Zach recently celebrated his two-year anniversary at TAG and has been creating inventive designs and eating oatmeal every morning but today, we ask him about his creative process and other thought-provoking questions.
If you had to describe yourself using a kitchen utensil, what would you be and why?
I am a knife because of how sharp I am.
What helps you get into that creative space to design?
I am most creative when I am able to really focus on what I’m doing with a clear mind, so I will do things like go on a walk during my lunch break to help me get into that space. I also do a lot of sketching quickly, get a lot of ideas out before taking it to the computer.
You have a time machine. You can go back to any time period to have dinner and conversation with 3 people. Who are they and why?
First, I would pick Walt Disney to hear about the humble beginnings of what has become a massive company.
Second, I would pick one of my ancestors like my great great grandfather because I don’t know really anything about them and it would be interesting to learn more about where I come from.
Third, Steve Jobs, because I could hear about the early days of Apple, but more importantly, I hope he would be able to tell me about the early days of Pixar as well.
Tell me one thing about design that everyone outside of that world might not understand?
How valuable it is. A lot of work goes into making things look good and function well, and it can have a massive impact on how we interact with the world around us.
You find yourself trapped in the board game Jumanji, do you think you survive or is it Game Over?
Am I allowed to watch the movie before entering the game, so I can remember how to get out? Regardless, I’ll make it out.
What are your 3 favorite projects you have worked on at TAG?
Three of my favorite projects I’ve worked on are: Logo and website design for Smokestack, packaging re-design for Hungry Hobo, and I still think it’s cool when I see Genesis buses driving around town with artwork I created on them.
When is your ideal bed time?
I used to be a pretty devoted 11:00 pm guy, but recently I have been getting up earlier and have transitioned to more of a 10:00 pm person (sometimes it’s more like 9:30. Teenage me would be shocked).
Finally, what is your favorite part about working at TAG?
My favorite part about working at TAG is getting to be creative with a great team every day!
Davenport, December 5…TAG CEO, Mike Vondran, announced today the Quad Cities-based marketing and advertising organization will expand to Des Moines in January 2019. “We believe the market is ready,” says Vondran. “Our ‘brand-focused’ approach to marketing, combined with our expertise in both the latest digital and more traditional tactics has earned TAG a growing base of clients. Many of these organizations want to expand to new markets and we want to help them succeed in that effort. Moreover, we believe there’s significant unmet demand in the Des Moines region for a true full-service agency, providing ‘one-stop’ brand marketing support.”
The new TAG office will be located at 100 East Grand Avenue in the East Village/Capitol Hill area of Des Moines. “This new location will serve as a ‘home base’ for TAG operations in Polk and neighboring counties,” says Vondran. “Already, TAG brand management staff is working with clients throughout central Iowa, including Clarke, Mahaska, Marion and Polk Counties.
According to Vondran, the new location will also improve the organization’s ability to meet the state government relations needs of current and prospective TAG clients. Vondran adds, “Today’s more savvy clients recognize the value of a comprehensive branding program that includes web-based social media, traditional advertising and promotions programs, and an effective ‘influencer’ strategy that includes trade associations, community organizations and federal, state and local government relations.”
In addition to its current headquarters in downtown Davenport, TAG also maintains an office in Dubuque, serving clients in that tri-state market.
The United States Department of Justice has determined that failing to meet the current “AA” level of WCAG 2.0 violates the equal access rights of those with disabilities or limitations. Lawsuits filed across the nation have resulted in significant verdicts and settlements, disruption in business operations and loss of goodwill. Here are a few lawsuits that have been filed:
Target – $6,020,000 settlement
National Federation of the Blind v. Target Corporation Nat’l Fed’n of the Blind v. Scribd Inc., 97 F. Supp. 3d 565 (D. Vt. 2015)
H&R Block – $100,000 settlement
National Federation of the Blind v. HRB Digital L.L.C. National Fed’n of the Blind v. HRB Digital L.L.C., 2014 WL 10319389
Pizza Hut – Motion for Summary Judgment or, in the Alternative, Dismissal or Stay denied.
