Communications 101 – Show Time!

East Middle SchoolThere truly is no one-size-fits-all answer for communications outreach, and the 8th graders in Sarah Milling’s class at East Middle School demonstrated that when they created and implemented their own campaigns aimed at marketing a book to their peers in the 8th grade math class.

Regular readers of this blog might remember that Wendt got involved in this project last February, when Sarah reached out to us. Read all about it here.

With the school year coming to an end, it was time for the top two students in each class, 12 students in all, to bring their presentations to The Wendt Agency for a show and tell. And what a show it was; these young marketers had done their homework and then some!

East Middle SchoolWe watched animated videos, heard about scavenger hunts and special PA announcements, checked out customized websites, read peer reviews, took quizzes, and played online games based on book characters. These middle schoolers used any and every tactic they could to reach their target audience in an impactful way that would lead to action. Marketing at its simplest and finest.

In the end, East Middle School’s 8th grade math students learned about a lot of good books for their summer reading lists, the 8th grade English students developed their marketing muscles, and The Wendt Agency got to watch the next generation of communications specialists get their feet wet.

Win – win – win!

2017-06-09T10:59:47+00:00 June 9th, 2017|Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Marketing is in Everything We Do

Jennifer Fritz-The Wendt AgencyA business or organization can make an investment in their marketing and advertising, but it is ultimately a waste of time and money if your employees don’t buy into your brand, if your customer service is less than stellar, the product is bad or inconsistent, your storefront is tired, the delivery truck is beat up, your website is a dinosaur, you have negative reviews on your social channels that are unaddressed, or there is an inconsistent voice in your messaging and communications.

Marketing is defined as an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer.

The aggregate of functions referred to is everything a business does to complete a sale. And that is why we are in business, right? To sell our goods and services to consumers. To better understand the power and impact of marketing, it is important to understand the basic four P’s of marketing.

Product: This can be either an intangible service or tangible good that fulfills a need or want of the consumers. In order to successfully market a product or service one has to have a clear understanding of what makes it unique and how that appeals to your target audience.

Price: Once you have a clear understanding of the product you will offer and how it is differentiated, a pricing model can be determined.

Promotion: Includes all the tactics you will use to communicate your product and its unique attributes to consumers. Elements may include advertising, public relations, owned media, social media, collateral distribution, blogging, content marketing, events, and more. It is imperative to your success that your established brand identity be consistent across all outreach channels. Frequency also needs to be considered in the promotion mix: how often do you want to be in front of consumers?

Place: Refers to the ways consumers can interact with or purchase your good or service. This includes storefront locations, website, online retail environment, call centers, etc. In today’s marketing landscape, it is all about providing options and convenience to consumers.

The four P’s help to display why marketing plays such a critical role in everything we do. In a nutshell, everything that the people representing your business do-whether it is product engineers, accountants, HR professionals, those responsible for media relations, warehouse managers, baristas, etc.-affects how consumers will perceive and interact with your brand. In essence, everything we do is marketing, so marketing is everything.

Article first appeared in the Great Falls Tribune

2017-05-08T10:29:13+00:00 May 8th, 2017|Industry Trends|0 Comments

Communications 101

Marketing PresentationIt all started with an unexpected email in February. Middle school teacher Sarah Milling wanted to encourage her students to become excited about reading, and also help them learn a bit about marketing. Her idea? In a nutshell, task her 8th graders with marketing a book to their peers. Her question? Would The Wendt Agency be willing to help? Why, of course we would!

The students got to choose any book they wanted, and that means there is a wide variety of types—biographies, fiction, sci-fi, even a graphic novel. But while the content might be different, the challenge is the same: convince other middle schoolers to read your book.

Three members of the Wendt team—Brenda Peterson, Jennifer Fritz, and Carol Kruger—spent a day at East Middle School, walking the 8th graders through a lot of marketing basics:

  • Defining a brand
  • Doing market research
  • Determining your target audience
  • Developing a marketing plan
  • Deciding on the right mix of communications outreach tactics

Marketing PresentationWe even had a little fun with it, testing their knowledge of logos and tag lines for brands like Pepsi, Beats by Dre, Amazon, and All State. The only one that stumped them? The Quicker Picker Upper, which is for Bounty paper towels. But to the 8th grader who thought “The Quicker Picker Upper” was, or should be, Uber’s tag line—call us when you graduate, because that is genius!

