01.25.2018

Sparq Designs hires Senior Marketing Specialist

Eve Griffin, Sparq Designs Senior Marketing SpecialistPITTSBURGH – Sparq Designs is happy to welcome Senior Marketing Specialist Eve Griffin.

In the past four years, Sparq has grown from a team of two to 16. The regular of landing national accounts has made such growth a necessity, one that is anticipated to carry on well into the new year.

“We are so happy to welcome Eve to our ever-growing team. Our goal is to more than double last year’s revenue so we hope to be in the position to hire several times throughout 2018,” said Jim Blundo, Vice President of Sparq Designs.

Griffith joins Joe McAndrews to spearhead the Sparq business development strategy and are expected to help with the doubling of revenue.

“I’m so excited to be starting the next chapter of my career at Sparq Designs. Having a background of 10+ years of business development and strategic marketing, my goal was to find a company that was truly client focused. Too many times, a client can be funneled through a “process” and misses out on a true creative collaboration,” said Griffin. “Sparq’s team impressed me immediately with their in-depth knowledge of not only what the client goals were but the time and energy put forth into how to reach those customers in a fresh and innovative way. Every client at Sparq is truly treated as a unique creative and collaborative experience. 2018 is charted to be our biggest growth year yet, with goals to double our 2017 revenue. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this team!”

Stay up to date with Sparq Designs job listings throughout 2018 by heading to our home page and clicking “Join Our Squad.”

Sparq Designs is a full-service marketing agency based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Sparq Designs caters to clients of all industries, but specifically in the medical, sports & entertainment, and consumer world. 2018 is Sparq’s fifth year in business. Since 2013, Sparq has grown rapidly into a team of 16+ employees. Sparq Designs’ services include but are not limited to: Web Design, Web Development, Search Engine Optimization, Graphic Design, Social Media Management, Email Marketing and Video Production.

11.16.2016

Why Companies Should Learn to Play the Infinite Game

From a marketing standpoint, what do multimillion dollar technological corporations, both bipartisan presidential candidates, telecommunication holding companies, and fast food chains have in common? If you guessed “the obnoxious over-use of comparative advertising,” you’d have hit the nail right on the head.I’m going to preface this by saying that although I am in the marketing field, I am your typical millennial consumer. I am the person that buys products from a company if the campaign centered around it is cause-related. I take BuzzFeed’s personality quizzes without even realizing it, and I buy my groceries based off of ShutTheKaleUp’s Instagram feed. I am who you should be marketing to, so when I question a brand or figure’s campaign strategy, my thoughts should be worth considering.So here’s my question this time around: Can comparative advertising just die out so that brands can focus on their authentic self and playing the infinite game?

@ShutTheKaleUp Instagram feed

@ShutTheKaleUp Instagram feed

The thought behind this article stemmed from the heat that rose from my cheeks during all of three of the Presidential Debates – which I’m very glad are finally over.

“How can they be allowed to stand there and just bash each other? When will they tell me what they can do for me and the country as a whole?”A day later I saw a commercial for Pennsylvania State Senator Pat Toomey, defaming his opponent Katie McGinty. Whatever, it’s what politicians do, right?

I personally have always found the constant need to “one-up” a competitor to be a bit off-putting. It takes me back to high school when someone would say, “I got a B on my test,” and someone would boast, “Well I got an A… and I didn’t even study!” Cool. I don’t recall anyone asking… but good for you.

The notion that we need remind everyone why “we’re better” is a very distasteful way of selling, and I truly think it’s unnecessary when appealing to millennials – you know, the largest living generation in the United States.

Here’s some important knowledge:

Simon Sinek's Start With Why

Simon Sinek’s Start With Why

“Start With Why” Author Simon Sinek has been working the idea that content marketing is an infinite game. The finite game is known players, fixed rules and an agreed upon objective.

The infinite game known and unknown players, the rules are changeable and the objective is to perpetuate the game.

To put it simply, finite players are playing to win, but infinite players are playing to stay in the game.

Sinek recently spoke at education summits at both Microsoft and at Apple. Microsoft’s presentation focused mostly on how to beat Apple, while all of Apple’s presentation centered on how they can help teachers teach, and how they can help students learn in order to create a lasting company that continues to grow throughout the years.

“A finite player is trying to beat everyone else. An infinite player is trying to advance themselves.”

Companies like AT&T and McDonald’s are more obsessed with advancing themselves and the bigger picture, rather than focusing on what their competitor is doing, and this reflects in their advertising. While Sprint and Burger King have been trying to prove their value against the bigger guy for years.

Infinite players frustrate their competition because they understand the game enough to sit at the top. Finite players can’t quite grasp it and are constantly trying to find ways to get in the lead.

Many leaders of marketing understand how the game is played and focus their efforts beyond solely creating advertising campaigns. They are looking for ways to create a culture from their content marketing. An infinite marketer’s goal is to make a lasting impression for their organization by thinking outside the box, placing continuous efforts on improvement, with the tenacity to keep going even after failing.

Playing the infinite game is hard, and it appears that many brands and figures are comfortable playing the finite game by comparing themselves to others and failing to focus on what they can provide the consumer.