Robles v. Yum! Brands, Inc. Robles v. Yum! Brands, Inc., No. 216CV08211ODWSS, 2018 WL 566781, at *4 (C.D. Cal. Jan. 24, 2018)
1-800-Flowers – Motion to dismiss denied
Gathers v. 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc. Gathers v. 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc., No. 17-CV-10273-IT, 2018 WL 839381, at *2 (D. Mass. Feb. 12, 2018)
48.9 million Americans are considered disabled. By making your website compliant, you can make your organization accessible to millions of people. WCAG 2.0 was developed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the highest authority in web accessibility goals and universal design. Published by W3C, the WCAG 2.0 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines is a set of guidelines for making digital content accessible for all users, including those with disabilities. TAG’s developers can make your website compliant with these standards.
Did you miss our recent seminar on online compliance regulations? Watch the full seminar below!
What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?
Who does the ADA apply to?
Lessons from recent lawsuits
Benefits of a compliant website
How is website compliance measured?
The new standard: Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
Synopsis: EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
If you had to describe yourself using three inanimate objects, what would they be?
A house plant – I’m always looking for ways to grow, both personally and professionally. Plus, in this cold Iowa weather, you won’t catch me dead outside.
A planner – Organization is my middle name, or so I think it should be.
Laffy taffy – I think laughter is the best medicine out there, next to red wine, of course. Plus, I’m a total sweet tooth!
So, Emily, we hear you have a dog by the name of Pierce. If you could dress Pierce up in any costume what would it be?
You know how everyone claims they have the best dog?! I find it hard to believe! Clearly, they haven’t met Pierce. Recently, Pierce dressed up as a Beanie Baby for Halloween! I don’t know about you, but I sure thought he looked like one handsome fella!
TAG sends you on an airplane over the Pacific to have a meeting with a client. The plane malfunctions leaving you on a deserted island. You have one book, one movie, and one other object with you. What are they?
The Woman in Cabin 10. If you haven’t picked this page-turner up, do so immediately!
Do nine seasons of The Office count as one movie?
Of course, Pierce. Someone has to keep me company!
Finally, what is your favorite part about working at TAG?
The list really does go on and on. Every day I come to work I learn something new and am challenged to think in fresh, new ways for each and every one of our clients. Every member of the creative team surrounds me with constant support – they really are my own set of personal cheerleaders!
Davenport, Iowa – The region’s most comprehensive marketing and communications services provider is expanding its client offerings. TAG has established a Public Relations/Public Affairs practice within the agency. In making the announcement, TAG Chief Executive Officer, Mike Vondran says, “Focus on new, ‘break-through’ digital marketing tactics has ignited TAG’s success and client growth in recent years. But, it also has distracted many TAG clients from more traditional, ‘tried-and-true’ marketing activities. By offering a ‘one-stop-shopping’ solution, our clients will now benefit from a more coordinated and highly effective marketing program.”
According to Vondran, this new TAG specialty practice is a response to growing client recognition of the value of broader, coordinated customer outreach beyond the ‘social-sphere.’ Services provided by the new practice include general interest media and trade press relations, government affairs and advocacy, guerilla marketing and special events. “These tactics influence and strengthen brand image when employed in conjunction with additional web-based and social media marketing,” Vondran adds.
TAG’s Public Relations/Public Affairs practice is led by TAG Senior Vice President, Ken Croken, who joined the firm earlier this year. Croken served as Chief Marketing Officer at Genesis Health System. He previously led the consumer technology practice at Edelman PR Worldwide in New York City and was the corporate communications “lead” for the global government industry marketing division of IBM Corporation in Washington, D.C.
Commenting on the announcement, Croken says, “While the marketing and sales landscape has changed dramatically over the past 25 years, one key principle has not. Comprehensive and relentless brand management is critical to consumer preference and business success. New trends and shifting circumstances only underscore the imperative of a ‘go-to-market’ strategy that employs all effective tactics, not just the most recent.”