The students are hard at work with their marketing efforts now. We can’t wait to hear how things go and will be keeping all of you updated on the student’s progress as this project moves forward!

2017-04-13T10:52:27+00:00 April 13th, 2017|Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Wendt 2016 Telly Awards

telly award

2016 was an exciting year for broadcast work and even more exciting is the fact that we were honored with four Bronze Telly Awards! View the award-winning work for the Montana Lottery and Resolve Montana below.

 

Montana Lottery – Big Sky Bonus

Montana Lottery – Grills Gone Wild

Resolve Montana – It Isn’t Easy

The Telly Awards were founded in 1979 and honor outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs; video and film productions; and online commercials, videos, and films.

2017-04-13T10:59:29+00:00 April 10th, 2017|Wendt Buzz, Work|0 Comments

Central Montana and The Wendt Agency — A Partnership
Built to Last

We do more than just work in Central Montana. We live here; play here; explore here.

Central Montana is home in every sense of the word. So The Wendt Agency has always been thrilled to work with the Central Montana Tourism Region to promote the authentic and unforgettable adventures that surround us every day.

Wendt has been a partner with Central Montana since 1992, back when it was still called Russell Country after famed Western artist Charles M. Russell. We’ve traveled to every corner of the region, and we have the photos to prove it! Pics or it didn’t happen, right? And yes, we know that phrase is almost as old as this relationship!

Below is a glimpse of a Wendt road trip experiencing some of Central Montana’s gems.

Success can only occur when there is a deep agency-client partnership built on mutual respect and dedication to cutting-edge ideas and solutions.Wendt and Central Montana have built this together, and it shows in our work. Want to see an example? Check out our recent “Fun with Dick and Jane” campaign. It’s just one way Wendt has brought the Central Montana message to the target audience of potential visitors.

We look forward to many more years of sharing the Central Montana story. If you can’t wait for that, head on over to the Central Montana Facebook page or follow them on Twitter and Instagram. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

2017-04-06T15:21:46+00:00 March 30th, 2017|Culture|0 Comments

Creating Engaging and Clickable Banner Ads

Engaging banner adsBy Meghan Shaulis

It’s no secret that advertising is migrating from traditional mediums toward the digital world. One of the most common digital mediums currently is the banner ad. Digital banner ads can be extremely cost effective and are trackable, offering the opportunity for key insights into your campaigns. Achieving a high click-through rate is essential to the success of any digital campaign. This goal is no easy task, however. With trillions of digital ads on the internet, how do you make your ad stand apart?

Following is a list of tips for designing banner ads and bringing in those vital clicks.

  1. Design for your audience

Remember to keep your target audience in mind when building your digital ads. With only seconds to catch their attention, your ad better speak to them. Your target audience should be reflected in your choice of wording, imagery, and call to action.

  1. Be clear about what you are offering

It takes much more than an attractive design to get your target audience to respond. Be clear about what you are offering by conveying one straightforward message. Keep in mind, a banner ad only lasts 15-30 seconds. This is an extremely limited amount of time to get your message across and encourage engagement.

  1. Keep it visually simple

You are already competing with trillions of ads on the internet. Don’t create competition within your ad. Keep the importance of basic design theory in mind. Your banner design should be visually simple. Utilize strong and readable fonts, impactful colors, and be brief with content. If you overstimulate users with fonts, animation, and color, it will dilute your ability to convey your message.

  1. Use animation, but sparingly

Animated ads usually outperform static banner ads and can be very effective in banner design. There is a fine line between compelling and overwhelming, however. Use animations sparingly and in an impactful way to draw attention to your ad, complement your message, and compel users to respond.

  1. Use buttons

Buttons are known to increase click-through rates. While the whole ad is clickable, a button can help create a visual cue that you are asking for a click. Use buttons tastefully while still creating attention. Consider using contrasting colors, and remember that visually they should be consistent throughout the set of ads.

  1. Load time

Nothing kills a media experience like delays in loading. Don’t waste your time and media dollars by missing the opportunity for your audience to see your ad. Make sure to save your files properly to ensure a quick load time.

These are just a few tips to make sure your digital banner ads stand apart from the crowd. Banner ads are often small in a world of digital clutter, so take the time to make yours stand apart and people will be responding in no time! And if you find creating compelling, clickable banner ads a little too challenging, consider hiring an expert to help you create a successful digital campaign.  

