Tag Archives: Marketing

Lifelong Learning = The Key to Success

This article was penned by Chelsey Tupper, director of operations and client development. 

Learning has always been an integral part of who I am. That’s probably because I was raised by two parents who realized the value of a solid education and both loved uncovering new knowledge. My mom and dad worked fervently to provide my sister and me with educational travel opportunities and even afforded me the ability to go to the college of my choosing. My parents gained their love for learning from their parents, and at the age of 33, I’m beyond blessed to still have the mentorship of all six of these individuals. I’ve witnessed firsthand from my family the importance of lifelong learning, from reading countless books (for pleasure and work) to learning history and trivia to staying abreast of changing trends in your profession and developing new hobbies. Further, I’ve learned that lifelong learning doesn’t just help you excel professionally but also keeps life fun, fresh and fascinating.

Aside from my parents and grandparents, I’ve been fortunate enough to have several mentors throughout my life, and the list only continues to grow. I love listening to others and learning all that I can from the people I meet because each of us has our own, unique experiences to share; it’s incredible what you can soak up from others if you just pay attention and listen. Two individuals whom I’ve been lucky enough to have as mentors over the past three years are my bosses Peter Steve and Donna Hansbury. Peter’s outlook on learning and bettering yourself is very similar to that of my parents and grandparents. He is always reading and researching, and he impresses the importance of this practice upon the Ideaworks team. Peter continuously says that reading all we can about our industry and those industries of our clients is what makes us an invaluable partner. And he’s right. Developing fresh solutions to our clients’ challenges and guiding them in the right direction are what make our clients come back to us, project after project, trusting in our ability to help them succeed. Donna has taught me to become a more strategic thinker and problem solver. For example, she has shown me the importance of taking the time to figure out a new program or concept, and not being too quick to ask others for assistance before delving into  it myself. It’s difficult to find solutions to such things if reading and researching aren’t part of your core, everyday tasks – yet another reason to embrace lifelong learning.

Back in April, I spoke at a local university as part of its annual communication conference for high school juniors and seniors. The conference helps students discern career paths within the communication industry. I love speaking to high school and college students because I remember when I was in their shoes, and listening to young professionals share their career stories and advice was always helpful and inspiring. For this particular engagement, I chose to speak about the value of lifelong learning and how vital it is for success in college and beyond. Throughout the presentation, I shared the advice I’ve gained from Peter and Donna, along with what I’ve learned from my own life experiences. Several students asked questions following the presentation, wanting me to share additional insight into how they, too, can adopt the “always be learning” mindset.

While I may never know which tips, tricks or stories from my presentation my audience found most inspiring, I’m confident that they, too, walked away with something valuable. And as I reflect on that experience and the many I’ve had to shape me into the professional I am today, I realize that there’s nothing more gratifying than helping one of those students reach an important realization: Lifelong learning really is the key to success, and you never know where its influence stops. I am certain that my parents, grandparents, Peter, Donna and the many other mentors I’ve been blessed to have would be proud that I am committed to paying forward what each of these individuals have impressed upon me.

Welcome to the Ideaworks team, Carla and Jorge!

 

This fall, we excitedly welcomed two graphic designers, Carla Henry and Jorge Ariza. Carla and Jorge join Patty Pugh on our creative team, responsible for employing their design prowess and artistic aptitude to bring our clients’ visions to life.

Ever since she was a little girl, Carla always had a creative eye, which is why she chose to major in graphic design. Earlier this year, she graduated from South Hills School of Business & Technology with her associate’s degree. Carla joins us from Posture Interactive, a Scranton-based digital marketing agency, where she served as an intern. In her free time, she enjoys playing Nintendo® games, binge-watching TV shows and drawing silly cartoons in various mediums.

 

Like Carla, Jorge has also had a passion for art and design from a young age, starting with drawing in elementary school. He graduated in 2015 from Keystone College with a bachelor’s in visual arts and is currently working on his master’s in graphic design at Marywood University. Outside of Ideaworks, Jorge always strives to develop his skills and works on a variety of different projects. For instance, he is in the process of starting his own clothing line, along with working on a children’s book series for his thesis.

 

We are delighted to have Carla and Jorge on board and look forward to each of them using their unique design talents to exceed client expectations. Please take a minute to welcome them to our team!

Mixing it up, marketing style

Search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) ads, newspapers, radio, social media, television, billboards, e-newsletters, direct mail…

So many channels, so little time! And you can only stretch your budget so far. Here are four steps you can take to create a stellar recipe for marketing success.

