5 Strategies for Avoiding the Groundhog Day Effect

Groundhog Day
In the world of advertising, change is a constant. Budgets fluctuate, strategies adjust and target audiences constantly evolve. But through it all, some things do remain the same.

Like most businesses, we always have a deadline; always have lots of projects to balance and prioritize; always have clients to please. How each of my employees interacts with their clients, vendors and co-workers on a daily basis can change a mundane workweek into a fulfilling workweek. By taking the time to look at the work day and chiseling out some time or even adding in some activities can help stop the Groundhog Day effect or, as it’s commonly known, Same Shit Different Day (SSDD) syndrome.

Whether you’re in the corner office or a corner cubicle, here are a few suggestions for making each day, week and even month at the office feel like your first:

  1. Convey expertise – Carrying yourself in a manner where the people around you trust your judgment and respect your opinion provides you with new opportunities. Clients begin looking to you more for advice, rather than just taking an order. You will find fellow employees want to learn from you, rather than just listen to you. Gaining expert knowledge of just one piece of your job not only solidifies your position within the company, it also opens up new possibilities.
  2. Set personal goals – Triad’s employees have a passion and skill set for meeting deadlines and achieving the impossible for their clients day in and day out. By taking these abilities and applying them to your own goals, there’s a huge opportunity for personal growth. Whether it’s losing a few pounds, trying a new local restaurant each week or learning a new skill, you want a goal that’s all about YOU.
  3. Interact – You are with these people for at least 8 hours a day. Most Americans can’t say that about their own family. Find time or, better yet, take time to talk to your coworkers. Take time to meet your clients for lunch. Take time to ask your printer/media rep/courier how their day is or if they have plans for the big game. You don’t need to live in their shoes for a day, just learn a thing or two about the people you interact with. You never know what you might learn.
  4. Take a break – It’s so easy to work through lunch. Or skip it altogether. In our office, many of our employees go to the gym during lunch. More than once, meetings have been scheduled to accommodate a friendly pickup game of basketball. While it’s tempting to power through, taking a break, getting out of the office, clearing your head, paves the way for more positive, productive afternoons.
  5. Pay it forward – Most companies engage in some charitable giving. In our office that means creating an ad for a non-profit gratis, supporting a client’s charitable walk or providing matching donations to an employee’s favorite charity. Investing time, money or expertise not only gives a sense of what type of company you work for, but more importantly what type of a person you are.

At the end of the day, it’s all about how you approach things. It may be the SSDD, but it certainly doesn’t have to feel like it.

The 2014 Trimazing Race

Trimazing Hunt 2014 Clues

Our holiday party has a bit of a reputation.

Each year the Joe and Michele assemble something special to celebrate the holidays and year gone by. The last few years have featured a scavenger hunt of sorts throughout Greater Boston spurring (mostly) good-natured competition and plenty of surprises.

This year three randomly chosen teams represented each of the three Triad Advertising Companies (Triad, 5HD, and Red Ball Promotions). By outsourcing the scavenger hunt to Boston Cashunt, Joe and Michele got to join in the fun.

Triad Advertising Sweatshirts

Before we left the office, everyone got a warm fuzzy sweatshirt made by our own Red Ball Promotions.

Trimazing Hunt Clue #1

After a quick lunch, we all hopped in a trolley and headed to Target for a Supermarket Sweep-inspired race through the store.

Full shopping carts

Next stop was My Brother’s Keeper in Easton where we delivered the haul and got a quick tour of the distribution center. Several of our employees are making plans to volunteer in the year ahead.

My Brother's Keeper warehouse

Trolley ride to Boston

Back in the trolley, we headed in to Boston for our annual scavenger hunt….

Third Trimazing Clue

…and “the mysterious man in a black coat outside the Hard Rock Café.”

Ready for the scavenger hunt

Our three teams spent the next three hours roaming around Boston, searching for clues, taking crazy pictures, recording videos and having a great time.

The winning team – Team 5HD – poses with a golden Bruins fire hydrant:

Posing with golden fire hydrant

Team Triad shows some real teamwork…

Team Triad makes a pyramid

…and a willingness to do just about anything.

Team Red Ball stopping traffic…

Team Red Ball stopped in a crosswalk

…and “Living on a Prayer.” (As opposed to laughing on a prayer, as the bystanders were doing.)

