by Diana Evans | Sep 1, 2021 | DAE & Company, Design, Marketing
To our clients, partners, vendors, friends, and family,
South Lake Tahoe, where DAE&Co is headquartered, is a town in distress. I’m sure many of you have been watching the devastating wildfire news and our town is only one of many currently being affected by fire. Currently, the town has been evacuated and as I write this, the fire is moving into my neighborhood. We certainly could lose our home.
But what hits me is not the four walls we raised our children in, or the kitchen counter where we shared laughs and stories with friends and family while making dinner, or the area of respite where we sat outside in our “wine garden” to talk about future plans or challenges we faced.
What hits me is the incredible people: our neighbors who stayed in Meyers at their restaurant to cook and feed emergency workers; the firefighters that are risking their lives to protect our lands & homes; our friend whose husband works for Cal Fire and gave us regular updates to make sure we had good information; the city leaders that are staying in town to help those in need and provide news to others; the neighbor in Carson Valley that offered up her land for evacuated horses, dogs, cats, people and campers; the local & regional media that are providing thoughtful, sensitive and real coverage; the safety and law enforcement personnel from our area and from far away that are working to get people out safely, directing traffic and keeping people calm; the evacuees that are group texting words of encouragement, love, and prayers; my son’s friend’s dad who is a reporter on-site (I don’t even know his name) who drove past our house and sent us a photo letting us know it is still standing; and the outpouring of people, like our friends at E/Power Marketing in Wisconsin, asking where they can give money and/or support.
The trauma in our community was weighing heavy on me. To start the climb out of the COVID19 impacts only to be pushed down about by this fire was a sobering thought. But a strange thing started happening as I began writing this letter…my heart shifted and filled with hope and a passion for the place I call home. As I reflected on our community spirit and what makes South Lake Tahoe so wonderful, it hit me hard: South Lake Tahoe is going to be okay. Maybe not even just okay. South Lake Tahoe will actually thrive.
Why? Because the rising up of the human spirit makes all things possible and I see that in every little thing this community has done to band together during this difficult time. Buildings can be rebuilt, businesses can re-open, visitors will come back, the lake will still be beautiful, the trails and forests will heal. And the community will be even stronger.
We have a marketing saying that we use internally about South Lake Tahoe whenever we are writing creative briefs for our clients in Lake Tahoe: “it’s about the lake.” But I think I’m going to shift that for DAE&Co. From now on…It’s about the community that just happens to be alongside an incredible lake.
Thank you to all for your support.
by Diana Evans | Aug 5, 2021 | DAE & Company, Design, Marketing
To say things have changed over the last year would be such an understatement. The way people shop, work, go to school, travel, and go about their everyday life has evolved dramatically. While we’re navigating the travel and hospitality industry’s ‘new normal’, it’s important to reflect on what we’ve learned and better understand what changes are here to stay when it comes to consumer behavior. As we focus on reopening and improving how we do things, now is the perfect time to review and revise your PR strategy! Here’s why…
- You need to have a Plan B (and a Plan C). Best-case scenarios are great, but as we’ve learned through 2020 and even into 2021, backup plans and knowing what to do when things don’t go as planned is imperative. Now is the time to update and improve your PR plan, including your communication plan and crisis management template, based on all that you’ve learned lately. Too many hotels and hospitality businesses were caught off guard when lockdowns were put in place or recommendations changed. You’ll want to be prepared to go into a business continuity plan or have contingency options ready and waiting.
- Rediscover your target audiences. As noted, consumer behavior has changed dramatically over the last year and a half, you can’t market to your target audiences the same way you were before COVID hit. Define who it is you want to attract, and learn more about how their marketing preferences and buying journey have changed so you can map out the best ways to reach them.
- You should tap into the collective emotions. We’ve been missing travel and the connections that come along with it for so long. Your PR plan should reflect the emotions your target audiences are going through, and speak to them. Some travelers are still nervous about getting out and about, how will your communication strategy help them overcome their stress? Some travelers have had their bags packed for months and can’t wait to visit you again. An updated PR plan can help you reach them and let them know you’re just as excited to see them!