TAG, established in 1990, began with a firm foundation in broadcast production and media. Since then we’ve evolved to meet the needs of our clients and build their brands. TAG provides web design and development, social media marketing, video production, SEO, public relations, public affairs and much more. We invest in the stories and success of our clients and meet every challenge with creative thinking and enthusiasm. For more information visit www.tagteam.agency.
Interested in: apparel, fashion and beauty – on a budget
By creating a persona that aligned with their brand and tailoring ads to speak to “Jenny,” Old Navy exceeded both of its upscale sister brands, Gap and Banana Republic, in profits.
So, after you’ve established who you’re talking to, along with their likes and dislikes, it’s time to figure out the best way to reach them. For example, if your target buyer persona is a sixty-some year old man, you’re going to use different strategies and platforms to share your messaging than you would if your persona was a twenty-something female.
Below we’ll walk you through what each living generation looks like, where they’re consuming media and how to target them with your marketing messages.
The first generation we’re visiting is the Baby Boomer. This generation spends the most money, yet they only make up 5-10% of digital marketing efforts.
Aged 54 – 72
Spend time reading blogs and online articles
Spend 27 hours per week online
19% more likely to share content than any other generation
Facebook is their most-used social platform
Watch an average of three hours per day of traditional TV, most likely to consume traditional media
Interested in products and services for themselves, their children and their grandchildren
Famous Baby Boomers: Fabio, Madonna, Phil Robertson
The Takeaway: Traditional media, for Baby Boomers, is still alive and well and a great way to reach members of this generation. A carefully crafted and targeted Facebook Advertising campaign is also an opportunity to reach members of this generation, especially with Baby Boomers being more likely to share content than any other generation. If you do decide to create Facebook Video Ads targeting Baby Boomers, remember that they shouldn’t be as fast-paced as a Facebook Ad targeting Millennials or members of Gen Z.
Members of Gen X make up 31% of the total U.S. income, yet they only comprise 25% of the population.
Aged 38 – 53
Make a middle class income
Outspend all other generations in: housing, clothing, eating out, and entertainment
81% have a Facebook profile and use it to keep up with their children and to consume news
Spend seven hours per week on social media
85% watch traditional TV, 62% read a newspaper and 48% listen to the radio regularly
Famous Gen X’ers: Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Reese Witherspoon
The Takeaway: Traditional media continues to work with marketing efforts targeted to members of Gen X, with high consumption rates in traditional TV, radio and even newspaper. This generation is more likely to spend money on nights out and entertainment than other generations because of their middle-class income, so try a campaign geared towards selling them an “experience” rather than focusing on a specific product or service.
The largest group out of the living generations with over 92 million members in the U.S., and they make up a quarter of the nation’s population.
Aged 23 – 38
Least likely to shop for goods in-store
95% believe their friends are the most credible source of product information
Spend a total of $600 billion in the United States annually
41% use Facebook daily
Spend 25 or more hours per week online
65% start interactions with a brand online
Consume more digital video and media than the average person
Most used social platforms: Facebook (83%), Instagram (53%), Twitter (37%), and Pinterest (34%)
Famous Millennials: Beyonce, Justin Timberlake, Selena Gomez
The Takeaway: Millennials are learning about new products and purchasing them online so digital advertising is key. With this generation putting so much emphasis on peer recommendations as the most credible source of product information, encourage your social media followers to write a review of your business on Google or on Facebook. While not every review written will be positive, be sure you respond to everyone who takes the time to share their experience with your brand online. Doing so will build up your brand transparency - something that’s important to Millennials.
Makes up a quarter of the U.S. population and will account for 40% of all consumers by 2020.
Aged 6 – 22
Digital natives (they don’t know a world without the internet, smartphones)
Multi-task across five different screens
Have an attention span of 8 seconds – less than a goldfish
85% learn about new products on social media
50% of Gen Z’ers don’t think they could live without YouTube
24% think Facebook is for “old people,” but use the platform to stay in touch with family and relatives
Most used social platforms: YouTube (95%), Instagram (69%), Facebook & Snapchat (67%), and Twitter (52%)
Famous Gen Z’ers: Shawn Mendes, Kylie Jenner and Yara Shahidi
The Takeaway: With an attention span that’s less than a goldfish, it’s important to peak Gen Z’s attention in three seconds or less, otherwise they’re already scrolling onto the next piece of content. Then, once you do capture their attention it’s important to get right to the point – what do you want them to do? You’ll find success in reaching and engaging members of Gen Z with YouTube bumper and/or TrueView ads, as they’re most likely to be on YouTube than any other social platform.
