There are all sorts of crazy marketing myths swirling around that might make you question advertising’s effectiveness.

And we have to admit: You can’t believe everything you see on TV or hear on the radio (or read online for that matter).

Pretty ironic coming from a full-service advertising agency, right?

But that shouldn’t keep you from advertising on TV, radio, or anywhere else. So, let’s shine a light on those lies that are hurting your company’s bottom line.

Myth 1

Video Production Is Just Too Darn Expensive

There was a time where we would’ve agreed. Today… well, not so much — and no, it’s not because of AI!

It really comes down to working with a full-service advertising agency (like Stealth Creative).

Here’s why.

We edit, film, and produce commercials in-house whenever possible because this cuts out the middleperson 95% of the time — and that can cut costs in a big way without sacrificing quality at all.

Plus, it turns out your business really can’t afford not to have some sort of video presence for lots of reasons.

83% prefer to get information from watching a video instead of reading
Shoppers are nearly 2X more likely to purchase after watching an online demo
Videos on social media generate 1200% more shares than text and images combined.

“Some of our most memorable spots were also some of our most creative not only in terms on concepting, but working within our clients’ budget.”
-Jeff Schaeffer, Senior Video Producer

Myth 2

Media Buys Cost An Arm and Two Legs

Not so fast.

The truth is, some media buys cost more than others.

For example, in traditional media like television, there exists a finite number of commercial breaks. A limited number of spots to fit a specific amount of time. So yes: it tends to be a bit pricier. There’s no escaping that harsh reality — it’s the (not so) free market in action.

Conversely, digital media buys can cost just pennies per thousands of views! And radio buys can actually be more affordable than you think.

However, budget-sensitive marketing heads realize they need a media strategy if they want a real shot at success. So, what do they do to make the cost more bearable? They try doing it themselves.

That's a bold move, Cotton

We appreciate that “can do” attitude… we just want to caution you.

Media agencies can save clients up to 35%

35% in savings is an absolutely huge number! It could mean literally thousands of dollars — or more! That’s the same as being able to broadcast your commercial or message more often.

By working with Stealth Creative’s media buying team, you can:


Identify your real target audience


Pinpoint where they’re most likely to watch, listen or read


Benefit from the hard-nosed negotiating skills of your buyers


Experience a more collaborative approach between media placement and the spots produced

“The effectiveness of the message can be more important than the out-of-pocket cost alone. Ineffective impressions reaching your audience (even if they cost next to nothing) are not valuable. Agencies have the strategic experience and tools to develop these solutions to recommend the optimal Media Mix and tactical solutions to deliver against your goals.”

-Lisa Smith, Media Director

Myth 3

Proofreading is Overrated

What do an erroneous letter and missing zeros have in common?

They’ve all led to losses in the millions of dollars.

That’s right. Millions.

Take for instance a Yellow Pages ad (remember those?) from 1988. Banner Travel Agency wanted to promote their exotic travel packages. Someone at Pacific Bell swapped the “x” for an “r” and changed the message completely.

Proofing Cost: $10 million

Then there’s the fiasco involving Alitalia Airlines in 2006. They wanted to promote flights to Cyprus for $3,900. What they actually promoted was flights for $39. Who could pass that deal up? Answer: no one, which led to a nosedive in profitability.

Proofing Cost: $7 million

So, yes. Details matter quite a bit. And when you hire an agency, every piece of work gets read by multiple people before you lay eyes on it — proof that proofreading is worth it.

“Few things can sour your audience’s perception faster than an obvious typo. It makes them question your company’s professionalism.”

-Jeff Ryals, Creative Director

Myth 4

Your Business Should Be On Every Social Media Platform Ever

We won’t dispute the effectiveness of social media. That’s why Stealth Creative has a team of social media specialists!

Sure, your business could create a {insert newest social media platform here} profile. But do you really need to?

Let’s think about it, shall we?



The more platforms you’re on, the more:

• Content you need to create
• Posts you need to schedule
• Comments you’ll need to monitor



Creating a profile implies you’re going to be active and engaged. If you’re not up to the challenge, your image will potentially look unprofessional.



A lawn service company should focus their efforts on Nextdoor instead of LinkedIn.

“Now more than ever, it’s important to be where your audience is. Social media is a very saturated place, so you want to make sure you stand out against the competition with content that your target market will resonate with. The more focused you are on the profiles you’re utilizing, the higher the likely quality of the content. Don’t spread yourself too thin – especially if your effort is being used on a platform your audience doesn’t frequent!”

-Kirsten Hackett, Social Media Director

Myth 5

My Company is Too Small to Hire an Agency

This is the myth we want to banish more than any other.

Why? Because in business, as in life, it’s not where you start but where you finish.

Let’s face it: Most companies aren’t an overnight success. They spend months, maybe years, building an audience and carving out a niche, slow but steady.

Then, whether through a website redesign that emphasizes user experience, a breakthrough idea for a commercial or one savvy media strategy, they captured the market’s attention — and odds are an advertising agency helped somehow.

“Smart, strategic marketing can be the great equalizer — and it’s not reserved for household brands. If you’re hungry for growth, it can only help to get input from people whose career is helping businesses become more successful.”
-Dan O’Saben, Owner

It’s a Fact: We’re Ready to Market YOUR Company

And Stealth’s advertising case studies prove that we can make a difference for clients.

Brian Reinhardt

Brian Reinhardt

Brian Reinhardt is a Senior Copywriter at Stealth Creative whose first unpublished story was penned at the age of eight. Yes, it involved hoverboards, lasers and robots. His days are filled with researching, content creation and SEO strategy. His nights are spent with family, reading and managing too many fantasy sports teams. Nine is his favorite number.

What The Next Wave of Investors Wants From Their of Financial Advisor

Money. Youth. Room for growth.

HENRYs (High Earners, Not Rich Yet) have all the traits financial advisors drool over except one: A willingness to have their investments managed by a professional.

How do we know? Research shows that while 25% of US households are HENRYs, only 30% of this group has a financial advisor.


  • Because they shun the “old-fashioned” way of investing.
  • Because their earnings go towards living expenses instead of going into building wealth.
  • Because they lack financial literacy, even though they’re highly educated.

HENRY’s skepticism can be difficult to overcome, but their wealth building potential is more than worth it.

At Stealth, we’ve helped financial advisors all over the country make headway with this type of highly-coveted client.

This is what we’ve learned about making HENRYs more receptive to your services.

They Want Validation

What do pensions, 7%+ APY savings accounts and CDs with ROI better than inflation have in common?

They’re financial tools older generations enjoyed that are no longer available to HENRYs. For them, their reservations about so-called “traditional” investments are well deserved when they think about retiring or their big picture financial future.

Here’s how to climb their mountain of misgivings: Embrace it.

Make empathy part of your mission statement or value proposition. State definitively you are on their side, ready to help them overcome runaway inflation and the rising cost of just about everything so they can live their best life.

Your validation can go a long way in getting on their side.

They Want To Do Good

For some investors, ROI trumps everything—even if it means investing in… less than wholesome companies.

That’s not the case with HENRYs. In fact, all things being equal, they’d prefer to put their money toward societal good.


of millennials are interested in socially responsible investing


of Gen X-ers believe investment funds should consider sustainability factors


of Gen-Zers believe companies should address social and environmental issues

Announcing your support of investing in companies with high ESG scores or authentic brands committed to doing good globally can add some soul to your professional persona.

They Want Real Time Connections

When there’s a real market happening (e.g. circuit breakers in March 2020) or an event that might happen (e.g. news of a potential rate hike), people storm the internet in droves to communicate.

You should be there, joining the conversation.



Now, we know your content might need to be approved and that posting unfiltered, heat-of-the-moment commentary might be taken the wrong way.

What you should do is have pre-approved comments, statements or facts to use in reply to ongoing threads or conversations to help build your online persona.

You can also film something in advance and invite viewers or followers to call your office to schedule a 1:1 investing session.