- Embrace the positive changes. From your new cleaning protocols to grab-and-go dining to well-stocked sanitation stations, keep the positive changes happening at your place of business. Take a hard look at what’s working well, and embrace those changes. You’ll want to communicate to your guests that you are continuing to do what’s right when it comes to keeping them and your staff healthy, so these message points should be included in your updated PR plan.
- Let your brand image evolve. We’ve learned so much since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the time to let those lessons guide your branding and PR plan. Take the chance now to freshen things up, invest in your brand and come up with the next best steps for reaching your audiences and welcoming them to your business. People are looking to connect now more than ever before, make sure you’ve got an updated PR plan in place so you’re giving them all the best reasons to book with you!
Overall, it’s important that you are addressing the concerns and questions that people have as travel opens back up. Now is the time to really invest in what’s next by boosting the reputation of your brand and helping establish stronger connections and better brand awareness.
If you need help crafting the right PR plan for your business, contact us so that we can help you to set up a plan that will help you to move forward!
by Diana Evans | Apr 8, 2021 | DAE & Company, Design
Chances are you’re like the rest of us: You’re forced to stick to a digital marketing spend that’s not quite as large as you’d like. It’s just one of the realities of doing business. But there are a few tried and true things you can do to make sure you’re getting the most out of the spend you have. Check out the following six tips, and you’ll be well on your way to doing more with whatcha got.
Tip #1: Increase your presence on social media
Like most businesses, you’re probably pretty solid on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. But have you considered other platforms? YouTube (especially in the age of video) and Google Plus can be great platforms to help you get your company name out there. You might also consider gaining a presence on some of the younger platforms like Snapchat and Mix. However, there is one caveat: To avoid wasting time and money, be sure you have the bandwidth it takes to keep up with all of your accounts. And if you discover that you don’t have that bandwidth, consider working with an agency, like DAE & Company, that offers digital marketing services.
Tip #2: Create better content
If content is king, then high quality content is the emperor of the world. As a result, creating content that is useful and relevant is one of the simplest ways to get the most out of your digital spend. High quality content is fact-based, on topic, and easy to digest. Also, in addition to blog posts, consider interesting pieces of content like high quality video and infographics.
Tip #3: Track your results
It takes a bit of practice, but Google Analytics offers a free and simple way to keep track of your content performance. By doing so, you can better leverage content that is top performing and optimize poorer performing pieces. Though not free, tools like Hootsuite, Hubspot, and Sprout Social are awesome for keeping track of where the majority of your traffic is originating, so you can focus on those platforms that serve you best. These tools can also help you keep up with posting and engagement.
Tip #4: Increase your content dissemination
Any time you create a solid piece of content, you want to make sure it appears on your blog as well as on all your social media platforms. Doing so ensures it reaches the widest audience. Again, tools like Hootsuite, Hubspot, and Sprout Social are a great help when it comes to content dissemination and can actually automate the process for you. Automation saves you time and money by allowing you to focus more on creating high quality content and less on getting that content in front of your audience.
Tip #5: Drill down to reach your target market
Speaking of audiences, are you sure you’re reaching your best one? If you can’t answer that question with a resounding yes, it’s time to do some research. Google Trends research and tools like social media surveys can help you get a better handle on who, exactly, might appreciate your content most. Also, bring up the topics of your content in conversation. It might sound simple, but you can learn a lot about your audience through everyday conversation. Find out what types of content your target audience enjoys consuming, and adjust your output accordingly.
Tip #6: Don’t forget the pics and vids
When it comes to attracting an online audience, it’s all about eye candy. Study after study has shown that posts with images (still or moving) garner significantly more engagement than do posts without imagery and video. According to Buffer, “more than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube every day.” Taking advantage of these preferred media is one of the easiest ways to get more bang for your digital marketing buck.
Eager to learn more about how you can make the most of your digital spend? Get in touch with us, and let’s talk optimization!
by Diana Evans | Mar 1, 2021 | DAE & Company, Design
Once upon a time, the typical Mad Avenue, big-box, high-ticket ad agency would have a component of the firm that was affectionately referred to as the “creative department.” It’s where you’d have found the free thinkers with nerf basketball courts on their doors, Talking Heads blaring from boom boxes, and zany games thriving at all corners of their conclave. Birkenstocks were hip, wingtips were banished, ties were unheard of. All in the name of instilling a creative environment.