 

2017-03-21T09:40:05+00:00 March 21st, 2017|Industry Trends|0 Comments

Remove These Phrases from Your Marketing Strategy in 2017

by Carol Kruger

 

chess-website

Many people ring in the new year with New Year’s resolutions. While personal resolutions do have mixed results—eating healthy gets pretty hard to do when the Valentine’s Day chocolate shows up—To strengthen your marketing strategy, I think each and every business owner should take a minute during the new year to banish these phrases from their marketing planning.

“There are plenty of customers out there.”

Maybe. But there are also plenty of competitors out there, and you have to fight harder today for each and every customer, each and every sale. Most customers are researching and buying products and services from those companies that take the time to communicate with them; to explain why their products and services are better than their competitors. Being engaged with customers and potential customers means your company is the one they will think of when they are ready to make a purchase.

“Our marketing isn’t driving traffic into our business or our website.”

If you aren’t getting customers in the door or visits to your website, I’m willing to bet your potential customers don’t really know enough about you. You need to do more than have one open house, run four newspaper ads a year, or do that one three-day paid campaign on Facebook. Consistently marketing your business throughout the year in various media using a wide variety of tactics will help you truly connect with your target audiences.

“Our product/service sells itself so we don’t need marketing.”

Having a loyal customer base is amazing—congratulations! But can you really afford to ignore potential new customers? Is your business so financially secure that you really could not handle even one more customer or sale? If you are truly thinking about your business long term, I am going to hope you understand the need to keep bringing in new customers. One excellent way to do that: make sure your marketing efforts are being seen and heard by more than your current customers.

“We can’t seem to reach our potential customers.”

Are you really trying to? Or are you trying to reach yourself or your customers from 10 years ago? Remember, just because you love a specific radio station or cable channel, does not mean your target audience loves it, or even knows it exists. Your customer might have very different media usage habits than you do, or even than they used to have. A decade ago you could probably run a very successful campaign targeting women 25-54 without including any social media. These days, it’s crazy if social media is not a part of that ad mix. The key here is getting to know your customers. Once you know them, you will have a much better idea of how to reach them with your marketing message.

The bottom line is that marketing is an important business investment. To make the most of that investment, you should evaluate your marketing strategy regularly, making adjustments as needed. This will help your business succeed—today, tomorrow, and a decade from now.

2017-02-22T11:37:55+00:00 January 27th, 2017|Industry Trends, Uncategorized|0 Comments

holiday

We are proud to say that creativity is abundant here at The Wendt Agency, and not just in our professional work. Many of us like to exercise our unique talents to help create joy, especially during the holiday season.

Taking extra time to do something special this Christmas can go a long way, whether it’s for your family and friends, your customers, or for those you don’t know personally but are in need of help.

No matter what you do during this festive time, do so with a genuine heart. Your customers, social media followers, and—of course—those you love will appreciate your sincerity and generosity.

Click through our recipes and craft projects below to explore how some of us express our creativity and spread holiday cheer.

Katie’s Homemade Vanilla Extract

This is a great, easy project. This vanilla is perfect for baking (or flavoring holiday cocktails!). It may be a little late for gift giving this Christmas (it does take some time to turn into vanilla), but it would be a breeze to throw together now for an easy holiday present next year.

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle bourbon or vodka
  • 7-8 vanilla beans
  • Small jars or bottles for gifting

Instructions

  1. Slice vanilla beans in half lengthwise.
  2. Place your vanilla beans in the bottle of alcohol (you may need to pour out drink a bit to make room).
  3. Cap tightly and shake gently.
  4. Store in a cool, dark place for at least 2-3 months, shaking occasionally.
  5. When ready to gift, pour into small jars (airplane liquor bottles work well).

Jessica’s Plaid Ornaments

I was inspired to make these after seeing plaid ornaments in stores and because I had some scrap fabric at home. Being from Virginia, I’m not used to such cold weather during Christmas time, so I knew I wanted my tree and house to feel very warm and cozy. I decided to use burnt red colored fabric to match the plaid scraps I already had. Any round plastic ornaments will do for this project; mine are about three inches in diameter. You will also need a pair of scissors, paper clips, and some jute twine.

