It’s time to start thinking about recovery marketing.

Plan your comeback.

When you’re in the thick of a crisis, it might be all you can do to deal with the fires in front of you. But the businesses most likely to succeed are already beginning to think about what comes next. The steps that your business takes when reentering the market will be a crucial differentiator. While it’s impossible to predict what will happen next and when things will return to “business as usual,” having a proactive plan in place will keep you ahead of category competitors who haven’t thought that far ahead.

Be nimble. Be quick.

We mentioned in our blog “Why having a marketing team in a time of crisis is crucial” that speed to market is going to matter. Your team won’t have the luxury of dawdling when the time comes to capture attention-share at the same time as everyone else. Having the outline of a strategy in place ahead of time will allow you to break to the front of the pack and lead the narrative for your industry.

Encourage your decision-makers to be light on their feet and adhere to one of TJA’s favorite mottos: embrace uncertainty. While it might be challenging to get a team of people who are used to dealing with hard numbers and strict deadlines to be flexible, you’ll find that there’s a lot of room for creativity when some of the rigid structures need to be circumvented. Listen to your marketing team with an open mind, as they’ve had their ear to the ground throughout the duration of the crisis.

Importantly, be sure to share your capabilities with your marketing team. Talk about ideas you’re open to, what your budget looks like, and any other important parameters. It helps your marketing team know how to create appropriate and realistic solutions for you.

What to include in your recovery marketing plan.

It’s important that your plan remains flexible. Make sure each section is amenable to change so that you don’t lose entire swaths of work as a result of a new update to the situation.

  • Content strategy
    Messaging is going to be an important part of how you position yourself to your audience as everyone readjusts to the new normal. Pretending that nothing happened comes off as disingenuous. Copy that isn’t thoughtfully crafted runs the risk of appearing insensitive in ways you hadn’t anticipated. Make sure you’re working with people who know how to entice your consumer base to reengage without compromising your integrity.
  • Targeting
    It’s possible that over the course of current events, your true following rose to the top. Maybe a new segment of consumers gravitated toward your offerings that you didn’t have exposure to before. Reassess who your business is attracting. Decide if you want to readjust your targeting strategies. A marketing team that’s well versed in analytics, persona composition and media targeting can help you through these conversations.
  • Media
    The way people interact with media is also subject to change. During the current example of coronavirus times, the rates at which people consume online content skyrocketed. Once consumers are given the go-ahead to resume their normal activities, we’re predicting that people will engage offline more often and for longer periods to make up for lost time. Depending on your business model and offerings, it might be worth reconsidering out-of-home advertising as people drive to see each other, and meet up at venues, restaurants and other social spaces.

Recovery starts with planning

We know it’s daunting to consider the long term when even next week is a complete unknown. With 15 years in the industry, The James Agency has weathered hard times before and helped put our clients in a position to succeed even through intense adversity. If your team has enough on its plate and wants to consider a strategic comeback, reach out; we’ve got the know-how to help you come out on top.

Start planning

How TJA stays accountable while working from home.

Navigating new territory as a small business.

We’re all in these uncharted waters together. Thousands of employees with little to no telecommuting experience are suddenly working from home with 24 hours of family, significant other or alone time. While there’s no shortage of helpful articles on how to set up a routine to maintain a sense of normalcy, we wanted to tackle another aspect of the work from home experience: accountability.

As a small-but-strong business, we have the privilege of being able to pivot with relative ease. As we get into the flow of the work-from-home dynamic, we’ve learned a few lessons that help keep the engine of our business running while maintaining our focus and upholding the quality of our work.

Virtual check-ins

Our team hops on the Zoom tube at 9AM every day. (We started on Google Hangouts but preferred Zoom’s grid-view option that allows us to see everyone’s face at the same time.) Making sure everyone is present, accounted for and visible on video helps us start the day feeling connected. We also take the time to convey any relevant updates from the previous day. As always, TJA likes to sprinkle some fun in with the business. Our morning video conferences have included glitter bombs, cats, and a company-wide rendition of “Happy Birthday” to our Account Manager Charlie Crews (and yes, it sounded as bad as you’d imagine).

At 4PM, each department conducts smaller video chats to discuss what they’ve accomplished, where they might need support and their goals for the next day. We also use this as a time to catch up and check in on stress levels.

Time tracking in real-time.

One of the first measures we implemented was real-time time tracking. An up-to-the-hour account of how we’re spending hours eliminates the risk of wasting time. It also builds internal trust knowing that everyone is working together toward a common goal. Our project managers can discern patterns of productivity that arise through this new pace of work. That helps them resource for the upcoming days while adapting to new needs.

