Tag Archives: Marketing

THE VALUE OF MAKING YOURSELF VALUABLE

Take a few seconds and think of an item or experience you value. What popped into your head? Why? Do you value this particular thing because it was given to you by someone you love? Do you value this memory/experience because it played a huge role in shaping who you are today? It probably wasn’t too difficult to think of one or even several items or experiences you value. As humans, we seem to place a value on everything, whether it’s positive or negative; we might do this consciously or subconsciously. In the same way that we place a value on possessions or experiences, we also do this when it comes to colleagues and professional relationships.

Years ago, marketing and advertising agencies enjoyed a special kind of monopoly that has since disappeared thanks to the advent of the internet. Agencies didn’t have to concern themselves with competition from websites offering less expensive prices for graphic design or “marketing” services. However, now, we do, and with that comes the need to make ourselves even more valuable to clients than ever before. Let’s face it, if clients don’t find value in the services we provide, the relationship is over.

You might be thinking, “Well, of course I am much more valuable than some website,” but are you really? Do you stay up-to-date with current trends, which change as rapidly as the weather? Do you read any marketing article you can get your hands on – even if it isn’t necessarily the area in which you specialize? Most importantly, do you take the time to research, read and learn all you can about your clients’ businesses/industries? If you answered “yes” to each of these questions, then kudos, you’re right on track. If you answered, “no”, then it’s time to change.

While it’s important to stay updated on all things marketing so you can suggest the best strategies and tactics to clients, nothing is more valuable than when you approach your client with a trends report or an article discussing a topic pertinent to the industry in which they serve. This not only shows you have your client’s best interest at heart and want to see him or her succeed, but it also places a value on your relationship with said client – a value that is invaluable in this day and age. Any agency is going to welcome new clients on board and sell, sell, sell its marketing services, but those agencies that take the time to know and study their clients’ businesses and industries are the ones who will easily differentiate themselves amongst the competition.

Any possession, experience, relationship or service that you regard as being valuable is actually invaluable, i.e. you still wouldn’t give up said item even if offered millions of dollars. As a marketing professional, this is how you must be viewed by clients because you must become an incredibly valuable asset to them in order to establish those invaluable relationships that are key to your business success.


Chelsey Tupper, director of marketing commun
ications

 

FROM MY PERSPECTIVE: GROWING AS A WOMEN-OWNED BUSINESS

Earlier this month, individuals around the world recognized International Women’s Day, celebrating the many commendable achievements and advancements women have made in the workforce and beyond. As I reflect on International Women’s Day and what it means for Ideaworks, I am grateful for the opportunities we have had through the years to grow and develop as a WBE-certified women-owned business.

This year marks our 20th year in business, and it is an honor to work with such a talented group of career-minded women, including Ideaworks’ president & CEO Donna Hansbury, vice president of creative and operations Patty Pugh and director of marketing communications Chelsey Tupper. Together with these ladies and the rest of our talented team, we have dedicated ourselves to delivering the best marketing and creative work for our clients. Our entire team showcases attributes that I believe are crucial to have not only in a women-owned business but any business enterprise. Characteristics like sheer talent, respect for one another’s unique abilities, and a willingness to work hard, dive deep and actively immerse ourselves in each client’s industry. These are the qualities that make our agency valuable to our clients and competitive in today’s ever-changing marketplace.

It’s an honor to have built this business and team with my fellow female executives. While I am especially reflective as March comes to a close, I am genuinely grateful year-over-year that Ideaworks is a women-owned business, dedicated to solving clients’ most pressing marketing challenges with innovation, creativity and an exceptionally talented team.

Judy Steve, owner

Welcoming Chris Konnick to our team!

We are pleased to welcome Chris Konnick to the Ideaworks team as our new administrative assistant! Chris came onboard in November and has 26 years of experience working in project accounting and administrative support. When not at work, Chris loves to cook; she especially enjoys making Polish favorites like pierogis and kielbasi. She and her husband also recently celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary!

Remaining Upbeat, Inspired and Committed to Excellence

It’s no secret that team building exercises can be incredibly positive, boosting morale and productivity within the office. Over the past few months, our team has grown and evolved, making it even more important for us to partake in activities and tasks – both small and large-scale – that bring us closer together and help us remain upbeat, inspired and committed to excellence each day. As we reflect on recent efforts, we are proud to say that they were, indeed, the kind of constructive, motivating activities that a business hopes to enjoy!

In late July, Peter Steve, our owner and CCO, and Donna Hansbury, president & CEO, generously decided to plan an employee outing that was far different than the traditional company picnic: a spa day for the team! We started the day with relaxing treatments and lunch, followed by a delicious dinner together at a local restaurant. At dinner, we played games to get to know each other even better (complete with raffle prizes!) and shared lots of laughs. Together outside of work, we were able to unwind amidst a busy summer at the agency.

