Ants Get LinkedIn at Talent Connect

AcrobatAnt Account Supervisors Angela Harless and Audrey Chambers attended the recent LinkedIn Talent Connect 2017 conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

In today’s business world, recruiting, branding and marketing continue to converge into a single unified strategy to reach business goals. The theme of this conference, “Where Instincts and Insights Meet,” was reinforced through many excellent keynote presentations and breakout sessions. Here are our Top Ten takeaways:

1) 76 percent of candidates want to know the recruiter before applying because they:

      • Feel they can get a leg-up on the hiring process
      • Can get an inside view of the company
      • Can better stand out as a candidate
      • Can see if the recruiter is qualified to recruit for their skillset

What would key candidates find when researching your recruiters?

2) 90 percent of people on LinkedIn have indicated that they are open to new opportunities, while 63 percent say they feel flattered when approached by a recruiter or company with a position that is a good fit for them.

3) Ed Nathanson’s session about the importance of using humor and heart in content was a great reminder that recruiting and content marketing go together. He reminded us that consumers (even candidates) use emotion to purchase: “Positive emotions toward a brand have greater influence on loyalty than trust and other judgments, which are based on brand attributes.” His takeaway: Think about your employees, how/why they do what they do, and use that to drive emotion and authentic communications. These emotions can make online content go viral:

4) Goat yoga is awesome. We’d heard that Nashville had goat yoga, knew we had to try it and are so glad we did. We stretched and strengthened, had lots of laughs and got walked on by baby goats. Thanks for a unique experience, Shenanigoats.

5) A big part of successful recruiting is collaboration across an organization to build the brand. One company that understands this is Heineken, which created a great interview and recruiting video that stays true to its brand while enticing audiences through interactive and unique content. Take a few minutes and start The Interview.

6) Brene Brown’s presentation was equally inspirational and challenging. We could write pages of takeaways about courage, vulnerability, leadership and gratitude, but we’ll limit it to a few quotes that should inspire you to listen to her TED talks or grab one of her books:

        • Vulnerable systems are different than vulnerable relationships. We don’t want vulnerable systems, but we need vulnerable relationships.
        • Vulnerability is about showing up. It’s having the courage to show up and be seen even when we have no control over the outcome. It’s not weakness. It’s the foundation of courage.
        • If you’re brave, you will get your butt kicked.
        • It’s not the critic who counts. If you aren’t in the arena getting your butt kicked, I’m not interested in your feedback.
        • The Four Pillars of Courage are Vulnerability, Clarity of Values, Trust and Rising Skills.
        • Reality-check the story that you tell yourself. Your brain always wants a story; it’s the way we are wired. When faced with an uncomfortable situation, say to yourself: “The story I’m making up right now is…”

7) If you are trying to get people to relocate to your small town for a position, communicate your culture. What makes your location different? Where does it win out and how can it compete with other markets (traffic, cost of living, weather, etc.). Talk to people who have relocated to your company and/or area; their unique insights could help determine your points of differentiation, which include people, culture and location. How can you use points of differentiation to tell a story that sets your brand apart? Inspire people with your love for your town and your company.

8) LinkedIn knows how to throw a party. #NashvilleNights at #TalentConnect was one of the best conference events that we’ve had the privilege to attend. They wanted us to experience “Music City” to its fullest and even provided acoustic performers on the bus transportation to downtown Nashville. Once we arrived, there was an abundance of live music, food, drinks, saloons, activities, and plenty of photo ops and fun. We sang karaoke, screenprinted our own T-shirts and two-stepped with new friends from LinkedIn.

9) Sarah Wagener from Pandora reminded us to follow our instincts when it comes to career-defining moments. Data and insights only go so far—following your insights can lead to a fulfilling career.

10) LinkedIn is developing some exciting new tools that utilize membership data to leverage talent surplus, compare talent between organizations and source candidates. One new platform, Talent Intelligence, will provide the data needed to help leverage and support instincts for more efficient recruiting. We’re excited to get access to this new tool on behalf of our clients in the coming months.

Talent Connect 2017 was a great event and we look forward to utilizing these insights to improve our clients’ branding and recruiting strategies.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Why Creating a Buyer Persona is Crucial

What’s a buyer persona?

Buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market data and research about your existing customers. If used to its full potential, a buyer persona can help you get right to the core of your customers’ values—attracting the most valuable leads and visitors to your business.

How can a buyer persona benefit my business?

  1. It brings your target demographic into focus.

When you go through the exercise of defining a buyer persona, you write their story. By doing so, you are uncovering their hopes, concerns, behaviors, activities and needs. When you have a full picture of your target rather than just the basic demographics, you are better able to tailor your message to those consumers and reveal unique opportunities for establishing connections.

  1. If it’s inaccurate or underdeveloped, it can alienate your target market…

“As a rheumatoid arthritis patient and as a healthcare marketer, I cringe every time I see the TV commercial for a Humira. It doesn’t connect with me and, even worse, it perpetuates the false myth that people suffering from RA can take an injection and then run off to build a playground during a rainstorm. Only 20 percent of patients achieve full remission,” said Shannon O’Connell. This is a prime example of a brand that could benefit from a more accurate buyer persona. While healthcare marketers want to communicate the message that good care will allow patients to get back to their lives and daily activities, they need to ask serious questions about patient outcomes before making that promise. Knowing your target market—and not just basing your advertising on a stereotype or caricature—can be the key to avoiding disconnects and unfulfilled brand promises like this one.

  1. …but if it’s accurate, it can help you improve your brand experience.

The process of wiping the slate clean and thinking about things from the customer’s perspective will often uncover valuable wish list items that could make all the difference in getting word-of-mouth referrals or higher ratings in online reviews.

Steps for developing a buyer persona:

  1. Research to find basic information such as gender, age range, education levels, household income and geographic areas.
  2. Survey to discover their activities, priorities, how they source information, social media usage and any other lifestyle preferences that could be relevant to your business.
  3. Define their needs and expectations as well as any struggles or issues they may have.
  4. Define how others influence their buying decisions.
  5. Survey to discover your company’s strengths and what makes you stand out from competitors.
  6. Use this information to group similar consumers together.
  7. Develop an anecdotal story about a fictitious person who represents each type of group.

Additional tips and tricks:

  • The more detailed your buyer persona is, the better!
  • You may find it helpful to search for a stock photo that fits your persona.
  • Be careful to avoid making up answers to the questions in the above steps; make sure your responses are backed up by research or customer statements. Otherwise, your buyer persona may end up being more self-serving than enlightening.
  • Once you are able to identify real customers who fit your buyer persona, you can tailor your communications to fit their needs. Be conscious of this in your business interactions.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising 
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Take the mask off.

 

There’s usually more to a logo than meets the eye. And we’re going to help reveal the meaning on some of the best designed and most well thought out logos out there. Each logo below has a hidden message. Enjoy the up-close-and-personal look at these world-renowned logos.

 

 

FedEx-Express

Most people probably already know about the hidden arrow in the FedEx logo, but did you know that when FedEx was presented with the logo, the agency chose not to tell the FedEx executives it was there. Luckily, one of the spotted it and it was chosen as the winning logo. Go figure.

 

 

logo_amazon

Amazon’s logo actually has two meaning to it, not only does the logo have a great smile, but the arrow points from A to Z. highlighting the fact that Amazon carries a wide variety of products. And the smile is just not for a happy logo, but represents their great customer service.

 

 

baskin-robbins-logo

Baskin Robbins’ hidden feature isn’t actually all that hidden. The pink parts of the BR in the middle make out the number of flavors they have. And if you don’t know, it’s 31. That’s a pretty impressive amount of flavors.

 

 

goodwill-logo

Goodwill’s logo may look like a Lego head, but it’s more than that. It is actually a big G. Which the g is taken from the Goodwill text at the bottom of the logo.

 

 

LSO-Logo-1024x682

The London Symphony Orchestra logo might be one amazing organic-looking brush stroke, but it is so much more. Not only does the line spell out LSO, but it also looks like an orchestra conductor. You might have to look at it for a few. Start from the outside and work your way in.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Research first. Post second.

