PepperMill April 2017

Tim’s Gettin’ Hungry


Or, should I say GrEATings!

By the time you read this, the baseball season has already begun. It’s been a long time since we could open the season as the Defending World Series Champions! I’m ready for a repeat. Or should I say—repEAT?

I want to kick off the season with a little homage to the ballpark culinary arts. Gone are the days where you could only choose a hot dog, Cracker Jacks®, beers or soda. Ballparks are competing for recreational dollars and I’ve heard that the way to a sports fan’s wallet is through their stomach.

With foodies to the left of us and gluten-free on the right, here we come!

Lobster Poutine Stak — Boston Red Sox

This basket of crustacean love includes fries covered with fresh lobster meat, cheese curds, bisque and chives. Heard it goes good with a native Sam Adams!

Sunrise Dog — Kansas City Royals

On a bun comes a hot dog covered in bacon, cheddar cheese and white sausage gravy, capped with a fried egg. Dad would have gone nuts on this one.

Miami South Beach Dog — Washington Nationals (say what?)

You’ll need elbow room with this 18-inch dog-on-a-bun with pineapple and onion strings. Comes with a side of fries, natch. Pineapple is the new super fruit, so permission granted.

Pulled Pork Patty Melt — Kansas City Royals

Based on the fact that the Royals scored two entries on my menu, we just might have to take a road trip this summer. Who needs a bun when you can sandwich BBQ pulled pork, fried onion, shredded cheddar and Monterey Jack, bacon and a jalapeño skewer on a funnel cake?

And our local newcomer and my favorite name …

Bao to the Pork – Chicago Cubs

Start with a steamed bao bun (wazz dat?), pile on the hickory-smoked pulled pork, Asian sauce, pickled daikon and carrot, cucumbers and jalapeño relish. Somehow, I think Joe Maddon had something to do with this—he’s a genius in so many ways.

As a sport with the deepest of traditions, baseball could use a little resurgence. I’m not liking some of the rule changes, but I’m licking my chops at these edible home runs!

Tuck that napkin in the neck of your BRYANT jersey and let’s Play Ball!

Tim Padgett

Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.
—W. Somerset Maugham

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.
—Mark Twain


Client Spotlight: Effective Data

Helping the Data Movers move on to an updated website

The data integration industry had evolved, and so did Effective Data’s business. Their old website no longer represented the company’s broad data movement capabilities. To truly support their brand and communicate their value, Effective Data needed a new site.

After a thorough review and discovery of Effective Data’s strengths and differentiators, as well as key market trends and competitors, we finalized a strategic site approach and plan. One significant improvement was streamlining the user experience. Copy was significantly reduced, yet visitors now have access to more resources and a much greater clarity about how Effective Data can help them succeed.

The new site contains many new customer-centric features. These include direct access to the client portal, software and industry news updates, and a Pepper-produced web portal demo video. In addition to understanding Effective Data’s expanded service offerings, visitors can now also get to know the Effective Data team and their methodology. 

Since launching the site in mid-March, Effective Data has already seen a steady flow of leads and increased organic search rankings. Going forward, Pepper Group will continue to work with Effective Data to produce more premium content and expand the new messaging into tools for the sales team.

This is a great group of people, and if your company uses EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), you’ll want to talk to them. Check out Effective Data’s data movement solutions on their new website!

Melissa Troha

The Marketer’s Guide to Your Customers’ Irrational Minds

Behavioral economics is not only incredibly interesting; it provides valuable marketing insights.

Check out these short and powerful past PepperMill articles. Each considers a way we think as human beings, and how we, as marketers, can use these insights to improve our effectiveness. As a bonus, we’ve also pulled together a collection of our all-time favorite books related to behavioral economics.