In August, we also began brainstorming new ways to keep engagement levels high on social media; we didn’t have to look far to come up with a great idea. We receive so many compliments on our beautiful office, and oftentimes, we tend to take for granted how inspiring our workspace can be. Thus, we decided to begin a Motivation Monday series on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, where we draw attention to a particularly inspiring spot within our office each week. So far, we have featured motivational quotes that hang on our agency walls, a shot of our conference room and a look at our beautiful building from the outside, all of which help to showcase how we source creative inspiration from unique places every day.

We took part in Hunger Action Month for the month of September, working as a team to collect donations for the Commission on Economic Opportunity (CEO)’s Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank. We collected dozens of canned and dry goods, hygiene products and baby items that will be distributed to local families in need. From coordinating the donations and packing the car to delivering the goods and meeting with members of the CEO, this experience was one that drew us closer together while helping neighboring communities in the process.

Boss’ Day takes place in October, and this year, we decided to hold a special celebration for Peter and Donna to show our appreciation for them. Being that Donna was leaving for Italy just three days later, we put together an Italian-themed lunch for our two amazing bosses. From the antipasto to the homemade dips and the laughs and stories shared in our office kitchen, this memorable day was one of the best.

October also marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and our agency used that time to recognize the brave women who battle this disease, including some of our own friends and family. Jordan, daughter of our vice president of creative and operations, Patty Pugh, and her field hockey team sold t-shirts to benefit That Special  Woman, a local women’s healthcare boutique. Spectators wore the shirts during the girls’ annual Pink Game, and Ideaworks kindly purchased a shirt for each of our team members. We sported them together and held our own a miniature “Pink Out” at the office.

It is with a great amount of enthusiasm that we are able to look back at the past few months and see our team growing together. We are committed to making the culture at Ideaworks as engaging as possible, and we are always grateful to have a wonderful team that is committed to discovering, dazzling, and delivering day in and day out.

The next issue of Dazzle is hot off the press!

We are THRILLED to bring you the next issue of Dazzle, our award-winning agency magazine! Here’s what you’ll find within its pages:

  • An editor’s letter from Chelsey Tupper, director of marketing communications
  • An in-depth look at Gen Z: the generation that you need to pay attention to
  • How we are delivering on our agency’s commitment to social good
  • How selecting a “charity of choice” makes good business sense, and how it has helped us form a great bond with Blue Chip Farm Animal Refuge, a local no-kill animal shelter
  • Tips for choosing the right marketing mix for your business
  • “Checking out the ‘Real World’ at Ideaworks,” an article from guest writer Rachel Urbanowicz, mass communication professor at Misericordia University
  • Life @ 197, spotlighting the Ideaworks team and recent happenings
  • A recap of our winnings from the AAF Northeast Pennsylvania’s ADDY awards
  • An article on storytelling from the desk of Peter Steve, owner & CCO

Please click here to read. Feel free to email Dazzle’s editor-in-chief, Chelsey Tupper, at chelseyt@ideaworks.marketing or art director, Allison Simenkiewicz, at allisons@ideaworks.marketing to share with them which articles and features you find most compelling! Enjoy!

Social good: A longstanding commitment at Ideaworks

Earlier this month, our Direcmcontor of Marketing Communications, Chelsey Tupper, attended the 2017 MCON conference, held at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. This annual conference sparked her interest, as it is designed for individuals who are dedicated to social good and societal change, and who want to hear from some of the most notable thought leaders on cause-related marketing and activists who feel passionately about their work. Much of what was discussed included ways to attract more millennials to show support and interest in a particular cause by using creative branding strategies and other well-thought-out marketing tactics that resonate well with this generation.

During the conference, Chelsey heard from a number of accomplished speakers who drove home a vital point: through its work, a business must personify its very roots and reasons for doing – put plainly, each day, employees should reflect their company’s core beliefs. In addition to the #GivingTuesday Townhall, during which she learned aideaworks3bout assimilating charitable efforts in your business practices annually, this central message from MCON resonated for Chelsey, who would return home to continue breathing life into Ideaworks’ own philanthropic initiatives with the entire team – a practice that Ideaworks has been committed to for over 20 years, as one of our foundational values is service to others.