Knowing your target audience is important to effectively market your business. For example, audience members for an interior design business are typically going to look, and act, a lot differently than audience members for a company selling beef jerky. Defining your audience is key in getting your business’ message in front of people who are ready to engage and convert.
Just when you think you’ve mastered marketing to Millennials, a new generation comes running through the doors full speed ahead. Allow us to introduce you to Gen Z.
Who is Gen Z?
Gen Z is the generation born between 1996 and 2012. There are over 23 million people in the U.S. alone who identify as members of Gen Z and it is considered America’s most diverse, multicultural generation to date.
Unlike Millennials, Gen Z is characterized by their initiative and entrepreneurial skills. They grew up during tough times (post 9/11, the recession) and over half of the generation is already actively saving for retirement, in fear that they will never have social security to claim.
Celebrity endorsements really resonated with a Millennial audience and this remains true when talking to members of Gen Z as well. But, Gen Z puts importance on transparency so if celebrities are in the ads they’re seeing, they prefer the endorser discloses that they’re getting paid to talk about a brand or product. Authenticity is (major) key!
What social platforms do they prefer?
While Gen Z spends most of their time on YouTube, they do still utilize other social platforms – but for different reasons.
They’re most likely to keep in touch with friends on Snapchat, while Facebook is where they keep tabs on Grandma. YouTube comes out on top for where Gen Z is interested in getting shopping recommendations (product reviews) and how-to videos (tutorials).
Gen Z loves technology – and as they should. They grew up with accessibility to technology and don’t know a world without the internet, cell phones or Mark Zuckerberg. Gen Z’s dependency on tech has already impacted the way businesses are marketing their products and services. They consume information online – with YouTube leading the charge. YouTube is how members of Gen Z learn how to change a tire, bake a cake, learn an instrument, and more! In fact, 95% of Gen Z uses YouTube regularly and 50% believe they can’t live without it.
With so much focus on digital, traditional media (TV) has taken a back seat. But don’t get it confused, video consumption continues to grow – it’s just on more non-traditional platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and ConnectedTV. In fact, these platforms are instrumental in getting video messages across to members of Gen Z.
How do I reach Gen Z?
Gen Z is really in-tune with brands that are being genuine and authentic in their marketing, more so than any other generation. They identify and focus on meaningful brand interactions and are most likely to dismiss marketing efforts that come across as insincere. Because Gen Z prioritizes transparency, social channels, like Instagram, give consumers the opportunity to
learn and interact with businesses more organically. Gen Z prefers unobtrusive brand messaging, which is evident in the rise, and success, of influencer marketing.
Your business can also reach members of Gen Z by creating a YouTube channel and uploading engaging and informative content. Or, if you’re looking for paid advertising opportunities, YouTube TrueView and/or Bumper Ads will deliver your messages on platforms Gen Z is already using in a cost-effective manner.
The news is everywhere: Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement last Thursday that Facebook users would begin to see more posts from friends and family, and fewer posts from brands, celebrities and news outlets.
The changes are intended to maximize the amount of content with “meaningful interaction” that people consume on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, said in an interview.
But, what does this mean for your business’s Facebook presence?
In the simplest terms, it means that your page’s organic reach will once again be declining and fewer fans will automatically see your content displayed in their feeds. Although these changes may seem daunting, there are several ways to continue to use Facebook to keep your brand in front of your target audience.
Tell a Story
There is nothing more personal than telling a story, and personal stories of staff, customers and your community will continue to be content that engages, resonates and creates a positive feeling amongst your audience. Find creative ways to portray your messages via stories that inspire, engage and incite emotion.
“The importance of user-generated content, which has already been proven to be the No. 1 driver of social influence on purchase decisions, is greater than ever if posts from friends and family are going to be prioritized above all else,” said Katherine Hays, CEO, Vivoom.