The key here is to make interactions as two-sided, conversational and immediate as often as you can. Case in point: more than 50% of respondents to a recent Financial Planning survey said they would prefer to be texted reminders, as opposed to 35% who prefer to be emailed!

What should you be saying to HENRYs as part of your overall content strategy? Contact us and we can help.

And if you’re dreaming of being… somewhere other than in your next video meeting… why not express your inner summertime longings with a more colorful background?!

Introducing: The Stealth Summer Virtual Background Collection

Featuring original photography and design by our talented Art Director, Bri!

Stealth Summer Background with flowers
Stealth Summer Background with a field with horses grazing grass.
Stealth Summer Background with a road with mountains behind it.
Stealth Summer Background with a pier and ocean waves.

It’s just Stealth Creative’s way of wishing you a safe, fun—and hopefully productive—summer!

Spring Has Officially Sprung

And since your calendar is probably still packed with video meetings, we thought we’d share a seasonal gift that’s sure to freshen up your next virtual soirée…

Introducing: The Stealth Creative Spring Virtual Background Collection

Featuring original designs by one of our talented Art Directors, Brittany.
(And yep, that’s real water color!)

Gradient Stealth Virtual Background by Brittany
Floral Stealth Virtual Background by Brittany
Sun and Cloud Stealth Virtual Background by Brittany
Green Pattern Stealth Virtual Background by Brittany

There has been a change in staffing patterns in reaction to the economic recession due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but today’s labor market feels much more complicated than it did during the last recession back in 2008. Then, employers were in the driver’s seat and companies across all industries implemented hiring freezes of historic proportions. In 2008, the economy slowly bounced back, but company management always seemed to have the upper hand and dictated future career moves.

Though record corporate tax breaks were awarded to companies in recent years, employers have not been eager to share those same savings with employees in the form of wage growth. Instead, many large companies used these tax breaks to bolster future capital project investments.

Then came the Covid-19 pandemic, and many workers took on more responsibility as companies cautiously became leaner. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a record 4.3M Americans quit their jobs in August—an unprecedented level since that data started being tracked in 2000. That’s a 20% increase in voluntary resignations compared to August 2019 and a 40% increase in voluntary resignations from August 2020’s figures.

Job descriptions are changing to balance attracting new employees with remaining efficient as a company. For many prospective employees, title and annual pay are no longer as important as having remote work flexibility, good health benefits, and more vacation days. And the today’s recruiting funnel will continue to become even more automated with numerous recruiting platforms available for small and large businesses.

Companies want to remain top of mind for potential new employee prospects and are using monthly paid search and display campaigns to target ideal candidates online. Employee retention rates are a moving target, and the managers of advertising budgets are hopeful this is a short-term problem. Additionally, with more people open to the idea of working remotely there is more overall competition for jobs than before. A post Covid-19 business environment has fewer in-person geographic constraints which requires more company processes to deliver a consistent customer experience.

One of the best ways for a company to improve employee retention is to change internal perceptions through strategic messaging and well thought out communications to employees. Industry leaders are starting to improve the quality and cadence of their internal communications which also naturally positions employees to be brand ambassadors for future opportunities.

Whether you are a single location or multi-location business, the hiring and onboarding process can look very different by regional office. Standardizing this process through consistent email templates and video is a quick way to improve employee’s perceptions of the company. Video continues to be the preferred medium for boosting internal brand perceptions.

A consistent employee onboarding experience is crucial for the future of remote work. Gone are the days of a new hire settling into a new office environment through 30 days of job shadowing. Most managers want new employees trained and ready to hit the ground running ASAP.

Stealth Intrinsic brings direct marketing experience to the Human Resources space through video, digital recruiting, and web development services. Contact us today to get started.

One huge advantage of digital marketing is that real-time data is available to show you how effectively your campaign is engaging your audience. Another advantage is that you can use that data to make informed decisions about ways to increase that engagement, even mid-campaign.

That’s why it’s important to work with a marketing partner who believes in the power of data and has the experience and discipline to read and respond to the story it tells.

At Stealth Creative, we’re devoted to data. We think being able to identify key metrics, dig into the numbers and communicate results in clear language is table stakes. What we do with those results to fine-tune tactics, placement and frequency is the real difference-maker.

To the person with only a hammer, all problems look like nails.

Because our digital clients represent a wide array of industries, we use an assortment of digital tools and platforms to drive the results they desire. Whether it be ecommerce, ticket sales, form fills or email opens, we never lose sight of our goal to deliver a strong return on investment for our clients.

We may design a programmatic digital display campaign to reach a custom audience, create and optimize an ecommerce search campaign, drive form fills, create segmented content for an email campaign and improve a customer’s Google review ratings—all to ensure our clients’ marketing dollars are being spent efficiently.

Here are some examples:

Shopping cart with cursor click icon

Ecommerce FTW

A recent ecommerce search campaign for one of our national health and beauty clients produced a return on ad spend of 33:1. Not only did we track spend and correlate it with product sales, through access to their ecommerce and Google Analytics, we also were able to identify the users who made purchases from the campaign, which products they purchased, the dollars spent and other identifying characteristics. With this information, the client was able to send personalized messages to folks who made purchases for similar products or routine maintenance.

five star review icon

Reach for the Stars

We all know how important online reviews have become for companies. Some of our clients have asked us to help them develop a strategy to engage with customers so they will leave reviews or contact the company directly if they are not satisfied with the product. By working with one of our clients in the insurance industry, we identified customers who had recent contact with the company and created a personalized email asking them to leave a 5-star review. This approach resulted in a significant increase in the ratings for our clients.

social media network icons

Getting Social

A well-planned and developed social media campaign helped one of our entertainment clients set a record attendance at their event. More than $56,000 in ticket sales resulted from a spend of $3,600.

eyeball icon

Making a Stronger Impression

Our media buying, from traditional to digital, is handled in house, resulting in greater efficiency for our clients. We took the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau’s digital media buying in house and reduced their cpm by 40 percent, which allowed us to buy an additional 1.2 million impressions. For more details, check out this case study.

News that Just Clicks

Madison Mutual Insurance Company wanted to increase the opens and clicks on their policyholder newsletter. Our solution was to segment the newsletter by geography and policyholder type. The result was an increase of 36 percent in opens and 250 percent increase in clicks. For more details, read the full story.

Want to know more?

Spend some time with our other case studies or drop me an email at

About the Author

Charlie Kolsky is a digital and analytics specialist who’s dedicated to delivering results for our clients. He’s also a pretty mean pickleball player.

Maybe your company has its external, customer-facing communication dialed in to a T.

You’re seeing results. Sales are up.

That’s great! But have you been putting the same effort into your internal messaging?

It’s okay to admit if you haven’t. The customer comes first, right? Right. But…

While maintaining relationships with customers and winning new ones may be your primary objectives, keeping your people engaged and informed should be just as much of a priority. Strong internal communication not only helps maintain the health of your company, it also helps protect the bottom line.

And it’s not as simple as repurposing your existing customer communications or firing off a few company-wide emails. You’ve got to be strategic and consistent from the ground-up.

In other words, you have to be in touch with the intrinsic values of your organization.

Invest in ‘The Employee Experience’

Work environments and employee priorities are evolving at a quicker pace than ever before, so it’s never been more important to make sure your HR and workforce teams are on the same page.

The journey your employees take during their time at your company and the various factors that affect their satisfaction, productivity and longevity—that’s the employee experience.

Benefits, compensation, work-life balance, work environment and company culture all shape this experience, but a good internal communication strategy should be the common thread that unites all of these elements. Because:

    1. A good employee experience fosters loyalty. You want to retain and grow the employees you have. Not only because turnover inherently costs more, but also because experienced employees can become powerful ambassadors for your brand.

    2. A good employee experience means you’ll be attractive to prospective employees. There is a lot of fierce competition for good candidates; you have to put your best foot forward wherever you can.

    3. A good employee experience is defined by and maintained through solid internal communication. People work better when they know what’s going on and believe in what they’re doing.

If you take nothing else away from this post, at least take this: IT’S NOT A GIVEN THAT YOUR EMPLOYEES ARE FIRM BELIEVERS IN YOUR BRAND.

