6 Signs it’s Time to Refresh Your Branding

Marketing Agencies In DenverYour branding — logo, color palette, fonts, etc. — helps you communicate who you are and what you’re about to your target audience. If you’re like most companies, you’ve put a lot of time and effort into pulling it all together. As one of the leading branding and marketing agencies in Denver, we advise our clients that once you’ve rolled it out, it’s important not to modify it too frequently, as you risk confusing your customers and prospects.

That said, even the most well-crafted branding eventually starts to show its age. Ultimately, you will need a brand refresh. And you’re not alone — even the most iconic brands have evolved over the years. But how will you know when it’s time to make a change? Here are some indicators that it would be wise to revisit your visual identity:

  1. It doesn’t stack up well against competitors. Your competitor’s new branding is getting rave reviews in your industry. Your decades old branding is starting to get chuckles. No question there… it’s time for a refresh.
  2. It’s gone rogue. When you find yourself at a point where your logo exists in every unauthorized color under the sun and nobody can remember whether titles are supposed to be in Arial or Calibri, it’s probably best to regroup.
  3. It says too much or not enough. Sometimes organizations try to cram too much information into their branding and end up with visual chaos. This is common with startups that feel they need to describe themselves to a target market that isn’t familiar with them. On the flipside, companies sometimes try to be hip by going minimalist and settle on a logo that’s so simple it’s meaningless. A brand refresh can help you find the perfect middle ground between the two.
  4. It’s acquired baggage. A very public lawsuit… a series of disastrous product launches… an epic social media fail that has angered the masses… If your company finds itself with a dark cloud hanging over it, revising your branding can signal the world that you’re looking to make a fresh start.
  5. It’s no longer accurate. In some cases, a brand is still aesthetically pleasing, but changes to your company (new markets, new products, new mission) make it obsolete. When your branding no longer represents who you are, it’s time to make a change.
  6. People don’t get it. When you created your branding, you were convinced its meaning was clear and unequivocal. Over time, you’ve come to realize that your customers and prospects really don’t understand it. It’s time for an update that ensures they do.

Branding Assistance from one of the Most Respected Marketing Agencies in Denver
If you’re starting to see the signs that your visual identity could use a shot in the arm, give us a call. From brand discovery and assessment to verbal and graphic identity development, we’re known as one of the most creative marketing agencies in Denver, and we can help you breathe new life into your branding.

Five Benefits of Working with a Certified Google Partner

Denver Marketing FirmsWhile Google isn’t the only online advertising game in town, it is by far the biggest. Understanding how to optimize your AdWords campaigns to maximize lead generation while minimizing spend can give you a tremendous competitive advantage over your competition. As a leader among Denver marketing firms, A-Train Marketing is a Certified Google Partner. What does that mean? It means we have demonstrated expert knowledge in a number of Google products and services, and have passed rigorous certification exams for those areas. That is what sets us apart from all the other Denver marketing firms out there today.

At least that’s what it means in terms of our relationship with Google. But what does it mean to you if you are working with A-Train or considering using our services? Quite a bit! Here are some of the many advantages of getting connected with a Certified Google Partner:

  • Certified Account Managers. In order to be a Certified Google Partner, you have to have staff that have demonstrated their ability to effectively manage AdWords campaigns using the latest best practices. This means that your online advertising is in the hands of someone who has spent significant time and effort learning how to optimize your campaigns rather than simply picking up some AdWords knowledge on the fly.
  • Using the full depth and breadth of AdWords features. AdWords is a system with huge number of features and settings that can be used to fine tune campaigns. Many people tasked with managing an AdWords account are just scratching the surface of those features, but as a Certified Google Partner, our marketing company in Denver has in-depth knowledge of how to use them to improve results.
  • Hotline to a Google representative. As a Certified Google Partner, our Denver Marketing firms has a Google representative we can reach at a moment’s notice to get answers to any questions we or our clients have. That access and the relationship we have with our contact at Google can pay major dividends for our clients.
  • Quality Assurance. Our certification isn’t the kind of thing you earn once and can then cling proudly to forever after. Google monitors our performance to make sure we’re providing our clients with the best possible guidance.
  • Access to beta features. Before releasing powerful new features to all AdWords customers, Google first “beta tests” new capabilities with partners like us. That means if you’re working with a Certified Google Partner and your competitor isn’t, you have some great opportunities to get ahead. Of course, the opposite is also true!

