01.29.2018

Sparq Designs Accepted into Forbes Agency Council

Forbes Agency Council Is an Invitation-Only Community for Executives in Successful Public Relations, Media Strategy, Creative and Advertising Agencies

PITTSBURGH — Sparq Designs, full-service marketing agency in Pittsburgh, has been accepted into the Forbes Agency Council, an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies.

Sparq CEO Nick Brucker, joins other Forbes Agency Council members, who are hand-selected, to become part of a curated network of successful peers and get access to a variety of exclusive benefits and resources, including the opportunity to submit thought leadership articles and short tips on industry-related topics for publishing on Forbes.com.

Sparq CEO Nick Brucker at the WHIRL Magazine “13 Under 30” event.

Forbes Councils combines an innovative, high-touch approach to community management perfected by the team behind Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) with the extensive resources and global reach of Forbes. As a result, Forbes Council members get access to the people, benefits and expertise they need to grow their businesses — and a dedicated member concierge who acts as an extension of their own team, providing personalized one-on-one support.

“I am excited and eager to become a thought-leader within the industry, and to provide quality value content to colleagues within the industry, as well as learn from others in the agency world who have built successful, respectable businesses” said Brucker.

Scott Gerber, founder of Forbes Councils, says, “We are honored to welcome Nick Brucker into the community. Our mission with Forbes Councils is to curate successful professionals from every industry, creating a vetted, social capital-driven network that helps every member make an even greater impact on the business world.”

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.

About Forbes Councils
Forbes partnered with the founders of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) to launch Forbes Councils, invitation-only communities for world-class business professionals in a variety of industries. Members, who are hand-selected by each Council’s community team, receive personalized introductions to each other based on their specific needs and gain access to a wide range of business benefits and services, including best-in-class concierge teams, personalized connections, peer-to-peer learning, a business services marketplace, and the opportunity to share thought leadership content on Forbes.com. For more information about Forbes Agency Council, visit https://forbesagencycouncil.com/. To learn more about Forbes Councils, visit forbescouncils.com.

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.

Follow Adele on Twitter,  LinkedIn Instagram

 

 

06.15.2016

Behind the Design – Jim Blundo

Learn a little more about the crew ‘Behind the Designs’ with our newest Q&A series. Next up up is our Vice President, Jim Blundo. Get to know him a little better!

Q: Give us some insight into your morning routine!
A: My morning begins by getting my son out of his crib. From that moment forward, you will have to consult him on our “routine” (I’m not sure how clearly he’ll be able to communicate this but I’m a pretty good translator for him so we’ll do our best).

Q: Three apps that help with you work…ready go!
A: Pipedrive – Awesome sales tool that tracks prospects/leads from beginning to end of the sales process.
Basecamp – I use it to organize daily tasks that needed to be completed for clients.
Twitter – There is no better way to stay current and staying current is vital to the sales process. You can read some of my old blogs to understand why I say that.

View More: http://jennahidingerphotography.pass.us/sparqwebsitephotos

Vice President of Sparq Designs, Jim Blundo

Q:What music do you listen to while you’re working?
A: I listen to whatever the office has playing. I am not a “pass me the aux” guy so I just accept whatever everyone else is listening to.

Q: What’s your dream job (besides working at Sparq =] )
A: My own talk radio show.

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

Q: Who is your idol in the business world? Why?
A: I don’t look up to any specific person. I just admire people who are authentic and don’t let accepted norms affect who they are, what they say, or how they behave.


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 designdeveloping a web presencewriting and optimizing content, and creating a buzz around a brand. Meet more of the team here.

06.08.2016

Behind the Design – Nick Brucker

Learn a little more about the crew ‘Behind the Designs’ with our newest Q&A series. First up is our President & fearless leader, Nick Brucker. Get to know him a little better!

