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So far Wendt Agency has created 106 blog entries.

Hello Fall: Free Wallpapers

Nothing beats the sights and smells of fall. The amazing colors, the crunch of leaves as you walk down the street, and let’s not forget about cozy sweaters and pumpkin-flavored everything. Oh, and college football! These are just a few of the things that make it a bit easier to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall!

-The Wendt Agency

Click to download wallpapers:

2018-10-10T13:31:30-06:00October 9th, 2018|Uncategorized, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Casting and Creativity

When you think about fly fishing, whether you are familiar with the subject or not, it may seem pretty straightforward. I mean, all you are really doing is casting something that looks like food on a hook to a hungry trout who hopefully is willing to eat it. It’s as simple as that, right? To some, this is as complicated as fishing needs to be. To me, a graphic designer by profession and fly fisherman by obsession, I have found correlations between the two subjects as my experience with each has grown over the years. There are parallels between fly fishing and graphic design that help me better understand each subject. And when you apply certain principles that are proven to be successful in each field, you begin to realize how similar and harmonious fly fishing and graphic design really are.

Casting and Creativity

Have you ever found yourself watching, mesmerized, as a fly fisherman casts a fly rod? The way the fly line loops and unravels through the air, the fly landing ever so delicately on the water. It looks effortlessly beautiful, and it’s hard not to stare, like you are in some type of trance. At times, I find myself doing the same when I see a well-executed logo or design. The way the layout, typography, and patterns all come together to look effortlessly beautiful. Like a fly cast, a series of well-thought-out steps and methodical actions need to be accomplished in order to achieve a successful design. I often find myself taking the fly cast approach when starting a new design layout. The mechanics must all come together to achieve cohesion and beauty.

 Fly Choice/Font Choice

Choosing what fly to use can have a dramatic outcome if not given careful attention. In fly fishing, the size, shape, and color of the fly are the most important factors in getting the trout’s attention and determining how successful your catch rate will be. This same formula can apply when choosing a project’s font. If any one of the aspects within the formula is off, the result can hinder the effectiveness or success of the overall design. Thinking about size, shape, and color when choosing a font for a headline on the roadside billboard will determine how effectively I “hook” the attention of my intended audience, therefore making the overall advertisement a success.

 Presentation

In fly fishing, presentation trumps everything! How well you present or sell the fly will determine how successful you are in terms of hooking trout. This holds true in the marketing/advertising world. As a graphic designer, I must think in terms of how I am going to present my ideas for any given project to the client and their customers. It’s learning about their target audience and what convinces them to buy my client’s products or services. How effectively I sell this message graphically/visually will ultimately determine how successful the campaign is.

Blurring the lines between fly fishing and graphic design has made me think outside the box in terms of how successful I am in each practice. Both are a passion of mine, and I strive to be the best I can be in each role. Ultimately, the goal is landing the biggest client – or trout of a lifetime.

BY JOHNNY EWALD, GRAPHIC & DIGITAL DESIGNER

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2018-09-13T12:59:10-06:00September 12th, 2018|Culture, Industry Trends, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Care and Feeding of Your Touchpoints

As marketers, we invest a considerable amount of time celebrating the virtues of consistency, simplicity, and clarity. And all of it is true, especially during the all-important process of defining your brand. Delivering a high-quality, memorable experience at every touchpoint is the very essence of defining and maintaining a brand. It is how customers see your company.

Touchpoints allow customers to have experiences every time they “touch” any part of your product, service, brand, or organization across multiple channels and at various points in time. Parking your company car at the county fair? It’s important that your signage and logo are in excellent condition, as this represents a touchpoint of your brand. In addition, make sure your vehicle is clean and free of dings and dents. Are you parked responsibly? (Asking for a friend – some of us are “between the lines” challenged.) As minor as all this may sound, it’s an opportunity to interact with potential customers.

From a wider perspective, touchpoints for tourism can occur at airports, entryways into the city or destination, front-line staff at hotels, convenience stores and restaurants. Think Disneyland. The company takes great care to ensure a quality customer experience from the ticket counter to exiting a ride. Touchpoints for your business occur online, in person, and with or without the consideration that the smallest transaction can positively or negatively affect your brand. Touchpoints allow prospective customers to become knowledgeable on the brand and the benefits offered and allow them to decide whether they continue their journey with your brand.