Denver Marketing Firms Giving You an AdWords Advantage
If online advertising plays a role in your marketing plan (and it definitely should!), you want to work with a marketing company in Denver that has the certified skills and expertise to help you get outstanding results. If you’re not, you may be paying more than you should for subpar performance. A-Train Marketing is a firm that can put its Google Partner status to work for you. Give us a call to learn more our comprehensive marketing offerings.

Are You Staying Ahead of the Digital Evolution?

Two years ago we released an article called Digital Download: A Guide To Online Marketing to go over what digital marketing is and how SEO, Paid Search & how various forms of online advertising are beneficial to your business. In the last two years, not only has online advertising become more complex, but it has become more vital to the success of your business and the avenues in which it can be utilized are nearly endless.

AnalyticsBut which direction is best for you?

A great piece of advice we like to give is that anyone can spend a lot of money on the wrong thing. This is never truer than in digital advertising. This is why we believe it is best for you to use a professional agency that knows what to track, what channel works best for your company, and has the experience needed to take your advertising campaign to success. We know that your industry isn’t just about leads and conversions and that is why it is important to work with a full-service agency that can match your goals in a fashion that is most cost-effective online for you.

Why Digital Advertising Works

Have you ever ran an advertising campaign that was a ‘set it and forget it’ model and got a general report but you weren’t able to make adjustments or respond to feedback? We know that is frustrating and that is why we believe that digital advertising is so effective.

Possibly the greatest differentiators in online advertising versus traditional mediums are the ability to segment endlessly, respond immediately to any shifts you see in audience interaction, and to see reactive qualitative data to your advertising campaign. These features provide incredible benefits when compared to traditional advertising mediums and allow you to reach the people you want in the way that is the most effective for your advertising dollars.

Our agency prides itself on the ability to have cohesive campaigns that are consistent across multiple advertising channels and convey the same message to the audience you want to reach. Digital advertising delivers your message in the most cost efficient manner and allows you to contextualize your messaging specifically to the audience you want to reach. Demographic advantages in digital advertising benefit you in your ability to be successful and measure what is the most successful for your time and money.

Funnel

What has Changed in the Past Two Years

We all know technology changes rapidly and that is true with online advertising as well. Attention spans have decreased and decision moments have become more immediate to the initial interaction with an advertisement. The root of this is the ability for consumers to contextualize their media experience and the ability for end users to consume media on a device at their convenience. The days of media consumption on your television or on the home desktop computer are long gone. Companies that continue to focus on advertising channels that are out-of-context will be left behind. According to Nielsen, we’ve learned a lot about how people interact with their devices and how they consume media.

For example, while watching TV & using a tablet:

  • 66% of users surfed the web
  • 44% of users shopped
  • 29% of users checked sports scores
  • 41% of users looked up info for a celebrity
  • 23% of users emailed or sent a text about what they were watching
  • 18% of users read comments about what they were watching online
  • 14% bought a product or service being advertised
  • 12% participated in a live vote or wrote a comment online
  • 17% watched a clip because of something they read on social media

While watching TV & using a mobile phone:

  • 49% of users surfed the web
  • 24% of users shopped
  • 27% of users checked sports scores
  • 29% of users looked up info for a celebrity
  • 29% of users emailed or sent a text about what they were watching
  • 12% of users read comments about what they were watching online
  • 7% bought a product or service being advertised
  • 9% participated in a live vote or wrote a comment online
  • 10% watched a clip because of something read on social media

*Nielsen Digital Consumer Report

As you can see, messaging across multiple consumption channels requires an expert agency assisting you to deliver consistent messaging in the right places at the right time.

