At Energyhill, we are always looking for ways to expand our imaginations, learn something new, and innovate. Not only does this help us become better designers, marketers, and advertisers, it also helps us become better client partners. Recently, the design team at Energyhill participated in the international 36 Days of Type. Two graphic designers (Nina Sans and Rafa Goicoechea) from Barcelona first conceived the event. Nina’s last name is Sans… born for this! Their goal was to challenge themselves to create one new thing every day while still balancing their normal responsibilities. And of course, they had to post these new creations to social media. Through the help of their friends, 36 Days of Type became a global event. Now, multiple participants around the world take the type challenge every year. In 2017 Energyhill joined the fray.


What is the Type Challenge?

The type challenge is essentially a 36-day commitment to think outside the box. The goal is for designers to create a new letter or number every day. It can be as abstract or literal as the designer wants – the point is simply to imagine these familiar characters in novel ways.

Why did We Participate?

The creative team wanted to participate because it was an interesting side challenge. However, our designers discovered that a friendly environment of competition was quite productive and fun. Our team made friendly bets over morning coffee. Likewise, our creative team was very inspired by interacting with designers across the world.

What did We Learn?

Our designers learned quite a bit by participating in the type challenge. We learned about ourselves. Our internal processes are fairly structured. We also have a clean workflow with project management playing a role. This challenge was open ended. Working without guidelines or parameters was challenging, but also invigorating. The passion was real when we started combining organic and graphic elements. Even Ryan, our president, joined in and helped with the stop motion piece.

All of our design team’s entries can be found on our Instagram page. Also, we invite you to take a look and see what you think of our type challenge entries. We’d love to hear from you! Contact us today for information on how our creative team can go to work for you.

Vendors vs AgencyAgencies vs Vendors.

As you consider the next big thing for your organization, where do you turn for third party services? To a vendor or three that specialize in that thing you’re looking to do next – or to a full service agency that can help you reach the goal in front of you, in addition to preparing you for what lies ahead?

It all depends – on your resources, your plans, how integrated your efforts should be, and how far ahead you want to plan.

If your budget is small, and your goals are very focused – multiple vendors may be the way to go. On the other hand, if you need to launch a new product and need branding, advertising as well as social media buzz. A full service agency that can create an integrated approach to cover all your needs will suit you better, and will help you plan ahead to build on your initial success.

I’ve compiled a couple of lists to help you figure out which is the best choice for your business.

You may want to go with a team of vendors that specialize in unique areas if:

  • Your goals are isolated and distinct.
  • Your team has identified who will select and manage each vendor and relationship.
  • You have clearly defined criteria by which you can judge the vendors’ skills, qualifications and potential conflicts of interest.
  • If using multiple vendors to complete a project, you have identified a process for communication and coordination of effort.
  • You can quickly and easily coordinate an impromptu meeting with all parties in case there is a hot issue to discuss.
  • The project coordinator is trained with integrated communication to ensure each party’s work and effort is strategically aligned.

You may want to go with a full service agency if:

  • You want to decrease complexity, reduce the risk of misalignment across efforts, and streamline your vendor relationships.
  • Your project requires a well-integrated effort across media platforms as well as targeted audiences.
  • You want to work with just one group of people, who learn and know your brand inside and out.
  • You want to have a single point of contact as well as someone who will be responsive to you. In addition to being responsible for the overall coordination and success of your project.

Engaging a single full service agency can help ensure a well-integrated effort across all media platforms and markets. Having one agency relationship can streamline your workflow, timelines, as well as efficiency in addition to your sanity. You only need to train one group of people. Keep them involved with your business and challenge them to be forward-thinking and focused on your brand. Your single point of contact will be more focused on specific solutions that are best for your business. Your single point of contact also ensures the direction you provide will be applied uniformly throughout the “specialists” within your one agency.

Marketing and Sales Success

The politically correct thing to say is that each function in a company is just as critical to the overall goal as the next. But let’s get serious. When it comes down to dollars and cents, marketing and sales are the ones who play the starring role in determining the success (or failure) of your initiative. Because without them, who would develop your brand’s or product’s positioning, build sales tools, and ultimately sell your product?

A recent survey by Corporate Visions on marketing and sales effectiveness gave us some surprising insight into some of the challenges that marketing and sales people face in trying to accomplish their end of the deal.

  • 80% of marketing and sales professionals feel their lead generating campaigns are insufficient when it comes to helping them achieve selling success.
  • 65% of respondents said their sales teams use less than half of the demand generation content their marketing department produces.
  • 60% of companies believe less than half of salespeople are delivering new product messages the way they were intended.
  • They need the messages, tools and skills to build the buying vision that compels prospects to make a change from their status quo.
  • 50% of respondents said their differentiation strategy is to emphasize how the features and benefits of their products are superior to those of their competitors.

3 Ways to Set Your Marketing & Sales Teams Up for Success

After analyzing the results, I’m wondering if you feel like you’re really getting the most out of your marketing and sales teams? Here are 3 things you can do to set your marketing and sales teams up for success.

  1. Make sure your lead generating campaigns give buyers a compelling reason to take action.
  2. Here’s a crazy idea – tell your sales team to use the content your marketing team created. You’ll avoid mixed messages and keep the focus on getting the action you want from your customer. 
  3. Build strong alignment between your marketing and sales messaging and tools.
  4. Go beyond typical research to uncover unconsidered needs of your customers that competitors may have missed. That will surprise and delight your customers – and set your products and services apart as uniquely designed for them.

Your company’s processes have an enormous impact on your business. In this webinar we will walk you through 5 steps to powerful process design. With the right process design, you can streamline your operations, increase your productivity, and give a healthy boost to your bottom line.
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