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Category Archives for "Core Values"

Jun 05

What Keeps You Creative?

By Traci Hudson | Accountability , Brand Strategy , Core Values , Creative , Data Strategy , Family , Hustle , Programmatic , Programmatic 101 , Programmatic Managed , Search , Social Media , Starfish Core Value , Starfish Family

creative, graphic design, designer, artist, creativity

In a word? Coffee. But on a serious note, it is a challenge to be creative 24/7. However, it is one of the daily requirements, being a graphic designer. It is important to keep things fun while staying true to the requirements set forth by the client.

Personally, I take a lot of photos while I am off of work. I also travel quite a bit, so I like to use my personal photos in the ads that I create. I go walking on my lunch break and look for cool images that could be used for backgrounds. Sometimes a picture of something seemingly boring like a gravel path can be interesting when added to an ad.

Starfish is a digital agency, so I also use the social media platforms that we design ads for in my personal life. I like to be able to keep it fresh in my mind how the images will look on phones or tablets. Each platform has its pros and cons, and it is important to be aware of both.

Plus our work environment makes easier to come up with ideas. We have a fun group and joke around when brainstorming.  Our more “out there” ideas get written on our chalkboard walls. One step into our office and you would have a chuckle at our antics.

I also like to look over ads that others have created so I can get ideas, but also avoid accidentally copying artwork others have done in the past. I look at ads that I have created before but try to make them look refreshed, and new and exciting.

Those are just some ways that I can keep myself in a creative state of mind. It is very important in this industry, and each person is different, which is what makes our company so great. We all have different perspectives and techniques that come together to create amazing content for our clients.

Jun 05

What to Expect Partnering With Us

By Caroline Herman | Accountability , Brand Strategy , Core Values , Creative , Data Strategy , Family , Hustle , Programmatic , Programmatic 101 , Programmatic Managed , Search , Social Media , Starfish Core Value , Starfish Family

When trusting an agency to build up your brand and grow your business, you want to know what you are getting yourself into and who you are trusting your company with. There are a few things that you will get out of a partnership with Starfish…

A Full Digital Audit

Auditing your digital presence will allow us to identify areas of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Digital audits align with one of our core values (hustle) because we work hard to continually improve. We perform an initial audit as well as additional audits periodically throughout our partnership.

 

A Customized Strategic Digital Plan

Many ad agencies offer predetermined packages that cannot be customized to fit your specific needs. One of the reasons we perform a full digital audit prior to beginning our partnership is because it allows us to identify areas that best meet your needs. We also continue to perform audits so that we can revise the strategic plan as necessary. In other words, as your companies digital needs change, we can customize the strategic plan to meet your needs instead of continuing to offer the “same old, same old.”

 

Personalized Advertisement

This specific area sets us apart from other advertising agencies. Many programmatic advertisers and Social Media marketers offer packages that only include generic advertisements they can use with any company. Our creative team produces personalized advertisements in which the images and content are tailored to appeal to your specific audience. Personalized ads are important for increasing brand identity in your market which aligns with one of our core values: family. We strive to produce content which will invite people into your brand’s family.

 

A Partner Invested in Your Success

We are more than an ad agency. We form partnerships because we understand that building a digital presence requires open communication and consistent effort from both partners. It also aligns with one of our core values: accountability. Partners hold each other accountable for their contributions to the partnership because those contributions make an impact on results.

 

We are invested in your success. Every ad, every post, every strategy, etc. is formulated from analyzing the data from your individual accounts. We are investing time and expertise in improving those results. It’s important to fully understand that we are making a long-term investment into your success. Just as social changes do not happen overnight, neither does a digital performance. 

Feb 14

Understanding Digital

By Abel Sanchez | Accountability , Core Values , Creative , Family , Hustle , Programmatic , Search , Social Media

Starfish Ad Agency Programmatic ads Longview Tyler Dallas Shreveport Digital Unplugged Marketing

Understanding Digital vs Just Pitching the Product

A lot of agencies and media companies typically teach their sales people how to simply pitch the product instead of actually teaching them to understand the fundamentals of the product. Their mentality is just “give me the bullet points and I’ll make the sale”. But the thing about digital is that it’s a living, breathing organism. There are a lot of moving parts. It moves, it feels, it touches, and you can do so much with digital and to use it to its fullest potential, you have to understand human nature. That is who you’re really trying to capture. It’s about understanding how all of the different platforms connect, and how they’re able to deliver a relevant ad to the right consumer at the right time, and more importantly on a mobile platform.

People use their mobile devices more than anything else. If you have an iPhone, newer iOS tells you all about your screen time. Think about other people. When you go to a restaurant, when you’re at a red light, when you’re at the store, think about what the people around you are doing. They’re almost all on their phones consuming media.
So understanding the difference between pitching digital and actually understanding how digital connects us all is what separates us from the masses. I don’t want any of my staff to only know how to pitch a product; they need to understand how it all functions. 3 main things I need them to know about digital platforms is that regardless of what we don’t like or agree with, we cannot run our digital campaigns based on our interests. We have to let the market and audience decide. I also always tell them to never stop learning. Always push yourself to learn more and new things every single day. And lastly, digital audiences are not numbers. We may look at them as such, but they are real humans too, and that is important to remember so that we can be mindful about the creative we push out.

