Google’s Autocomplete is a great way to speed up your search results since it helps fill in your request with popular queries. We were inspired by the WIRED Autocomplete series and decided to try our hand at answering the web’s most-searched marketing questions. And, people seem to have a lot of questions so, here is part one and you can look for part two in the future!
Q: How Marketing Works?
A: By creating awareness and interest in specific companies, products, charities, ideas, services, or experiences. People cannot buy new tires or set up a 529 college savings account if they do not know their options. Strategic marketing spreads the word and gets people talking.
Q: How marketing is changing?
A: Every day in every way! Marketing cannot stand still. It needs to constantly adapt to the ways people are communicating. Reaching the modern consumer is a complicated undertaking based on research, strategy, and using multiple media outreach channels.
Q: How marketing has changed over time?
A: Marketing has been around for centuries, adapting to changes in how we live and communicate. In our increasingly interconnected world, that means increasing digital marketing efforts to find people where they learn, work, and socialize online.
Q: How marketing and sales work together?
A: Marketing creates the awareness and interest while sales works to sell the specific product, service, or experience. Ideally, both work together to create a seamless interaction with the customer, so interest leads to knowledge which can increase sales and repeat purchases.
If you have a question about marketing, let us know in the comments!
February 1st, 1929, was the first day The Wendt Agency officially existed. Called Wendt and Bird Advertising, the agency had roughly 8 months to get established before the stock market crash in September 1929 ushered in the Great Depression. Was the next decade an easy one? Of course not; not for the agency, the state, or the country. But Wendt’s founders and early employees adapted and persevered – taking on event planning, testing cookbook recipes, and even working out of Wally Wendt’s garage for a while.
It is a history all of us at Wendt are proud of and one that inspires us during these challenging times. We are committed to our work, our clients, our community, and the success of each of them. The last 90+ years have seen this agency grow and change in innumerable ways:
- working in downtown offices, garages, and living rooms
- handling local, regional, national, and international outreach
- creating print ads, TV spots, websites, and social media strategies
- meeting in person, on a phone call, and by video conferencing
What hasn’t changed?
Our commitment to strategic thinking for our clients. Our team of 13 talented individuals might be working remotely these days, but we are still creating, still partnering with each other and our clients in innovative ways. Wendt’s not going anywhere. We are confident our founders would be proud.
To say the last six weeks have been hard and heavy is an understatement. We have certainly seen challenges and uncertainties, but we have also witnessed brands, teams, companies, and organizations across the world adapt to new ways of working and communicating with each other and their customers. Even though “curves may be flattening”, we all know the challenges and uncertainties will continue.
We also know that history demonstrates that brands who continue to advertise in an economic downturn benefit by long lasting boosts in sales and market share.
Following are a few client success stories we have experienced over the last month and want to share as examples of best practices in marketing during a crisis.
Stay relevant. Provide valuable and useful information. Be creative.
Shodair Children’s Hospital – It is an honor to partner with Shodair and watch as they navigate this very difficult situation with transparency, urgency, and grace. Shodair was incredibly responsive to COVID-19 and worked diligently and quickly to implement policies and procedures to ensure the safety of their patients, staff, and visitors. We worked with Shodair to create a special landing page on their website to house information, resources, and tips. Shodair has done a tremendous job of communicating internally and externally with daily updates posted on their public website and employee intranet. Shodair has also worked to develop content that is relevant, useful, and creative. Creating videos with ideas for kids’ activities at home, importance of sleep, hygiene, tips for teenagers, and more, has delivered important content to people who need it, and also helped to maintain the strength of Shodair’s brand and their mission to heal, help, and inspire hope.
Maintain brand strength. Pivot strategy.
West Yellowstone Tourism – Part of our annual strategy for West Yellowstone includes outreach for spring travel, promoting direct flights into Bozeman for a quick trip to West Yellowstone, as well as creating awareness for West Yellowstone as a meeting destination in the spring. This strategy had to quickly pivot as “stay at home” restrictions were put into place and the safety of travel was jeopardized. West Yellowstone chose not to abandon their media, but rather shift the message. Our outreach went from a “travel now” message to a “plan now, travel later” message. It is important for the travel region to remain visible and create inspiration for future trips. A couple samples of this messaging include an HTML email sent to their large database of subscribers as well as dynamic social ads.
West Yellowstone Facebook Ad
Shift in message. Reassure your audience.