At the end of the day, we were all a little colder, a whole lot sillier, and ready to kick back over dinner. We were all happy to celebrate the close of another great year with much more in store for 2015.


Cards For A Cause!

The holiday cards are here! We are honored to introduce our 2012 card collection, with proceeds supporting the Abby S. Zeitlan Memorial Scholarship Fund. They’re available starting today on the brand new Abby S. Zeitlan Memorial Scholarship website. Take a look around the site to learn more about Abby, the lives she touched, and the young women she continues to inspire through her memorial scholarship.

2012 marks the second year we designed a card in memory of Abby. We lost Abby on March 27th, 2011, though her legacy will always shine as brightly as the holidays.

Buy cards here.

On behalf of Abby’s family and friends, the scholarship committee, and everyone at Triad, we thank you for your generosity.

Got Content? Milk It!

Want to hear a secret? SEO is dead. Ditto social media, infographics, contests and surveys.

I hear you cheering. Hurrah! Best news since the arrival of the new iPhone. No more crafting the perfect title tag, blog post, meta description or Facebook post. No need to respond tactfully to cranky customers calling you out on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp or Foursquare. No more keywords, no more hooks, no more trolls’ dirty looks. Just time for real company stuff. Finally.

Not so fast. The truth is that these things are more important than ever. As part of an integrated, coordinated content strategy. The days of piecemeal content creation and siloed SEO are over. That is the lesson of SearchLove, a two day conference put together by Distilled and SEOMoz which we were fortunate enough to attend.

Not too long ago, Google rolled out two algorithmic updates: Panda and Penguin. Both updates served to penalize thin content, lousy linking strategies and generally shady practices that had grown in popularity. “Grey hat” practices that worked in the past, like buying links, using exact domain matches without relevant content, and faking social media personalities, suddenly got sites reduced in search engine rankings, and sometimes delisted altogether.

Hand wringing and cursing ensued across the web. What to do?

Well, how about what you should have done in the first place? Create great content. Share it with communities for whom it’s relevant. Be deliberate and strategic in your online efforts. Connect marketing efforts online and off. And did I mention, create great content?

Great content is more than a random blog post about you every so often. It’s more than plugging a bunch of keywords into a page title. And it’s way more than trading links and submitting to search directories. It’s a new way of thinking about the intersection of your content, your company and your business goals.

So, how do you get started on this new content journey? Here are a few quick tips:

  • Don’t forget the basics. Yes – you still need to do all the nitpicky, little things for SEO, such as create descriptive title tags, meta descriptions and use keywords in your content. These elements tell search engines what your site is about.  Traditional, stand-alone SEO might not be as effective as it used to be, but you ignore it at your peril.
  • Think about who you are targeting. You might not need to be number one on search engine ranking pages for the entire world unless you are a global brand. Think and focus on local.
  • Don’t jump on every new platform that comes along! Where are your current and potential customers? Facebook? Twitter? Yelp? What about industry specific platforms or LinkedIn? Make sure digital marketing efforts are aimed at those places.
  • Make sure your content answers these questions: What problem do my customers have? How am I uniquely suited to help fix it? The more you demonstrate empathy with your customers, the more likely they are to look to you to solve their issues.
  • Keeping existing customers is as important – if not more important – than refilling the funnel. Use digital and social to keep your existing customers happy and coming back for more.

Yup, online marketing is more important than ever. Getting results requires more care. No more phoning it in. No more pretend engagement. No more slacking. Sorry.

Triad Job Opening: Freelance Graphic Artist

Canton, MA – Triad Advertising is seeking a freelance graphic artist to work in its Canton office for the next 2-3 months, assisting its award-winning creative team with production and design.

Successful applicants must have:
*a working knowledge of QuarkXpress
*the ability to focus on and work through a steady stream of design and production projects
*a team-oriented attitude
*availability to work from the Canton office 4-5 days per week (hours are negotiable)

Previous agency experience is preferred. Hours and rate are negotiable based on availability and experience.

If interested, please send an email and link to your portfolio to Michele Debatis Killion – mdk@triadadvertising.com.

Triad is a Boston Business Journal top 25 advertising agency providing clients the abilities and expertise of a big agency with the personal service of a boutique shop. With capabilities ranging from strategy, creative, and media to video, digital, and social, Triad partners with leading healthcare, higher education, hospitality and professional services brands.