  1. Establish a budget: Incorporating a budget doesn’t mean stressing about limitations; rather, it’s about exploring possibilities. Working within financial boundaries challenges you to be more thoughtful about how you’re spending your marketing dollars. By employing a more streamlined, targeted approach, you can reach prospects who are already considering the service or product you provide but haven’t decided just where to get it from yet. This is where search engine marketing (SEM) could come into play. Searching on websites like Google and Bing is the most popular medium for locating information. In fact, 74 percent of internet users perform local searches, and of this percentage, 82 percent of local searchers follow-up offline via an in-store visit, phone call or purchase. SEM is also very cost-effective compared to other marketing mediums, so it’s worth considering on a smaller budget.
  2. Know your target: It all boils down to understanding your customer. Warm-up to your target market’s demographics, psychographics and lifestyle. Geography, income, ethnicity, gender and age are key factors that impact buying decisions and habits. Knowing your target is especially helpful with digital marketing, where being in the right place at the right time has become less about serendipity and more about strategy. Take Facebook, for example, where 29.7 percent of users are between the ages 25 and 34. This is the prime target demographic for many businesses, so if it’s yours, investing in Facebook advertising will more than likely be beneficial.
  3. Be consistent: They key ingredient in your marketing mix is to create brand recognition, and that involves creating compelling content. While it’s nice to add some spice to your messaging, you want to make sure that everything blends together well and that one piece doesn’t overpower another. That means using consistent themes and messaging across all platforms you utilize. Prospects viewing an ad, web page, direct mail piece or even a video from a well-integrated campaign should receive a consistent flavor from your messaging, with each element of the mix complementing and reinforcing the others.
  4. Measure your success: What does the data show about what you are trying to accomplish? Be sure to measure your marketing efforts against your business goal(s). If one of your overarching goals is brand awareness, track your social media posts. If it’s attracting more visitors to your website, try using Google Analytics. If it’s sales, take a look at how many leads your direct mail or email campaign generated. Useful tools like Constant Contact, Hubspot and Marketo make it easy to follow each customer’s journey, starting with the first visit to your website. Take the time to monitor your progress so you’ll be able to amplify what’s working and adjust what’s not.

Still not sure how to mix it up? We can add the secret sauce your marketing plan has been craving. Contact Chelsey Tupper, director of operations & client development, to learn more about how we can help. She can be reached at 570-609-5650, ext. 310 or chelseyt@ideaworks.marketing.

 

 

From the Desk of Devanie Heller: 6 Things I Learned From My MarCom Internship

In January, I was determined to solidify my summer internship before going back to school for the spring semester. I wanted to be sure that I gave myself ample opportunity to find the perfect fit so that my first marketing internship would be worthwhile. Therefore, I Googled “marketing agencies in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area,” and began calling each agency to get an idea of who was looking for an intern.

After following up with Ideaworks, I was asked to come in for a face-to-face interview with the agency’s director of marketing communication, Pete, and senior manager of marketing communication, Alyssa. The interview went wonderfully, and the next thing I knew, I received a call with an offer! Little did I know that once I met the rest of the team and began diving into my work, it would feel like home. The culture was so open and friendly that I truly couldn’t have been happier to be part of the team. I absolutely loved coming into work every morning – always wearing a smile, ready to tackle the day’s responsibilities.

During my three months as a member of the Ideaworks team, I learned so much that it’s nearly impossible to whittle down an all-encompassing list of the knowledge and insight I gained, but these six items are surely significant.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions

Since this was my first internship, I was eager to absorb everything I could, which often meant asking many questions. Though I was undoubtedly anxious to jump into a new adventure, everyone was more than welcoming. It did not take long for me to warm up to my co-workers and ask for help or clarification, because I always wanted to do my best and impress the rest of the team.

  1. Every day is different when you intern at an agency

Each day at Ideaworks was unlike the one prior. Some projects were large, others were small, but each had its own originality and importance for our valued clients. I sat in on various conference calls, discussing anything from the types of graphics that would work best on a concert venue’s promotional collateral to the kinds of prizes and incentives that would most appeal to a client’s target audience. From each client call I participated in, I learned several tips and tricks about how to talk with clients and the best ways to work with them to meet their respective needs and wants. Above all, one of the most important things I learned is that it’s always top priority to deliver exceptional work for clients.

  1. The real world is different from the classroom

While I did not receive a letter grade for my work here, I still needed to put forth my best effort when working on any task to which I was assigned. Nonetheless, that is about the only similarity between school and my internship. At Ideaworks, I was able to learn first-hand how to organize and structure projects, follow new client developments, create social media schedules and more – not just read about them from a textbook or simply learn definitions. I’ve always enjoyed school; however, after my time with Ideaworks, I’m even more eager to dive into my marketing career.

