As new digital tools continue to reshape the marketing industry, successful creative agencies are using their advertising and communications expertise to help their clients tackle complex business challenges.
And, in the case of Ottawa-based Alphabet, they’re also investing in top talent to stay ahead in a shifting market.
In 2015, the creative services agency hired seasoned marketing executive Regan Mathurin as its account director, capitalizing on her more than 15 years of experience at advertising agencies across Canada.
This year, the company took another step forward and promoted Mathurin to become the agency’s new CEO.
“We wanted someone with senior leadership, that has a focused approach on business, is ambitious and creative,” says Alphabet founder Tony Lyons. “Regan has had a positive impact on our mentorship and leadership. As a result, we’ve grown our revenue and our client base significantly.”
In addition to bolstering internal processes around client service and recruitment, Mathurin sharpened Alphabet’s focus on industries and sectors in which the agency specializes.
“We think more like a big company now,” says Mathurin. “We should never want to be everything to everybody. Instead, we want to define who we are, what areas of business we want to focus on and invest in people.”
What makes Alphabet unique is its approach to business. The agency uses the creative process as a method to address its clients’ desired business outcomes, specifically building marketing campaigns in which companies can make emotional connections with customers.
“It's that level of empathy and holistic thinking that help us build really strong long-term partnerships with our clients that drives their success and ours,” says Lyons.
Shifting to new marketing trends
The diverse associations sector is one industry in which Alphabet has honed its expertise. Association marketing is about more than serving members and increasingly encompasses the positioning of associations within their industry and creating strong brands. Alphabet® has worked with major national associations to help build highly resonant brand messaging that drives not only member and customer behaviour, but also connections to key government decision makers.
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is one of Alphabet’s clients. Alphabet took a 360-degree approach, creating a content marketing campaign driven by market research that included online success stories, video storytelling and social media engagement to raise awareness and drives sales leads for .CA domains.
“Alphabet helped us crystallize our message and react quickly to ever-changing market conditions,” says David Fowler, CIRA’s vice-president of marketing and communications. “We’ve seen increased sales as a result, which in a highly competitive market like domains is quite an accomplishment.”
Tourism marketing is another core sector for Alphabet that’s rapidly evolving. Alphabet partner Cathy Kirkpatrick says tourism marketing is no longer limited to attracting out-of-town visitors.
“Telling the authentic story about a place is important to locals as well,” says Kirkpatrick. “Tourism marketing is also about attracting a workforce.”
Need help with your marketing campaign? Visit Alphabet at https://www.alphabetcreative.com/.
How to make the most of your ad dollars
Many small and medium-sized businesses question how to position their brand on a limited budget. Lyons recommends using the following equation: Share of Voice + Share of Mind = Share of Market. He says the focus should be on strengthening the emotional message – the Share of Mind – in order to maximize your reach.
“You want a message that really resonates with your audience because you won’t be able to reach everyone,” says Lyons.