If the goal of internal marketing is to wind up with fulfilled employees who are nothing short of walking brand ambassadors (it is), they must have a firm grasp on your company, processes and offerings. Effective internal communication gives your team an opportunity to be more active in the company, from onboarding to further training and company education.

Turning Inward

No matter how big or small your business, it’s easy to focus so intently on external or product messaging you’re putting out into the world that you lose sight of what’s going on right under your nose.

And even though it may seem overwhelming, getting your internal game aligned doesn’t have to be a mammoth task. Just remember:

Customer-facing and internal-facing materials should go hand-in-hand. In many cases, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Your existing marketing materials are often a good starting place for employee education. This product explainer video we created for Friendship Village employees is a perfect example of creative that’s adaptable for internal and external use.

Internal marketing strategy is just as important as external strategy. Just as you would define goals for your marketing and/or sales teams, you should develop a roadmap for your internal processes at all levels, too. What does success look like? How can your leadership and HR teams help to lift up other departments?

Tactful Tactics

From digital onboarding programs, to training videos, to business accountability tools, there are plenty of ways to maintain the health of your organization on all levels.

Icon of a video with play button

Live-action or Animated Video

Icon of megaphone

Display, Search and Geo-targeted Ads

Icon of paperwork

Recruitment Collateral

Icon of online portal

Branded Digital Onboarding Portals

Icon of briefcase

Professional Development Training

Icon of graph pointing upwards

Business Accountability Tools & Partnership

Consider your audience. What methods are going to be the most memorable—even fun—for them to engage with? What processes need to be improved? What are some hurdles management keeps running into?

The right combination of tactics depends on the nature of your company. Whether you’re in need of recruitment help or professional development training depends on your current needs or goals.

Let’s Get Intrinsic

You may know your people well, but it often takes an outside perspective to help you reach them effectively.

We created STEALTH INTRINSIC to bridge the gap between external and internal communication, giving you the tools to INVIGORATE your current employees, ATTRACT future candidates and help you BUILD a base of enthusiastic brand ambassadors from the inside out.

Check out some of our success stories and learn more about the benefits of Stealth Intrinsic.

The way you talk to your employees can be the difference between success and failure.

It’s time to start getting everybody on the same page!

As the US literally blossoms back to life around us, leisure travel is quickly picking up steam. With each passing day, more and more people are planning road trips, weekend getaways, even full-on vacations. In fact, 56% of Americans expect to travel for leisure this year.*

Considering the year we just had, that’s huge.

And if you’re a member of a Convention and Visitors Bureau hoping to attract visitors to your community, Stealth has one simple message for you:

Start advertising. Now!

This is a fresh opportunity for your community to shine as an attractive destination. An opportunity to be top-of-mind as tourists reemerge. The easiest, most effective way to do this is through digital advertising (which happens to be one of our strengths).

Travel on Their Minds: The State of The States

In a previous blog, Heads in Beds: The Stealth Way, we outlined the general, day-to-day challenges convention and visitors bureaus face. That was, of course, before a global pandemic rocked the tourism industry worldwide. Since then, many CVBs have had to be creative about what attractions they promoted amid shutdowns (if promoting anything at all).

But as 2021 roars back to life, there are undeniable factors driving the resurgence of domestic tourism…

  1. Americans are so ready to travel. Many people have been stuck at home for a year. Families are ready to get the kids out and engaged with the world again. Consumer confidence is steadily rising, as more and more folks are getting protected by the vaccine.** The American road trip is alive and well!
  2. Americans have spending money. Financially, American households stayed relatively strong during the pandemic.† Thanks to stimulus packages, historically low borrowing rates and the propensity for Americans to pay down debt and start saving during times of social distancing, CVBs now have a critical opportunity to cash in as spending increases once again.
  3. Americans still want to support local. While Stealth can help you get in front of audiences across the nation, it’s important to keep in mind that some of your community’s best opportunities for support may not need to come from hundreds of miles away. While local businesses were undoubtedly hit hard in 2020, over 82 percent of consumers say they’d spend more to support state and local businesses after the pandemic.†† This sentiment is great news for your small boutiques and quaint brunch spots. Let’s remind the folks nearby

Be Where the People are Looking with Stealth Digital

So, it’s clear that the world is opening back up, and that you should be advertising to take advantage of it. (Like, yesterday!)

Now is the time to spotlight what’s special about your community—whether it’s indoor or outdoor-based! Get some traffic back through your museums, shops, restaurants and parks.

In addition to the full range of traditional advertising tactics we offer, Stealth will work with you to reach a larger audience with tactics like paid search, social media, content marketing and reviews when the user shows interest in travel.

If your community has an attractive mix of activities or destinations to offer—and you’re able to get in front of would-be visitors while in the planning stage—you’ll be in their consideration set for sure.

It’s time to get the word out. Let us help!

Visit Joplin Website

Joplin CVB Campaign Results

Reduce CPM by 40% - 1.2 Mil Additional Impressions - 1,400 More Clicks

Not Just Your Vendor. Your Partner.

Whether you are a smaller community CVB with a team of five or less, or a big town with a fully functioning marketing department, Stealth Digital will integrate with you seamlessly to help you define and achieve your marketing goals.

  • We pride ourselves on our ability to be an extension of your existing marketing team, not a replacement.

  • We have experience working with local CVBs. We’re familiar with your pain points. We know how to address your concerns.

  • We are motivated to help America’s communities get back to business and we can help yours reach a larger, more optimized audience than ever.

Don’t miss out. Because NOW is the time


Stealth just received some exciting news to cap off 2020: We’re an IC100 winner!

So, what exactly is the IC100, and why should you care?

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) 2020 Inner City 100 (IC100) award recognizes the 100 fastest-growing firms in under-resourced communities across America. The winners were picked based on revenue growth and job creation during the four-year period from 2015 to 2019.

Stealth ranked 64th out of 100, based on our four-year revenue growth rate of 113.26% and job creation of 9. Not too shabby!

This year’s IC100 list had the highest number of women-owned/led companies (which includes Stealth, as a certified Women Business Enterprise). It’s an increase of eight companies from 2019 and 17 since 2015.

And here's why you should care: shared optimism.

As a veteran entrepreneur myself, the stories I heard from some of the other selected firms were the most inspiring I’ve heard in a long time. These leaders have overcome many challenges, brought revolutionary ideas to the forefront of industry, and are proving every day that great things are happening in this country!

“IC100 companies are forces of economic opportunity, optimism and transformation in their communities, and it’s an honor to recognize Stealth Creative’s leadership,” said ICIC CEO Steve Grossman. “Especially during this incredibly challenging time, as small business owners reckon with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, these pioneering entrepreneurs have demonstrated a deep commitment to and passion for their local communities.”

Countless companies and business owners have had to pivot, re-think, transition and find creative ways to thrive in the ever-changing landscape of our modern world.

We’re so proud to be included on the IC100 list. It is incredibly rewarding to be recognized alongside leaders from so many industries across the country, particularly during this really challenging year.

Even as the majority of the Stealth team have been diligently working from their home offices this year, our sense of togetherness and our focus on continuing the positive trends of the past few years is stronger than ever.

As your marketing and advertising force, you can bet that we’ll continue to embrace every challenge that comes our way.

Take a minute to read more inspiring entrepreneurial stories from the list of IC100 recipients here.

The Future Has Never Looked Brighter!
Mindy Jeffries — President and CEO, Stealth Creative

Like most small businesses in the US, Stealth is adjusting to the new normal of social distancing. We’re working from home, taking guitar lessons on zoom and going to church on YouTube. We are finding it’s harder to decline a virtual happy hour. What can the excuse be? I am too busy. That doesn’t seem to work in times like these!

How We're Helping

As a company, we are helping our clients in different ways, depending on the category. We are reducing media for some and increasing for others. Some clients, we’re advising to keep a “heartbeat” of media going, so they can jump in faster once we are on the other side.