It’s also important to realize that in today’s world of social media and reviews, there are touchpoints you can’t control. These can include a customer’s experience when they interact with your product, including visiting your website. Social media has become an amplified “word of mouth,” where a shared experience – good or bad – may influence others’ perceptions toward your brand. There are touchpoints you create to develop and maintain your brand. These include the way you merchandise your space, collateral, and any other messaging through physical channels. Other touchpoints come in the form of customer interaction. Employees, website experience, and customer service all play a huge role in your brand’s ability to provide positive touchpoints and, ultimately, create advocacy with your customers to maintain their loyalty and promote your brand to others.

Whether your business has been around for decades or you are a fledgling new company, brand development – through the care and feeding of your touchpoints – helps you identify a powerful and effective way to connect with your audience. Wendt has considerable experience and success in defining and managing brand reputations. Let us help you identify what makes you unique. Then all that’s left is to believe it, live it, and share it!

BY JOHNA WILCOX, ACCOUNT MANAGER

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2018-08-23T09:27:11-06:00July 30th, 2018|Industry Trends, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Summer Internship Spotlight – Bailey Collins

I spend a lot of time hearing the word “no.” This is no one’s fault in particular. In fact, I’ve been led to believe impossibility is a reality of the fields I’ve chosen to work within. It always starts small: “No, there aren’t a lot of women behind the scenes in advertising,” or “No, creative careers won’t pay well enough to live.” I’m told offices are depressing, firms are immoral, and freelancing isn’t feasible. I’ve heard every starving artist and English major joke there is to hear.

It should be apparent to me by now that my chances at success are slim to none, which is why Wendt blew my mind when I heard of it, and why it has become such an amazing opportunity for me now.

I am a junior at the University of Montana, majoring in creative writing and English literature, minoring in graphic design. I’ve known I wanted to write since I was 12, and have so far avoided the stereotype of the indecisive college student. However, I’ve always known that it’s a long-shot that I will ever become a millionaire with my words alone. Advertising and media arts felt perfect for me. It’s not only a way to feed myself and keep the power on as I write my books but a career that will allow me to stay engaged with my hobbies and feed my creative side. Advertisement spans so many of the fields that interest me– photography, psychology, digital art, design, animation, even writing– that I can’t imagine a more tailor-made career path for myself. That’s even without considering the constant demand and steady growth that’s so conspicuously lacking in many other artistic fields.

But, but, but. There’s still the naysayers. Not many women. Not enough money. Not a good environment. Not much opportunity for advancement.

Since beginning my internship at the Wendt Agency, I’ve job shadowed with many of its employees, spanning from finance to design to social media. Nearly all of these positions are filled by women. Their management is staffed by people who have grown with the company, promoted from within their own ranks. Every day I’ve come in to observe, I’ve been met with laughter and casual camaraderie in what is quite possibly the coolest and most interesting office building I’ve ever been in, with open spaces, curving walls, and music playing through the hallways that changes day-to-day. Several of these employees support families, and since the office is closed on weekends, speak enthusiastically of being able to spend time with them. I find the work, the environment, and the company to be incredibly engaging and uplifting, with projects that speak to my interests and my morals. And those are the days when there aren’t any dogs in the building– because, as I was nonchalantly told on my first day, Wendt is dog-friendly.

In short, Wendt is pretty much what would happen if I could build my perfect workplace. It’s been really inspiring to see such an example against all the negatives and impossibilities I’ve been fed since a young age, especially since many of the stories I’ve heard have been similar to my own in terms of interests and education. Already, many of my own future plans have been influenced by the things I’ve observed at Wendt.

Hopefully, my enthusiasm is apparent. Each day I’m present, someone in the office asks if I’m getting bored yet, and each time, I respond that they’ve underestimated my nerdiness and appreciation for the entire Wendt process. I am far from bored and extremely grateful for the chance to spend a portion of my summer in such an interesting way.