Transparency in communications.

Over-communication is the name of the game. The TJA environment supports open and honest communication at all times, but never has that been more beneficial or critical than when we’re working remotely. Empowering the team to speak up when they have too much on their plate or are in need of a project helps maintain an even spread of work. it also prevents anyone from feeling overwhelmed or underutilized.

Simultaneously, the need for straightforward client communications has never been more apparent. By engaging in honest discussions about adapting to new business needs and rapid-response action, we’re better able to serve our clients with creative solutions. This, in turn, improves their ability to respond and recover.

Upholding our culture.

The administrative elements of twice-a-day check-ins and real-time time tracking help keep us accountable. Our team also worked hard to maintain our culture while practicing responsible social distancing. With birthday celebrations and Beer Lab hosted over Zoom calls, it brings a sense of togetherness to the company at large. Coming together for moments of joy and fun keeps spirits high and allows us to carry that momentum into our work.

Keep tabs on us.

Everyone is trying to make the best of the new situation we find ourselves in. Follow us on social to see more of our work-from-home strategies and shenanigans. We’d love to hear from you about creative working solutions you’ve seen.

Stay social (but distant)

Why having a marketing team in a time of crisis is crucial.

How companies can recover from an unexpected event.

No business is ever 100% ready when a crisis hits. While you’re reeling from a major event that impacts your day-to-day operations, it’s easy to feel like you’re falling behind. When time is of the essence and your company needs to think on its feet, you’ll be glad to have a marketing team behind you: they will deliver a quick and appropriate response to your audience, and you can focus on steering the ship.

The time for belabored, designed-by-committee strategy plans is gone. The agility of a specialized marketing team streamlines go-to-market initiatives, whether you’re in reaction or recovery mode. When the status quo is changing by the hour, decisive action is a priority, regardless of your industry.

Rapid response in an evolving environment. 

Publicize your actions and efforts without delay. Whether you’re fielding customer inquiries, putting out press releases, or posting digital content to keep your consumers informed and instructed, a dedicated marketing team can alleviate the pressure of saying the right thing in the right way. Maintaining an active online presence also conveys confidence to your customers and partners, providing a sense of security that your organization is prepared to weather the storm.

Importantly, if you have any pre-scheduled content that is supposed to go live, ensure your team evaluates and edits it for appropriateness. This isn’t the time for radio silence, but releasing tone-deaf or callous content is even worse.

Business as (un)usual.

Marketing helps drive commerce—yes, even during a crisis. While the messaging that accompanies a commerce strategy should be thoughtfully executed, carefully considered marketing encourages consumers to engage with your brand and the economy at large. Some of your business offerings may pivot to accommodate what the market requires under the circumstances. Lean on your marketers to promote these new services or products to the right audiences through defined targeting.

Go where the people are: individuals are likely to spend more time online and on social media during a crisis to stay informed, check up on friends and family, or take a mental break. Cater to this digital audience by communicating frequently and raising awareness about your brand in order to stay front-of-mind. Utilizing strategies like paid social media, paid search, email campaigns and more will put you in front of the right people as they spend even more time online.

This doesn’t apply to me.

If you’re operating in an industry that is less affected by the crisis, it’s still highly recommended that you take a moment to consider a long-term response with your marketing team. Think of the actions your company will need to take when this crisis comes to a conclusion; bring your decision-makers to the table and assess how your organization will adjust to changes in the economy at large; talk about how to modify campaigns and messaging to reflect the emotional state of your consumers.

Ethical marketing in a time of crisis.

Marketing with empathy and sensitivity will lead to positive associations with your brand. Fear mongering, misinformation, and preying on insecurities won’t go unpunished. Brand responses are monitored closely, and the public is not afraid to take down those who are tactless. Now more than ever, it’s critical to have a team of specialists who knows how to navigate the changing tides with sincerity and an in-depth understanding of your audience.

If your organization needs assistance with crisis communication, recovery strategies, digital presence or more, reach out to our team. We specialize in creative responses to novel situations, and can help you brainstorm ways to integrate new approaches. Whatever you need, we’re ready to support you.

Start the conversation

2019 Year-in-Review Highlights

Let our work speak for itself.

