A Year in Review

2016 has been a whirlwind of activity here at Trampoline. Not only have we added some amazing new clients; we’ve also barnstormed across nine states for photo shoots, meetings and book tours; saw the launch of two websites; built our relationship with longtime clients; and stacked our team with three new Tramps: Staci Oswald, Rob Hendricks and Leslie Buccino. Oh, and we may have put down a few cold ones along the way. Here’s what that looks like by the numbers: 

2016 at Trampoline

We’ve seen unprecedented growth and feel incredibly fortunate to put out work that we’re proud of for some of the best clients you can ask for.

Here’s to hoping the New Year brings you and yours health and happiness. Cheers!

 

Now More Than Ever

‘Tis the season of sales alerts, event invitations, and fundraising. Understanding and appreciating your audience is always important, but as the holidays and the accompanying obligations hit, it’s more important than ever to not get lost in the noise.

We all enter into it with the best of intentions. As consumers we think monitoring the sales will help us be more efficient, as marketers we think a sale will make us stand out. We agree as consumers to be added to the newsletter in exchange for a discount, a discount we marketers have carefully crafted with clients to make sure it’s enough, but not too much. Charitable donations take the edge off spending hangovers, and end-of-year goals push non-profits to reach for whatever last gifts they can.

There seems to be a kind of collective amnesia that it all becomes too much right about NOW. We hiss at another Gap email, roll our eyes at the second West Elm email of the day, and the Change.org capsules make us wince. December and January we clean house, but by July we’re jumping back in to saying yes.

How do we fix it, both as consumers and as communicators? If you ask me it comes back to consideration. You don’t have to sign up for every email. Say no to the club, don’t give your email to every clerk that asks.

Wait, what are you saying? Are you saying stop accepting new information?

Maybe.

Trampoline is an agency, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t people. We have always believed in doing what works, not just copying what everyone else is doing.

What is the goal?
How do we make it easy for people to do what you want them to do?
How do we not panic?

We consider—don’t broadcast a message, share a story. Don’t cut prices, enhance value. Don’t build a list, grow a network.

Is this all just industry spin? No, it’s the difference between saying something to someone over the phone and saying something to someone over the phone as you smile. Creating communications that are built around an idea that is mutually beneficial are more sustainable and defensible then blind marches toward hitting goals.

Perhaps the answer is instead of a perfunctory, end-of-year thank you, we brainstorm a vibrant and compelling message for mid February. We really think about how the person opening the email is going to feel. Are we doing this for them or for us?

We ask it of ourselves as an agency every day, is this design for our client or is it for us? The answer is that when we do the best for our client, that ends up being the best for us, and, with any luck, these are efforts that pierce the noise and put messages in hearts, heads in beds, and kids in the classroom.

A Week in the Life

(as told by an Owner and an Employee)

What’s a typical week like at a typical agency? We’re not really sure. We rarely have typical weeks here at Trampoline. Sometimes we will spend most of our week in our studio creating, writing, planning, communicating, strategizing, and collaborating while other weeks will find us traveling for meetings, pitches and video shoots. Two weeks ago, the partners were in multiple locations presenting and pitching Trampoline’s services. After 13 years at this we are getting more streamlined but each potential client we pitch requires an in-depth research period to prepare and usually an intense 1-2 hour sit down, or stand up meeting with stakeholders.  At once both time consuming and stress inducing. But, the office still needs to continue to run at full steam and that’s where it gets interesting. How do we keep going? It’s a mixture of people stepping up, or over, to fill in or help out, morning traffic meetings (we call them scrums), a little stress, more laughter, and grocery day. Want to know what a not very typical week at Trampoline is like? Paula Slayton, Partner and Business Manager and Cara Greenslade, employee and Director of Media Services will give you a glimpse into a week in the life.

Editors’ Note: Neither of us are designers. Want to know what the typical week of a designer is? It involves beer, beer labels, micro-naps, and mooning over typography. 

Monday

Paula: Ok, Monday, let’s dive into research for tomorrow’s meeting in NYC, meet with the partners to talk it through, come up with potential scenarios and answers to questions they might have, confirm our travel on the train and figure out what time we need to leave to get to the train on time and to get to the meeting on time.

Cara: It’s a week full of pitches with almost half of the team attending so Monday means it’s time to get organized. What’s going to happen when the partners are out of the office, who needs to get what done, what will need to be shifted, and what disasters could potentially happen? Not only will they be out, but they can’t pick up the phone in the middle of the pitch so we need to be ready for whatever.

Tuesday

Paula: Here we go Tuesday, up at 4:30am, out the door at 5:30am, on the train at 7:00am, cover pitch on the train ride in, 9:30 grab breakfast and find shelter from monsoon rain, 11:30 find pitch location, prep for pitch, 12:30 pitch, 2:30 beer & lunch, 3:45 back on train, catch up on all emails from Cara (& staff), 6:30 drive back from train station, 8:00 home.

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Cara: Partners were in NYC so we just hung out around the kegerator and pretended we were working whenever someone called. Just kidding, when the partners are out it often means we need to do what they normally do on a day to day basis and make sure we are hitting deadlines and putting out the best possible work we can.

Wednesday

Paula: Wednesday. Is it really Wednesday already? Get caught up on what was missed, research for the pitch on Thursday in Albany, rehearse the pitch, figure out the travel plans down…Is this Groundhog Day?

Cara: Another whirlwind day and a hump day that sits in between two very important pitches. Time to catch up with the partners and make a plan for the next two days. I’m bouncing between my social media accounts, production management and account management.

Thursday

Paula: Thursday starts with a cancelled meeting which means more time to prep for today’s pitch and catch up on everything else. Leave at 1:00 for the pitch, park and wait, see the previous agency who just pitched walking out of the elevator (cue extra nerves), pitch for 45 minutes, drop shoulders, drive north back to the office.

Cara: I’m not even on the pitches and a canceled meeting is a sigh of relief. At 1pm an ad sales guy lets me know about a pretty awesome placement available for a great cost for one of our clients. Oh, and its due yesterday. It’s the one time I wish I was a designer so that I don’t stop them from working on other projects to do this for me right away. Luckily, they say no problem, like usual, and the day goes on.

Friday

Paula: Friday. Already? Grocery shop, one of my most important roles (snacks = happy staff), brief everyone on how the week went, check in with my business partners who are at yet another new client pitch and try to catch up with everyone who ran the office this week.

Cara: It’s grocery day, by far the most important day. It’s like a work holiday. As soon as Paula calls and gives us the cue that she’s about to pull in we spring into action and meet her with dollies and carts to bring up the groceries. About five of us will circle around the kitchenette and organize the snack drawers, baskets, fridge, and jars to perfection. What do we open first? The Twizzlers. Never start your diet on grocery day. Later on, a production hitch sends to me Joanne’s for twine, a circle cutter and small hole punch so that we can produce some hangtags in house and we launch management of a new social media account.

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Cara: Trampoline was the first agency I worked at and I started here right after college. I’ve always known is was great, even though I have nothing to compare it to. But the Tramps that have come here from other agencies have always said that the willingness to help each other out is something they’ve never had. If your plate is full, you’re not going to be alone. Whether it’s Paula stepping in to help with managing various social media accounts or designers rearranging their schedules to take a project off your plate, the teamwork at Trampoline is what gets us through the crazy weeks.

Paula: Moral of the story, everyone’s job is important. We couldn’t be doing what we do without a competent staff to run things while we are out. We need to be out building the business to keep the work coming in and our employees working. We must grocery shop. It’s a win-win-win.

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