BY BAILEY COLLINS, INTERN

2018-07-26T09:44:47-06:00July 3rd, 2018|Industry Trends, Uncategorized|0 Comments

The Devil is in the Details: Editors Matter in the Business World

The Devil is in the Details

Have you ever gone to a website to purchase an item or research a subject, but once there you realized the content was full of typos and grammatical errors?

Did your trust in the company immediately change?

Did it make you think twice before entering your credit card number?

Did you *eye roll emoji* at the liberal use of LOL speak?

It’s easy to take small details like punctuation and word usage for granted, but these small details can add up to a lot of trust and can mean the difference between someone choosing your services or going to your competitor.

In fact, Adweek reported in 2014 that a study by U.K. firm Global Lingo found that 59 percent of respondents said they would avoid doing business with a company that had obvious errors on their website.

Details matter.

So what’s a business to do?

The most obvious answer is to hire someone whose job it is to prevent such mistakes. But does such a position exist? It does, and those who do it are called copy editors.

Copy editors work to ensure products are accurate and free of errors before they go out to the public. But copy editing goes beyond making sure you have the correct they’re or their. It includes rewriting copy to make it clearer and ensuring that the tone and phrases are appropriate for the audience. Different audiences require different content – the general public doesn’t necessarily want to read a website full of scientific jargon. And while there’s a time and place for LOLs and emojis, there are also plenty of instances such casual conversation is inappropriate.

Editors will often be tasked with fact checking and ensuring a business’s brand is being used consistently across different platforms (print, online, and social are just a few examples). And a good editor will catch copy that might be embarrassing for the company.

Imagine leaving the “g” out of that delicious angus burger. And, of course, there’s the infamous public vs. … well you know.

There also are plenty of social media pitfalls copy editors can keep your business from falling in. Taking advantage of trending hashtags can be a clever way to get your message out, but it can also backfire if a company doesn’t do its research. In 2014, DiGiorno jumped on a trending hashtag to sell pizza. Except the hashtag, WhyIStayed, was intended to draw attention to domestic violence. The pizza company later apologized, saying it did not read what the hashtag was about before posting.

A copy editor can help spot these errors before they go out to thousands of customers or become billboard-size typos.

So the next time your company is ready to unveil its latest campaign, make sure you have a copy editor take a look at what you’re presenting. Taking that extra step now can save you from embarrassment in the future.

“Copy editors keep your business on brand and error-free.”

TIFFANY ALDINGER, PRODUCTION MANAGER

2018-05-29T09:54:02-06:00May 29th, 2018|Industry Trends, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Finding Balance as a Mom

This Mother’s Day will mark the fourth year I am celebrating the holiday as a mommy, and I thought it would be the perfect time to reflect on the challenges and triumphs that come along with being a mom.

Finding the right balance in life can be a constant but important struggle in order to be the best version of myself, whether that is creating a marketing plan for a client or playing Barbie dolls with my 4-year-old daughter. While there are days I feel like I am struggling and everything is spiraling out of control, those are balanced with days where I am incredibly productive and proud of my abilities both in the workplace and as an engaged mom. When I begin to feel overwhelmed and question the amount of time I am away from my kids during the workweek, I remind myself that I am working not just for me, but for my little “me”s. I am being a role model for them, striving to set the example that they can accomplish anything they put their minds to. Even though I may have occasional doubts, I know I am modeling strength, passion, and determination.

The Wendt Agency - Thanks MomI can honestly say I find joy daily in both areas of my life – work and home. I feel energized and ambitious in the office, where I am surrounded by people I have a huge amount of respect for, as we collaborate and create solutions and strategies together. After a full day’s work, I can feel drained from all the mental stimuli and problem solving, but as I pull into the driveway to pick up my kids and see them jumping up and down waving out the window, it gives me the energy I need to give 100% of myself to the people who love me most.