  1. Independence is everything

The classic intern stereotype is that he or she runs for coffee and scans papers all day without truly contributing to the team. My experience at Ideaworks was the exact opposite, for which I am tremendously thankful. My first week on the job, I was given a list of projects to start developing in collaboration with our content team, and it made me incredibly happy to know I was entrusted with these tasks. Giving an intern, like me, the independence and trust to take on client projects meant so much, and I was grateful for the opportunity to make each project my own, which also helped increase my confidence. It was such a great feeling to work with a team that believed in my abilities and wanted to see me succeed, especially as a young woman new to this industry.

  1. Social media is more complex than you might think

Before my internship, I never had the opportunity to manage a business’ social media, but I was always eager to do so. Now, thanks to Ideaworks, I can proudly say that I have professional experience handling all things social, such as brainstorming, writing, editing and proofreading post content; posting and scheduling; and managing accounts on the various platforms. I learned that a substantial amount of research and time go into crafting a post for just one platform, let alone creating a weekly content schedule. I’ve also come to better understand which types of content keep followers engaged. Gaining more experience with social media management was a valuable experience that I know will suit me well when I begin my career in marketing, since the use of social media isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

  1. Change is good, and experience is invaluable

A summer internship in my field of study was such a great opportunity because I had the chance to learn many new things and gain invaluable hands-on experience. I firmly believe that my internship with Ideaworks helped sharpen my skillset in a way that will prove invaluable when it comes to interviewing for marketing jobs after graduation. I am a firm believer that change is positive, and this summer, I realized that the dynamic atmosphere of a marketing agency is a great fit for me and one in which I can see myself excelling.

 

Each day that I came to work this summer, I was given opportunities to step out of my comfort zone, and as a result, I learned more about myself and my abilities. Because I made it a point to be proactive and find my summer internship early – and then absorb as much knowledge as I could during it – my time with Ideaworks was extremely beneficial and rewarding. I cannot stress enough how happy and thankful I am to have been part of the Ideaworks Marketing team this summer; it was truly the perfect fit for me!

-Devanie Heller, Ideaworks Marketing intern, summer 2019 

Announcing our Partnership with Luzerne County Historical Society

Ideaworks Marketing is excited to announce our agency’s new partnership with the Luzerne County Historical Society (LCHS), which we officially elected as our “charity of choice” this spring! As our charity of choice, LCHS will receive complimentary marketing support from our team, ranging from conducting focus groups to creating a comprehensive marketing plan, including goals, objectives, strategies and tactics to generate awareness and interest in the Society. Community support is crucial at Ideaworks, as we have supported various non-profit organizations on both national and local scales over the past 21 years in business.

When asked about our new partnership, Alyssa Ellsworth, senior manager of marketing communications, had this to say: “Supporting our local community is incredibly important to our agency. Moreover, Luzerne County is rich in history. Being given the privilege to help LCHS further allows our team to work with one of the oldest non-profits in the county – one that is committed to preserving and protecting the history and events that have shaped this area.”

Peter and Alyssa getting ready to conduct the focus groups

To kick off our support for LCHS, our owner and CCO, Peter Steve, recently conducted three focus groups for the Society – free of charge – with Alyssa as his research associate. The duo uncovered valuable insights regarding the Historical Society’s perception in our area and is using them to finalize a follow-up report as well as guide the Society’s marketing plan, which is currently underway.

Aimee Newell, Ph.D., executive director for LCHS, will work closely with our agency as we spearhead marketing efforts for the Society. “We are thrilled to work with Peter, Alyssa and the team at Ideaworks. We appreciate having their expert advice and guidance and look forward to putting their insight to use by increasing community engagement with our local history,” said Dr. Newell.

Peter Steve Named AAF NEPA’s 2019 Silver Medal Award Winner

We are proud to announce that our owner and chief creative officer Peter Steve was officially named the 2019 recipient of the Northeast Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Advertising Federation’s prestigious Silver Medal Award. Each year, the Silver Medal is awarded to one deserving individual in the local advertising and marketing community who has made superior contributions to the industry, furthering its standards, creative excellence and responsibility in areas of social concern.

“For the past 38 years, Peter has inspired his colleagues and enhanced the meaning of creativity by bringing ideas to life. It is suitable that he named this company Ideaworks, because every day we are committed to delivering ideas that work, and Peter has spearheaded this process,” remarked Ideaworks president and CEO Donna Hansbury.

“Recognition by your peers is one of the highest honors a person can receive in his or her career. Being recognized for the Silver Medal is a lifetime accomplishment of which I am very proud,” said Peter.

Our team feels incredibly honored to work alongside such a motivational and creative leader. Peter’s “keep learning” mindset is contagious, and his inspiration makes a positive impact on everyone on the Ideaworks team.

Congratulations to AAF NEPA’s 2019 Silver Medal Award recipient, and cheers to many more years of continued success in the marketing and advertising industry!


Click here to learn more about Peter’s many accomplishments and the prestigious Silver Medal Award.

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.