Cloud Services: Changing The Way We Work


Everything you need, whenever you need it.

The concept of the cloud may still be a bit murky for some. However, for those who have been using it regularly on their devices, it’s easy to understand how it’s changing the way we do things. To explain the cloud, it’s quite simply the online storage of data, content, and shareable projects. Think of it as a literal cloud that holds everything you need, allowing you to access it wherever you are, on whatever device you’re using. Apple, although they didn’t invent the concept, definitely popularized it with their iCloud service. iCloud easily backs up and stores all of your data, making lost contacts and files due to a broken phone a thing of the past.

It’s only getting more complex, robust, practical, and affordable – and that means it’s likely to become more widely adopted and implemented into the workflow of agencies and workgroups everywhere. Here are a few examples of how the cloud has the potential to change agency workflow:

If you’ve been following Adobe, you’ve probably noticed that Adobe began using a cloud-based service a year ago called the Creative Cloud. This service entails monthly access to the entirety of their library, constantly updated automatically, as well as a cloud-based portfolio. This functionality is wonderful for agencies that have multiple people working on various projects. It also allows seamless collaboration with off-site freelancers. Your portfolio is also accessible on the go, so you can easily show off drafts to clients right on your iPad.

Speaking of sharing amongst workgroups, there’s also Dropbox, which has proven to be a favourite amongst users. They offer several business plans, which allow teams to organize, store, and share large files easily within the cloud. If you’re sharing extremely large files, you can easily share from one Dropbox account to another Dropbox accound in seconds.

The cloud is slowly becoming a standard, and with encryption and data plans slowly starting to catch up, they will surely be the way that all data is stored online in the foreseeable future. One day, most major cities in North America will move forward with plans for free citywide Wi-Fi. Once that’s in place, we’ll likely be purchasing laptops and devices with little to no physical storage, and enhanced cloud capabilities, which will make them more affordable.

New Park In The Treetops Community


Here at BAM, we’re extremely passionate and play an instrumental role in working with our clients. We help them put their best foot forward when they’re developing the look and feel of their new communities. For this reason, it’s extremely exciting for us to see ideas come to fruition as projects move from development to completion. This can often take some time, as many communities have multiple phases, and certain elements may not be a part of the initial phase.

This was the case with the award-winning Treetops community in Alliston. While working on the project, we encouraged the developer, Lou Biffis, to build a destination community. A community that would require you to spend more time driving to it, but once you arrived, you’d get a superior quality of life with all the amenities you could ever need – or want. A community with ample facilities, including recreation, protected green space, trails and dog parks to walk, run, jog and explore. If you take a look at the community plan, you can see that many of these elements have been wrapped into the overall lifestyle that the community offers homebuyers.



We were extremely excited to see that Treetops recently opened Treetops Park, which boasts seven acres of activities and diversions for every fitness and energy level, including a multi-level tree-themed playground, splash pad, beach volleyball courts, basketball courts, an amphitheater and a promenade running throughout the park, complete with a lookout area. It’s amazing – and a wonderful amenity for all the community.

It’s a great feeling to see elements come to life in communities – especially when we dedicate so much of ourselves to it in its conceptual phase.

Canadian Anti-Spam Laws: One Year Later


These days, it’s virtually inconceivable that you’d even consider creating a marketing strategy for your brand or client without including an email marketing campaign, which is often considered one of the top ways – aside from social media – to keep your registrants, customers, etc., engaged in your product or service. The way we think about email marketing has certainly evolved over the past few years; these days, aside from concentrating on the layout, design and multi platform functionality, there are also legal aspects that must be considered. Last year, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) went into effect, requiring all emails sent (by businesses and charities) within Canada to abide by a list of rules, or face stiff financial consequences.