Likes, comments and shares will continue to be a way to push your content into your audiences’ feeds. The more likes, comments and shares, the more relevant the content. The fewer the engagements, the less likely it is for your audience to see your posts.
While Facebook may diminish the amount of views on some video content, like publishers who just overlay text on stock video, thoughtful and engaging video content will continue to thrive on the platform. In order to stand out, utilize features such as native video and live video to differentiate your message in an engaging format.
Effective Advertising Get the right message in front of your target audience through Facebook Advertising. But don’t just boost a post to a generic audience, find the right type of Ad and narrow your audience to ensure your message resonates.Visit our blog for our Five Rules of Facebook Advertising for more details.
At TAG, we take social media very seriously, and it’s our job to stay on top of changes that affect businesses and brands across all platforms. If you have questions about what this new algorithm means for your business, let’s talk. Our team of social media strategists will help you put a plan in place to make sure your content hits the mark!
The fall season is the perfect time to embrace your inner basic. “Do you want whip cream with that pumpkin spice latte?” You bet your sweet Aunt Sally I do! Even when it comes to your digital strategy, think basic.
At TAG, when we talk about a digital strategy, we’re not simply talking about your website. It’s all of your digital components and how those components work together to deliver results.
Those components include social media, websites, analytics, digital ads, AdWords, etc. - you get the picture. It’s a lot to think about and monitor, so start slow. Below is what the TAG team believes are the four basic elements your brand needs to master.
1 | Mobile Responsive Website
A mobile responsive website means that your website will be just as clear and easy to navigate on a computer, as it is on a smart phone or tablet. Mobile responsive sites aim to minimize resizing, panning and scrolling so that your consumer can have a seamless interaction with your site and its content.
Think of your own habits. We’re all busy and when you’re looking for information fast, you don’t want to find yourself accessing a website on your phone and constantly having to zoom in to look at the text. It’s a hassle, and consumers and clients alike will find themselves seeking a mobile experience elsewhere.
2 | Social Media
Curious as to another digital tactic where most traffic comes from mobile? Ding, ding, ding! Social media. If you’re a brand, it’s imperative for you to have a focused social strategy. This doesn’t just mean throwing up pictures to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day (although, we do have a tactic for using National Days…), it means being in touch with your audience and knowing what kind of content they’re looking for on your social media accounts.
Advertising on social media platforms has blown up over the past couple of years, and it will only continue to grow. Create a goal and then create a social media ad campaign that will deliver those results. For example: If you want people to visit your website, create a Facebook Ad campaign that will send traffic to your site. Or, if you’re wanting some exposure for your brand and your audience is relatively young, consider creating a Snapchat filter for a local event you’re sponsoring or that aligns with your brand.
3 | SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
When a potential customer is searching for your product or services online, what would they type into the search bar? Write them down, and then incorporate those words throughout your website because that’s how search engines pull results.
For example, when I type in “home improvement store davenport,” Lowe’s Home Improvement in Davenport is one of the first things to appear. Why? For one, they have home improvement in their name (genius) and it’s also sprinkled throughout their website. If you go to their Company Information page, their description says, “…Lowe’s has been Improving Home Improvement.”
So, if you’re currently dependent upon organic search traffic but aren’t getting the results you want, it’s time to do a word overhaul on your website.
4 | Analytics
Once your website is mobile responsive, your social media tactics and campaigns are running and your search engine optimization is as optimized as it gets, the next step is reviewing the analytics.
If you have a website, make sure it’s set up with a basic Google Analytics tracking code. That way, you’ll be able to see who’s visiting your site, when they’re visiting your site, how long they’re staying, what pages are most viewed, etc. in order to see what’s working with your audience and what’s not.
Social Media sites also have analytics in order for you to see which posts or ads are performing the best. Facebook to Snapchat and everything in between will offer you metrics such as impressions, reach, engagements, click through rates, etc. so that you can see the results, analyze them and then put your money where it makes most sense.