This dedication is shown by our unwavering commitment to local organizations like Blue Chip Farms Animal Refuge. Blue Chip Farms, located in Dallas, PA, is a non-profit, no-kill animal shelter that provides care, comfort and a loving home to every animal that is brought to its safe haven, regardless of health impairments or age. Being animal lovers, Ideaworks’ owners Peter and Judy Steve elected Blue Chip as our charity of choice in 2015. Since then, we have gone on to provide a wide range of marketingstpatricks support to Blue Chip at no cost, helping its team spearhead some of its most valuable initiatives like Adopt-A-Kennel, Legacy of Love and the newest sponsorship program, Kitty Condos. Working with Blue Chip continues to be one of our company highlights, but this has not been a solitary effort. We continue to reflect upon our core beliefs and participate in various cause-related initiatives.

In March and April of this year, our team participated in the Back Mountain Chamber’s Spring Food Drive, donating non-perishable items to the Back Mountain Food Bank. Giving back to the community and providing healthy, nutrient-rich meals to families is an effort we are committed to in our work, as some of our largest clients are proponents of healthy living, clean environments and optimal quality of life.

This month, Ideaworks was fully committed to raising awareness for various causes and helping individuals in the process. We “went purple” for Alzheimer’s and oPurpleDayther dementias, being that June is National Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. Our team enthusiastically involved themselves in this project by changing our email signatures from black to purple text, the recognized color of the Alzheimer’s Association, and including a call to action to “#ENDALZ” in the sign off. We also scheduled a day to wear purple and heightened awareness for this worthy cause on social media.

Also in June, we had the opportunity to team up with the Greater Wilkes-Barre Association for the Blind. We hosted a high school student in the Association’s Transition Assistance Program, who expressed an inteRainaandRachaelrest in becoming a graphic designer and photographer in the future. She learned a lot while job shadowing our creative designers and also enjoyed lunch with our team where she was able to hear more about what differentiates us as an agency. We are proud of this young girl and know she will continue to grow in her craft in the years to come.

At Ideaworks, we firmly believe that day in and day out, you should be communicating what your business is truly about, and acting as a spokesperson for those values that your company holds dear. While raising awareness during National Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, choosing Blue Chip Farms as our “charity of choice” and partaking in other local initiatives have been excellent opportunities for us to get involved, they will certainly not be the last. As put by Christina Tosi (award-winning owner of Milk Bar Bakery with locations in New York, Washington, D.C., Las Vegas and Toronto), who offered insights to her MCON audience, “It’s easy to support things when you believe in them.”

Shorter, sweeter, stronger: “Spring cleaning” your marketing approach

When the ground begins to thaw, greenery returns to the landscape and the sun’s rays feel just a little bit stronger on our skin, we know that spring has finally sprung. Along with the many simple pleasures to enjoy during springtime, people make the most of the beautiful weather by doing some (often much-needed) spring cleaning. This month, we’ve juxtaposed swoon-worthy weather and the art of the marketing approach. While businesses – like ours! – pride themselves on innovation, bold concepts and unabashed creativity, they also shouldn’t fear simplicity when “simple” is needed.

We spring clean to weed out what no longer suits us while hanging onto the essentials – the pieces we can’t live without; similarly, your marketing approach can be rethought, reworked and refined to better suit your business at any time. To “spring clean” your marketing style this year, consider staying short and sweet, especially if you’re interested in strengthening your online presence.

What is meant by “keeping it short” is exactly what it sounds like – cutting back your content! According to the Bloomberg View and Sparks & Honey, a New York-based marketing agency, Gen Z (young people age 19 and under) has a (remarkably short) eight-second attention span! With an annual buying power of well over $40 billion and an incredible influence over what their parents purchase, it’s imperative to ask yourself how you’re marketing toward this generation.

The key to enticing consumers is to keep your content short and striking. Gen Z – along with virtually every other generation – is incredibly visual. To echo some marketing basics: if it doesn’t look appealing, it isn’t going to sell. To keep your content visually appealing and shortened, consider letting your images take center stage as opposed to your copy. Allison Outdoor Advertising Inc.’s “10-Commandments of Billboard Design” suggests using seven words or less when creating a billboard and letting images do most of the talking. This rule doesn’t just pertain to billboards, but the design of marketing collateral in general. With a strong image and only a few words, your brand more than likely will resonate much better with target audiences.

While seven seems to be the magic number for billboards and other collateral, consider applying a similar shortening strategy on your social media, because billboards certainly aren’t the only places to keep your content condensed. Evidenced in research by Wistia and published on HubSpot’s Marketing Blog, your average video length should be right around the two-minute mark. With the rise in visual marketing and the stronghold that video giants like YouTube have on consumers, you’ll want to remember this number the next time you post a video for your business. Additionally, Instagram captions should be kept under 125 characters, and even the 140-character limit in a tweet is a bit too steep. Remember these figures for social media success, and don’t be under the false pretense that more copy will automatically result in more sales!

