Category Archives: Industry News

The Benefits of an Agency vs Hiring an In-House Team

Benefits of Utilizing an Agency

As many business experts and gurus will tell you, part of being a success in business is recognizing that you can’t do it all.  Developing the skills to delegate is critical. This allows you to have the opportunity to not only take unneeded work off your plate but to use your employees/team to the best of their abilities. Overall, this means more efficiency and fewer headaches.

However, the delegation strategy does have its limits, namely when your business has a task in front of them that’s outside the skillset of your current team. This isn’t an indictment of your team, but a basic reality, especially when it comes to something like marketing. For example, effective web copy and content requires knowledge of writing, while on average, many workplaces need more people with effective writing skills. In the same vein, creating visual content may require knowledge of graphic design, which your team might not have.

At this point, most businesses are at an impasse and have to make the decision on whether to hire an in-house team to handle these tasks or delegate a step further and bring on an outside agency. The notion of having your own team to tackle these specialized issues may sound good — but for most businesses, the agency is the better option. Here are some of the key reasons why.

How Using An Agency Helps You

A Better Financial Setup

It makes sense to try and start with the bottom line, right? Part of the reason that businesses start putting together larger advertising and marketing campaigns in the first place is that they believe they are going to get a return on their investment. Part of the issue here, though, is that a lot of people don’t understand what that actual investment is in the first place. At first glance, you may think that having your team will actually save you money, right? Not necessarily, at least—not if you want the best. Look at some of the average figures for key marketing positions:

  • Marketing Manager Salary: $120,000 per year
  • Social Media Manager Salary: $50,000 per year
  • SEO Manager Salary: $60,000 per year

Depending on the size of your business and your needs, you may actually need someone in each of these roles, as well as people to work under them, which means even more financial investment. On top of that, you’re not factoring in the cost of setting them up with the tools they need to do their jobs. For example, a basic ad campaign may require a stock photo website subscription and Adobe Creative Suite. SEO experts need keyword research platforms like Ahrefs to create an effective strategy. Combine all these together, and you could be paying thousands on tools alone to support your teams.

By comparison, while you may be paying a monthly fee to an agency, that fee is inclusive of both the work of the agency, as well as their tools. If you don’t anticipate constantly putting out new campaigns, you’re virtually guaranteed to pay less overall to use an agency rather than getting a team of your own together. Some businesses try to have their cake and eat it too, working with solo freelancers or bringing on less experienced candidates to fill roles on their team. This has its drawbacks as well.

Better Financial Set-Up

Stronger Pool Of Talent

Just to be clear, there are many qualified freelancers out there to help with your marketing. The issue is that while they may not cost as much as an employee, good freelancers know their worth, and you will have to pay substantially. In addition, it may be better to bring on an agency’s team to try and handle your workload rather than to try and put it on one person, no matter what their qualifications.

The same thing applies for people who try to get the best bargain possible when trying to fill out their own teams. Yes, that fresh college graduate or person getting back into the workforce may be willing to be your SEO manager for $30,000 rather than $50,000, but what expertise are they bringing with them? Ultimately, if you get cheaper talent on your team, but end up not being happy with the work they do, then you’re losing money. This isn’t just due to paying the employee you brought on, but having to bring on another one to fix what they started. Not all small businesses have the budget to take that loss.

Stronger Talent Pool

Time Saved

Going hand-in-hand with this is time. The fact of the matter is that building an effective team from scratch takes time, no matter what type of skills they individually bring to the table. You need to figure out how to manage them, how they will communicate with each other, and take the time to bring them up to speed with what their product is and how you want it advertised.

With a marketing agency, you save a lot of this time because the procedures have already been established on their end. All you need to do is start by explaining what you want.  They will have the skill set to put the rest into action. The only other time you need to spend is giving approval for the final product.

Industry Insight

As a final point, an in-house team can easily fall into the trap of getting tunnel vision. Inside the company bubble, people may only be exposed to certain materials or frames of thinking, when diversity in mindsets is proven to be a benefit. This is a place where an agency can help. Because an agency is an outside entity, there’s less of a reticence about presenting potential issues or suggestions to issues they see with your current marketing. What you choose to do with that information is up to you, but having it is the key.

Another thing that you get when working with an agency is a better awareness of trends that may affect your marketing. Your in-house team will have their noses to the grindstone, and while this is great, it means there’s little time to stay on top of trends and technology. For example, could a Google algorithm change affect your SEO strategy? Is a new form of advertising taking hold of your target demographic? Agencies need to know this to compete, and they can share this wisdom with you if you retain their services.

What Should I Look For In My Agency?

With all this said, it’s clear that an agency offers a faster and more effective way for companies to get marketing and advertising initiatives off the ground compared to hiring and training an in-house team. With this mentioned, it’s also important that you do your due diligence in choosing what type of agencies you work with. Ideally, you’re going to want an agency that not only has a proven track record, but also is known for helping put together effective content in your niche. This is what makes Glint Advertising a perfect match. Whether you are still in those skeletal planning stages or ready to take action, we have the expertise and experience to make your advertising plans a reality. Reach out to us for a free consultation today.