In this guide:

  • Anchoring, and the Four Ways it Impacts Marketing and Sales
  • Why “The Curse of Knowledge” Can Screw Up Your Marketing Communications
  • The Status Quo Trap and 5 Ways Out
  • One Behavioral Insight That Can Keep You From Losing Sales
  • How to Apply Game Theory to Help Drive Better Outcomes
  • Six Principals for Making Your Message Sticky
  • Yes You Can Sell $1.00 for More than A Dollar, Plus How it Relates to Competitive Strategy
  • The Best Behavioral Economics Books For Marketers

Download The Marketer’s Guide to Your Customers’ Irrational Minds

These are the kinds of things that we at Pepper Group bring to the table for our clients. Are you getting strategic marketing advice from your current agency partner? If not, maybe we should talk.

Call us at 847.963.0333 or email us at

Top 5 from the Creative Suite

Trends in web design are continually changing. Here are five you’ve probably noticed, and examples of how Pepper Group has applied them to recent work for clients.

Responsive Design
Many people have heard the term responsive design—the idea that a website will translate well from a desktop computer to a mobile device. This trend has been around for a while, but now more than ever, it is important for websites to be responsive. The way people consume content on the internet has changed, and will continue to change, and devices are constantly changing sizes. One minute we are told that smaller is better and the next, we are being sold mobile devices that are larger than the TV I had in college. The point is, no one knows for sure what the future will bring, and the best way to prepare your website is for it to be responsive.


For a long time static images were used everywhere on websites leaving videos to be embedded into a page in an ugly rectangle with a play button. Now, with faster internet speeds and better technology, we are seeing videos used everywhere. Most excitingly, we are seeing videos become part of design. People are using videos and animations as visual cues or background disruptions to give a website that “wow” factor.

I think of Disney movies when I hear animation, but now animation is used everywhere, including in web design. We have seen this before with Flash, but it has never been so flawless and smooth. Elements on a website can shift based on the position of your mouse or whether you are scrolling or not.

Marketers like it when you visit a website to see what it’s about, but they love it when you interact with a website. As they say, the devil is in the details, and that is true with web design. You don’t want a customer or prospect to get stuck at a form because it isn’t intuitively understood. That’s where micro-interaction comes in. It’s the part of a website that is expected. It’s the thank you message when you submit information, it’s the loading icon for a video, it’s the hover color change for buttons. For more complicated designs, it’s the animation that helps people understand what is going on, like photos stacked in a row to show that there are many instead of a few.
Hover state:

Sticky elements
Interacting with a new website can be difficult. You may love it but can’t find the social media icons to share it. That’s where sticky elements come in. They are elements that are always on your screen regardless of where you are on the page, such as headlines, social media icons and headers. Many websites use sticky headers so that when you scroll to the bottom you still have the navigation for the website. As mentioned earlier, social media icons can be sticky elements that won’t let you get too far from Facebook or twitter. This function is great for keeping people interested and will be used more and more for shopping carts and news feeds.
Chat Feature:

Whether you’re looking to upgrade your current website or build one from scratch, Pepper Group will incorporate these and other trends into your design to achieve the results you’re after.

Joe Whittington


360° video: Global Shopping

As I mentioned last month, Pepper Group added 360° videography to its offerings in 2016 and we are continually experimenting with new ways to use this fully spherical capture technology. Last month’s video was entirely recorded outdoors, so this month we wanted to get some interior shots to demonstrate how facilities can be experienced virtually. This technique can easily be translated into demonstrating factory tours, manufacturing processes or equipment showcases.

It’s finally springtime and what better way to celebrate than by shopping? OK, I can personally think of several better ways, but there is a large segment of our population that loves to shop. For our April 360 video, we thought we’d share a glimpse into some popular global shopping locations that Peppers have visited over the past few months. Click play and you’ll be transported to some fun locations including a fancy new mall in India, Times Square, the Magnificent Mile and Galena, Illinois.

Playback of 360 videos is most immersive if you have some form of a Google Cardboard viewer and can open the video in the YouTube app on your smartphone (email me if you don’t have a viewer and I will send you one). You can still have a lot of fun without one though by making the video full-screen in your Chrome browser and clicking and dragging with your mouse to explore.

Did we spark any ideas about how to involve 360 in your business? Reach out and we’d love to talk with you about it!

Want more? Check out our Pepper Group holiday 360 offering.

Todd Underwood