There were, however, a few glaring problems with this kind of thinking: one, it relegated the notion of “creativity” to being the sole domain of writers, designers, and artists; and two, it short shrifted the distinct possibility that “creativity” was something that was born from within, rather than imported via miscellaneous gadgets.
At DAE & Company, creativity isn’t the realm of a few but rather something we all apply toward our respective roles in the agency. Finding ways to stimulate creativity has become especially critical in these times when agencies are more commonly operating on a virtual basis. As Albert Einstein observed, “Creativity is intelligence having fun.” And his idea of creativity was often inspired by sitting down to the piano and freeing up his mind. But what about those at DAE & Company? What tricks do they turn to as kindling to stir thinking that goes above and beyond?
For Diana Evans, she often puts her feet to the ground or her skis to the slopes for inspiration. She’s a jogger, a skier, and someone who takes her tasks with her to whatever paths are before her. As she explains, “endorphins equal creativity for me.” It’s a personal rhythm that she applies often, a habit that has helped her visualize whole campaigns, ideas she relegates to the notepad on her cell phone. As she confesses, “not all of those ideas are brilliant, in fact some of them are pretty far-fetched.” Nonetheless, her wheels are in motion and the odds of having a creative day are greatly increased.
Hanna Bernard is another one of the employees at DAE & Company who has a couple of means for kicking her creative brain in gear. An adrenaline junkie who was once deemed “Sweden’s fastest female on two wheels”, her two most frequent habits both involve horsepower – literally and figuratively. She’ll go horseback riding into the nearby hills as well as hopping onto a snowmobile and shredding mountains of freshie. If that either fails or isn’t available at the time, she can always count on digging into a home improvement project to stir the creative juices.
Searching for buried treasure in the jazz section of a local record shop or turning vintage newspapers into type-themed collages is what gets Dennis Millette’s motor going, an exercise that runs the course of the day and is often translated into award winning work. For Scott Mortimore, it’s tossing in a camera and “Field Notes” scratchpad into his backpack and pointing his chin toward those eastern Sierra mountains that scratch the sky. When confronting a monitor rather than a mountain, he makes a habit of challenging himself at the New Yorker Caption Contest on a weekly basis, a foolproof procedure for jump-starting the noodle.
If you’re looking for a team of thinkers who put a premium on creativity, we’d love to talk to you. Give us a call (530.545.9079), an email or whatever. Better yet, let us treat you to that time-tested brain lubricant – a nice cup of coffee!
by Diana Evans | Feb 8, 2021 | DAE & Company, Design
Any way you look at it, going it alone is getting bigger in the travel industry. And as more and more people are packing up and heading out on their own solo travel adventures, smart marketers in the travel industry would be wise to keep up with the latest stats. Following are a few of the most recent updates on this growing market pulled from a variety of industry studies.
- A global solo travel survey conducted last October showed that of almost 21,000 people surveyed around the world, 76% claimed to have traveled alone or said they were considering it. And that was regardless of demographics such as age, nationality, and gender. Source
- Between 2017 and 2019, Google searches for “solo women travel” increased an astonishing 230%. Source
- Tour company VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations reported that in 2016, 68% of its female clients traveled alone. A similar company, Country Walkers, said that 87% of its female travelers were single that same year. Source
- Among travelers, those going solo take longer trips—an average of 19 days. Source
- One study showed that a third of Gen Z prefer to travel alone, expressing particular interest in solo backpacking trips and taking a “gap year.” Source
- In 2018, the Adventure Travel Trade Association listed solo travel as one of the top 20 trends to watch. Source
- A 2017 study by Princeton Survey Research Associates showed that among Millennials, 58% are willing to travel alone and that 26% of millennial women have already traveled alone. Source
- When asked to name the greatest motivators for solo travel in one 2018 study, respondents ranked “relaxation and time to unwind” at the top. This factor ranked much lower in regard to non-solo travel. Source
- A May 2018 study of 20,500 travelers by Booking.com showed that two fifths of Baby Boomers around the globe had traveled solo in the past year and that another 21% were planning to do so in the future. Source
- The same Booking.com study reported that 34% of respondents named solo travel among the “top five trips that they have already been on and would like to go on again.” Source
- A 2018 study of 2,300 people by marketing firm MMGY Global found that about 25% of respondents claimed they would travel alone in the coming year. Source
Looking for more insights on marketing and advertising? Check out our blog post on the tribe marketing movement.
by Diana Evans | Jan 21, 2021 | DAE & Company, Design
The Beauty of Virtual Imperfections.