I believe motherhood has made me a better leader and employee and, vice versa, my career has given me tools to be a better mom. Problem solving, patience, multitasking, confidence, perspective, adaptability, empathy, and resilience – these are all traits that I practice daily in all areas of my life. It takes perspective and patience to manage my 4-year-old’s meltdown when I give her a pink cup instead of a green one, just as it takes adaptability and confidence to put together a new-business presentation for a piece of business Wendt is pitching. Practice makes perfect! Well, OK maybe not perfect, but practice helps.

I would be remiss to not give credit to those around me who constantly provide the love and support I need to be a productive and happy mom.

My incredible mother is on speed dial daily. She instilled in me hard work and dedication, working two jobs during my childhood, but was there for me always. My loving and supportive husband is an amazing hands-on dad who sets the perfect example for our kids. I am thankful Wendt is an awesome, supportive workplace that encourages home/work balance. I also draw strength from all the other women in my life who play a role in providing support and love as amazing grandmothers to my children as well as my other mom friends who can relate to the daily challenges.

Plus, there is a vast amount of social posts and blogs about the craziness and pressures of motherhood that has provided me with great insight as I continue to practice being the best employee and mommy I can be. Below are a few of my favorite blogs.

http://www.workingmommagic.com/

https://www.mother.ly/work/

https://www.today.com/parents

So here’s to all the moms out there trying to find balance. You should be proud of everything you do!

Say Thanks to your Mom with a custom Facebook frame

To use the frame, launch your Facebook app and select the camera. Before or after you take a photo, tap on the wand located at the bottom left of your screen. Click frame image on lower right, and it will show you a list of frames. You can also use it as a profile photo. To do so, hover over your profile photo and click “update profile photo” and select “add frame.”

ADD FRAME

MEET OUR MOMS

By Jennifer Fritz, Client Services Director

2018-05-12T07:02:23-06:00May 11th, 2018|Reflections, Uncategorized|1 Comment

5 Tips for Effective Billboard Design

Billboards can be a great marketing tool. They can also be one of the most challenging mediums to create. Why? Effective billboards require creativity, considerate design choices and, the most difficult of all, the ability to communicate in brevity. Here are five tips to get you started on creating an effective billboard.

1. Content: Less is more.
Before deciding what goes on your billboard, it is important to decide what the goal is. Is your goal a directional or way-finding board, to get someone to shop a sale, or is it simply for brand awareness? These goals are all very different and will influence what content should be included. It is important that your board have only one goal. There is simply not enough space or time to communicate more than one message.

What content needs to be included? Many people make the mistake of including too much information. With content, less is more. Once you have developed the desired content, consider making additional cuts, such as eliminating unnecessary punctuation and shortening headlines. Remember, most billboards do not need to include a physical address, phone number, and web address.

2. Design: Keep it simple.
The most effective billboards are always the simplest. Focus on your main message with large and easy-to-read text. Evaluate if imagery is necessary. Perhaps a solid color or background texture is the right choice for a simple, impactful design. If using imagery, consider a single image that will attract the reader’s eye to the billboard but won’t make it too busy. If placing text over the image, choose wisely so your text is readable over the photo. When it comes to logo size, pick a size that balances well with the rest of the design. The logo shouldn’t be the main focus, but you also don’t want it to be missed entirely.

3. Choosing the right font.
Your main goal when choosing a font is to ensure readability at a distance. Make sure that the words are large, clear, and easy to read. Bold fonts often work well. Avoid fonts that are too thin, ornate, or script fonts. Adjust the spacing between lines, letters, and words to help improve readability. You can use outlines and drop shadows to help your words stand out. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you are having to add multiple effects to create a readable message, that may mean you need to reconsider the font selection, background imagery or color, or size of the font.

4. Be creative, but don’t stump your audience.
Today’s traveler often, for better or worse, has a busy mind. Billboards need to be a quick read but also need to be interesting and memorable enough to leave a lasting impression. A boring billboard will be ignored or missed entirely, but a clever and impactful billboard will grab attention. Time to put your thinking cap on! How can you approach your message with creativity, but without leaving your viewer confused?

5. Is it really readable?
You only have about 5-10 seconds for viewers to notice, read, and understand your message. If you haven’t gathered yet, readability is incredibly important. Here is a quick tip to test readability. Print out your billboard around the size of a business card and view it at arm’s length. Can you read it? You can make all the best content and design decisions, but all your hard work will be wasted if your board isn’t readable.

