.6%


12.0% 12.1%
Salaried Nonexempt 6.5% 6.0% 6.3 6.2% 6.0%
Nonunion Hourly 5.8% 5.3% 5.2 6.0% 5.6%
Union 6.6% 4.6% 5.0 4.9% 4.5%

Salary Increases by City
According to Aon Hewitt’s survey, workers in some U.S. cities can expect to see salary increases higher than the national average in 2013.

These cities include Denver (3.6 percent); Austin,Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit and San Diego (3.4 percent); and Houston and Kansas City (3.3 percent).

Cities that can expect lower-than-average increases in 2013 include San Francisco (2.7 percent), Chicago and Minneapolis/St. Paul (2.8 percent).

Salary Increases by Industry
The industries that can expect to see the highest salary increases in 2013 include mining/milling (3.8 percent); computers/related products and energy (3.6 percent); and automotive/vehicle manufacturing (3.3 percent). The lowest increases are projected to be in education (2.5 percent), rubber/plastic/glass, government and health care/medical services (2.6 percent).
PR Newswire (

Are you in one of the top ten riskiest online U.S. cities?

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012
Capitol building

DC is number one on the Norton list of the riskiest online U.S. cities.

The top ten riskiest online U.S. cities reads like a list of the top ten U.S. digital hubs, with DC, Seattle and San Francisco at the top, Boston in the middle, and Raleigh, NC just making it on the list.

Norton teamed up with independent research firm Sperling’s BestPlaces to uncover the nation’s top 10 cities1 that have the highest number of cybercrime risk factors.

The Top 10 Riskiest Online Cities in the U.S. are:

#1 – Washington, D.C.
#2 – Seattle
#3 – San Francisco
#4 – Atlanta
#5 – Boston
#6 – Denver
#7 – Minneapolis
#8 – Sacramento, Calif.
#9 – Raleigh, N.C.
#10 – Austin, Texas

Cities with the greatest risk factors do not necessarily correlate with the highest infection rates, reflecting the fact that many consumers are taking precautions to keep themselves safe.

“In our examination of the riskiest online cities, we’ve considered a number of factors that can potentially affect online safety,” said Bert Sperling, founder of Sperling’s BestPlaces and lead researcher for the analysis. “By looking at data from consumer lifestyle habits as well as cybercrime data provided by Symantec, maker of Norton products, we’re able to provide a holistic view of the various factors that put a person at potential risk.”

DC placed exceptioanlly high in all risk categories

Sperling’s BestPlaces determined the per-capita rankings by examining several consumer behaviors — from the prevalence of PCs and smartphones, to ecommerce, social networking and accessing potentially unsecured Wi-Fi hotspots, among others.

  • As the leading riskiest online city, Washington, D.C., placed exceptionally high in almost all the categories measuring potential risk, and had the second-highest reported usage of smartphones. The nation’s capital also ranked high among cybercrime data factors, including attempted malware infections and attempted Web attacks.
  • The second city on the list, Seattle, which was the riskiest online city in 2010, scored at the top in the majority of the categories surveyed, including email usage and social networking activity. Both Seattle and San Francisco (which ranked third), reported high numbers of Wi-Fi hotspots and hours spent on the Internet.
  • Residents of Atlanta and Boston, which ranked fourth and fifth respectively, share high rankings among the cybercrime data. In particular, Atlanta recorded the highest per-capita number of spamming IP addresses. Both cities’ inhabitants exhibit a tendency toward potentially risky online consumer behavior, such as online financial transactions.
  • The other cities in the top 10 include Denver, Minneapolis, Sacramento, Raleigh and Austin. According to the research, Denver and Minneapolis placed high among potentially risky factors within the cybercrime data. Sacramento, the only city that wasn’t included on the 2010 top 10 list, ranked above average across all categories, while Raleigh and Austin reported high levels of risky online behavior.

Detroit has something to brag about

“With the explosion of smartphones, tablets and laptops in recent years, and the rise of apps and social networking sites, our online and offline lives are blending together in ways that we’ve never before experienced,” said Marian Merritt, Norton Internet Safety Advocate.

“While there are many positive aspects as a result, this analysis highlights the potentially risky factors we face each time we go online. By taking a few simple precautions now, people can make sure they stay protected against online threats.”

Of the 50 U.S. cities examined, Detroit was once again ranked the least risky online city, returning low scores in the number of Wi-Fi hotspots, potentially risky online consumer behavior and PC expenditures. Other low-ranked cities include Tulsa and El Paso, which placed in the 48th and 49th spots, respectively.

Where the social media jobs are and what they pay (infographic)

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Where are the social media jobs and how much do they pay? The most jobs are in New York, San Jose, San Francisco, LA, Boston, DC and Baltimore, says Onward Search. They pay the most in New York, San Francisco, LA, Boston and DC.

Social media jobs initially fell into the hands of traditional marketers, but more and more it is separate job category. not only offers advice on how to find a job in social media, it has created a series of infographics outlining the best cities for social media positions, and now a social media salary guide.

The blog also offers some solid advice to those in social media. Brian Chappell of Ignite Social Media, for instance, suggests, “Steer away from fuzzy metrics and focus on social media marketing that can move the needle.”

For more, see Onward Search feature, “Social Media Advice from Leading Marketers.

Here’s the firm’s infographic on social media salaries:

infographic social media





salary infographic

Which U.S. cities are best for tech jobs?

Monday, November 28th, 2011

SeattleWhat are the best cities for technology jobs now? You can probably guess that Seattle, would be high on the list, and it indeed came in at number one on a list compiled by But if you guessed the Silicon Valley, you would be wrong.

The Valley, despite a concentration of tech jobs- six times the national average – it came in at 17 on the site’s list of the top 51 cities for tech jobs. It points out that the Valley was one of the biggest tech job losers over the last decade, dropping 80,000 positions, despite the more recent dot-com funding craze.

San Francisco itself is way down at number 29.

Newgeography used high-tech employment data from EMSI, an economic modeling firm. It then charted those areas that have gained the most high-tech manufacturing, software and services jobs over the past 10 years.

The top ten, newgeography says, are:

Seattle, Baltimore, Columbus, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, Jacksonville, Washington, DC, New Orleans, Riverside/San Bernardino, and San Diego.

The next batch inlcudes more surprises: Indianapolis is 11, Buffalo 12, San Antonio 13, and Charlotte 14. Boston is way down at 22.

Factors affecting high-tech job creation, the site says, include the presence of a major research university – although that wasn’t of much help to Boston, which lost 45,000 tech jobs (18 percent) in the last decade.

Business costs are another factor. They’re high in the Valley, Boston, and the Bay area, less so in many of top ten cities. Even low business costs are not a sure path to tech job creation though. Texas has good business metrics, but nevertheless experienced losses in tech jobs, primarily due to cutbacks in telecom, electronics, and communications equipment manufacturing.

Personally, we think a careful look at the results of this study suggest something we’ve said all along: big manufacturing operations are not the be all and end all of job creation. Placing an emphasis on creating a welcoming atmosphere for startup tech companies is a better way to go, and some areas, including Durham in the Research Triangle of North Carolina, are taking that route.

Newgeography suggests that two up and comers in this decade might be Detroit, which it says “has some real high-tech mojo,” and New Orleans, which has expanded its tech workforce by about 10 percent since 2009.