How We’ve Grown

Over the past two years, we have grown as a company in various different manners. We’ve increased the amount of full-time staff and we’ve expanded our digital department to better service our clients who are shifting towards a greater online focus. Something we are really proud of is that we became a Google Partner in 2017. We have Google Adwords certified employees on staff and we have been recognized by Google in our ability to professionally manage online advertising campaigns using their platform.

Being a full-service agency is important to us because we want to be able to facilitate any request a client may have, but it is important to you because we want you to have the trust in working with us for all of your advertising needs.

Denver Marketing Firms

The CREATORS

The Creators

Let’s face it: whether working alone or with a team, the strains of daily work life require us all to channel the superhero within. At A-Train Marketing, we are proud to have assembled our amazing team of CREATORS with unique abilities that allow us to cohesively provide winning solutions for those that need us. Not only are we on a mission

TO RID THE WORLD OF BAD MARKETING

but we’re also here to bring the collective strength of our team to organizations that are ready to propel their success and reach a higher level.

MasterMind

He’s faster than a speeding A-Train – when it comes to figuring things out and getting them done, that is. MasterMind can balance more moving parts per minute than a quartz timepiece, all while remaining focused on solutions over tasks.

Ryan

Plumiera

A master persuader, she is testament to the fact that the pen is mightier than the sword. Plumiera uses the skill of thoughtful communication and inspiration to help anyone she meets move ideas into action.

Gretchen

Captain CSV

How can a business keep up when faced with too much information and too little time to sift through it all? Beyond that, what if there is nobody to make sure it all adds up? We all need the magician that makes sure all the ‘i’s are dotted and ‘t’s crossed.

Matt

FireWall

Acts not only defensively, he also writes the cleanest code possible in an effort to prevent evil doers from their wave of corruption. FireWall’s positively offensive capabilities also include preemptively shooting fire to stop attackers before they edge near his secret code.

Adam

Captain Kerning

When great design is compromised, the world suffers from unattractiveness, blandness, or worse – mediocrity. Captain Kerning stays on the battle lines of innovation and aesthetic to ensure useful, unobtrusive, honest design that maintains integrity and order in the ever-evolving marketing landscape.

Charlie

Mad Maximizer

Only one person understands the balance between relationships and results. The r2 principle (relationships + results = perfection) is what Mad Maximizer is always fighting for.

Madison

Haala H. Ipsum

Bringing words to life is an art, and nobody knows that more than Haala H. Ipsum. The grace of well-crafted speech is one thing, but the impact of the visual word can stop people in their tracks.

Heather

Social Sylphina

With her Brobdingnagian thumb to raise the ever-present 21st-century question, “to like or not to like,” Social Sylphina keeps the conversation going by encouraging what is new, fresh, and exciting in the ever-evolving dimension of social chatter.

SJ

Spectrum

While reveling in the ability to balance darkness and light, Spectrum absorbs negative energy and brings color into the world to magnify the beauty of life. By manipulating the energies of color fields, she commands the magic of her crystal prism to absorb ineffective designs and transform them into stellar works of marketing magic.

Heather

Boogie Boy

With an unparalleled ability to dance from task to task with the speed and power to stop time, Boogie Boy uses levity and critical thinking to find crucial solutions in the heat of the moment.

Austin

For more information about The CREATORS, along with our newest recruits, you can request a copy of our 2017 Valentine Edition by emailing us at, [email protected]

A-Train Grows with 2 New Hires

Nic and Brittany

2017 has already been an exciting year for A-Train Marketing Communications. The agency has added 2 new members to their team; Brittany LeBlanc and Nicholas Morse. Both of the new hires bring unique skill sets and value to the different functions of A-Train’s fully integrated marketing.

The first hiring was their Office Manager, Brittany LeBlanc. She brings valuable experience in project coordination and office administration from previous professional endeavors, allowing her to fit effortlessly into her role at A-Train. In her role as Office Manager, LeBlanc assists with day-to-day office administration, acts as the first point of contact for the organization, creates process-driven solutions, and assists with invoicing.