Directions

  1. Cut your fabric
    I cut my fabric to be about 12” x 12” square-ish. The edges don’t need to be perfect as this will add character to the finished ornament. Just make sure when you bunch the fabric around the ornament that it covers the entire thing. The larger the piece of fabric, the more fabric you’ll have bunched at the top.
  2. Wrap your fabric around the ornament
    Place your ornament in the middle of your fabric and bring the ends up to create a nice bunch at the top.
  3. Tie your jute bow
    Take a piece of jute twine about 14-18 inches long. This will be your bow, so the longer the twine, the larger the bow. Tie it around the fabric bunch at the top of your ornament.
  4. Make your hook
    Now take a paper clip and open it to create an S shape. Hook the bottom loop on to your ornament, and then hang on your tree and enjoy!

To me, the holiday season is a time of coming together, whether it is with your family or the friends that have become your family when you are away from home. It’s also a great excuse to watch Christmas movies, listen to happy music all of the time, and really embrace the season of giving and caring for one another.

Alyse’s Christmas Lanterns

I love crafting AND I love Christmas, so combining the two creates hours of entertainment for me and meaningful gifts for my friends and family.

I find repurposing items for crafts and home décor to be especially fun. Resourcefulness is key—what an accomplishment when I take scraps or unwanted items and turn them into something great!

So when I had several white lanterns left over from my summer wedding decorations, I was inspired to transform them into Christmas decorations to give away as gifts (and, of course, keep a few to decorate my own home with!).

Directions

I had already spray-painted these lanterns white, so all I needed were decorative items to add to them. I bought ribbons, twigs, pinecones, berries, glittery items, shiny items, beads, etc.—pretty much anything in green, red, white, or silver that would fit inside the lanterns.

Then I simply stuffed the lanterns. This is where happy accidents play a big role! The bottom layer included the heaviest material, and then I added varieties of shapes, textures, and colors as I worked my way up.

In the two larger lanterns, I decided to use a candle as the centerpiece. I surrounded the candle with decorative items that added more colors and textures.

To finish them off, I tied colorful ribbon and small pieces of the interior materials to the top of the lanterns. Voila!

Brenda’s Swiss Cheese Fondue—The Real Thing!

Several years ago, we took a winter vacation to Switzerland. We enjoyed so many wonderful culinary delights, especially the cheese fondue (more than once)! When we got back to Montana, I could hardly wait to incorporate it into our holiday season. Now it has become a tradition for our Christmas Eve dinner.

Here’s the recipe:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 8 oz. Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 8 oz. Jarlsberg cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp. Kirsch (cherry liqueur)
  • Salt, fresh ground pepper, and a dash of nutmeg
  • French bread, cubed

Download Brenda’s Fondue Recipe
Cheese Fondue

Rub a heavy pot or ceramic fondue pot with garlic, leaving shreds in the pot. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Slowly add cheeses, continue stirring, and lower heat until all the cheese is melted. Dissolve the cornstarch in the Kirsch and add to cheese. Add a dash of salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Keep over very low flame. At your table setting, provide everyone with a shot glass of Kirsch and a plate with fresh ground pepper. Make sure the shot glass is wide enough to dip the bread cubes in the Kirsch.

Dip a bread cube slightly in the Kirsch (just a little corner of the bread). Then dip it in the fondue, swirling it around in the cheese. Finally, dip a small corner of the cheese-covered bread in the pepper. Pop it in your mouth, enjoy, and start the whole process over again. Once dinner is over, if there is any Kirsch left in your shot glass, make a toast to the holidays!

To me, the holidays are about spending time with family and friends and enjoying the season with fantastic food and drink. Those are the best gifts one can receive!

2017-03-29T11:45:56+00:00 December 15th, 2016|Culture|0 Comments

Silos are for farms, not marketing plans

siloSilos are a common sight in north central Montana—standing tall in the fields and on farms, protecting the harvest until it is needed. In agriculture, they work and they work well. In marketing, that’s another story.

Silos mean separation, and having a marketing plan made up of distinct silos—each one disconnected from the others—is not the way to create a successful outreach effort.