Q: Give us some insight into your morning routine!
A: I am not much of a routine person because I like switching things up and staying fresh. Some days I will make breakfast, other days I’ll make a smoothie, some days is straight coffee. My biggest goal is to get to the office as fast as I can and get the day started!

Q: Three apps that help with you work…ready go! 
A: Spotify, Google Drive, MySEOTool

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

President of Sparq Designs, Nick Brucker

Q: What music do you listen to while you’re working? 
A: I stick to “Good Vibes” playlist on Spotify or whatever is on the  Top 50 charts.
 

Q: What’s your dream job (besides working at Sparq =] ) 
A: Honestly, I’d be cool with working at a surf shop in a beach town in Florida or California. I would like the stress free atmosphere and the nice weather all year long. But then I think I would end up getting bored and starting up a business of my own anyways.

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

Q:  Who is your idol in the business world? Why?
A: Right now I have been following Michael Lastoria a lot (CEO of &pizza). He is a great brand marketer and I like to see the new, modern and edgy stuff that he is doing. Everything that he puts out has a “cool” appeal to it.


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 designdeveloping a web presencewriting and optimizing content, and creating a buzz around a brand. Meet more of the team here.

05.31.2016

5 Things Your Brand Can Learn From Beyonce

Beyonce

source: www.reddit.com

 

At this point in time about a month has past since Beyonce graced us with her new album Lemonade, and what a historical event that was. Using HBO, Her majesty once again managed to change the industry standard for releases, as she had done previously with the surprise drop of her self-titled album in 2013. ‘Homegirl’ is a force to be reckoned with. Not only should fellow musicians take a page from Beyonce’s book, but marketers and brands should consider jotting down a paragraph or two as well.

Beyonce is different.

As one of Pittsburgh’s many digital marketing firms, my company Sparq Designs has forced itself to stick out like a sore thumb. In the words of DJ Khaled, differentiating ourselves from other operations selling the same product is a “major key.” While we see and acknowledge what everyone else is doing, we try to play on what makes us different. We try to emulate this strategy with each client we bring in. We don’t want our pizza company to run the same campaign as another pizza company – even those on a national level. Our focus is to play on their uniqueness, not on their similarities.

Beyonce has been regarded as visual, musical, and a marketing guru, because she does things out of the ordinary – I MEAN HELLO, a pop artist who added a country song to her newest album, that even left Garth Brooks in awe? Tell me the last time Carrie Underwood rapped on one of her albums… I’ll wait.

Beyonce is a leader.

One thing Beyonce doesn’t seem to do is care about what anyone else is doing. She simply uses her talent and looks for the next way to enhance it. She is not your standard pop artist, and in fact, she has expanded pop from a musical medium to a visual one. Remember when music videos were just people bouncing around with guitars, and artists claimed the reason for being so was because it was “meaningful and poetic?” I never understood it, but Beyonce has been able to use these visuals to enhance the overall experience. Other artists, take notes.

The BeyHive is one of the most dedicated fanbases in the world. While other artists tweet their fan bases to buy their albums, or support a cause, Bey’s guides her fans through actions. Back in 2015, Beyonce announced she was focused on maintaining a plant-based diet. Although I’m not certain it’s the BeyHive itself, I’ve noticed a growing interest in veganism, dubbing 2016 #TheYearOfVegan. All of a sudden, we all care about seaweed and cashew cheese? I was just getting back into hot dogs and hamburgers, so thank you Beyonce for taking me off of that.

Beyonce is a storyteller.

We are huge proponents of storytelling in our industry. It’s so important that brands build an emotional connection and meaning with their customers and potential clientele, and Beyonce does a great job of this with her music. Whether or not you choose to believe Jay-Z had an affair and caused problems in the iconic Bey & Jay marriage, Beyonce told her story in “Lemonade” so well that you just had to believe something was true.

