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Another decade of marketing mishaps has come and gone. This past year saw plenty of new campaign tactics, design trends, and brand overhauls, but a few key things managed to stand out. Here are some marketing insights from our founder and president, Ryan.

2019 marketing insights

From celebrity endorsements to fast food squabbles, 2019 saw no limits in the marketing world. While some brands struggled to keep their heads above water, others thrived on PR, both positive and negative.

2019: The year of celebrity endorsements and fast food wars

Celebrity endorsements are nothing new. However, this past decade it became even more crucial to find the right people to represent your brand. Cardi B took on Reebok, Chance the Rapper took on Doritos, Jason Bateman took on Hyundai. Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad was an intentionally controversial PR move that ended up putting the company’s name in everyone’s mouths even more than usual.

Meanwhile, Popeyes and Chick-Fil-A went at it on Twitter over the title of best chicken sandwich. While an incendiary response from Popeyes could’ve had negative consequences, it actually worked out for them. It was entertaining to watch the two companies hash it out, and meanwhile, people were lining up at every Popeyes across the nation to see what the hype was all about.

Near the end of the year, a Peloton holiday ad went viral. The ad, which featured a husband gifting his already thin wife a luxury fitness bike, was called out for being presumably privileged and sexist. Even Ryan Reynolds used the company’s negative PR to leverage his own company, Aviation Gin, in an ad featuring the same actress. The “Peloton girl” memes continued.

Uber steps it up

One of the largest transportation companies in the world that doesn’t own a single vehicle, Uber, strengthened and diversified their brand this year. They rebranded, developed Uber Eats, and promoted it with celebrity endorsements. The results were nothing but positive. One of the key factors in Uber’s success is their ability to research and understand their audience.

2020 marketing insights

This new year and new decade brings with it a new way of understanding marketing. Because people are more focused on authenticity and transparency, companies will really have to nail their values and ethics. Not to mention, we should be seeing a lot more augmented reality and SMS.

Insights on SMS

Texting has been around for years, but companies are now starting to use it to their advantage. More businesses are going to look to SMS to further push their services, as reminder notifications produce an incredible retention rate. Though the service industry has started to dominate this realm, companies should think of creative ways they can incorporate SMS into their messaging without annoying their customers.

2019 - 2020 marketing insights

Bing and Google My Business

The “place” social networks are essential for a company’s credibility. Short-links, reviews, and engagement on both platforms helps boost a business in the customer’s eyes. Which place are you most likely to visit: the one with 0 reviews, or the one with some 5-star reviews and some 3-star reviews? Get those reviews, and contribute content (e.g. events, sales) to effectively engage with your audience. These platforms are only expected to grow in the coming years.

More companies using augmented reality

This technology still needs time to solidify and really become seamless. As of right now, we sometimes need equipment like headsets or extra devices to use AR. In the next few years, companies will fine-tune the usability and experience of augmented reality, and think of innovative ways to use the technology.

Founding Fathers Fireworks app project

One of our projects at energyhill last year was to create an app for Founding Fathers Fireworks that makes historical figures come alive. Using augmented reality, a user can scan their box of fireworks and hear the legacy of figures like Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. This project is just one example of a creative way to use an existing technology and create a seamless experience for the user.

The takeaway: create lasting impressions

This year, companies should push to diversify their brand and really polish their messaging. Using tools like SMS, Google My Business, and augmented reality can put your brand a step above the rest. Assure that your website and apps provide the best user experience, as nowadays, you have only seconds to make an impression.

What are your predictions for this new year/decade? Let us know in the comments!

There are times in life and business when things come together for the good. It could be called destiny, karma, luck, sovereignty, or a plethora of descriptive phrases.  Ryan and Gloria Lowe have found it. Maybe it found them. However it may be described, there is an “Aura” about this couple and their rising marketing and design business. Somehow they have found the opportunity to do what they love. Behind Energyhill’s aura of excellence is a story of the American dream.

Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.   – Confucius

Behind Energyhill, Our Sotry

Gloria A. Lowe, CEO and Dr. Ryan E. Lowe, President

Behind Energyhill – Emergence of a Design Agency

The journey began in 2001 in Pittsburgh, PA. Ryan started building computers from scratch. It was a wonderful time with amazing technology surging on every front. Ryan was there in the middle of it all investing in a future enterprise loosely referred to as “RyTek.” Later, it evolved to “RyDesign”.

He drew his whole family into the process and a lengthy debate arose to choose the ideal domain name for the future. The final choices were Energyhill.com and (believe it or not) Energypuppy.com. Obviously, Energyhill won the vote.

As time passed, DESIGN emerged, and then MARKETING. Ryan was honing his skills and loving every minute of it. In 2002, Ryan was accepted at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. On scholarship for his strong personal portfolio of work and development of an innovative hub for students, Ryan began gathering the building blocks for the owned but dormant domain name of Energyhill.com.

Behind Energyhill – Evolution of a Quality Brand

Meanwhile, far away in Florida, a highly skilled designer was enrolled at the Art Institute of Tampa. It was there that Gloria began infusing her Dominican passion into her beautiful art and where she would meet her soulmate. Meanwhile, Ryan completed his Master’s degree at SCAD and was hired by the Art Institute and moved to Tampa. After Gloria completed her degree, she began working with Ryan on the side. As their professional relationship grew, so did their courtship and they married in 2008. After joining together, they realized what advantages they had as a couple that they didn’t have before. Their combined skills, knowledge, and experience exceeded the combination of the same as separate individuals. After a few years of contracting and outsourcing in the industry, they decided in 2013 to officially launch Energyhill.com. To better equip himself for a future enterprise, Ryan earned a doctorate in business from Argosy University in 2014.

When a team works well together as a unit, they are able to accomplish more than the individual members can do alone.

Behind Energyhill – Expectations for Future Vision

Gloria and Ryan found the sweet spot of collaborative design and business aptitude. They complement each other, work tirelessly, and put everything into their brand. The result is a design and marketing agency that is competitive with much larger companies. They deliver in every aspect to make others succeed and grow while at the same time establishing solid relationships with each of their clients.

Each client knows they can be trusted to deliver on time and with the highest quality, and every member of their staff is trained with this in mind. Energyhill is now established and entering its fifth year as an entity. With many years prior to that working with small and large businesses, Ryan and Gloria were positioned to hit the ground running.

Making others succeed is a pretty good formula for Ryan and Gloria; it’s what makes them successful. “Clients are part of us, and we are part of them,” they say. If the clients, who they call “partners” suffer, so do they. If they prosper, so do they. Thankfully, the latter is what happens with Energyhill.

Behind Energyhill – Loving What We Do

It’s obvious that Ryan and Gloria and every one of their team at Energyhill LOVE what they do. Does this mean they never WORK a day in their lives? Hardly. The fact is they are TIRELESS workers, and they function as a TEAM. They are so passionate about design, advertising, and marketing, that it seems like they are not working. That’s the mystery of the Confucius quote, it’s about LOVING what you do.

By the way, they have three small children that require NO WORK, and are a JOY. Well, at least the second one 🙂