“Billboard design is one of my favorite jobs, it can either be extremely challenging or simple. It allows me to put my thinking cap on and come up the most effective way to get our client's message across.”

Sheena Annala, Art Director

2018-04-24T16:59:05-06:00April 18th, 2018|Industry Trends|2 Comments

Jump into Spring: Free Wallpapers

The sun is shining, the snow is starting to melt, and flowers will soon begin to bloom – welcome to spring! Take it all in and feel sunny even on a cloudy day with these free desktop and mobile wallpapers designed just for you.

Happy spring!

-The Wendt Agency

Click to download wallpapers:

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2018-03-26T13:46:13-06:00March 26th, 2018|Uncategorized, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

Let’s try a little kindness, it’s right in front of you

kindness in the workplace

As each new year begins, it’s a new opportunity to restart and do a personal mental check on what’s important.  I spend a lot of time driving for my job. And that windshield time is always fantastic for reflection, pondering my “to do” list, singing along to my favorite song (when I can’t carry a tune in a bucket) and occasionally making plans for the future.  Sometime in the last year, along the interstate between Great Falls and Helena, I noticed a handmade sign that has become one of my favorites. It states: Just be nice.

Such a simple and perfect sentiment.

I am frequently amazed at how, as human beings, we work so hard to tear each other down. It’s easy to point fingers at others – our leaders, the media, our co-workers, neighbors or family members, and say that they alone have made this world less kind based on their actions. And maybe some of that is true. We all know someone who has nothing more to share than ill will, indifference and meanness. These actions are born of people who are selfish, lack in confidence and are jealous by nature. These traits are heavy-duty and can easily smother kindness, good will and happiness.

We do have the power to make change with every action we take in our lives. All we have to do is to adopt a lifestyle of keeping kindness in the forefront of our hearts and our minds. Seems like a simple concept, but I’m thinking it will take a good deal of practice. However, I’m very confident it can be done. If we start with ourselves, and find ways to let kindness lead us, it will then naturally spill out into everything we do each and every day and ultimately spread to all that we come in contact with.

So let’s talk about what kindness is.

From my perspective, it’s that place in your heart that is wide open, gracious and compassionate. When you look through the lenses of kindness there is no evil, sadness or hate. There is only understanding, tolerance and respect. When we give kindness away it will always come back to us. One kind action leads to another, and another and another. How special is that?

And kindness is free. It doesn’t cost anything to lift someone up with a kind word or deed. This dear friend of mine has an ability to know when I need a little lift. She often will write a little note of appreciation and mail it to me, or at times we’ve been in a meeting together and she has said to me “thank you for this time with you.” Such simple acts of kindness are so incredibly meaningful. And they make me want to do something nice for someone else! It is intoxicating and infectious.

So in this new year, will you join me in finding ways to keep kindness first? We can make this world a better place when our words and actions are both true and kind.

 

By: Brenda Peterson
Brenda Peterson Kindness blog

2018-01-29T13:49:19-06:00January 29th, 2018|Culture|0 Comments

An enigmatic and complex purple takes center stage

ultra violet purple

The new year is here and that means it is time to welcome the Pantone Color of the Year: Ultra Violet. Described as inventive and imaginative, complex and contemplative – this is not a color that blends into the background. This blue-based purple seems to need you to notice it, and notice it we have. The internet is brimming with tips on using this color in 2018. In the mood for some shopping? You can find everything from ultra violet chairs to candles here: Shop ultra violet

Looking to spend the cold winter months inside rearranging the furniture and knickknacks? How-to use ultra violet in decor

Of course, the fashion industry is all over this: How-to wear ultra violet

Ultra violet makeup gets a little tricky for most of us, but check out Kerry Washington’s eye makeup at the Golden Globes. Now THAT is a look that will not get you any side-eye!