Sparq’s Graphic Designer Jenna recently wrote that Disney World builds an emotional connection with their audience. That when a consumer buys tickets to Disney, they’re not just buying admission to theme park – but they are buying an emotional experience. When I tuned into “Lemonade,” (late, mind you) I didn’t know what to expect. I was blown away. The music, the poetry, the visuals all left me stunned. I wish I could put into words how I felt when the final credits rolled. Emotional. Experience.

Beyonce is private and unapologetic.

I cannot tell you how often I stalk the online presence of various brands, and cringe when I see something that doesn’t need to be disclosed. A few years ago, I saw a local company openly share an argument in the comment section of their Facebook page. They went on to talk about every aspect of the verbal altercation that went down in their store that day, and insisted that the customer was wrong, which if any of you know how Facebook works, set fire to a dimly lit candle.

Beyonce causes controversy, as we have seen during her Super Bowl where she appeared to support the Black Panther Movement (I know what some of you are thinking… save it). I think the most important thing was that she just let people say what they wanted to say and never once apologized. In fact, instead of saying, “wow your arguments are valid I should change my ways,” she announced her world tour, ‘Formation.’ While people fought it and opted to protest it, Bey still sold over $100 million dollars in ticket sales, leaving us to question “Is it ALWAYS necessary to apologize for our actions?”

Beyonce gets people talking.

Whether you like her or you don’t, this girl gets people talking and isn’t that everything a brand could want, and more? From a marketing standpoint, I think the element of surprise that comes with Yonce is what gets people going. You just never know what she’s going to do next, and she leaves you wanting more.

When Beyonce surprise dropped her self-titled album, “Beyonce,” no one was expecting it. It reached No. 1 on the charts without shameless self-promotion. Her strategy isn’t to allow people to leak her private photos before her next album is released, nor is it to appear on SNL before her next movie – it’s really just to leave people in shock. For instance, remember in 2014 when she slipped in a pregnancy announcement at the VMAs? She broke the Twitter record with 8,868 tweets per second, all by flashing a quick baby bump. Like GIRL, I have to take to IG the second I get a fresh manicure, how the heck can you keep a BABY a secret from all of us? And so you know, Bin Laden’s death drew 5,106 tweets per second. Just let that sink in.

So whether or not you choose to appreciate Beyonce, her music, and her fandom, a lot can be learned from this woman. While all of us marketers are desperately trying to copy her current strategy, just know that she is planning her next big move. It’s only in our best interest to keep up.

 


Adele 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.

Follow Adele on Twitter,  LinkedIn Instagram

05.17.2016

Stay In Your Lane and Create a Brand that Customers Trust

Often times people and organizations attempt to emulate or copy what other people and brands do that make them successful. Just because something works for someone else does not mean that it will work the same for other people or organizations.

If you think of the most successful brands in history, they all stand for something that is original and authentic to their being. These brands become iconic and are idolized for this reason. People buy into their core beliefs and their brand’s story because it is undeniably authentic and true to them. Great brands understand that to be great and to stay great, they must “stay in their own lane.”

unnamed

[Photographs: above, Burger King; others, Dennis Lee]

What does it mean to “stay in your lane?

To me, staying in your lane means learning how to be extremely self-aware. Brands who are self-aware completely understand themselves and what they stand for. Being self-aware of your brand, customers, competitor products and the marketplace makes it much easier to stay in your lane and to be authentic when it comes time to tell your story.

Too often you see companies, both large and small, struggling with marketing and product launches because they don’t stay true to themselves and their customers.

One example of a notable brand who I believe is having a difficult time with this is Burger King.

Burger King is one of the most well-known brands in America and they have been for many years. Their entire brand was built off of and sustained by the Whopper. America fell in love with their campaigns and their flame-grilled burgers. So what justifies a company like Burger King to create menu items like the “Big King” (a poor recreation of the McDonalds inspired Big Mac) and Grilled Hot Dogs?

Burger King and the Whopper spent over 20 years competing directly against McDonald’s and the Big Mac, until recently when they decided to add the Big King to their menu as if it could compete with the most famous sandwich in history. To me this is when Burger King started to stray away from its roots and attempted to reinvent themselves through an array of off-the-wall menu items.