After hiring LeBlanc as the new Office Manager, A-Train welcomed Nicholas Morse as their Digital Media & Analytics Specialist. Morse provides a deeper level of knowledge and application regarding digital marketing, particularly in PPC & SEO, with nearly 10 years of experience in the digital world. The hire also meshes well with A-Train’s commitment to the Fort Collins community. Morse recently exemplified his own commitment to the community during his 2016 campaign to represent Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District. In his role at A-Train, he will provide digital advertising, advanced tracking, PPC & SEO optimization, and other digital services to help A-Train’s clients maximize value and return on investment.

Both of these additions will add immense value for A-Train Marketing’s clients.

With an Office Manager added to the team, we can continue to be organized with forward-moving progression. The addition of a Digital Media and Analytics Specialist will broaden the agency’s capabilities to meet client’s digital marketing needs and will allow for a more in-depth look at the performance of their digital campaigns. Overall, these acquisitions will enhance the client experience and increase the amount of ways A-Train can present client brands to their target markets.

Is It Time To Connect With A Leading Marketing Firm In Denver?

Marketing Firm in DenverMaybe you’ve never used the services of a marketing firm in Denver. Or maybe you’ve had a relationship with a Denver marketing firm but it didn’t meet your expectations. Either scenario can leave you with some uneasiness and unanswered questions. Will a marketing firm collaborate effectively with us? Will they truly get to know our company, our market, and our objectives? Can they help us implement an effective content marketing strategy?

Your hesitation is understandable. However, when you find the right marketing firm in Denver, you’ll discover that a strong relationship with an experienced, full-service agency can take your marketing efforts to a whole new level. When you connect with that team, here’s how your interactions with them will look:

  • Initial Introductions – It’s great to have an in-person gathering of your team and theirs. If that’s not possible, a conference call works just fine. It’s important that key players on your side connect with key contacts at the agency. Neither side wants the other to be a “black hole” where questions and comments just disappear.
  • Immersion – Next it’s critical that your Denver marketing firm learns as much as it can about your company. This includes your history, product and/or service offerings, market, and competitors. The more information you can provide, the better the agency will be able to represent you. This “getting to know you” process serves a second purpose of helping solidify your new business relationship.
  • Project planning – Once your agency has a good feel for your business, they will develop a project plan for helping you achieve your marketing objectives. Whether what you need is a single marketing piece or a comprehensive, multi-stage campaign, it’s important to have a defined strategy.
  • The Creative process – Once your project is underway, your marketing firm in Denver should provide you with one “point person” whose job, among other things, is to ensure that everyone is communicating effectively. This project manager will oversee the work of everyone involved — designers, programmers, writers, etc. It’s great to know who to call when you have a question.
  • Review and approval – While you will be providing feedback to the agency throughout the development process, you’ll also be asked to give the final OK when a piece or campaign is ready for launch. In a healthy client/agency relationship, you can put the brakes on things even at this point if you aren’t comfortable with the output. An experienced agency will be ready to respond to your feedback.
  • Execution – When you’re ready to release your marketing piece or launch your campaign, your Denver marketing firm will have all of the “ducks in a row.” You simply need to give the word. They will then help you monitor results and optimize the piece or the marketing plan as needed.

Trust Your Marketing to a Respected Denver Firm
If your lack of experience — or a bad experience — with an agency is keeping you from getting the marketing help you need, it may be time to take a second look. A-Train is a marketing firm in Denver with decades of experience and an outstanding reputation with current and former clients. Give us a call to learn more.

National Proofreading Day

Can you find all 24 mistakes?

Today is National Proofreading Day, AKA a grammer buff’s super bowl. Proofreading is so important regardless of the industy you workin. In the industry of marketing and advertising, diligent, proofreading can prevent errors that could end up costing your Agency big time. Impleminting a careful, efficient error-checking process is one of the most best things an agency could do too combat misteaks. At A-Train we have a through proofing system that re-choirs a minimum of two proofreaders to go over every peace of content we produce for our clients. As part of or process, we use a comprehensive proofing form that guides the proofreader through all of the diffrent criteria that they need to review. Our processes a low us to catch mistakes that could had slipped threw the cracks had we not diligently inspected the material four errors. Having clean, mistake-free material can shave your agency from losing money, damageing you’re reputation with the client, and wasting time… So dont forget to proofread your next document!

Proofreading

Correct Paragraph

Today is National Proofreading Day, AKA a grammar buff’s Super Bowl. Proofreading is so important regardless of the industry you work in. In the industry of marketing and advertising, diligent proofreading can prevent errors that could end up costing your agency big time. Implementing a careful, efficient error-checking process is one of the best things an agency could do to combat mistakes. At A-Train we have a thorough proofing system that requires a minimum of two proofreaders to go over every piece of content we produce for our clients. As part of our process, we use a comprehensive proofing form that guides the proofreader through all of the different criteria that they need to review. Our processes allow us to catch mistakes that could have slipped through the cracks had we not diligently inspected the material for errors. Having clean, mistake-free material can save your agency from losing money, damaging your reputation with the client, and wasting time… So don’t forget to proofread your next document!

Grow Your Business with Better Branding from Our Denver Marketing Agency

Denver Marketing AgencyIn business, strong, recognizable branding is more than just something that is “nice to have.” If you want to set yourself apart from your competition and be remembered by prospects, it is absolutely critical. At our Denver marketing agency, we help companies establish unique verbal and graphic identities that live on in people’s minds long after they’ve seen them, which gives these organizations a definite competitive advantage.

Whether you’re a leader in your market who is looking to refresh your brand or the newcomer trying to make a name for yourself, you need a color palette, logo, taglines, and other elements that stand out from the crowd. Consequently, when working with a Denver marketing agency to update or create your brand, you want to be sure that it is:

One-of-a-Kind
Of course, your brand needs to differentiate you from your competitors. But it should also set you apart from companies that aren’t even in your space. You don’t want your software company being confused with that accounting firm that has a very similar logo.

Memorable
By using eye-catching and aesthetically pleasing visuals that are relevant to your business and text that resonates with readers, you can ensure that they will remember your brand — in a good way. You definitely don’t want ugly or offensive branding that gets you noticed for the wrong reasons.

Uncomplicated
The human brain loves simplicity, so your branding should communicate who you are and what you are about as quickly and efficiently as possible. The goal is to say just enough that busy people understand you at a glance. The logo for our marketing agency in Denver is a good example.

Authentic
If you have defined your core values and your mission (and you should!), your branding should reflect those ideas. Having branding that tries to make you something you’re not will only confuse and/or irritate your prospects.

Universally understood
You might think it is acceptable or even preferred to have branding that only makes sense to others in your industry. However, if you go that route you may be missing out on connecting with people outside your market who could recommend you to other potential customers. The same is true as it relates to foreign audiences. If there’s any chance you will be doing business with overseas companies at some point, you should be sure to look at your branding from their perspective.

Flexible
Your branding will likely be used across many different marketing channels. While it should remain generally consistent everywhere it is used, the ability to flex just a bit to meet different design specs is helpful.

Not infringing on intellectual property rights
If you’ve done your job in coming up with branding that is truly unique, you have nothing to worry about here. But it’s important to be sure that your logo and other parts of your brand are legally yours and not too much like anyone else’s.

A-Train Marketing is a Denver marketing agency that excels in the development of effective brands. We specialize in brand discovery and assessment, verbal and graphic identity development, messaging and marketing strategy.

Benefits of a True “Start-to-Finish” Denver Marketing Firm

Denver Marketing FirmThere are many marketing firms in Denver, and each has its area or areas of expertise. Some produce great website designs. Others are strong in marketing collateral and copywriting. Many can help you achieve better SEO. But for the best results, you want to work with a Denver marketing firm that can take a marketing plan from start to finish rather than simply providing a few deliverables here, some strategy there, etc.

Comprehensive Marketing Assistance
“Start-to-finish”… “end-to-end”… “one-stop-shop”… whatever descriptor they use, a marketing firm will provide the best overall results if their approach is to work with you from project kickoff until the very last stat is gathered. This is true for a number of reasons:

  • In-depth knowledge of your offerings is critical. In order to produce impactful deliverables for you, a marketing agency needs to truly understand the products and services you provide, the market you serve, and your value proposition as compared to your competitors. That kind of knowledge is best developed in helping you in many areas of your marketing.
  • It’s more efficient and cost-effective to repurpose content. Creating content from scratch takes significantly more time and effort than taking material from one area (a website, for example) and reshaping it for use in another (like a white paper). Yes, Agency B can use content created by Agency A, but there’s still a learning curve. You get to a great finished product faster and for a lower cost when one firm has developed an intuitive feel for the material and simply massages ideas to fit different channels.
  • Trust takes time. When a Denver marketing firm wants to handle just one aspect of your marketing and says, “Trust us. We know how to get you great results on this project,” you may be a little reluctant to believe that. When an agency that has worked on many facets of your marketing strategy — and, indeed, has helped you meet your goals in other areas — makes the same claim, you have good reason to believe it.
  • You want a “big picture” perspective. In marketing, synergy between the many areas of your strategy is critical. A marketing firm in Denver that focuses on one aspect may produce a strong deliverable that, unfortunately, doesn’t mesh with other elements of your overall plan. On the other hand, an agency that provides start-to-finish assistance can ensure that each new piece capitalizes on the momentum created by those that preceded it.

Guiding Our Clients from Kick-off to Completion
At A-Train Marketing, we provide the full spectrum of marketing assistance:

  • Branding
  • Messaging
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Graphic Design
  • Public Relations
  • Web and Digital Media
  • Social Media
  • Advertising
  • Video

From the time we first meet with you until we celebrate the success of your latest campaign, we serve as your marketing strategist, collaborator, and partner. It’s no exaggeration to say that we are fully invested in your success. So if you’re looking for a Denver marketing firm, we encourage you to consider the value in working with a start-to-finish agency.

Working to Top the Long List of Advertising Agencies in Denver

Advertising Agencies In DenverThere are many ways to get your marketing message in front of your target audience. In fact, it seems like there’s a new technique being touted or a new platform being launched every time you turn around. If a novel approach proves to be effective, we quickly become fluent in it and begin incorporating it in the marketing plans we create for our clients. But when it comes to communicating your value proposition, there’s no arguing the effectiveness of tried-and-true paid advertising. As a company that’s been immersed in it for nearly two decades, we’re among the most experienced and respected advertising agencies in Denver.

Effective Advertising Across all Channels
It is rare today that a company can achieve success by advertising in just one medium. That’s why we’ve developed and we’ve maintained broad advertising expertise across all channels. From print (yes, print advertising can still be effective if properly executed) to digital, we have done, and will do, it all. That includes keeping up with the latest best practices in paid search and online display advertising.

Regardless of what medium you choose, we provide the full spectrum of services:

  • Ad creation and theming
  • Ad placement
  • Adwords-certified support
  • Landing page optimization
  • Traffic goals and conversions
  • Analytics reporting

When it comes to digital, our “inbound marketing” team is Google AdWords certified to maximize the effectiveness of your paid search engine listings, digital display ads, remarketing, and paid social media ads. We never lose sight of the twin goals of driving relevant traffic to your site while achieving the lowest possible cost-per-click.

And when visitors arrive at your site, they’re welcomed with strategically crafted messaging and a customized design optimized for producing conversions. Whether your campaign is focused on getting prospects to call, submit their contact information, or make a purchase, we know how to prompt that action. Our comprehensive services and extensive experience make us somewhat unique when it comes to advertising agencies in Denver.

It Starts with the Message
No ad — no matter how well placed — will perform if the message it’s conveying isn’t clear, concise, and compelling. If you don’t put time and effort into what you’re trying to say, you’re simply throwing money away. Our award-winning team of designers, writers, and strategists understand how the synergy between colors, images, and words can produce a persuasive and memorable message that moves a prospect to action. We like to say that our expertise is in getting people to stop (difficult in an ever-busier world), think, and act.

Are You Comparing Advertising Agencies in Denver?
If you’re looking for a Denver advertising agency that can help you ensure that your spend is effective, demographic-driven, and value-focused, we encourage you to take a look at our portfolio. We’ve helped generate impressive results for some outstanding companies. How can paid advertising help you reach your target market? Give us a call and let’s talk about your objectives.