A comprehensive marketing plan needs consistency and coordination. Every area needs to be analyzed and planned, not only in relation to marketing goals, target audiences, seasonality, and events but also in relation to all the other areas. Public relations efforts need to complement paid media. Ad design needs to support the brand and the specific sale or event it is promoting. Each of your marketing channels is simply a way to share information, and all of them need to be scheduled to maximize the impact of the message. This means a strong and consistent presence in front of customers; not so little outreach that no one remembers it and not so much that your marketing channels are competing with each other causing sheer volume to overpower the actual content of the message.

Your marketing channels can include

  • Website
  • In-store events
  • Trade shows
  • Paid media placement
  • Social media
  • Collateral pieces (brochures, flyers, posters)
  • Ads (print, radio, TV, digital)

That’s not even a complete list, and let’s face it, you probably weren’t thinking about how much you enjoyed marketing when you decided to open your business. But creating a successful business means paying attention to a lot of things, including marketing. A successful marketing plan doesn’t happen by accident. It takes research, planning, negotiating, analysis, and collaboration. All of the outreach efforts need to work together, doing double duty whenever possible. Can your paid ads drive traffic to your website? Can your social media outreach extend your public relations messages? Can you collect email addresses at an in-store event to create your own email list? Probably. But only if you, or the members of your marketing team, coordinate efforts. Only if they do not exist in silos.

Creating and living that culture of collaboration is something we are committed to at The Wendt Agency. We have experts in every area of marketing, and we constantly bring all our talents together to create better, stronger communications strategies. This is teamwork taken to a higher level, using idea sharing and brainstorming to not only accomplish a common goal but to also achieve results that would not be possible if we were not coordinating our efforts.

Whether you are a marketing department of one or a team working in different areas, planning and implementing a marketing plan that stretches your marketing dollars while effectively reaching your potential customers is the primary goal. So think about it, plan for it, talk about it. Make sure every marketing effort doesn’t just work on its own; make sure it works in conjunction with every other one of your marketing efforts. The success of your business depends on it.

2017-02-22T10:22:51+00:00 November 21st, 2016|Industry Trends|0 Comments

Bringing Smiles to Montanans

Big Sky Bonus Smile

Is there anything better than smiling Montanans? There is so much in our state to smile about—beautiful scenery, friendly people, endless outdoor recreation, the change of seasons, and the Montana Lottery, just to name a few. The Montana Lottery provides entertainment and fun for Montana residents, and their new Big Sky Bonus game is definitely something to smile about!

Big Sky BonusWendt partnered with the Montana Lottery when launching their newest game, Big Sky Bonus, a Montana-only daily progressive that provides some of the best odds of any Lottery game. Our goal with branding and new creative messaging was to be entertaining, fun, and memorable. This was accomplished through showcasing real people celebrating Montana and the Montana Lottery. For a deeper look at this campaign and the elements used to bring awareness to the new Montana-only game, click here.

 

2016-10-26T09:28:53+00:00 October 25th, 2016|Work|0 Comments

Exercise in Leadership

Wendt Agency Leadership Montana

Here at the Wendt Agency, we are dedicated to improving ourselves, company, community and state. That’s a certainly a tall order but, one thing which always helps – Leadership Montana.

The state’s premiere leadership development program, Leadership Montana is constantly working to help members grow and embrace the change which surrounds us to create an empowered future.

Recently, several members of the Wendt team attended the annual Confluence event. It was held in Butte and featured a thought-provoking leadership exercise created by the PEAK, a local Butte business. The group was divided into teams and given one of six survival scenarios (plane crashed in the desert; stranded on a snowy mountain; shipwrecked at sea, etc.).  We had to visit 12 Uptown Butte businesses and answer a trivia question to receive a clue. After correctly answering, we blindly selected an “asset,” (such as the Peruvian bat featured in the photo). After collecting 12 assets, we reconvened back at the conference room to craft our story of survival and negotiate with other teams to gain more helpful assets (if you have snow shoes but are lost at sea…maybe you want to trade that asset for something more helpful…like a desalination kit). Once our story was crafted, we were pitted against another team with the same survival scenario to “sell our story” of survival to the group. The group selected the winner based on use of assets and feasibility of survival. That team “survived” and the other team “did not.” The lessons were in leadership, problem solving, negotiating, time management, emotional preparedness, etc.

While not everyone from Wendt “survived” the exercise, we did all learn a lot about making the best use out of any and all resources, even or especially when that required seeing the asset in a completely different light.