We are also looking at short term digital solutions and moving dollars between mediums. Social media is a good alternative! People are engaging more with family and friends and turning to social media for entertainment and news. Social allows us to stay light on our feet as messaging changes daily, sometimes hourly.

To help businesses in this time of need, we are offering a free 60-minute consultation to give you ideas and action plans for your business! Please email to sign up.

At Stealth, we are thankful for the internet! Right now, we are all one step from being Little House on the Prairie. We plan to take this one day at a time, but now with everyone being able to work remotely, we can take it one month at a time, which is comforting.

Take a Breather

Take a Breather

If you have anxious moments, designate 15-30 minutes each day to write down what you are worried about then cross off everything you can’t control. This exercise can be a great way to refocus on your day and enjoy time with family.

Remember the six basic emotions we all have:

  1. Mad
  2. Sad
  3. Scared
  4. Peace
  5. Joy
  6. Power

Let’s focus on Peace, Joy, Power.

Working Remotely

If you can work from home during these challenging times, remember it’s a luxury that some can’t enjoy. Embrace the back to basics shift!

We aren’t experts yet, but with a few weeks under our belts, we’ve decided to compile some tips from our employees about how they are making their home offices a productive workplace.

Here are our tips so far:


Thank You!

We are sending gratitude, love, prayers and support to the essential workers who have been working around the clock to fight COVID-19.

Life is good; you are a blessing! THANK YOU to all the businesses that made the difficult decision to work from home while we fight this virus as a country. You are making a difference.

For me, it truly is the happiest time of the year! Why? I am in the midst of Stealth Creative’s planning cycle for 2020! Wow! New year, new decade, new moleskine! New clients with new needs! Our tried-and-true clients are looking for new ideas! The new year is invigorating. And oh, yes… I love the holidays, and how they give me energy to launch into the new year with vigor!


These days, a lot of emphasis is placed on leveraging digital and social media marketing. And while we agree those two disciplines should be part of every company’s marketing mix, there’s one discipline that tends to get overlooked and left behind in today’s tech-focused world: Direct mail.

You read that right. Direct mail.

It’s not your father’s marketing. In fact, using direct mail in an age when everyone’s focused only on digital, can actually give your company a leg up.

Here are six reasons to consider adding direct mail to your marketing mix:

1) 90% of Millennials think direct mail advertising is reliable.

Millennials typically prefer a low-tech marketing approach, and direct mail fits the bill. In fact:

  • 84% of Millennials take time to look through their mail.
  • 64% would rather scan for useful info in the mail than email.
  • 57% have made purchases based on direct mail offers.

2) Personalization makes a difference.

We like hearing and reading our names. There’s something about it that draws us in, and immediately makes the interaction feel more personal.

The same thing holds true with direct mail. Adding a person’s name and using full color in direct mail can increase response rates by 135%!

3) Use a cross-platform approach for better results.

Each of us learn differently, as we just shared in a recent blog post – some are visual learners, others auditory and still others tactile (or kinesthetic) learners.

Why is this important?

It means it’s crucial for your marketing mix to take that into account – and promote on various channels and different types of media to ‘hit’ your audience where they live, and reach them in the way they learn/absorb information.

One way to do this is to combine direct mail (visual and tactile) with digital ads (could be visual, auditory or tactile), which according to the DMA yields a 28% higher conversion rate.

And, according to Merkle, marketing campaigns that used direct mail and at least one form of digital marketing media experienced a 118% lift in response rate compared to using direct mail alone.

4) 18.4% of former customers respond to direct mail.

Interestingly, direct mail is a great way to reconnect with former clients. It helps you stay top of mind, which means when they have a need for your product or service again, they’ll think of you first.

5) Would you like that supersized?

In this case – unlike for fast food – the answer is: Yes! Oversized envelopes, postcards and letters attract 6.6%, 5.7% and 4.3% of household responses, respectively.

Because they’re a larger size than the standard direct mail dimensions, these pieces stand out among the crowd, er…mail. And standing out is the first step to getting noticed – and to getting your recipient to actually read the direct mail piece.

6) Direct mail impacts product trials and website visits.

Nearly 40% of customers try a product or service for the first time because of direct mail advertising, and more than 60% of direct mail advertising recipients were influenced to visit a promoted website with the heaviest influence being on first-time shoppers.

While direct mail may not be the be-all/end-all, it is a key part of any marketing mix. It prompts action. And it drives conversions.

If you’re ready to talk about how direct mail could help your business with your marketing efforts, reach out today. We’d be thrilled to help you determine the best marketing mix strategy for your business objectives.

As always stay tuned until the next time we go Off the Radar.

Did you know that we all learn a little differently? That’s why it’s important to vary your marketing media to ensure all types of learners (and we’re all learners) can understand and process the message.

While we often hear marketers talk about understanding the demographics and generation of their target audience, discussing the various ways people learn isn’t always top of mind.

But it should be.

After all, if you’re sharing your marketing message, and promoting your company’s products and services in a way that doesn’t connect with your audience, it’ll fall on deaf ears.

The Three Learning Styles

There are three different ways people absorb and process information – and typically, we each have various aspects of the three with one that’s dominant:

1) Auditory - 34% of people are auditory learners, which means they:

  • Retain information through hearing, listening and speaking.
  • Often prefer to be told how to do things, summarizing the main points out loud to help with memorization.
  • Notice different aspects of speaking.
  • Often have talents in music, and may concentrate better with soft music playing in the background.
  • Enjoy conversations and podcasts.

2) Visual – 29% of people are visual learners, which means they:

  • Use visual objects, such as graphs, charts, pictures and seeing information.
  • Can read body language well, and have a good perception of aesthetics.
  • Are able to memorize and recall information easily.
  • Tend to remember things that are written down.
  • Learn better by watching.

3) Tactile (kinesthetic) – 37% of people are tactile or kinesthetic learners, which means they:

  • Like to use the hands-on approach to learn new material.
  • Are generally good in math and science.
  • Would rather demonstrate how to do something vs. verbally explaining it.
  • Usually prefers group work more than the other learning styles.
  • Need to physically manipulate something, such as a pen – or be doing something physical while learning (e.g., standing, walking, chewing gum).

To better understand, you may wish to take this self-test to see which type of learner you are.

Putting This Knowledge to Work for Your Marketing Efforts

Once you’ve identified your business and marketing objectives and have your marketing strategy in place, it’s time to define the tactics that will best help you accomplish those goals.

As you start plotting the plan, keep in mind the three different types of learners, and how the various tactics account for each:

Learning Styles Chart

Understanding that your target audience absorbs information in different ways help you better create tactics that will resonate and sink in – ultimately enhancing the outcome and actions taken from the marketing message.

Interested in learning more about how you can enhance your marketing strategy with various tactics that appeal to all types of learners? Reach out today.

As always stay tuned until the next time we go Off the Radar.

That is the question… Ah, meetings – often, a necessary evil. And when handled properly, they can be extremely effective in accomplishing business objectives, moving projects forward and opening lines of communication.

So you’ve decided an ad agency could help you. Now what? Where do you turn to begin your search? What type of agency do you need? How do you know if it’s a good fit?

When I was on the client side of the business, it crossed my mind a few times to hire an agency. The thought was just as quickly extinguished because it was frightening! I immediately thought: Too expensive! More people to manage! Interviewing time and hassle! If only I’d had someone back then to help me realize it doesn’t have to be any of those things!

So let’s walk through these steps one by one to understand how you can easily hire an ad agency that’s the right partner for you and your company.

Building the Case

A long time ago in a faraway land, I was a beginning marketing person. I had no staff and was responsible for a pretty big marketing budget. The first thing I wanted to do was hire more help, but even more important was ensuring diversity of thinking within the marketing team.

My product was telecommunications, and my target market didn’t want it. We needed to perform some foundational work and reposition the product in the customer’s mind. And it would’ve been great to enlist the help of an agency for that heavy lift.

Many times the first battle when thinking about hiring an ad agency can be within your own company. Leadership asks: Why do you need an ad agency? How much will this cost? Why can’t you handle the marketing yourself?

Here’s my checklist to build your case for hiring an ad agency.