So, maybe January is a good time to contemplate where you could inventively use this complex color, or just imagine how an ultra violet coffee mug would brighten your day. Either way, you are probably going to be seeing this color around a lot for the next 12 months.

ultra violet purple
purple nails
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Photo by Radu Mihai on Unsplash
2018-01-11T10:21:47-06:00January 11th, 2018|Industry Trends, Uncategorized|3 Comments

A Wendtastic Holiday: Gifts!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and it’s about to get sweeter!

Introducing a Wendtastic Holiday – 25 of the best Christmas songs, handpicked by yours truly. From timeless classics to off-beat gems, we’ve compiled them all. And if that doesn’t get you in the spirit (it will), download one of our free Christmas wallpapers! We recommend hipster Santa.

Happy Holidays!
-The Wendt Agency

Click to download wallpapers:

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2017-12-19T10:34:38-06:00December 5th, 2017|Uncategorized, Wendt Buzz|0 Comments

PR – What They Teach You and What They Can’t

PR, Public Relations - The Wendt Agency

Let’s get one thing straight. Public relations isn’t marketing, it’s not advertising, and it’s not social media. It’s not all about media relations and it’s not just for businesses. The PR I practice is all of these and not just one. The PR I practice is not spin, but is truth and honesty in a truly transparent manner. The PR I practice is both everything and nothing like I was taught.

You go to college for four years, or more, expecting to learn it all — how to write, how to speak, what to say, what not to say, how to reach the media, how to write a press release … you get the idea. And in some ways you do learn it all, and in some ways you don’t, you can’t. Here’s the breakdown.

We write; it’s what we do. It’s what we were taught to do. No matter how good the story, or pitch, or topic, if you can’t write it, what’s the use? That much is true and always will be. What we’re not taught is how to write well outside of class. All the time. 24/7. PR, as a profession, is not just a 90-minute class with a take-home writing assignment. It’s your job, for eight hours, every day. My advice: find your zone, get in it, and never leave.

Now let’s talk style. Where I come from, it was AP Stylebook do or die. Where I currently reside, it’s AP Stylebook do or don’t die, depending on the client, plus or minus a few things. Do I still reference the AP Stylebook almost every day? Absolutely. Do I experience inner conflict every time I have to go against it? It would be wrong not to. But at the end of the day, I was forced to learn one giant lesson: we all have to make sacrifices. And yes, unfortunately, that sometimes means using the Oxford comma (cringe).

Now we get to transparency, the characteristic that seems to get in everyone’s way, but which is really the simplest of them all. During my four years as a PR major, every PR class promised three things: an ice breaker, a mock campaign, and a lesson on transparency. What I could never figure out is why transparency, the most important characteristic, was also presented as the hardest. Don’t get me wrong, the correlation between the two is certainly not lost, but there’s a reason they call it lying between your teeth — because it’s hard, or at least it should be. Okay, so that’s not the reason, but the logic isn’t bad. Look around and you’ll find that the most confident speakers are those who know what they are talking about. When it’s the truth you’re speaking, there’s no lies to remember or stories to cover up. Just facts. Confronting the truth may be hard, but speaking it will be the easiest thing you’ve ever done.

The biggest thing they don’t teach you is that school is never over. No matter your education, there are always going to be lessons that are left out or can’t be taught. These are the lessons that you must seek, find, and hold onto for dear life.

By: Caitlin Lindsay, Publicity Coordinator

Caitlin Lindsay - PR The Wendt Agency

 

 

 

 

 

Article originally appeared in the Great Falls Tribune.

2017-11-16T09:58:58-06:00November 16th, 2017|Reflections, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Media Buying: Then and Now

By: Pamela Bennett, Senior Media Planner/Buyer

The Wendt Agency has been handling media buying services since it was established in 1929 and has witnessed firsthand the evolving landscape as technology changes consumers’ behaviors.

In the past, a majority of advertising consisted of the main media at the time – newspapers. Newspaper placement strategies were pretty simple. Plans and buys were based on the size of an ad, the frequency of placement, and, if the budget allowed, color for impact.