Sports Passion Rewarded with Gold!

Eastfield College Sports Award with Glint Advertising

When Eastfield College provided glint the opportunity to rebrand the athletic department and sports brands for their school, we were excited to get to work. After months of research and concepting, the new brand came to life, and we were incredibly satisfied with the result. The sharp blue and orange colors connected with the existing college brand and the bold bee graphic correlated well with the intensity and passion needed in sports. The cartoonist approach also helped maintain an approachable feeling that could connect with audiences of any age.

Confirmation quickly came that we weren’t the only people that thought it looked great and hit the mark! The design was entered into a sports advertising competition with an astounding result. The brands were assessed by a panel of national sports marketing and advertising professionals based on creativity, marketing execution, and impact. We had high hopes for a positive result in the competition, so high in fact that our hopes were validated by winning the gold medal in our category.

“As an agency, we were ecstatic for our client, and that the hard work of our team was recognized with this honor in the rapidly growing area of sports advertising and marketing,” said Craig Lloyd, President, Glint Advertising. “Furthermore, we are grateful for the opportunity that Eastfield college provided us. We hope to continue receiving recognition for Eastfield and our other clients that showcase the talent and quality in our partnerships.”

Glint has been helping clients define, refine and hone their brand strategy and image since 2000, we would love to talk with you. Email us at agency@glintadv.com or better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320.

Customer Journey Mapping

The Science Behind Cave Paintings & Storytelling

One of the oldest forms of human communication is not language, but rather storytelling in the form of cave paintings. For years, scientists believed storytelling to be strictly entertainment. But, as more great minds studied the science of storytelling, they discovered it to be an instrumental aspect of human and technological development.

Customer Journey

Listening to stories allows us to learn from other people’s failure and success, and even experience events we haven’t already experienced for ourselves. Take the above painting, for example; one can gather that this is a warning to the hunter, “Big prey can be dangerous, watch out for their horns.”

Storytelling is What Makes Customer Journey Mapping Invaluable. As a business, it is imperative that you take the time to step into your customer’s shoes and see the world through their eyes, experience their problems and feel their feelings — it’s a difficult perspective that can best be accomplished through the art of storytelling or in marketing, Customer Journey Mapping.

Customer Journey Mapping is the process of telling the story of your customer’s experience from Point A to Point B — in other words from the initial point of contact, through the transaction and finally to fostering a long and healthy business relationship.

You Need an Outside Perspective. This marketing and consumer behavior process is something that is practiced by the world’s largest brands and something you should consider utilizing within your own. But, in order to carry it out effectively, you should bring in an outside perspective that has no bias towards your customer base. At Glint, we have been conducting Customer Journey Mapping for years with brands interested in better understanding who they are selling to.

Our process of discovering the customer journey map is a story that consists of 4 parts:

1. Discovery.
Every relationship begins with an introduction of the plot and characters. There are two characters in this story — your brand and your customer. We work to deeply understand these two characters. Understanding you as a brand comes down to branding (which you can read more about here), but understanding your customer takes stepping into their shoes and seeing the world through their eyes.

2. Engagement.
After understanding the characters in the story, we need to understand how they interact and engage with one another. In other words, what is their relationship? And, how can we make this relationship better, more interesting and more valuable?

3. Conversion.
In a love story, often times relationships are unconditional. This is not the case in marketing and business, relationships are very conditional — your customers are paying you their hard earned money for value. They are paying you on the condition that you are providing value. During the conversion stage of our process, we discover what those conditions are. We then figure out ways to meet and exceed these conditions.

4. Reward.
If the reward section were in a story, it would be the finale, the end… the happily ever after. This is the section we sit down with you and answer one question — how can we make your relationship with your customer one that will last for years to come? Often, this is accomplished through ongoing value your brand provides in the form of rewards of some type.

Take Some Time to Better Understand Your Customer.

If you are interested in understanding your customer better, give us a call at (817) 616-0320 or send us a note here. If you haven’t take the time to step into your customer’s shoes, you need to… it’s what keeps you in business.

 

 

Social Strategy Trumps Social Media

Social Strategy

Glint has a question for you today… Would you ever stick your son or daughter in a car, the moment they turned 16, without having any previous driving experience? In other words, would you allow your kid to drive without ever having taken a driver’s education course?

You are probably shaking your head, thinking to yourself, “Absolutely not!” Which is a good thing, it means you’re a responsible parent and you understand putting your child on the road without any experience could mean placing them and other people in danger.

You are probably wondering, how does this have anything to do with social media? Well, while social media isn’t a several ton vehicle capable of going 100+ miles per hour down the interstate, it is still a tool or vehicle of transportation for your brand’s message and should be treated as such.

Every day, we see brands with a ton of potential take charge of their social media accounts (without any previous education) and tarnish their brand. If you don’t remember anything else from this article, please remember this —

“No social media presence is better than bad social media presence.”

This is a difficult concept to grasp because, for a lot of brands, social media evokes a feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out). Brands feel that if they aren’t on every platform or using every tool, they will be forgotten about.