A year later, after the initial ‘panic attack’ by brands and agencies, has the new law been effective? That’s actually a grey area. Overall email volume dropped by 29% over the last year, but there has been no significant change in spam volume. In fact, there have only been 3 instances of the laws actually being enforced in the last 365 days:

  • Quebec based Compu-Finder was found to have four violations of CASL. They sent numerous emails without consent, as well as messages in which the unsubscribe button didn’t function properly. Interestingly, Compu-Finder accounted for 26% of all CASL complaints. They subsequently faced a $1.1 million dollar fine.
  • Plentyoffish Media Inc. (Plentyoffish) agreed to pay a fine of $48K for failing to have an unsubscribe button that was clearly and prominently visible on their emails.
  • Porter Airlines Inc. (Porter) agreed to pay $150K for alleged violations of CASL. Much like Plentyoffish, they failed to have a visible unsubscribe button, as well as a full contact address.

It’s important to keep in mind that enforcement of the CASL is strictly as a result of direct complaints from recipients. Rule of thumb, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here is a list of items to keep in mind while developing your campaign.

Facebook’s New Video Advertising Is Coming


If you’ve been following the tech blogs over the past few weeks, you’ve likely heard about the large leaps Facebook is undertaking to dominate the video hosting/streaming landscape. Well, with the announcement they will be opening up their muted, auto-play video format to advertisers on a grand scale, not using their platform for video may no longer be an option. For many brands, who are already seeing huge increases in their conversion rates with the use of video advertising elsewhere, Facebook’s new “suggested video” feature will seem like an obvious next step; however, it does have logistical issues that need to be considered. Much like Instagram, companies and agencies will likely want to adapt campaigns to include Facebook specific versions, to address the platform’s intricacies.

Beyond general size/length, many of the considerations you’ll need to make when planning and executing a video ad for Facebook should probably be the same ones you make for all of your video campaigns. Here are a few things to think about during your planning stage.

It’s important to remember that the videos on Facebook, and some other social platforms (like Instagram and Vine), are muted by default. This means that unless a user chooses to turn on the sound, you’ll be telling a silent story. Hence, you’ll want your video to have the ability to convey the messaging and call to action visually. This way, regardless of the user’s choice to hear your video, dependant on a number of factors, they’ll get the gist of what you’re saying – and if interested, react appropriately.


Although users statistically spend around 1-2 hours a day on social networks, they do so in chunks, over the entire day. You’ll want to keep this in mind when choosing an appropriate video length. Most research suggests that anything more than 30 seconds begins to lose attention. Most networks actually cap your videos at 15 seconds. If you have multiple messages/services/products, or want to really make a strong impact, you’ll want to consider creating a series of ads – à la Old Spice. Production value should also be considered, as videos with crisper, smoother, more emotionally provoking production and sound generally get more engagement.

Facebook “suggested video” advertising, much like their messenger for business platform, is still in its testing phase, and likely won’t see a full (worldwide) rollout for a little while, but it’s not too early to start integrating elements of its specifications into your campaigns, as they will very soon be the new standard for the way we consume video adertising online.

People Don’t Buy Products – They Buy Ideas


People don’t buy products. Sure, they go into the store, talk to someone who works there, choose the colour/model, and they make a purchase; however, there is more to it than that. People buy ideas, and a community. There are a few excellent examples of this. The most obvious is Apple. The product itself – generally – tends to take a backseat to the overall vision of the company, and the feeling that owning a piece of that vision gives you. Fitbit is similar, in that owning one makes you part of a community focused on like-minded lifestyle and fitness aspirations.

It seems like a given that all products would be marketed this way – except that it isn’t. It’s not something that is practiced across the board. Understandably, it isn’t easy to create a brand that “transcends” the products they sell. Few consumers purchase a Dell computer because they want to be part of a larger movement they represent.

So how does this concept translate to the real estate world? Well, purchasing a home is more than just buying a physical structure. It’s about buying a place to raise your family. A place to make new friends, experience monumental life events and live your day-to-day life. Elements such as granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors are great things to offer, but they should always take a backseat to the macro concept of what homebuyers are really buying.

As marketers, we’re responsible for helping to sell dreams. We’re selling the promise of a better life – something that we all want for ourselves, and our families. When it comes to real estate, we’re directly responsible for helping to connect the people with builders, by focusing on the things that – at the end of the day – matter the most. That’s something to be proud of.

Previous Older Entries


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 41 other followers

%d bloggers like this: