406.721.0785 spikers@spikercomm.com
We’re From Here, Not There.

We’re From Here, Not There.

We’re From Here, Not There.

The Facts
In last week’s e-mailer, we showed a film we produced titled: You’re From Montana? If you missed it, we shared factual and humorous insights on living and doing business in Montana. To be truthful, we left dozens of additional insights on the cutting room floor, as we wanted to keep the film to four minutes in length. But the viewers got a good idea of what it’s like to live and work from Montana. We have clients all over the country, Mexico, Caribbean and even a new client in Germany that we greatly enjoy working with. We are asked all the time, how do we do it, being from Montana? First of all, we are not Montana natives, everybody here came from someplace else, and the experience they learned in a big city or on a large national account was experience you can’t learn in school. We just choose to reside in Montana because we love Montana. And those who watched the film last week saw examples of activities and experiences we have whenever we want it and not just on a few days of vacation.

Spiker Insights
We’ve spent years building an agency filled with talented people who wanted the freedom to create anything. Not just ads and brochures, but to build brands that make a real difference. We shun the traditional model of how to market and advertise our clients’ products, especially upscale real estate. We’ve built an agency to reflect the way people today consume brands and content. We focus across all forms, channels and venues. We are an agency built for today’s modern marketer as everything has changed, have you?

We are an innovation-driven marketing agency that focuses on an idea-centric strategy and lives where digital, content and innovation collide to build world-class brands. It just so happens to be in Missoula, Montana, and we can’t imagine a better place to work and live.

I hope you will consider us a part of your next team project. Thanks.

Don’t Panic, It’s Just Hysteria.

Don’t Panic, It’s Just Hysteria.

Don’t Panic, It’s Just Hysteria.

The Facts
I’ve been quiet this year, just taking it all in from the pandemic doomsday forecasts of how marketing will be changing. It’s amazing to me how many in our industry are proclaiming that the coronavirus and resulting shut down will change everything in this country, and perhaps the world forever.

Spiker Insights
I beg to differ. The economy will recover and return to pre-crisis normal quickly. Humans do not fundamentally change quickly, and they want to return to their pre-crisis lives as soon as possible. Day-to-day life is returning in areas that opened earlier than more hard hit areas, it’s basic human nature that humans do not change that much over short periods of time. Fundamental change happens incrementally and any significant change takes significant time. There will be no “New Normal,” history says so when you look back at earlier pandemics, world wars, gas shortages, airplane crashes, recessions, depressions and other life-changing events. It is my position that people will joyfully return to their routines as soon as they can; a temporary pandemic cannot change human beings overnight. My recommendation is to think calmly and rationally to determine what exactly the pandemic will change for you and our industry and make a few adjustments if you feel they are necessary.

Great Storytelling Principles

Great Storytelling Principles

Great Storytelling Principles

The Facts
I spend a lot of time writing about storytelling. It’s my passion, and it’s a huge point of difference between Spiker Communications and our competition, just like between you and your competition. Everyone seems to understand that storytelling is important because we’re awash in videos that don’t say anything, that we can’t remember, and because these videos don’t tell us anything. There is no copy, just drone footage mostly these days that looks exactly like the last 15 videos I’ve seen.

Connecting with another person is one of the highest forms of social being for humans, and at its heart is great storytelling. So let’s quit this boring “I’ve got a drone too and I’m going to show you a bunch of roof tops and tops of trees that don’t look anything like your roof tops and tree tops.”

Spiker Insights
Effective storytelling involves a deep understanding of human emotions, motivations and psychology in order to truly move an audience. Luckily, storytelling is something we all do naturally, starting at a very young age. But there’s a big difference between average storytelling and great storytelling.

A few principles we use are:

  1. Great stories are targeted to your particular target audience. They are not for everybody. If you wish to target everybody, you will reach nobody.
  2. Great stories are simple and focused. As marketers we naturally want to include as much information as possible in our stories, but we can’t. We have three to four minutes to set the hook.
  3. Great stories are surprising and unexpected. Surprise our audience with our message so they think about us long after the film is over.
  4. Great stories appeal to our deepest emotions. Tell authentic stories that reach and move people where it counts.
The Future May Not Include Your Phone

The Future May Not Include Your Phone

The Future May Not Include Your Phone

The Facts
Smartphone supremacy is starting to wane. The devices aren’t going away anytime soon, but their grip on the consumer is weakening. Global sales slump, lack of new advancements, and the price of today’s new models make smartphones not look so smart anymore. Functions that were the exclusive domain of smartphones are now flying out of phones and onto other products with their own embedded smart connections like wristwatches, televisions that can now talk and listen, and then there is Alexa where voice-activated speakers smaller than a bread box can make more than dinner reservations for you.

Spiker Insights
We may need another word in the future for whatever the smartphone will become because when “smart” is everywhere that term becomes almost meaningless. Like the arc in the personal computer, smartphones now are more of a need in the modern world than a splurge. Manufacturers are now engaged in a race toward the bottom. Chinese and South Korean manufacturers are now making similar devices at lower prices, with newer features and advanced technology.

Consumers are pulling back amid the tech industry’s acknowledgment their products can be addictive, spur anxiety, distract drivers and even walkers on a sidewalk, and cast a ring of silence over restaurants and dinner tables. You’ve all witnessed it, four people at a table and no one is talking, they are all on their phones. Flip phone sales are again inching upward as more people now just want a basic phone. Americans on average spend two and a half hours daily on their smartphones. The need to have something with you is not going away. But in the future, we may be wearing it, a chip implanted in our skulls or glasses that will do everything and more than today’s smartphones can do.

Don’t Hate Old People

Don’t Hate Old People

Don’t Hate Old People

The Facts
We are undergoing the largest demographic change in human history and it is being completely ignored by the absurd large marketing and advertising agencies and brands.

Marketers obsessed with millennials and “Gen Z” are paying no attention at all to the startling demographic changes that are happening in society today. It is projected by the Census Bureau that by 2035, people over 65 years old will outnumber children. Most marketers think that old people use walkers and wheelchairs to get around with a nurse standing nearby. Things have changed. Bruce Springsteen is over 65. Samuel L. Jackson is over 65. Sting is over 65. Jane Seymour is over 65. See where I’m going with this?

Spiker Insights
It’s not just the depiction of mature people that’s so ludicrous, it’s the way marketers ignore them. People over 50 are responsible for over 50% of consumer spending in the U.S. If Americans over 50 were their own country, they’d be the third largest economy in the world. Bigger than German or Japan. But they are the preferred target of less than 10% of all marketing. It’s time to forget the volatility of youth, and bank on the stability of age.

Support A Cause

Support A Cause

Support A Cause

The Facts
We’ve reached a point where companies can no longer, and should no longer, stay silent about broad-reaching social issues. Employees are speaking up to hold their employers accountable to their own missions, and customers are loyal to brands they believe align with their personal values, such as Zappos, Patagonia and Nike.

Spiker Insights
It’s an exciting time for consumers and employees and is also the right time for brands to be thoughtful. Supporting causes as a brand is important. You have a platform and audience that can be used for the greater good. But beware, customers can sniff out inauthenticity – greenwashing. And you will turn them away from you as fast as you wanted them to embrace you.

Brands need to find a balance between having both a positive business and social impact while also remaining genuine to their company’s values and the causes they support. Brands can’t stay silent any longer, your customers and prospects won’t permit it, and we as marketers shouldn’t be afraid to try and affect change.

Let’s be the change.