16 times on the podium:

  • Entrepreneur 360 | 2019 Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America
  • AZ Central Top Companies to Work For in Arizona, Small Company
  • Phoenix Business Journal Best Places to Work in the Valley
  • MarCom Award | Web Video/Marketing | Travel Costa Mesa
  • MarCom Award | Web Video/Marketing | National Harbor
  • MarCom Award | Marketing/Promo Campaign/Branding Refresh | Travel Costa Mesa
  • MarCom Award | Marketing/Promo Campaign/Branding Refresh | Spinato’s Pizzeria
  • MarCom Award | Web Video/Marketing | Travel Costa Mesa
  • MarCom Award | Marketing/Promotion/Guide | Travel Costa Mesa
  • Addy Award | Elements of Advertising-Logo Design | Loft+Manor
  • Addy Award | Branded Content & Entertainment | Travel Costa Mesa
  • Addy Award | Sales & Marketing | Hotel Valley Ho
  • Addy Award | Integrated Advertising National Consumer Campaign | Mountain Shadows
  • Addy Award | Print Advertising, Branded Content & Entertainment | The Cliffs Hotel & Spa
  • Spaces Arizona Awards 2019 | Best in show
  • 2019 PRSA Phoenix Award of Merit | Colleen’s Dream Foundation Butterfly Effect Campaign

6 Brand Videos:

10 Rebrands & New Brands:

  • Camelot Homes
  • National Harbor
  • Starfire Golf Club
  • Cabana
  • Mavrix
  • Spinatos Pizzeria
  • ECD Systems
  • ZuZu at Hotel Valley Ho
  • From the Rooftop
  • Poppy

16 New Websites:

2020 promises to be filled with more of the exciting projects and people that make TJA so special. Cheers to the new year!

Get to know Graphic Designer, Nichole Peterson!

TJA prides itself on creating a winning culture through the rad people who work here. Now’s your chance to get a peek behind the curtain on process, origin stories, and even some secrets from one of our very own. Content Strategist, Teresa Velasco, interviewed Graphic Designer, Nichole Peterson, via Slack.

TV: Okay girl, when did you know being a designer was something you wanted to do?

NP: I was always into anything that involved art growing up, but I knew I wanted to be a designer when I took a high school graphic design class and fell in love.

TV: Is being a designer all it’s cracked up to be?

NP: I think it’s excellent! I get to make pretty things for work and always have the opportunity to be creative. There are days when my brain just isn’t creative. Working in an agency, I have to push through that mental block to get my work done. It’s a struggle to find inspiration some days. When I’m in one of those ruts, I usually need to seek out work from other people for inspiration. I have some design websites I frequently reference:

TV: When there’s a more challenging project, what’s your plan of attack?

NP: I collaborate with my teammates and start planning the best course of action before I even open a program so I can begin with a strategy. This is something that’s become a bigger part of my process as I grow as a designer; I spend more time in the planning phase before diving in.

For example, if I’m designing a poster, I’ll talk with our Production Director  to get a grasp on specs and size. Then I’ll consider what the poster is meant to do—whether it’s to drive traffic, build brand awareness, act as an informational piece—and combine that with all the info provided by the client services team. That’s when I start thinking about the layout. Once I have some solid ideas, working with other Creative team members to get feedback is extremely helpful in creating a piece that is aesthetically appealing as well as functional.

TV: What are some hot design tips you can share?

NP: I found that learning the actual theories and history behind design helps set you up for success. Without a solid foundation, people tend to just throw design work together with no real purpose. It is always important to have intention behind your design, and knowing the history of it helps you understand that better.

TV: Do you remember what your first project was at TJA?

NP: It was a stairwell mural of the greater Phoenix area for Hotel Valley Ho . My first impression of the work I was doing was that we had really rad clients that allowed us to be creative with their projects, which meant they trusted us to design our best work for them. That was a really good feeling. 

TV: What about your first impression of TJA?

NP: We have so much fun here. We have crazy ice breakers, pops of fun, team builds and more. It’s all meant to create an enjoyable environment for us. That was something I wasn’t used to coming from my old job. The people here are also extremely dedicated, honest and unique. It makes for really good work and even better culture.

TV: Alright, last question: what’s your deepest, darkest secret?

NP: Oh geez, really? That’s a tough one. Well, a work-appropriate one is that I feel like I don’t live up to my title as a creative because of how I named my stuffed animals as a kid. I had a polar bear named Pola, an ostrich named Ostrey, and a worm named Wormy.

Don’t let her stuffed animal names deceive you: Nichole has cranked out stunning work during her time at TJA. Check out some of our case studies to get a taste of the kind of creative work Nichole and the rest of the team can create for your organization.

Vote for TJA for Ranking Arizona 2020!

Voting is now open for AZ Big Media’s Ranking Arizona 2020 and we need your help! Follow the simple steps below to help TJA rank #1 again this year. You may vote once per hour through July 31 at 11:59pm.