If Burger Kings’ recent marketing and product decisions are based on losing market share, I feel this would have constituted a different approach. Why not put a campaign together that stays true to the core beliefs of the brand and start to reinvent the power and following of the Whopper? I think that this is a perfect example of a brand that went completely outside their lane and really should become more self-aware, focusing on the strengths and beliefs that made them extremely successful.

The simple truth is this; just because something works for my company and my market, does not mean that it will work well for you and your organization. Companies must become self-aware to the surroundings, customers, market conditions and competitors. Be authentic, stay in your lane, and stick to the things that make you great, because this is what makes people fall in love with brands!


nb_teamNick Brucker is the President & CEO at Sparq Designs, a digital marketing agency in Pittsburgh. Learn more about him, here. If you have questions about building a relationship, contact the Sparq team today.

Follow Nick on Twitter & LinkedIn

05.12.2016

Q & A with Bri Nellis

Get to know one of Sparq’s summer interns, Bri Nellis! 

Intern_BriNellis

Q: Where do you attend school and what are you studying there?
A: Currently, I’m attending Clarion University and studying Communication, with a minor in Marketing.

 

Q: What’s your dream job?
A: Digital marketing for Oscar Mayer, while driving the Hotdogmobile across the United States!

 

Q: At which store would you like to max-out your credit card?
A: Nike!

 

Q: Which storybook/cartoon character do you relate to?
A: Mulan-always up for adventure and would do anything for my family!

 

Q: What’s your favorite part of the digital marketing industry?
A: My favorite parts are using social media to directly communicate with the consumers, as well as thinking of creative ways to engage and expand the reach your intended audience.

 

Q: What was your favorite TV show when growing up?
A: Growing up, I was definitely all about playing sports and therefore my favorite TV show was definitely Rocket Power. I even bought roller-blades and a hockey stick to be just like Reggie. I also, weirdly remember watching a lot of The Price is Right. *laughs out loud*

 

Q: Do you have any strange phobias/fears?
A: Forgetting my Netflix password…

 

Q: What is the best thing you’ve crossed off your bucket list?
A: while studying abroad, I had the opportunity to go canyon jumping off the Swiss Alps in Interlake, Switzerland and that was definitely a bucket list item that was crazy to cross off!

 

Q: NSYNC or Backstreet Boys?
A: I was a fan of both back in the day, but I’m going to have to go with NSYNC.

 

Q: How do you take your coffee?
A: With just a little creamer!

 

Q: What is your favorite part of interning at Sparq?
A: The people!

At Sparq Designs we thrive on our ability to create and foster relationships; relationships between brands and consumers, and the relationships between our clients and ourselves. Internships are one of the most valuable experiences a student can gain during their undergraduate studies. While classroom work is important, real experience can help get your foot in the door when you enter the workforce. Learn about internship opportunities at Sparq Designs here.
03.31.2016

Choosing an Online Marketing Company in Pittsburgh

Choosing an Online Marketing Company in Pittsburgh to Grow Your Business

Do you own a business in Pittsburgh or the surrounding areas? If so, you’re well aware of the importance of growing your business online. Over 80% of people conduct research online before purchasing products or committing to your service, and potential customers are doing the same about your business. The problem arises when those potential customers are unable to find you online—and you eventually find yourself needing an online marketing company in Pittsburgh to help grow your business and gain visibility in the search engines.

There are numerous ways that you can grow your business with the help of an online marketing company in Pittsburgh. Sparq Designs has multiple services to choose from, and your marketing strategy is customized to fit the unique goals of your business.

Business owners in Pittsburgh can grow their business in the following ways with Sparq Designs:

Brand Development

Finding your voice and telling your unique story is crucial for cutting through the noise. According to CBS news, the average American can see up to 5,000 ads per day. In order to make your business stand out, you’ll need to transform your establishment from a run-of-the-mill business to a standout brand.