Whether you need help with the basics or if you’re looking to take your digital strategy to new heights, contact the TAG team of social media, web and analytic experts to help you reach your goals.
59% of 18-29 year-olds use Instagram (via SproutSocial) while Snapchat reaches 41% of 18-34 year olds in the U.S. every day (via Smart Insights). Needless to say, if you’re not on at least one of these platforms, you’re missing out on marketing to a large, and important, audience.
While Instagram and Snapchat are similar, the two cater to different audiences, with different content that can be interacted with in different ways, so we’re breaking it down to help you figure out which platform is best for your business.
Instagram was released in October 2010, just shy of a year before Snapchat’s launch in September 2011. Instagram and Snapchat allow their users to share their experiences through images, and both platforms eventually expanded to incorporate video.
Snapchat originated the “stories” concept early into its existence. A “story” gives you the option to share one or more photos and/or videos for up to 24 hours with your friends. Instagram implemented its “stories” feature in August of 2016 and, for many, blurred the lines between the two platforms. As you’ll learn below, Snapchat and Instagram are still very different when it comes to audiences and content.
Instagram caters to an older audience when compared to Snapchat. 59% of its audience is made up of 18-29 year olds, with 30-49 year-olds making up 33% of its audience.
Instagram’s audience base is also more educated than audiences on other social platforms. 37% of adults with some college experience use Instagram and college graduates make up 33% of its users.
Instagram’s income demographic reinforces the fact that its users are college educated, as 37% of adults who make more than $75,000 are on the platform.
Snapchat is the most-used social platform for people aged 12-24. In fact, 13-24 year-olds account for 60% of Snapchat’s total audience. According to MediaKix, 60% of college students would purchase from a brand if they were sent a coupon on Snapchat and 77% of college students use the platform daily, averaging 25-30 minutes.
(Fun fact: Kylie Jenner revealed in her E! series Life of Kylie that she pays nothing for advertising. The 20-year-old CEO of Kylie Cosmetics says that the only advertising she does is on her personal Instagram and Snapchat accounts.)
Snapchat and Instagram both offer a platform for people to share photos and videos, but the content being shared differs.
Content on Instagram is often edited and refined. Brands are easily found on the platform, and the content shared is accessible by anyone, as long as your account is not set as “private.” Posts on Instagram also have a longer life-span, as once they are “posted,” they’re available for people to look at and interact with forever (or until the person who posted it, deletes it).
Unlike Instagram, most of the content that’s shared on Snapchat is typically between two “private” accounts and isn’t open to the public. However, there are public profiles (brands, celebrities, public figures, etc.) and the content that’s posted from those accounts is raw and unrefined. This kind of authentic content really resonates with Gen Z, as they feel that the brands that share raw and real content are more trustworthy.
A lot of brands find success using Snapchat geofilters, which can be designed on Snapchat’s website with their pre-made templates, or personally designed and uploaded (Geofilters are photo and video overlays that are accessed within a set location). For example, if your business is putting on an event where you know a lot of its audience members will be on Snapchat (concerts, fairs, etc.), then a geofilter would be an easy, effective and cost-efficient way for that audience to interact with your brand.
The content is different on each platform, so the way it’s interacted with is different, too.
Content on Instagram can feature custom hashtags, users may tag other businesses or people, and there’s the ability to “like,” “comment,” “share,” “save,” and “send” photos and videos. In fact, 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded, according to SproutSocial. Much like posts on Facebook, when you’re posting to Instagram, you also have the ability to select a location to associate your post with, giving that piece of content yet another way to be found.
When Snapchats are played, users have the ability to privately respond either via text or by snapping back a photo or video. Recently, Snapchat gave its users the ability to attach a link to their posts when users swipe up, giving brands the ability to track traffic from Snapchat more easily. On Snapchat, users can also see who has viewed their posts, who has replayed a snap and which users have taken a screen shot of the post.
What’s best for your brand?
Now that you know the differences between Snapchat and Instagram you could go frolic in a field and throw paper hearts in the air in celebration (thanks for the transition, Chris Pratt), OR you could get serious about your social strategy and call TAG! Let’s talk about which platform is best for your brand.