Anyone who writes social media was reminded of a good rule yesterday when DiGiorno Pizza used a hashtag that they shouldn’t have. And that rule is do your research before using a hashtag that may seem good for your brand, but turns out it isn’t.  Here is the tweet in question:

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 2.30.04 PM

 

 

 

 

If you are not aware, the #WhyIStayed hashtag is used for domestic-violence victims to speak out and tell their stories, not for pizza companies to promote pizza. It’s unfortunate that the person who posted it did not research before posting. The person that posted the now infamous tweet spent the next few hours apologizing on Twitter to people that were offended.

So, what’s your take. Honest mistake or just a brand going too far?

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

You are what you spec.

To borrow (and rephrase) a standard question from a famous interviewer, if you were a typeface, which typeface would you be? AcrobatAnt challenged its art directors to set their own names in a typeface that reflects who they are and their point of view, then let other office colleagues try to match the art director with the typeface. Here are our results, a mix of surprising and expected. What typeface are you?

AA-140507_Designer_Danny

Danny Sadler
Franklin Gothic Condensed

AcrobatAnt’s creative director chose this traditional font because he can subtly kern certain characters to make them flow together better. He likes its tall X height (the torso of the letters, the middle ground above the descenders and below the ascenders). Casual. Readable. Just a good, classic face. A foundation face that’s powerful and carries its weight. Good for invitations, too.

AA-140507_Designer_Dell

Dell Chambers
Da Streets

He’s an illustrator and painter, so you can guess what kind of typeface Dell would choose: a brush font. There’s nothing demure about this one. Edgy. Fun. Aggressive. With some “pow” to it. He says it fits his personality. For the record, he didn’t fool anyone in the office. Dell tied with one other art director for getting the most correct votes matching him with his typeface.

AA-140507_Designer_Chance

Chance Walentiny
Sloop

Chances likes plenty of things about this classically elegant script typeface. See the way the H thins out? Chance especially likes how each character has little details and nuances that make a big difference.

AA-140507_Designer_Cayla

Cayla Spears
Eyes Wide Open

Cayla must’ve made her typeface choice while looking in a mirror. She picked one that’s girly, but just sort of girly, not too girly. Not too elegant, either. Hers is a down-to-earth option that’s easy enough and thick enough to kern. Most of all, she picked it because it looks like real handwriting.

AA-140507_Designer_Bryan

Bryan Cooper
Flemish Script

You think you know an art director, but no one in the office matched Bryan to the font he picked. To him, though, it made perfect sense. His fine art often focuses on the historical, Victorian and ornate. He loves antiques and collects old photography. And with this particular typeface, the thick and thin elements aren’t too exaggerated, making it a nice, easy script to read. Great for monogramming, too, as a fellow art director pointed out.

AA-140507_Designer_Jinni

Jinni Giltner
Mohave

Jinni goes for the tall, dramatic and condensed type. Her choice is available in regular and bold. Caps only, no lower case, so her headlines are shouting all the time. She likes this newer approach to clean and simple. Nothing crazy. And she likes that the G doesn’t mess with the spacing, as it so often does.

AA-140507_Designer_Will

Will Skaggs
Steelfish

It’s simple enough. Not the least bit obnoxious. Will’s pick catches your eye, but doesn’t have even one letter that’s hard to work with. It’s agreeable, has a good weight and looks good kerned, too. There are no other variations, but it works as is. Everyone likes Steelfish. (Nerd alert: If this typeface looks familiar, it’s because it’s used for the end credits of The Big Bang Theory.)

 

Take our quiz to find out what typeface you should be here.

Download our case study, Fonts Deconstructed, here.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Who is this Bryan Cooper and how does he know so much about logo design?

The cogs and wheels in his mind just turn differently. He’s an illustrator, so he sees things from an artistic point of view. He may have invented the term “illustography,” the process he uses to mix illustration, photography and multiple media. To Bryan, colors have numbers and letters have value (cogs and wheels again). And he’s been doing logos since he started the “Three Stooges Club” in second grade. As a professional designer, Bryan has won a ton of awards and has had more than 40 of his logos published in the LogoLounge book series. Most recently, he picked up three Graphex 45 awards for hospital logos for a rehab center, lung program and cardio academy. “I love simplifying the personality of something (person, company, idea, etc.) and putting it in a perfect, little visual package,” he said. Most of all, he’s a great teacher. He put together this slide presentation to show others how to use the process that has made him AcrobatAnt’s official logo guru.