Consumers notice this too and prefer to focus their efforts on brands that feel authentic. We live in an user-centric and customer driven world now. 43 percent of Millennials rank authenticity over content when consuming news so it’s no surprise that they want substance and personalization with their content. This generation wants to feel like content is created with their interest in mind so it’s necessary for companies to create products and marketing campaigns tailored to the “bigger picture,” a picture that goes beyond simply increasing revenue.

The bigger picture is becoming the thought leader for their current audience and consumers to come. It’s actively listening to the consumer and developing products and campaigns based off of what they’ve said. It’s not worrying about being the best in the industry, it’s about working to be the best for their market.

Until public figures and brands can truly learn to play the infinite game, I really don’t think companies will succeed in resonating with young people. So, ditch comparative advertising and let your authenticity help you be the candidate, the phone company, the tech guru, the fast food chain that people want and need.

I want to know: are you sold by advertisements that compare a brand or person to their competitors? Or are you sold by authenticity and how a brand or person can better work for you? Tweet me to let me know!


as_teamAdele Stewart is a Marketing Account Manager & Designer at Sparq Designs, a digital marketing agency in Pittsburgh. Learn more about her, here. If you have questions about building a relationship, contact the  Sparq team today.

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06.29.2016

Behind the Design – Adele Stewart

Learn a little more about the crew ‘Behind the Designs’ with our newest Q&A series. Next up up is our Senior Project Manager, Adele Stewart. Get to know her a little better!

Q: Give us some insight into your morning routine!

A: 6:15 (after hittin’ the snooze button a few times) and take my dog Jackson (“Jack”) out on a walk. Then I’ll take him back home and go on a quick run or walk by myself. I’ve stopped taking him with me because he LOVES to stop and sniff everything, and when I run I cannot be stopped! When I get home I shower and get ready before heading out to work. Even though I get my bags packed and lunches ready in the evenings, I still can never manage to get to the office on time – Pittsburgh, your traffic pattern bewilders me.

Q: Three apps that help with you work…ready go!

A: Pinterest – I get a lot of campaign ideas and insights from Pinterest. Often times, I will create private boards for clients and develop a campaign for each client based off of what I see.
iTunes – I purchased Apple Music back in October, and I have no regrets. It builds recommended playlists for you based off of your interests and I can listen to ANY song. It’s basically the same as a Spotify Premium membership, but I tend to like their recommended playlists a lot more. Music can either make or break my focus, so I have to choose my tunes wisely in order to be productive!
the Berry – the Chive’s sister site. I know that it can sometimes be a distraction, but it gets my mind right when I begin to find myself thinking about things other than work. I’ll allot myself a few hours to get work done, and then I will check out a Berry post for a laugh or an inspirational post. Actually, sometimes they give me ideas for our clients. Our Good Highdea campaign for Glass Gone Wow on 4/20 came from Berry inspiration.

Q: What music do you listen to while you’re working?

A: I actually pride myself on being able to find the right music for the right mood. House chill or oldies in the AM, Acoustics or symphonic in the afternoon. Anything you can sing along with or dance to leads to way more distractions.

Q: What’s your dream job (besides working at Sparq =] )

A: I’m a dreamer. If I could, I’d dabble in everything from event planning to acting. Currently working on a way to incorporate all of my passions into one complete – and possible – career. Everyone at Sparq is really supportive in the pursuit of all of our dreams, which is not something you come across every day.

Q: If you could sit down and have a hour-long conversation with any person alive or deceased who would it be?

A: My dad. He lived in Pittsburgh for most of my life, so now I am constantly trying to remember places we went to and people he knew. Places feel familiar, I’m just not sure if they actually are. Plus, I’d kill for another one of his guitar lessons I took for granted as a child.

Q: Who is your idol in the business world? Why?

A: Oh, Beyonce. I think I have always admired her ability to invest and create. I remember when she appeared in a Pepsi commercial alongside Britney Spears and Pink (I think I was around 12 years old at the time), and I just grew a strange attachment to her. Pepsi had their pop princess, the rebel Pink, and the incredibly fierce and fiery Beyonce who shreds through her part so seamlessly that you wondered why they even chose the other two. I wanted to drink Pepsi after that, and let me tell you, Pepsi to me tastes like acidic, liquid garbage. Apparently, this Pepsi deal was a multi-year one that raked in $50-million dollars. This money was also used as an investment to fund her future projects including her fashion label House of Dereon, and clothing lines with H&M and Topshop. She plans every aspect of her tour campaigns – audio, visual, and more, AND oversees her own image. She also has made it a point to remind everyone that success didn’t happen overnight. She has worked very hard from childhood to get where she is today. I aspire to be like her, and I am well-aware of the hard-work and networking that goes into it. I think whether people like her music or not, she should be recognized a business magnate within the branding industry, that has hustled to get there – it’s truly something to respect.

To learn more check out our team page!


The individuals at Sparq Designs believe in quality, and are huge advocates of setting ourselves apart from the competition. We do not believe in a cookie-cutter approach because we feel it’s more important to stand out in a crowd and we want our clients to do the same. We get excited about turning a concept into a design, developing a web presence, writing and optimizing content, and creating a buzz around a brand. Meet more of the team here.