Next year’s Confluence will be in Miles City and we cannot wait to see whatwill happen there!

2016-10-26T09:28:53+00:00 September 27th, 2016|Reflections|0 Comments

Kruger Honored at YWCA Salute to Women

Carol, our Senior Vice President and one of our fearless Directors, was recently honored at the 25th annual YWCA Salute to Women event for her work in creative arts. Salute to Women strives to honor women who use their talents and strength to make Great Falls and the surrounding areas a better place to live.

Joined by five other women of achievement and distinction being honored in categories ranging from education to volunteer community service, Carol accepted her award amongst community leaders, past honorees, family, friends, and coworkers. She expressed her appreciation by thanking the women of Wendt for nominating her and to her family for always being there to support her in everything she does. Carol also mentioned that when she was notified of this award, it was one of the few times in her life she was at a loss for words!

While you may think of creative arts as designers, Carol’s work with Wendt’s public relations and media departments as well as being a leader of our agency brings strategy and enthusiasm to the services we provide for our clients. Carol’s ability to think on her feet and grace in handling any situation is enviable not only in the office but throughout the community. She is a mentor to the 13 women at Wendt by showing us all how to respond to situations that might sometimes be a little uncomfortable or awkward with poise and assertion.

2016 Salute to Women Wendt Agency

 

2016-10-26T09:28:53+00:00 September 23rd, 2016|Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Promoted: Kara Smith and Jennifer Fritz

Please join us in congratulating Kara Smith and Jennifer Fritz for their recent promotions. We are so fortunate to have their talents on the Wendt team.

Kara Smith has been promoted to Creative Director, overseeing the entire creative department. She manages projects from concept to completion, translating marketing objectives into creative strategies covering everything from print to broadcast and digital work. She ensures all materials meet our standards for quality and innovative creativity.

Kara has been with Wendt for nine years and is a shareholder of the company. She was honored at the Great Falls YWCA’s Salute to Women in 2014.

Kara Smith has been promoted to Creative Director
Jennifer Fritz has been promoted to Client Services Manager

Jennifer Fritz has been promoted to Client Services Director, working to ensure superior service for all our clients by leading account service activities, managing the account team, and directing client communications. She is a leader in our website services, working in collaboration with the creative director and web development team to deliver breakthrough trends and technologies.

Jen has been with Wendt for six years and is a shareholder of the company. She is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Montana.

2016-10-26T09:28:53+00:00 September 14th, 2016|Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

WENDT’S CREATIVE DIRECTOR IS RETIRING AFTER 26 YEARS: PART III

Farewell, Joe, and Thanks for the Memories

Joe has officially retired, and after 26 incredible and creative years at Wendt, we have a lot to reflect on!

From driving all over the state, to company retreats, to weddings and births, Joe has shared countless life experiences with us, not to mention all the award-winning work he created for our clients.

Joe Create Success

Here are some highlights from our reminiscing:

“Joe has been an incredibly patient and dedicated mentor to me from the start at Wendt. He has allowed me the freedom to grow, while still teaching me the ins and outs of the business. I am so grateful!” -Kara

Joe and Kara
Burke Ranch

“My favorite logo that Joe designed was for Burke Ranch Outfitters. It was the perfect storm of a really cool, open client and subject matter that Joe was passionate about. Because the client lived in Glasgow, we met in Havre to present designs. At first the client was unsure of the design, but eventually we won them over and the client still talks about that meeting today. The logo is brilliant and everyone really responds to its genius.” -Johna

“It was my first Wendt strategic planning session in Whitefish. We all went to dinner one night at the Whitefish Golf Course…fancy food, fancy drinks. Joe and I started balancing spoons on our noses. The CEO of Wendt at the time was not amused!” -Brenda

Joe Brenda spoons

“I so appreciate Joe’s easy-going nature and willingness to not only put up with 13 women, but handle it all with grace and respect. I would assume he raised all girls because of how well he works with us, but he had 3 boys! Incredible!” -Alyse

Joe and girls

“One of my favorite memories is of Joe as our Grillmaster–you always know it is a good day at Wendt when Joe breaks out the grill and starts cooking!” -Carol

Joe grillmaster

“Joe and I spent many hours together tweaking banner ads when I first started, but it definitely made me a better designer. Thanks for all of your guidance and leadership, Joe!” -Katie

Joe and Katie

“I am going to miss Joe greatly. He is so wonderful to work with, very talented, and easy to be around. I love his easy-going approach and casual attitude. Of course there are times when he would get heated up, but in general he is as laid back as they come. And without sacrificing any quality in his amazing work.” -Jen

Joe Jen Kara

We could go on and on, but then the mascara would begin to run.