You’ve made a mistake or two. Not to worry. We have, too. Somewhere along the line in 2020, we all had a stumble or fumble as we embraced this new method of meeting, chatting and brainstorming in the virtual world. We’re learning, improving, and slowly working our way toward being Zoomtastic, but as fortune would have it, there are still opportunities to look foolish and have fun as we talk amongst ourselves.
Here’s a chance to look back and check a few boxes on some of those techno faux pas you’ve had in the course of Zooming, Slacking, Google Meeting, Zohoing, What’s Apping, Skyping, and Hanging Out. If you’re uncommonly perfect and haven’t managed to hop online and start gabbing with a flick of spinach wedged between your teeth, take heart: there’s still time remaining to amuse your clients and comrades.
The panic face. This is probably the most flagrant foul in the game of online conferencing. Your camera’s on, your mic is hot, and you’re completely unaware that there’s a tribe of spectators snickering as you glare at your keyboard and screen, glancing up, down, left and right, grappling with which buttons to press as grumbles and profanities fly from your tongue. Congratulations, you’ve mastered the panic face, the WTF moment that many of us have already experienced. It’s okay. Live and learn, as they say. Just don’t get too perfect in this regard, as we can all use a little levity and a dash of spinach in our everyday lives.
The nostril angle. Those who don’t frequent the websites of Hollywood’s elite are unaware of the significance of placement, specifically pertaining to your camera. Place it too high and you project all the swagger and power of Dobby the house elf. Not good. More telling and terrifying, however, is the opposite angle, or what we call NostrilCam. This perspective can traumatize those on the other end of the camera, an effect that may be well intended rather than accidental. If this is the look you feel best suits you, then we suggest a pre-conference nasal check, especially for those with schnozzes that are well-forested.
Enviro-issues. We’re not talking about saving the planet, we’re simply addressing your surroundings. That means the dog barking or, far worse, scraping its arse across the carpet as an unwitting you aims to impress. Got photos or artwork on the wall? Straighten ‘em out and consider replacing your latest wild party photo with something a bit more dignified. Bonus tip: don’t chew with your Zoom open.
Silence is golden. Somewhere on your screen is a mute button, a little microphone that turns red or has a slash through it that when being quiet is critical. Leaving that mic open can be intrusive to whomever is holding court, but it can also be detrimental in the event you need to pay a visit to the nearest loo. Hear that lawnmower in the background? Or that cat fight or the colicky baby or that fistful of coins doing backflips in the dryer? All sounds that become more pronounced in the company of others. On the flip side is knowing when to unmute yourself when you’ve got something to say or when you’ve been called upon. Failure to unmute may result in the humiliation of flapping your lips without saying a word, which isn’t always a bad thing. Again, we know.
The lingerer. Congratulations, you’ve seamlessly worked your way through a Zoom session, hitting all your cues on time and retaining eye contact with the efficiency of a seasoned tv anchor. Now that everyone has said their farewells and are popping off one at a time, you find yourself fashionably late to the “aloha” button, glancing into the camera as the host waits for you to join the exodus. Problem is, getting out of this ZoomRoom is a mystery to you. Simply confess your naivete and soon you’ll be guided to the “Leave Meeting” button, happy that your session is concluded but forever scarred by the notion that you were alone at the bar when closing time came.
Fittingly, such faux pas complemented the year that was and may have even provided some essential levity. At DAE & Company, we were proud to have served up our fair share of techno-slips (none more than the author of this blog) and applaud those who unwittingly showed up in pajamas or failed to floss before their session. So, here’s a high five from all of us. You’re getting better at this Zoom thing. But please, for our sake, don’t get too good at it. After all, there’s no such thing as too much laughter in life.