1) Review and understand which marketing tactics you use.

Copywriting, design, coding, events, digital media, PR, direct marketing and traditional tactics, SEM/SEO, video, website, email, social media, oh my! There are so many tactics today, and each tactic requires specific expertise and perhaps tactical software to manage.

One marketing person cannot possibly have expertise in all these things, as many of the tools in marketing require different skill sets. And even if you find an amazingly talented person, there is still is a limit on how much one person can do effectively. You may have team members with expertise in the majority of these disciplines, but chances are there’s a resource gap or two that an agency can help fill.

2) Save time.

Most business owners are busy running their business and at best have lean marketing staffs. By hiring an ad agency, you get the tools and experience of experts in specific disciplines without needing to hire, train and pay benefits to a new staff member. It’s generally more cost-effective than building your own in-house agency.

3) Consider your budget.

Understanding your current marketing spend, revenue and overall budget is a good place to start when deciding how much you have to spend on agency services. Keep in mind the revenue numbers might vary depending on if you are marketing to businesses or consumers. Remember, even a little help can be a huge benefit to your marketing resources.

4) Diversity of thinking.

Marketing is not black and white, and it really helps to have a few different brains coming together to offer different ideas for projects, tactics, creative and more. Hearing different perspectives can also help you get inside your customer’s viewpoints, which is crucial for your marketing efforts.

5) Measurement

When you hire the right ad agency, it’s pretty easy to measure success when the correct KPIs are put into place. It’s critical to have that discussion up front to ensure your agency partner understands your business goals and objectives to work with you to develop a strategy that can accomplish those goals.

6) Do more with less.

By hiring an agency who is truly a partner to help you with your marketing tactics, you can do more marketing without needing to hire more staff! You’ll have more arms and legs to help who also serve as an extension of your team.

7) Learning happens.

As you work together more and more, the ad agency learns your business, which enables a good agency to expose you to new ideas and constantly share the learning.

Picking the Perfect Partner

Chemistry is key.

Like all relationships, chemistry is probably the first criteria to focus on. Meet with the ad agency team to understand their personalities, and if they’ll mesh with you and your team.

Make sure you meet and like the head of your account as well as your day-to-day account manager. Some marketers are so wowed by the ad agency; they become intimidated by them, which does not make for a good working relationship. You and your agency should be in a true partnership.

It’s important for there to be good respect both ways. After all, you’re hiring them for their expertise and experience in specific marketing disciplines. Put that expertise to good use! Likewise, they’ll learn from you and your business to make the partnership the perfect combination.

Budget is definitely a factor.

Cost is important at the end of the day. Fewer agencies today use hourly rates and instead charge by the project itself – often with a monthly retainer in place to help you balance out your expenses. But after a discovery session with the agency, it’s wise to talk about your budget. Ideally, you, as the client, should assign the budget amount, and then the agency should divide that budget into a tactical plan. Because agencies work with multiple clients, they can often use negotiation with vendors to get better pricing for all.

The bottom line.

You and your agency of choice should ask: How can we best achieve my goals on this budget?

Final thoughts.

Working with an ad agency should be fun and energizing. It should be based on two-way trust and help you achieve much more than you and your team could do internally with current resources and expertise.

It should be a relationship that improves as you each get to know one another, and it should be mutually beneficial.

Coming up next, we’ll talk about how to work effectively with your ad agency! There are certainly tricks to that trade.

As always, feel free to reach out to talk more about working with an agency or to set up your own discovery session

Understanding your target audience – and more importantly, what they’re looking for from your company is an important first step in any marketing efforts you undertake. Often, people think conducting research entails hundreds of thousands of dollars and months of effort. In reality, research doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming.

While there’s definitely a time and place for extensive research – and we have several clients who have asked us to do just that – every company can take advantage of custom research. With the combination of improvements in technology and research panels, it doesn’t take a significant investment to perform your research and answer your questions.

Case Study

Let’s take a look at just one example where research made a huge difference:

The Challenge

Several years back we were working with a mid-sized manufacturer that had established a very successful product in the RV industry, and they saw a similar opportunity in the boating and marine industry. After a few years of showing their products at the major shows, they struggled with distribution – even after getting positive reviews for product quality.

The Solution

We created a small, targeted mail survey to provide definitive answers that steered the manufacturer back on track. The target audience was significantly influenced by company brands that had served their industry for years.

Rather than investing in building their brand in a new sector, our client discovered they would fare better by partnering with an established name in the industry and becoming their OEM. By pursuing this strategy, the client achieved a ten-fold increase in revenues – something that wouldn’t have been possible with the targeted, cost-effective research we performed.

While we can’t guarantee that a $3,500 mail survey will yield the same results for every company, we take strides to find not only the best research design for your needs but also the best approach to fit your budget.

Research Offers Insights to Focus Your Efforts

We know how tempting it is to want to dive right into tactics to ‘get things rolling’ once you finally have the time and resources to devote to your marketing. But, doing that without solid research and a data-focused strategy developed first is akin to building a house without a foundation – it may hold for a bit, but eventually it will crumble to the ground.

Whether conducting research with something as simple as a mailed (or emailed) survey, or expanding it to include one-on-one telephone interviews or focus groups, the information gleaned from this foundational work will not only unearth unknown insights, but also reinforce certain assumptions about your target audience and their interests you’d already made – both of which are key in developing your marketing strategy.

Once you have that information in hand, then forming a marketing strategy using that data allows you to craft an approach that will support your business objectives and marketing goals, while driving sales by focusing efforts to resonate with your target audience.

This necessary foundation work then enables you to develop tactics that align with what your target audience wants – whether that be with your traditional marketing efforts, such as email, digital, website development, videos, etc., or when developing a social media marketing strategy and accompanying campaigns and editorial calendars. It all starts with understanding your business – and your target audience.

Ready to dive into research that can make a difference for your company? Stealth Insights, our research team, is ready to chat with you today. Just give us a call at 314.480.3606 or shoot us an email, and we’ll put together a research plan that works with your business objectives and budget.

And as always, stay tuned for more tips from Stealth Creative next time we go Off the Radar.

Our leadership team at Stealth often shares thoughts, ideas, encouragement and more with our entire team as a way to keep us focused on ways we can always do our best for our clients. This is one such missive from our Executive Creative Director Dan O’Saben. We thought it worthwhile to share with you, as marketers and business leaders, as not only a reminder that we’re always striving to do better for you – and be the difference – but also as something to keep this in mind as you develop your marketing campaigns and encourage your staff. (Client details genericized to protect the innocent. )

"Am I making a difference?"

I was talking to Pat Nagel (one of our video editors) today about one of his client projects, and we were discussing how much of an impact we can have if we keep moving them toward better work and smarter thinking.

And I think the gist of our conversation should be shared with everyone: Are we making a difference on behalf of our clients? That’s really an important question we should be asking when we think about the work we are creating for them every day.

Another way to express this question is: Am I making the work better? Is it becoming more than it was a month ago, six months ago or a year ago?

Small Changes Matter

And don’t always discount small changes. They can add up to big, cumulative things.

Here’s an example of a client we work with, where lots of little changes have added up to a big difference within a single year:

Digital Marketing

  • One year ago: No focus
  • Today: Significant focus, which has led to more site traffic, more social traffic and more sales – both online and in-store

Creative/Campaign Approach

  • One year ago:
    • Baby Boomer spokesperson appealed to an increasingly aging demographic
    • Product-only images/video didn’t provide a lot of context
    • No consistent digital presence
  • Today:
    • Younger, more relevant brand advocates who resonate with the younger Gen X, Millennials and Gen Z target audiences
    • Modern product images in relatable situations and settings designed to appeal to the target audience
    • A combination of consistent social media and digital advertising engaging with consumers in the environments they frequent


  • One year ago:
    • Decreasing sales
    • Non-engaged audience on social
    • Low website visits
  • Today:
    • Stabilizing and growing store sales
    • More engaged and loyal social media audiences
    • Increased website visits and online sales

No matter which way the winds blow, no one can take away the fact that we have grown that client. And that growth was built on all of the decisions made along the way. 