Our core values are family, accountability, and hustle. Those tie into understanding digital because in order for us to be fully aware of the best possible ways to utilize this technology, we first have to be accountable for ourselves, and we have to understand the value in family so that we can make relevant creative content. We want to surround ourselves with the right minded people so that we can hustle harder and produce the right results every time.

What are the 3 main things you want your staff to know about digital so they can better understand how to use it?
Regardless of what we don’t use or like we cannot run digital campaigns based on our interest, let the market/audience decide.
Never Stop Learning
Digital audiences or data are not numbers, they are people

How do your core values tie into understanding digital?

How do you ensure your staff is up to date on the latest in digital?
Training

Feb 07

The Journey to Starfish

By Abel Sanchez | Accountability , Core Values , Family , Hustle , Programmatic , Starfish Core Value , Starfish Family

Starfish Ad Agency Programmatic ads Longview Tyler Dallas Shreveport Digital Unplugged Marketing

When I first started in the marketing industry, I took a job as a media sales rep, selling cable TV. I fell into it by accident. I was looking for a job and I saw an ad that said “Make $1800 a month in 6 months guaranteed in sales”. I ended up liking it and making some pretty good money. The boss that I had was a really nice lady, but the problem was that she wouldn’t allow me to grow the business. She wanted me to do things her way. But her way was “old” and cheap. After 8 months, I started losing accounts because of her methods. I gave her an ultimatum because for 3 months back to back I made less than $100 a month and I had a family. So I told her I need to be able to grow this business the way I want to and without her interference, or I walk away. I had already gotten some recognition for the company so my leaving would have been a red flag towards the company. So she left me alone, and after 4 more months I gained that business back. Ever since then I enjoyed what I was doing. I was able to turn that market into one of the most profitable markets in the company that I was working for. I was the #1 account executive in the company. I had gotten recognition 6 years in a row, as part of the President’s club, which was reserved only for top reps in the company.
Growing up, I was fucking poor. I grew up with my grandparents. They were migrants. They would travel to Wyoming to work in the sugar fields. The fields were about 2 miles long. That work is how I would get my school clothes and when I was 13 I said “fuck this shit, this is not for me” and that is one reason why I have the work ethic and discipline that I have. This shit is not hard labor. It is time consuming, and it takes away time from my family, but I love it and I wouldn’t ever do anything else. I think that is one of the reasons why I have never complained about the work that I have to put into this. I would always tell other AE’s when they would ask how I do it “I don’t fucking complain, I just get the work done”.
About 8 years ago, I decided to dive deeper into digital. I knew where the industry was headed, and I knew the company I was working for and how they were teaching us to pitch digital, but not giving us the fundamentals to understand it. There was no training other than teaching us the right answers to clients’ questions. I didn’t want to know a sales pitch; I wanted to be able to truly explain the process. I got a lot of resistance for my IAB training from the executives who were in charge of the digital products we sold because even they didn’t understand it and they felt threatened. I wasn’t trying to make anyone uncomfortable. I was really just trying to be a better salesperson. After a while I realized I knew more about it than they did. Here’s the crazy thing about digital; it changes so rapidly that if you don’t constantly educate yourself, you’ll get left behind. I was the only account executive in the company I was working for that was certified. I even hosted my own training, on my own time, to train other employees for free. Some of them were scared of it because they couldn’t comprehend it. It was difficult for them to understand it because in a way they had, in a matter of days, untaught themselves what they had been taught for so many years about digital. What I didn’t realize was that in doing that training I was setting myself up to move to a different stage in the company. But unfortunately, people don’t leave companies. They leave bad bosses. And that led me to look for a company that would embrace my knowledge. Which led me to East Texas.
Moving here was actually one of the best decisions I’ve made. While I have been here, one of the things I picked up very quickly was that, like back home, they didn’t understand digital. They didn’t understand the information they were selling. They just wanted to make a quick sale. But I soon realized, that with the knowledge and experience I had, I could build a company on my own.
I started this company with my partner in February of 2017. We both left six-figure jobs. Has it been difficult? Fuck yeah it’s been difficult. One of the craziest parts of owning an agency is that it’s lonely as fuck. But it’s one of the reasons why all of my experience in the past 18 years in media and marketing, the ups, the downs, have given me the clarity to create the core values I want to instill in my company: family, accountability, and hustle. One of the most important parts about Starfish is that I’m not here to sell this company. I am here to build a legacy. I want to be the number 1 programmatic ad agency. And knowing that the future of programmatic is shifting, and traditional dollars are moving towards digital, being able to harness a programmatic platform and utilize our capabilities to access and use private marketplaces is extremely powerful, not just for our business but for our clients’ business. “Believe in your fucking self” is on a sign hanging above my desk. I look at it every day and remember the journey that I have been on to get to where I am at today. And it also reminds me that the journey isn’t over.
Starfish is growing. Just like any company, we have our ups and downs, and anything that goes wrong is clearly my fault and when we have wins, its everybody’s win. Because without my staff I would not be where I am at. Most people don’t trust other people when they hire them especially in a small business because they feel that they will learn the secrets and go off and start a business on their own. Personally, more power to them. I’m not afraid of it. There’s a clean difference between someone having an idea and someone having the balls to execute it. Everyone has ideas but you have to put in the fucking work to make it happen.

Sincerely,
-Abel motherfuckin’ Sanchez.