And between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and [fill in the blank], there is a lot to try and keep up with. But, social media and the dozens of tools that have been created to power it, is useless (and at times even detrimental) if you don’t understand how to use it. So, how do you use it? Keep reading, and we will share some of our thoughts on the matter.

How to Use Social Media
In order to get the most out of social media, you need to ensure you have a solid foundation. To use another metaphor, if social media is your tool or rocket that your brand uses for lift off, the creative and messaging associated with your brand is the foundation that the rocket sits upon. The rocket is useless without a solid foundation.

Glint helps our clients ensure they are using proper strategy developed by our experts, that way they are getting the highest return on social media.

More on Social Media Strategy
You may be wondering, that’s great, so how do I design a great social media strategy? Well, in order to design a social media strategy that will deliver a high return, you will need to have a deep understanding of your brand, what you stand for and how you are being perceived.

Something that may sound rudimentary at first glance, but something that actually requires an extreme amount of creativity and experience working with brands — this is an artform called branding and something that Glint is very strong at. Check out some branding work we’ve done.

After we have worked with you on defining your brand, we can then go about designing a social media strategy that is right for you, along with the social media platforms that fit this strategy.

If you are interested in learning more about how to use social media and how to develop a social media strategy that is right for you, please don’t hesitate to connect with us here or call us at (817) 616 – 0320.

Ad Agencies are to Blame… For Everything.

Ad AgencyMost people believe that John Wooden goes down in history as being the greatest basketball coach to ever live and with a winning percentage of .804 and over 10 NCAA championships… well, let’s just say that here at Glint we certainly can’t disagree with this belief. What’s interesting is the greatest basketball coach of all time won 80% of the games he played, which is a mind-boggling percentage but during his 29 years as a college coach, he lost approximately 162 games.

That is a lot of lost games.

In fact, if you were to stack these losses on top of one another, it would equate to 5.5 basketball seasons (years) of straight losses. The point we are trying to make here is that building a championship basketball program is not unlike building a championship brand–– it takes time, it takes patience, it takes resilience, it takes devotion, and it takes the ability to zoom out and look at the bigger picture. And just like a college basketball program must stick together through the highs and lows of their journey towards greatness, companies and agencies must do the same in their journey towards building a championship brand. Both brands and agencies should prepare and expect to encounter rough waters, and when they do, they need to remember they are on the same team.

Here at Glint, we would never take on John Wooden when it comes to coaching basketball, but we know a thing or two about coaching and building great brands–– in fact, since 2000, we have been doing everything in our power to help brands make the best decisions and create the highest ROI. We believe there are a number of skills great advertising agencies must have to successfully build a great brand, but today we are going to concentrate on three core competencies–– Branding, Copywriting and the ability to blend old practices with new ones.

Understanding the Art & Science of Branding
Branding is much more than just a logo or a symbol; it is the art and
science of aligning what you want people to think of your company with what they actually think of your company. It is a promise of what consumers can expect when they purchase your product or service.

At Glint, we are experts at branding, and everything we do begins and ends with the brand in mind. Our attention to detail in regards to branding has allowed us to help build world-class brands and movements like DSG Arms, Think Before You Sleep and Kaner Medical Group. You can read more on the art and science of brand building here.

Writing Dang Good Copy
Bruce Bendinger, one of the world’s greatest copywriters to ever live, said it best when defining copy—

“Copywriting is a job. A skilled craft. Verbal carpentry. Words on paper. Scripts to time. And one more thing. Salesmanship.”

Now, this definition is perhaps a bit romantic/dramatic, but we are an advertising agency, we live and die in the pursuit of creating the perfect ad. Writing copy lays the foundation of the brand and is one of the essential steps of branding, which we discussed in our earlier point. Here at Glint, we strive to write copy that ignites something in the customer, that moves them into action, that evokes emotion and that ultimately get them to bite. You can read more about the process we take when writing copy here.

Merging the Old with the New
While both branding and copywriting are concepts that have been around for ages, advertising and marketing practices are constantly changing. A great ad agency must have the ability to blend the old with the new––merging the old foundational elements of advertising, like branding with the new more innovative practices like integrated marketing, social media marketing and of course Search Engine Optimization.

While new technology allows us easier access to a wide range of audiences and customers, these mediums are useless if we aren’t practicing the foundational elements of advertising and marketing.

Understand What Makes a Great Agency & Together Have the
Patience, Resilience, and Devotion to Build a Great Brand
The goal of this article is to help you understand the skills and expertise it takes to build a great brand so that you can choose the right agency to partner with. If your advertising agency is currently doing the things we mentioned above, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. You just need to trust in the process and remember to zoom out and look at the bigger picture. While John Wooden’s losses were far from pleasant, they ultimately were what allowed him to win 10 NCAA championships.

At Glint, we are more concerned with winning our brands the championship, and that takes both time and patience. Our goal is to be proactive and work through challenges that inevitably come when competitors try to take the lead in the ballgame.

While we may lose the occasional game, we always take the series and ultimately win the championship. If you’re ready to win, reach out to Glint at www.glintadv.com or give us a call at 817-616-0320.