We have made a difference.

The work is better.

Is there room for improvement?

Well, of course there is! But that brings me back to my point: Are we continuing to look for ways to make the work better? Even if the client says “no” nine out of 10 times, are we continuing to look for ways to push them to be better? Are we continuing to look for ways to push ourselves both individually and as a group to be better?

Here’s another related question: Am I getting better? Am I growing?

I would contend that if you are making a difference and making the work better, then you as an individual – we as a company – are growing.

We as a company are getting better.

What is the opposite of making a difference, of making the work and ourselves better?

Stagnation. Followed by decay.

The Bottom Line

You all make a difference in our client businesses, every single one of you.

BUT – we have to continue to push to be better at what we do, and to be that difference for our clients.

This is not always easy, but keep pushing.

Sometimes the victories will be small, almost imperceptible. Sometimes they will feel like giant seismic shifts.

But we have to continue to grow.

Challenge yourself to get better.

Challenge the people around you to be better.

Be the difference.

Want to talk about how we can be the difference for your marketing efforts? Drop us a line, and let’s start the conversation.

And as always, stay tuned for more tips from Stealth Creative next time we go Off the Radar.

Garett-PatStealth has always encouraged ongoing learning – in any form – for our staff members. And two members of our Joplin, MO, office take this to heart with their participation in Leadership Joplin, a program to identify, cultivate and motivate future community leaders.

Pat Nagel, Videographer, was part of the 2015 class, has served on the Steering Committee since 2016, and co-chair of this year’s program, while Garett Jeffries, Managing Director, is a member of the 2019 class.

“It’s a great way to get to know Joplin and how the city works,” said Garett. “The program helps you get in touch with other business leaders to understand what’s going on in the community and how we can help give back.”

“It goes beyond networking to really give you great awareness of the community and the resources available,” said Pat. “You gain a better understanding of what’s here – and the ways you can better help and get involved.”

The Program’s Purpose

Leadership Joplin is in its 36th year with more than 925 graduates. This informative and thought-provoking program of 12 sessions introduces an average of 30 participants per program year to the community and exposes them to its challenges. The program provides a strategic curriculum to enhance participants’ leadership skills, and creates a dialogue for discussion on relevant topics and assessment of case studies, ultimately supporting the Chamber’s strategic initiatives and goals.

“During my time as a participant, Leadership Joplin helped me better understand my community and the ways I can fit in and give back to the business community at large,” said Pat. “The most insightful aspect of the program was taking the Color Code personality test. It not only helped me better understand myself, but also taught me how to assess my coworkers’, peers’ and clients’ color codes to better understand how to work and interact with them.”

In fact, Pat was getting so much out of the program that halfway through it, he expressed interest to the coordinator about serving on the steering committee. When an opening became available shortly thereafter, they offered the spot to Pat.

“Having lived in this area my whole life and working in TV news, I’d had exposure to this, but the program offers an even better understanding of how things work,” said Pat. “It exposes you to all of these other professionals in the Joplin area, and I thoroughly enjoy helping to see them grow in the program just like I did.”

Garett recounted similar insights regarding his time so far in the 2019 program. “It’s helped me understand the professional makeup of the Joplin area, including people and businesses in healthcare, media, HR fulfillment, architecture, engineering and more. I now understand which businesses are growing and what the industry will look like moving forward,” he said. “I’ve also taken time for a lot of self-reflection with the Color Code personality exercise. It’s really helped me understand my motives and drives in a way I didn’t realize before. I’m a Blue, focused on intimacy, service and connections, which is why I often react with such emotion when speaking with people. Now I know why and can view things more objectively.”

The Leadership Experience

governor_postThe program meets every two weeks for a day-long session, and members are also asked to attend other community-related functions, such as First Friday Coffees, business networking events the Chamber hosts at a different local business each month, Business After Hours, a more causal networking event, Good Morning Joplin a quarterly, more formal meeting with a speaker, or any board meeting for a city program.

In addition to the standard class experience, the group also takes longer excursions. For example, Garett and Pat recently had the chance to take a trip to Jefferson City, MO, to visit the Jefferson City Correctional Center, a maximum-security prison, where they toured the license-plate facility, which is where all of the license plates in Missouri are made. They also toured the furniture, sewing and uniform divisions. They spoke to people imprisoned for murder, rape and other such crimes, who now help mentor other prisoners to help them channel their anger into positive activities and to become better people.

Following the prison visit, the crew shared dinner with their state legislators. The following day they toured the capitol building and Supreme Court, and sat in on house and senate sessions, and even met with the governor himself, who posted about the encounter on Facebook.

Another event included Law-Enforcement Day, where the class met with the Sheriff’s Department, Joplin Fire Department, SWAT, FBI and the K9 unit.

“We were able to see one of their dogs in action, seeking out drugs, as well as climb inside the fire truck, witness the throwing of a flash bang, and gain a better understanding of the most common drug problems in the area, how to recognize people using drugs and how law enforcement plans their raids,” said Garett. “While children often have the benefit of a fire-truck tour and discussion with law enforcement during grade school, it’s definitely a truly unique experience as an adult.”

The Program

Both Pat and Garett see immense value in the program, and how it demonstrates and showcases the true sense of community in Joplin.

“When you’ve never lived in a town that is so community-centric, it’s hard to understand that until you see it in action,” said Garett. “Leadership Joplin provides access to understanding the overall purpose or end goal for our community, which is truly empowering.”

Learn more about Leadership Joplin or Leadership St. Louis | FOCUS, or check with your local Chamber of Commerce to see if they have a similar program for your emerging leaders.

As always stay tuned until the next time we go Off the Radar.

Have you ever showed up to a party and immediately felt out of place? We’ve all been there, and no matter how much you try to talk the talk and walk the walk, you stick out like a sore thumb, and leave early.

The internet can be the same way! If you don’t pay close attention, it can quickly feel like you’ve stumbled into an evening party where everyone is in sweats, but you showed up in a black tie or ball gown.

The only difference is the always-on, ever-changing nature of the internet means these trends, symbols and languages change much faster than any other community.

But here’s the good news: You can fit in, and click with your target audience online. Check out our tips to be the life of the party.

Find Your Community

If you want to capture a younger demographic, and turn them into lifelong customers, you need to determine where they’re hanging out. And chances are they probably have a community online.

We get it. It’s tough to learn and be active on more platforms, but here’s the secret no one tells you: Once you find your customers online, you can narrow your focus. If you haven’t found that magical place yet, keep experimenting, keep scrolling, keep trying new things, and keep exploring.

In the process, we promise you’ll gather invaluable information about your audience and the internet itself. The more you experiment, the more confidence you gain online, and the more your fans will be drawn to your presence.

And guess what? Hanging out online is fun! If you find yourself never knowing what to say or post, it probably isn’t the right platform for you. So try a different one; the options are endless.

Don’t Be Afraid

Finding your online community means learning new apps! If you’re frustrated or lost on an app, do some more research (or give us a call 😉 ). If you want your marketing strategies to stick, you need to devote time every day to immerse yourself in the social and digital worlds.

You might spend a few extra minutes (or hours) figuring out how to put up an Instagram story, but once you learn, that tech knowledge will transfer to other digital spaces as well.

Don’t be intimidated by social apps with lots of features; mistakes can be deleted and reuploaded, and almost every social post can be edited. If you stay true to yourself and your brand, your audience will know instantly you’re being genuine, and support your efforts to share knowledge or make connections.

Here’s a quick cheat sheet for the primary platforms:

  • LinkedIn – More formal, great for thought leadership and building B2B relationships.
  • Facebook – Less formal, good for both B2B and B2C awareness, algorithms make it difficult to be seen organically (e.g., without paying to boost/promote your posts).
  • Instagram – Casual, fun, friendly, emoji use expected [add emoji here], great for B2B, with nearly 53% of users following a brand.
  • Pinterest – Image-centric, great for DIY, retail and home furnishing businesses.
  • Google+ – Is being retired around April.
  • Snapchat – Recommended if your target is primarily young Millennials and Gen Z.