Joe, we will miss you! Congratulations on your retirement!

 

2016-10-26T09:28:53+00:00 September 1st, 2016|Culture, Reflections, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

WENDT’S CREATIVE DIRECTOR IS RETIRING AFTER 26 YEARS: PART II

An interview with Joe: career reflections and retirement plans

With 26 years at Wendt and 41 years in the advertising industry, Creative Director Joe Stein has loads of wisdom to share. He’s also looking forward to retiring in Lincoln, Montana, for several reasons. Take a look at what we found out from Joe.

Retiring Joe baby group

Q: What will you miss most about your job and The Wendt Agency?
Joe: I’ll miss the diversity of projects to work on while creating success for our clients. The people, the work environment, and the culture at Wendt. We have a great crew of people, the office space is awesome, and the company’s management team is very progressive and forward-thinking. I love my job at Wendt and will definitely miss it, but I’m ready for a new episode and adventure in life.

Wendt retreat

Q: What were the most exciting changes and biggest surprises you saw during your career?
J: The quick advancement of computers, cameras (still & video), phones, and software technology were all exciting. Plus they make our jobs easier, faster, and more efficient. While the advancement of computers, software, and camera technology was amazing to witness, the impact and growth of the internet and social media environment was huge.

Joe Film

Q: What were some of the most memorable moments during your career?
J: Too many to count, but a few that stick out include

  1. Having the opportunity to travel the state for various clients capturing the beauty of Montana and its people on stills, film, and video.
  2. Seeing people grow professionally and really come into their own by mentoring them.
  3. Being recognized for my work in design and broadcast from various local, regional, and national organizations.
  4. Once, on a shoot in Spokane, we used a crane to drop a baby grand piano on the sidewalk, and we only had one chance to get it! We got the shot, but the crane broke through the old sidewalk.
Piano drop

Right before the piano drop

Q: What are you most looking forward to in retirement?
J: Spending more time with our kids and grandkids, more time for hunting, fishing, and traveling—a totally different focus and pace based upon our schedule. My wife, Cindy, and I will also enjoy traveling around the country, visiting friends and family.

Stein family hike

Q: What do you love about Lincoln, where you’ll be retiring to?
J: Cindy and I had started going up there years ago camping and four-wheeling with friends and really liked the area. So we started looking for property and found some that we really liked about 3.5 miles from town. In 10 minutes, I can be bow hunting to the north of our place. After just a 10-minute drive on a four-wheeler behind our place, I’ll be fly-fishing on the Blackfoot River.

Joe hunting

Q: What words of wisdom would you give to someone who is just starting their career in the creative field?
J: You need to have a certain amount of creative ability regardless of the discipline you’re pursuing: conceptual, writing, design, illustration, or production. You need to have the drive, the passion, and the willingness to put in the extra hours when necessary to make sure your work is the best it can be. You can’t be thin-skinned with criticism of your work and be willing to compromise (to a point) without compromising the creative.

Q: If you weren’t the creative director at Wendt, what would you have done instead?
J: Professional fisherman in the walleye circuit.

Joe fish

2016-10-26T09:28:53+00:00 August 30th, 2016|Culture, Reflections, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Wendt’s Creative Director is Retiring After 26 Years: Part I

The Mountains Are Calling, and Joe Baby Must Go

After 26 dedicated years at The Wendt Agency, our amazingly talented Creative Director, Joe Stein, is retiring!

Joe Stein: Wendt's Creative Director

Joe’s incredible career has spanned 41 years. He joined Wendt in 1990 as the senior art director and has also served as design group director and broadcast director.

Young Joe Stein: Wendt's Creative Director

Here are just a few highlights from Joe’s impressive resume:

Creative Director Joe Stein travels

Joe’s attention to detail has transformed our clients’ products and messages into award-winning creative elements.

Creative Director Joe Stein awards

Throughout his tenure at Wendt, Joe has shared his expertise of combining strategic insights, market research, cutting-edge technical skill, and a comprehensive understanding of print, TV, radio, and digital design elements to create effective creative solutions for a variety of clients.