Newspaper placement would consist of various flights. For instance, in the archives of The Wendt Agency, we have books of old newspaper ads that were done for local businesses, including Sapphire Flour, Great Falls Select, Norwest Bank, Eddy’s bread and many others. Campaigns were developed by product line and messaging. It was common to see several ads for the same business promoting different product lines in the same daily issue or weekly flights. In the “Mad Men” days, from the 1940s to the 1960s, newspapers had the lion’s share of the advertising budget.

 

That simple process has since shifted and become complex in today’s media landscape. Media vehicles are fragmented, varied and require a depth of knowledge outside a typical business owner’s expertise or time. For those who retain agencies or have marketing departments, much of today’s media plan work is built on developing strategies that look at the gamut of options in the marketplace, and the most effective and cost-efficient strategies for reaching today’s consumers.

Media planning and buying is varied. My role at Wendt is to review, analyze and propose media campaign strategies that take into account the complex world in which consumers live. People are bombarded every day by advertising from every conceivable source.

On a daily basis, the average consumer is exposed to:

Newspaper ads, magazine ads, billboards, outdoor signs, point-of-sale signage, direct mail, coupons, receipt ads, grocery cart ads, gas pump advertising, bathroom stall ads, kiosk ads, shopping mall ads, airport waiting area ads, and doctor’s office and hospital waiting area video display ads. If you’ve been to a sporting event, you’ve seen mascots, stadium signs and programs. Even an event sponsorship such as a home and garden show would be considered an advertising vehicle.

Then there are other traditional elements.

Radio has always been a reliable, cost-effective medium that utilizes reach and frequency, which can vary depending on the station format and audience. There can be short or long radio ads, remote broadcasts, and even news and weather sponsorships.

Television and cable advertising is directed at different demographics and audiences. Placement in specific programs and sophisticated dayparting make sure that ads are seen by the right demographic at the right time to ensure maximum reach and frequency for cost-efficient placement.

The emergence of digital and social media and other technology has created a huge shift in today’s media placement. We include digital strategies in every advertising campaign to ensure the ad reaches consumers who might miss traditional media placements.

A well-thought-out digital media campaign, whether it’s to reach the masses or is a hyper-local millennial campaign, is the most complex planning and buying I do at Wendt.

In the digital world alone, there are a multitude of strategies and objectives.

Online consumers are targeted every moment with search query ads, programmatic ad placement, direct publisher preferred placement, in-content native advertising, email advertising, e-newsletters, short video animation, cross platform strategies, mobile ads and text messaging placement. They’re all there – from your desktop, to your tablet to your mobile device.

Wendt also considers placement strategies such as geo-fencing, geo-targeted, demographically targeted placement, contextual and related-content placement. Recently, the advent of streaming ads on platforms such as Pandora, Hulu and Spotify, which include image ads and video, has changed the way Wendt develops ads for our campaigns.

Digital strategies such as in-newsfeed social media ads and custom audience targeting are ways we find consumers using the algorithms developed by Facebook and Google. You’ve all experienced it. When we utilize retargeting, your clicks on images and ads during your search activity allows advertisers to find you and “retarget” your behavior. You’ve become a viable prospect as “in-market.” Try looking for a hotel or airline ticket the next time you are on your computer and you’ll see you’re now part of a retargeting campaign.

In the early days of The Wendt Agency, media buying was simpler. Today it is more complex – customized and tailored to fit the budgets and demands of our clients. The ever-challenging task of finding and placing a mix of the best media tactics is a process we dive into every day to make sure our clients are reaching their target market.

2017-09-14T09:56:37-06:00September 12th, 2017|Industry Trends, Uncategorized|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

2017-05-08T10:29:13-06:00May 8th, 2017|Industry Trends|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.  

 

2017-06-27T15:32:35-06:00March 21st, 2017|Industry Trends|0 Comments

Remove These Phrases from Your Marketing Strategy in 2017

by Carol Kruger

 

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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.

2017-02-22T11:37:55-06:00January 27th, 2017|Industry Trends, Uncategorized|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.

2017-02-22T10:22:51-06:00November 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.

 

2016-10-26T09:28:53-06:00October 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!

2016-10-26T09:28:53-06:00September 27th, 2016|Reflections|0 Comments