 
AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising AcrobatAnt.com 1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120 918-938-7912

Ever since thinking outside-the-box became so inside-the-box, we just did away with the box and got an oval.

AA-140602_Blog

Who’d ever guess that one of the Top 5 Pollstar entertainment venues on the planet is right here in Tulsa? The BOK Center. Prior to the food venues, we have worked with the BOK Center to create some outstanding ads for trade publications, but this new project took our partnership to new heights. Our project was to take their existing concession stands and transform them into irresistible food havens for arena visitors. Thankfully, we have some amazing wordsmiths and designers that bring fresh ideas to life.

This resulted in Graphex 45 award-winning concession stands with fantastic food. And also some earned media in the Tulsa World and other news outlets.

“The concession stand remodeling project was so important to us because we know it will vastly improve the customer experience for guests who attend BOK Center events,” said Sarah Haertl, SMG Regional Director of Marketing, BOK Center. “We enjoy every aspect of working with the Ants. Their enthusiasm for our project and their level of commitment to our satisfaction made this project an enjoyable experience.”

How does it feel working with your agency? Gratifying?

Check out more of our work:

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

 

UPDATE:

We’ve just learned that our “Bring out Your Inner Rock Star” ad won the Best Trade Pub Ad at the Second Annual SMG Marketing Awards held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. More than 70 SMG marketers from over 49 venues across the U.S. and Puerto Rico voted on the ad produced by Amy Smith. We are excited to be able to showcase our talent on behalf of clients like the BOK Center.

AA-140602_blog_Rockstar

What’s holding back your brand? Use spring cleaning to make it more efficient.

Make your brand more effecient

Maybe the better question is, “What’s keeping your brand from being more productive?” Oh, now we have your attention! Think about it: Are you still using some processes, ideas and standards that are obsolete or getting in the way of your making progress? Consider these suggestions for updating your approach:

  • Email instead of snail mail? Text instead of email?
  • Text to confirm an appointment rather than call
  • Determine three ways to eliminate paper and go digital
  • Use an iPad to visually present your ideas when pitching business
  • Make sure your website is compatible for mobile devices
  • Offer forms online

These ideas are just to get you started.

Now think of 10 other ways your brand can be more efficient and ultimately more productive.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Your brand spring cleaning: out with the obstacles; in with the more-effective.

Out with obstacles; in with the more effective

As the tidying up of your brand continues, the next step is to let go of anything keeping you from moving forward. That can be something as simple as using old collateral like brochures or business cards, even though they don’t feature your newest logo; or refreshing your website/digital presence.

We understand not wanting to waste paid-for pieces, but distributing outdated materials (printed or digital) can be costly—blocking customers from seeing the new vision you have for your business.

Here’s an even better question: How do you know when it’s time for a switch? Take this short quiz:

  1. Are you differentiating yourself from the competition?
  2. Do you look different from the rest?
  3. Are there too many colors in your color palette?
  4. Are you using too many fonts?
  5. Are your employees trained to be ambassadors for your brand?

And finally, watch for Step 5, our last installation, coming soon.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Clean up your act this spring: Create a brand standard document.

Create a Brand Standard Document

You may have one idea of how your brand should look. The person working next to you may have another. And the individual on the other side of you may see the brand completely differently. Creating a brand standard document does two things:

  • Spells out to your internal audience the Dos and Don’ts of representing your brand
  • Makes sure your external audience sees and hears a consistent message from your company

When developing a brand standard guide, be sure to include:

  • Approved fonts
  • Approved PMS and hex colors
  • Online guidelines for translating the brand into the digital space
  • Logo placement and guidelines
  • Specs for printed signs, banners, collateral
  • Templates for stationery kits
  • Email formats, including fonts and signatures
  • Presentation templates
  • Brand tone; sample copy and sample imagery
  • Approved manifesto
  • Approved creative brief

This document becomes your brand’s rule book. Following these guidelines gives your brand a consistent look that your audience can spot immediately. You know a Coke bottle is a Coke bottle before you see the name. A brand standard document can give your brand that same instant recognition.

Coming soon: Step 4—Obstacles.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912