Achieve Montana – Each year we partner with Achieve Montana to develop a marketing and communications strategy for increasing awareness of 529 plans, the importance of saving for higher education, and increasing enrollment numbers for the state 529 plan. Spring is always an important time period to promote the Achieve Montana message since it is after the tax season and leading up to national 529 Day. This year we have a lot of efforts planned around promoting plan improvements for Achieve Montana which include lower fees and increased investment options. Within the last month we have continued with these promotional efforts, but we have shifted the message a bit to be sensitive to the current climate. With all the uncertainties and challenges that Montanans are currently facing, Achieve Montana wants to communicate a message of reassurance, security, and simplicity while encouraging people to stay the course with investing for higher education and that Achieve Montana is and always will be here to help people achieve their dreams. Outreach tactics over the last month and continuing into the future include guest editorials, blog posts, print ads, email, digital video, native content, and display/banner ads.
Achieve Montana Facebook Image
Marketing and advertising during times like we are currently facing presents different and new challenges, and we will continue working with our partner clients to shift strategies and messaging as needed to elevate brands, reach audiences, and drive conversions and sales.
It’s the time of year when everything in nature is showing us the beauty of new life. After the long, cold, winter months, spring is such a breath of fresh air. So as the days get longer, the nights get shorter, and it starts to feel warmer outside, get out outside and the enjoy the fresh air and the beautiful smells of spring.
-The Wendt Agency
Celebration, reflection, inspiration. 2019 was a big year at The Wendt Agency as we marked 90 years in business. When Wendt first opened its doors back in 1929, print ads were extolling the virtues of a new thing called “sliced bread.” Who could have imagined the transformation the advertising world – and world itself! – would undergo in nine decades?
But even as we’ve moved from the Great Depression to the digital revolution of the 21st century, our core values have remained steadfast. We create success for our clients. We spend time celebrating our past but are always looking at ways to inspire our future. And we are dedicated to the community and state in which we are fortunate to work and live.
As part of our 90th anniversary celebration, we reached out to past and present employees and clients and asked them to reflect with us. It was with immense honor we read the kind words from the great-granddaughter of our company’s founder, L.W. Wendt. We smiled at the stories from our clients, without whom we wouldn’t have a past or a future. And we nodded in agreement as former and current employees shared their sentiments on what makes Wendt so special.
But we also wanted to give back to the community that has given so much to us. That’s why we launched our “90 Acts of Kindness” at the beginning of 2019. Every quarter, we joined together to help a local cause. We donated art supplies to Shodair Children’s Hospital; partnered with the Kiwanis Club to get books to kids; found homes for some furry friends; served meals at the Great Falls Rescue Mission; and pledged to add 90 trees to the planet!
We might be closing the book on 2019 and our 90th year, but our story doesn’t end here. A new decade is dawning, and we can’t wait to see what 2020 and beyond holds. Thank you to all involved with our past, present, and future, and cheers to a new year and new adventures!
I returned from lunch the other day to a voicemail message from a woman I didn’t know. On the message, she stated that she wasn’t really wanting to testify in court and that she didn’t have a car, but if someone needed to get her the summons, she’d be home all day. Obviously a wrong number, since this request falls way outside of what we do at Wendt. At first, I thought, I’ll just ignore the message and she’ll figure it out, right? Then my better self thought, call her back and let her know that she misdialed so she wasn’t waiting all day for the person who obviously had no idea she had reached out. I called her, and she was so thankful for the call and at the same time apologetic for bothering me. She reiterated that she doesn’t have a vehicle and told me that she works at one of our local convenience stores. Someone stole from the store while she was working her shift and now she was being asked to testify against that person. She was not looking forward to that and just wanted to do her job and live her life quietly. She again apologized for bothering me.
At this time of year, it always seems that I am the recipient of a timely delivered message or some small connection that reminds me how incredibly lucky I am. I have a comfortable and safe vehicle to drive. I work in an office that is warm and cozy, surrounded by amazingly talented people who love what they do and who bring joy and happiness to our space every day. The people we serve are grateful for the work we do and pay us for our services so we can all make a comfortable living. I can go to the grocery store and purchase what I need, and some things that I don’t. I go home each night to the loving arms of my sweet husband and unconditional admiration of my chocolate Lab, Nellie. I don’t worry about having a warm coat, gloves, and boots in cold weather. I have a wonderful life.
In the hustle and bustle of the season, and frankly any time of year, it’s important to remember that there are those who are struggling just to get by, who don’t have a vehicle, a great place to work, a comfortable home filled with loved ones, a full refrigerator, or simply a warm coat to wear. This is the season of giving. So, if you can, please find a way to share with others who might not be as lucky as you are. Donate to your favorite charity, give some time to a senior center, volunteer at your child’s school, give some attention to a dog or cat at a shelter, or make a meal for a family in need. Simple gifts can make such a huge difference for someone who may just need a little love and kindness.