How to Vote:
1. Click on the Ranking Arizona link
2. Register with your email address and create a password OR use your login information from last year
3. Vote for TJA in the following categories by clicking the VOTE button:

  • Advertising and Marketing
    • Advertising Agencies
    • Best Workplace Culture
    • Graphic Design Firms
    • Internet Marketing
    • Public Relations Firms
    • SEO/Social Media Marketing
  • Business Services
    • Best Place to Work
    • Event Planning
    • Women-Owned Businesses

Thank you for your support!

Arizona Foothills Magazine’s Best of Our Valley 2019

Voting is now open for Arizona Foothills Magazine’s Best of Our Valley 2019, and we need your help to win! To vote, simply log in using either your Facebook or Google+ account and click on the links below to cast your vote for team TJA. You can vote once a day per category until voting closes on Friday, November 30. We are grateful for your support. May the voting begin!

Agency Nominations:

TJA Team Member Nominations:

Vote for TJA for Ranking Arizona 2019!

Voting is now open for AZ Big Media’s Ranking Arizona 2019 and we need your help! Follow the simple steps below to help TJA rank #1 again this year. You may vote once per hour through July 31 at 11:59pm.

How to Vote:
1. Click on the Ranking Arizona link
2. Register with your email address and create a password OR use your login information from last year
3. Vote for TJA in the following categories by clicking the VOTE button:

  • Advertising and Marketing
    • Advertising Agencies
    • Best Workplace Culture
    • Graphic Design Firms
    • Internet Marketing
    • Public Relations Firms
    • SEO/Social Media Marketing
  • Business Services
    • Best Place to Work
    • Event Planning
    • Women-Owned Businesses

Thank you for your support!

Vote for TJA for Ranking Arizona 2018!

Voting is now open for AZ Big Media’s Ranking Arizona 2018 and we need your help! Follow the simple steps below to help TJA rank #1 again this year. You may vote once per hour through July 31 at midnight.

How to Vote:

  1. Click on the Ranking Arizona link
  2. Register with your email address and create a password OR use your login information from last year
  3. Vote for TJA in the following categories by clicking the VOTE button:
  • Advertising and Marketing
    • Advertising Agencies
    • Best Workplace Culture
    • Graphic Design Firms
    • Internet Marketing
    • Public Relations Firms
    • SEO/Social Media Marketing
  • Business Services   
    • Best Place to Work
    • Event Planning
    • Women Owned Businesses

Thank you for your support!

Top Things That Happened In December That You Should Know About

December was no doubt a busy month in the world, but lucky for you, we are here to break down some of the most important headlines that happened that you should know about!

Star Wars makes its return

Rouge One: A Star Wars Story opened with $155 million its first weekend at the box office. This was the second best opening of any December movie, trailing behind last years Star Wars.

Uber’s self -driving cars taken off the streets of San Francisco

Say goodbye to your chances of being picked up by a self-driving Uber in San Francisco. Uber lost privileges due to licensing problems in California. Uber has taken all self driving cars off the road and is in search of a new state to use as a test market.

Carrie Fisher Passes Away at age 60

Carrie Fisher, a beloved Hollywood icon, passed away at age 60. Not only was Fisher a famous actress, she also wrote four novels and was one of Hollywoods most sought after script doctors. Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fishers mother passed away the day after Carrie.

Holiday Travel Hits a Record High

California experienced a gridlock unlike any other during the holiday season. 94.8 million people were expected to travel between December 23 and January 4. California residents make up the majority of this total.

Operation Christmas Drop

Every December, the U.S. military partners with other international forces to exact an airdrop of Christmas presents to remote islands in the Pacific. The US drops toys, food, clothes and necessities as part of Operation Christmas Drop. With 65 years of service, this is the longest running humanitarian airlift operation.

Galaxy Note 7

Samsung was virtually obsolete this holiday season after its exploding phones were banned from airlines. Samsung has been working with a third party to decipher what the phones problems really were, but are at a standstill. The real question is, can Samsung ever regain the trust of its customers?

Wendy’s Tweets

Fast food chain Wendy’s tweets are getting sassier by the second. The downward spiral of retweet is back in action as Wendy’s comments back to a concerned customer become some of the most popular tweets of 2016.

Instagram Updates

December brought presents of all shapes and sizes, including a number of Instagram updates. From screenshot notifications to live video, Instagram is now combining all of our favorite social media sites into one. Sadly, there was no Black Friday deal on ad space as ad costs went up for the holidays.

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