But online communities don’t stop there. They live on Reddit, MyFitnessPal, company and industry blogs, podcasts, email campaigns, etc.; the list is endless.

Be Consistent

Building an engaged audience takes time. We know it can be frustrating when you’re not attracting customers as quickly as you’d like, especially if you’re spending a lot of time writing and sharing content.

The thing is the internet can be jaded. Most people don’t end up sticking with posting consistently; so users are hesitant to follow new accounts that don’t have a lot of consistent content.

Prove to your fans you’re in it for the long haul. Create a schedule you can stick to, and make it a priority. It will start at turtle speed, and your reward might not seem worth the effort immediately, but building up a community takes time. Think of it as developing long-lasting friendships instead of instantly finding 10,000 people to invite to your party. Slow and steady does win the race when it comes to building relationships online.

It’s Not Rocket Science – Just a Little Marketing Science

We are your biggest cheerleaders! This isn’t rocket science; it just takes focus and a little knowledge. Anyone can create an engaged community online with a little time, patience and some hard work.

Stealth Creative boasts a social media and digital team who’s wired into the internet. We know what to meme, when to meme, and how to meme, so that your business doesn’t become a meme.

Drop us a line if you want to talk more about your social media marketing – and how we can help!


As the sun set on 2018, 2019 quickly brought us an exciting opportunity! Stealth acquired a new client in Joplin, MO – Freeman Health System. We are so excited to welcome Freeman Health as a Stealth client; they are a wonderful hospital that has been operating since 1925, with a health network that extends into outlying areas.


Dear Santa,

I’ve decided to ask for something a little different this year. In some ways it may be easier to carry. But it many other ways, it will be harder, and may require a lot of your Christmas magic.

As usual, I ask for a lot, but whatever you can spare will be more than we could ever imagine!

Santa, I wish you could put magic in everyone’s heart.

I want them all to believe for as long as it lasts…believe in you and the hope you offer. Put it in their hearts to spread the magic to one other.

The Seven Cs of Christmas

What I want this Christmas is not a train set or the finest new doll. I want the seven Cs of Christmas for one and for all! 

  1. Contentedness. Be happy. We all are so caught up in what we want; let us be content with what we have, and be grateful for all that is around us.
  2. Connectedness. Help us remember we are all connected – no matter how different we may be! Help us to look at others with love and kindness in all that we do!
  3. Cheer. Look for the good things that happen during the next few weeks, and help us all remember the magic of Christmas might be behind the good cheer!
  4. Courage. Help us to help others! Help us have the courage to find at least one person (or maybe 10) on whom to focus our own Christmas magic; so they, too, can believe!
  5. Charitable. Help us to be generous in some way beyond what we normally do! Generous of our time, our resources or our money!
  6. Cheerfulness. Help us smile a little more! Help us find little ways to cheer up someone’s day – perhaps a child who would otherwise never see magic or an elderly person who’s lost a little of theirs.
  7. Compassion. Give us the compassion to reach out and hug someone who needs a hug or needs a shoulder!

Santa, my sincere wish is that you would share a little Christmas charm in every conversation we have between now and January 1 – that we may show respect for others, and focus on our common ground. I wish this Christmas season we could order up some peace on earth and good will to all – regardless of our differences.

My promise to you is that from now until January 1, I will shut off the news! I will go on a vacation from politics, while still wishing for positivity in our government and offer a sincere wish for better solutions to our problems for all of the good of all mankind.

Santa, I wish everyone would watch those old Christmas favorites: It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol or even A Christmas Story. And Santa, I wish everyone would sing at least once this Christmas season! Put on their hearts those songs that make them feel like they are eight years old again!

Now Santa, all this will take a dose of creativity.

Of all the Christmas Cs above, ‘courage’ is the biggest. Because it will take that courage to spread happiness and kindness and love and generosity! We need to know that with a sprinkling of North Pole Magic…miracles happen. Help us spot them! 

Thank you, Santa! And, Merry Christmas to one and all.

Ah, ROI. It’s the ultimate KPI. And one of the most vexing to figure out.

Sure, the equation is easy: The benefit (or return) of an investment divided by the cost of said investment.

But the definition of the words making up that equation can differ, depending on who you ask.

  • Is the benefit/return equal to hard dollars? A specific action? Or something else?
  • And what about the investment? Is it hours spent? Resources, or hard costs such as printing, media, etc.?

Don’t worry. We’re here to help you figure it all out.

But the first step is determining how your business will define what a successful ROI looks like before you begin your campaign development. Is it calls? Website visits? Purchases? If you don’t know what you want your customers to do, how will you determine your ROI?

Assessing Your ROI

Once you’ve settled on what you’re measuring, the fun begins: Developing your campaign and all of its associated tactics, the latter of which can be difficult to attribute what worked well and what…didn’t so much. 

Here are some tried-and-true ways for determining which tactics were the winners:

1) Tracking

Alright. You’ve written the ads, enhanced your website, or done what was needed to make the desired action easy to complete.

Now it’s time to track everything. And we mean e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

  • Website visits – including which pages are receiving the most traffic
  • Online purchases or actions
  • Abandoned pages
  • Time on site
  • Phone calls
  • Email statistics, including open, click-through rates, subject lines

2) Developing the Campaign

With insights in-hand, now it’s time to figure out which avenues present the best opportunity for integrating into the actions you want your audience to make. This may include a new section or messaging on your website, an email series, TV or radio ads, press releases/media outreach, direct mail or a social media push – or all of the above.

Remember: The media you use should align with where your customers will most likely see (or hear) the messaging you’ve created.

3) Pre-Market Testing

Before launching your campaign for the masses (or your niche audience), start by understanding what your target market considers valuable.

Email, a poll on your website, or paying attention to what your followers are saying on social media are all relatively low-hanging fruit.

If time or budget allow, more in-depth tactics like focus groups or outbound call surveying can deliver even more nuanced insights.

No matter what method you select, any pre-market testing is better than none because this will serve as the starting-point for all messaging that will resonate with your audience.

4) Post-Market Testing

Once the campaign has run its (smashingly successful) course, it’s time to bust out the abacus (or spreadsheets) to debrief and compare what your initial baseline research indicated vs. how your audience actually responded.

But diving into the numbers isn’t as easy as expecting Google (or Alexa) to give you an answer.

What works for one audience may not work for another, and what one company has found to be their saving grace might take the wind out of another’s sails. It takes testing, trial, and yes, even error, to ultimately find the right marketing mix and message that resonates with your target audience.

5) Adjust Your Tactics

After assessing how your audience responded to your marketing tactics, it’s time to figure out what can be tweaked in the future.
  • Did one type of subject line perform better than another?
  • Did you get all the website traffic you wanted, but not as many sales?
  • Did the video you made not have as many full views as expected?
This type of deep dive will help make sure the messaging, frequency and media used next time are more on point. But…to ensure you’re able to determine if those adjustments work, you’ll need to modify one thing at a time vs. everything at once – otherwise, you’ll be right back where you started.

6) Reassess Your Results

Once you adjust and run another campaign, it’s time to once again reassess (not to be confused with recess, which is admittedly a little more fun) your results – and compare those to your initial results. Because you’re smart and followed our advice, you just modified one thing, making it easy to figure out whether or not that adjustment worked in your favor.

Then it’s time to adjust and assess, and adjust and assess again until you have it mastered.

To effectively execute the steps outlined above takes time and investment. And while tracking should be present in any marketing venture, there are ways to tailor your pre- and post-market testing to fit your company’s budget – and objectives.

Not sure where to start? We do – and how to finish.

Drop us a line today, and as always, stay tuned for more tips from Stealth next time we go Off the Radar.

Well, it’s that time of year again: Fourth quarter marketing audit time. A time of extra coffee, the pulling of proverbial teeth, and long nights spent compiling four quarters worth of marketing analytics into an investor-friendly report.


If you looked up “Marketing Audit” in the dictionary, you may see a description like: “See ‘pulling your hair out.’”