Wendt has been incredibly lucky to  benefit from Joe’s expertise for almost three decades. But now the mountains are calling, and Joe must go.

Joe’s last day at Wendt is August 31, 2016—check back as we celebrate everything Joe before we say goodbye!

 

2016-10-26T09:28:53+00:00 August 26th, 2016|Culture, Reflections, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Dedicated to the Red, White, and Blue

by Alyse Considine


USA fan
My passion and dedication to cheering for Team USA and watching as much Olympics coverage as humanly possible borders on the line of obsession.

I remember being in awe of the Magnificent Seven at the 1996 Atlanta games. My sister and I would run outside to do cartwheels and pretend to execute the balance beam on our deck.

Eight years ago, I scored the perfect summer job while a student at the University of Montana: front desk clerk at a hotel that had JUST renovated their lobby to include new flat screen TVs. I saw Michael Phelps win all eight of his gold medals in Beijing.

Four years ago, I was in the middle of moving to Great Falls for a new job, and I made sure to take a few extra days off before starting work so I could watch more of the London Olympics.

USANow, I am grateful to work at an agency that encourages everyone to pursue their passions, and thankfully, they also embrace my quirks–not to mention the dark circles under my eyes each morning as a result of staying up way past my bedtime to watch my favorite athletes win gold.

The Rio Olympic games have not disappointed. The fastest man to ever live, the greatest woman gymnast of all time, the greatest swimmer and most decorated Olympian in the world…it’s all so exciting, I can barely stand it! I am Montana’s Leslie Jones.

Once these games conclude and the 4-year long deep void in my life returns, I’ll be anxiously awaiting Tokyo 2020. I guess deep down I’ll always be the little girl that is in complete wonderment of the amazing athletic feats, heart-wrenching personal stories, and dazzling grand-scale productions, forever cheering for the red, white, and blue.

 

2017-02-22T10:42:23+00:00 August 19th, 2016|Culture, Reflections|0 Comments

Welcome Jessica, creator of stunning designs!

Jessica Billings Graphic Designer

Please join us in welcoming our new graphic designer Jessica Billings to the agency!

We’ve already put Jessica to work in the creative department collaborating with the team in all stages of the design process, from conception and planning to completion. She provides art direction including layout, illustration, and graphic design. Jessica is also responsible for the design and development of digital creative for websites, social media, and online advertising.

Jessica earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design with an impressive 3.65 GPA from Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, in May 2016. She worked as the Senior Art Designer at Design Lab, a student-run design agency at Longwood University.

Want to learn more…Jessica Billings, Graphic Designer

2016-10-26T09:28:53+00:00 July 28th, 2016|Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Smith Team Website

July 21, 2016

Smith Team Real Estate Website

Smith Team Website Property Listing

Wendt partnered with Smith Team Real Estate to create a refreshed web presence. The new site was designed to inspire users inviting them to easily explore and pursue their dream home on Flathead Lake.

The site includes beautiful photography of the area, an extensive property search database, social media feeds, featured videos, a custom login feature with email alerts, and additional content about the real estate team and the Flathead Lake area.

Check it out—your dream home might be waiting for you!

2016-10-26T09:28:53+00:00 July 21st, 2016|Work|0 Comments

We’ve added a Shareholder

Our Social Media Specialist Sarah Yoder is now a shareholder!

Sarah has been our Social Media Specialist/Account Manager at Wendt since 2010. She develops strategic social media plans that allow our clients to achieve success through real-time conversations with their audiences. Social media account setup and management, app creation, online reputation management, cat videos, memes, and sarcasm are all tools she utilizes to support our clients’ online marketing strategy goals.

Wendt became an employee-owned corporation in 1955 and we currently have nine employee owners. Sarah joins the other current Wendt shareholders: Brenda Peterson (CEO), Lorie Hager (CPA, CFO), Carol Kruger (Senior Vice President), Joe Stein (Creative Director), Johna Wilcox (Account Manager), Pam Bennett (Senior Media Planner/Buyer), Jennifer Fritz (Senior Account Manager), and Kara Smith (Associate Creative Director).

Sarah Yoder shareholder

2016-10-26T09:28:54+00:00 June 22nd, 2016|Wendt Buzz|0 Comments