Sparq Designs specializes in helping brands perfect an influential voice across all mediums, from your website content to your next Tweet.

Web Development

Poorly designed and outdated websites can actually make potential customers disengage from your business. If your company website is hard to navigate or doesn’t offer exceptional user experience, an online marketing company in Pittsburgh such as Sparq can help increase customer interaction. Furthermore, you can make updates to your website all on your own with the ultra user-friendly WordPress platform.

When you need the perfect balance of professionalism, functionality, and trendy design, Sparq Designs hits the mark every time.

Social Media

The average online marketing company in Pittsburgh will only update your social media account when you have a special or promotion. Unfortunately, this technique does not engage your customers and rarely results in sales.

Instead, Sparq Designs creates a custom social media strategy for your business in order to:

● Increase traffic to your website
● Build a social media following
● Encourage customer engagement
● Establish a voice for your business
● And more

Search Engine Optimization

At the end of the day, your Pittsburgh business needs to be visible in the search engines. Scoring top spots on Google can take a lot of time and effort, but Sparq Designs is up to the challenge of helping customers easily find your website online.

As your online marketing company in Pittsburgh, we only use SEO (search engine optimization) techniques that are recommended by Google. This includes implementing a keyword research strategy, supplying great content, and creating the ultimate user experience through your website.

Contact Sparq Designs: An Online Marketing Company in Pittsburgh

When you’re ready to grow your business online and cut through the noise, Sparq Designs can put you on the right track. Get in touch with us today to get started with your next project or address questions or concerns—we’re standing by to help your Pittsburgh business grow and thrive online.

10.27.2015

How Marketers Can Prepare for the “Internet of Things” Evolution

Years ago it may have seemed far fetched to think the products we use everyday would become practiced to learn our tendencies; what we like, what we dislike, and all our detailed preferences. Our cars now park themselves, restaurants find us, and our home appliances have the ability to re-order our products when we need them.

 

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAVoAAAAJGZjNWZlOWM5LTZjYWYtNDI4NS04YzBlLTFiY2M4YmJlNzI0NQ

With technology moving and advancing at a rapid pace, we are starting to see how the world has moved to an “Internet of Things.” Many products that we use each day are “smart products,” and have the ability to acquire information and user preferences to help us make decisions. Our products connect us to brands and the things that we intuitively want to buy. Marketers love the fact that consumers now provide their own information and actively tell the world what they want.

So how does this change marketing efforts for organizations that are all fighting to get our attention?

Although it may sound contradictory to the marketing stereotype, the future of marketing lies less in “talking” and more in “listening.” Let’s face it, consumers have changed – they tell the world what, where and when they want something. So for marketers, becoming better listeners and observers is how they are going to create successful campaigns and appeal to the “new consumer.”

Marketing efforts will become less calculated and more impulsive for brands and organizations now that corporate exposure has become much more attainable. The use of viral activity and online media allow brands with smaller budgets to compete on a more level playing field. Companies need to understand that being innovative and agile will be more productive when trying to grow market share. The future of most marketing efforts will no longer attempt to appeal to the masses – and why would they? Detailed, focused marketing tactics will begin to play a more important role for marketers. Consumers are providing honest data and valuable analytics that marketers compile and make sense of on a daily basis.  Marketing departments can analyze that consumer data on the fly, see what platforms their audiences are using, what individuals are looking for and when they are most inclined to buy.

As marketing professionals in the “Internet of Things,” we need to stay committed to becoming better listeners. Although it may be a new style that will need to refine, ultimately we all have the same goal. The goal is to communicate with one another, and to be a great communicator, you better be a great listener.

Nick Brucker is the President & CEO at Sparq Designs, a digital marketing agency in Pittsburgh. Learn more about him, here. If you have questions about building a relationship, contact the  Sparq team today.

Follow Nick on Twitter & LinkedIn