Keeping a constant eye on the world of marketing technologies, or MarTech for short, can be a never-ending task. Every business is looking for ways to set themselves apart from the competition, and using technology is a great way to do it. 

New technologies are coming faster than ever before. And as technology changes, so do the things your business needs to do for success. But in a world saturated by MarTech, where do you turn?

Well, we’ve got good news. The supersonic pace of digital marketing trends may seem overwhelming, but it’s really about what works best for you.

So let’s put your fears to rest with these tips on how to keep up with digital marketing.

Pare it Back

Augmented reality, virtual reality, ads on streaming music services, ads on virtual assistants, traditional email marketing, social media marketing, and more. Where does it end? How can you possibly do it all?

Psst. Here’s a secret. You ready? You’ll want to write this down:

You don’t need all of it.

The most successful businesses are the ones that realize which marketing strategies work best for them. 

Like people, businesses each have their own style. And when you find yours, it just works.

For example, if you’re a local ice sculptor (a popular career choice, we know), it probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to focus on VR technology. Sure, a 3D swan made of ice is pretty cool (no pun intended), but do you really need all that expensive hardware when a photo catalog will do? Chances are you aren’t looking for customers outside of your immediate area, and you probably have the market cornered (let’s be honest, here). In this case, a simple bit of software that helps organize customer orders will suffice.

Now if you’re a regional or national chain store, you need to go that extra mile to separate yourself from the competition. Building your own burger with an Augmented Reality Wendy’s app? That sounds like a hot idea (ok, this time it was intentional).

So don’t feel like you’re missing out if you aren’t keeping up with all the latest advances in MarTech. Remember, you know what your business needs better than anybody else.

Veni, Vidi, Vici

While blindly following every new MarTech trend isn’t recommended, successful businesses ought to keep an open mind towards new trends in their particular field.

Knowledge is power, and knowing what the options look like in your industry puts you that much closer to dominating it.

Subscribing to a trade magazine or following the social media posts of thought leaders in your industry are great ways to stay informed about the latest trends and happenings in your sector.

You might even discover some new trick or technique you’ve never thought of before. (For example, a “Build Your Own Ice Swan” feature on your website (if we’re continuing with the ice sculptor theme). Sometimes something simple is all it takes, and you’ll find that old-school MarTech can be combined with new applications for a truly great strategy.

Trade shows are another great way to stay up on the latest trends. (Are there ice sculptor trade shows?) This allows you to keep up to date on the direction your industry is heading, and network at the same time. If you have something particularly noteworthy to share, you might wind up being the business other businesses come to for advice.

But remember, if you’re paying attention to your business landscape, you can be sure your competition is as well. There really is no reason you shouldn’t be keeping an ear to the ground. It’s sure to give you the edge needed to stand out and conquer your field.

Crossing the Rubicon

You might be subscribed to all the popular trade magazines. You might be better at ignoring MarTech hysteria than LeBron is at ignoring Cleveland. But there are still only so many hours in the day.

The biggest challenge businesses face in choosing how to use MarTech, is recognizing when you have too much to handle alone.

There will come a point where you’ll have to choose between keeping your icy creations from melting too soon, or devoting increasing amounts of time and resources towards finding, creating and implementing a custom digital marketing strategy.

This is a good problem to have. It’s the sign of a healthy, growing business.

We know: Handing your MarTech over to someone else is a big decision. But if your business refuses to seize the day by asking for help, further growth is just going to get harder and harder.

You don’t want to pick just anybody to run your MarTech strategy. You’ll want someone who knows your industry and your needs – and who’s willing to work with you to meet your goals.

Stealth keeps tabs on a variety of industries; so we’re always in the know on the latest trends. Whether your business is big or small, we know just how to find which MarTech works best for you, and how to help you get the most out of it.

So when you finally decide to cross your Rubicon and claim your business empire, drop us a line, and let us be your legion.

As always, stay tuned for more great tips next time we go Off the Radar.

The New York Times CEO Mark Thompson made a shocking announcement this past February: In the face of economic adversity, the print edition of The New York Times, one of the nation’s most widely circulated newspapers, may cease to be.


During the past several years, the term ‘personas’ has undoubtedly popped up in your marketing- and sales-related conversations. But what in the world are personas? And are they really necessary for successful marketing and sales efforts?

The answer? Yes!

What is a buyer persona?

Let’s start by explaining the term. A buyer persona is simply a way of ‘putting a face – and a personality’ to your primary buyers, customers or clients – to humanize them, make them more ‘real,’ and enable you to create content that will appeal directly to them.

This semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer is based on real data with some educated speculation thrown in to flesh out the persona’s demographics, behavior patterns, motivations and goals.

Why do I need personas for my marketing efforts?

Personas go beyond the squishy, intangible idea of “a customer” or “our customers,” and, instead, give you insight into a specific target customer’s thoughts. This helps you understand the process and criteria that persona uses when weighing options before choosing a solution.

After all, knowledge is power.

And by understanding who, specifically, your ideal customer is (e.g., female, between 40 and 50, mid-level management, 15 years experience, white-collar environment, college-educated, etc.), you begin to see them as an actual person – not just “a customer.” And, you better understand what they’re seeking in terms of solutions for their challenges (e.g., quality, customized products that free-up time, money and resources). Now, you can better create content and tailor all of your marketing and sales efforts to meet your customer where they are in their buying process, or journey.

This enables you to develop content that connects with your ideal customer, which can lead to more conversions from prospect to lead to customer.

Developing your buyer personas

Ready to create your own buyer personas to enhance your marketing efforts? It all starts with research – whether quantitative, online surveys of your current clientele or qualitative, in-person focus groups for a true discussion or both types of research – it’s important to understand your customers in detail before creating your personas.

And, that research is often more in-depth than you may think, forming the perfect intersection between art and science – with an emphasis on the science.

Download our latest whitepaper, by Stealth Insights Director Paul Petersky, to learn more about the transition in the past few years from segmentation to persona development, and the reason for using archetypes vs. grouping customers by a common set of behaviors or attitudes.

And then once you have your customer research analysis in hand, you can complete your persona grid:

Persona grid

From there, you can craft your buyer persona story, fleshing out additional details to truly bring your customer to life: 

Heather HR Director has 15 years experience in HR, understands best practices and trends, and is always seeking ways to improve the HR practices at her company through online and printed thought-leadership articles, HR conferences and networking with other HR professionals – even though she struggles to find the time to do so. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends, but her unwillingness to say ‘no’ often causes her to work late into the night and over the weekend.

Additionally, she sees her budget shrinking year after year, and her team being asked to do more with less. Because she hasn’t been able to increase her staff for the past several years, she – and her team – wear many hats and are spread extremely thin. As such, she’s constantly on the lookout for quality, effective, but customized, hiring, compliance, HRIS and benefit solutions that will save her team money and time, and free up resources, while still enabling her to be a part of the process/solution.

Take the time to think through all of your potential target customers. Think about who they typically are, what they enjoy, what they’re tasked with in their work role, what may interfere in that, what challenges they face and what a day in the life of that customer would look like. Then, assign them a name, work through the persona worksheet, and craft your persona story. 

Create your content!

At this point, you’re ready to assess your editorial content calendar to determine if the existing topics actually fit the personas you’ve created – or if it’s time to modify or even start from scratch to develop content that truly resonates with your buyer personas.

Want some help with that process? Stealth is happy to assist you with the research and buyer persona creation. Just shoot us a message or give us a call at 314.480.3606

Hundreds of digital marketers immersed themselves in a two-day convention at historic Union Station in downtown St. Louis.


Welcome to Part II of our Client/Agency Relationship series. We’ve already covered how to decide if you need an agency. Now let’s talk about how to choose the right agency for you.

Marketing to millennials: Top 5 essential components

Millennials. Those mystifying individuals born between 1980 and 1999. Once dismissed as a non-entity in the business world, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers have little choice these days but to sit up and take notice to this generation who now holds 20% of the management roles in companies – and, who recently surpassed Gen Xers as the largest generation in the U.S. workforce.