Now that we’ve discussed the benefits of keeping it short, let’s move onto to the sweet side of things! When it comes to marketing and “keeping it sweet,” it doesn’t necessarily mean plastering photos of puppies or kitties across your pages; although, people do have undeniable sweet spots for our furry friends. Today, consumers want to see authentic, genuine, “no filter” snapshots of your business’ daily functioning, or as Arnie Kuenn calls them in his article entitled, “Visual Content Marketing on 3 Major Networks: Ideas and Inspiration,” “backstage” looks. Think about giving consumers a short look at how a product is made, an authentic peek at your office culture, a glimpse at some of your philanthropy or just a few smiling shots of your employees. As Kuenn notes in relation to visual content marketing, posting photos of your staff or a peek at your daily processes “[humanizes] your brand.” It’s important to think about the types of photos you’ve been posting or using in your brochures, videos, sell sheets, etc. If you haven’t given employee faces or some of your projects a little limelight, it’s certainly not too late, because you do want to show consumers that your business has heart. Breaking away from stock photos for your visual components, as Buddy Scalera notes in his article, “Say No to Stock Photography and Create Authentic Images,” and going genuine is perhaps just what your business needs when you’re spring cleaning your marketing approach.

Implementing what Forbes calls “nostalgia marketing” is also a great way to keep it sweet. According to Forbes, using nostalgia in your marketing technique works best with Millennials, because this group in particular longs to fondly recall their childhood memories; it’s why “90s-style” choker necklaces and Pokémon GO were all the rage last summer. Peppering some nostalgia into your approach will appeal to the consumer on an emotional level without overdoing it.

This spring, keep it short and sweet if you want to do some thorough spring cleaning on your marketing approach; in doing so, you’ll appeal to wider groups of consumers, freshen up your social media and create some much-needed sunshine to drive sales!

Sources:

  1. https://www.slideshare.net/sparksandhoney/generation-z-final-june-17/6-They_love_to_shop_especially
  2. https://www.slideshare.net/sparksandhoney/generation-z-final-june-17/4-They_inuence_household_purchases484747369656055523229ToysApparelThe_weeks
  3. https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurenfriedman/2016/08/02/why-nostalgia-marketing-works-so-well-with-millennials-and-how-your-brand-can-benefit/#7e2c88fb3636
  4. http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2014/04/visual-content-major-networks-inspiration/
  5. http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/06/create-authentic-images/
  6. https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2014-06-18/nailing-generation-z
  7. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/character-count-guide#sm.000c5do7l1c90e4kxmc2mnjf7scjg
  8. http://www.allisonoutdoor.com/wp-content/uploads/Billboard_Design_Tips.pdf

A note from the new Marketing Communications Manager!

headshot (2)It is with much excitement that I am introducing myself as the newest member of the creative team at Ideaworks Marketing! Being an individual who loves to write and story tell, I am passionate about communication and the role that words play in our understanding of people, businesses and – more broadly – our world.

I graduated summa cum laude from Misericordia University in December 2015 and hold a bachelor’s degree in English, as well as my Pennsylvania Instructional I teaching certificate in English/Language Arts grades 7-12. I have past work experience as a web content editor and substitute teacher. In my spare time, I love to travel, experiment in the kitchen, and spend time with my family, friends and fiancé!

I will be working with our Director of Marketing Communications, Chelsey Tupper, to develop content for the agency. Ready to bring my experience and passion for communication as the new Marketing Communications Manager, I am most excited to take a personalized, detail-oriented approach to working with our clients!

Introducing the 2017 Ideaworks Calendar!

calendar

We’re excited to show off the 2017 Ideaworks calendar! Each year, we brainstorm a new calendar concept to make sure it’s fun and interactive. Our team then works diligently to bring the concept to life. Once produced, the calendars are given to clients, business associates, and friends of Ideaworks, and they are always a hit!

For 2017, our calendar celebrates the unexpected by paying homage to the quirky holidays that tend to get overlooked but make life a lot more interesting. This year’s calendar design is a true representation of the culture and chemistry here at Ideaworks. We’re forward thinking; not afraid to suggest bold, new ideas to clients; and we work hard (and play hard too). Speaking of playing, the vibrant colors and dynamic images throughout the calendar also serve as a gateway to a wonderful augmented reality experience using the Layar App. Each month has something new and fun in store, and if that’s not enough, the back of each card is a puzzle piece.

Let us know if you’d like to receive a 2017 Ideaworks calendar, and we’ll be sure to get one to you. From all of us at Ideaworks, we wish you and yours a new year full of many happy surprises. Remember to make the most of each day, and of course, celebrate the unexpected!