To read part 1 of our story, click here.
When we started the company, our agency space consisted of a 12″x18″ dry erase board, markers and more ideas than we could fit on that small board. We would list our target clients on our board as a reminder of who our big catches were. Because of that list, we would spend hours talking about how they made advertising decisions and how we could become a part of that process.
Initially, a lot of the projects we would get were small design projects. In fact, our first client was a business plan we wrote for a small jewelry store. After that, our first creative project came in the form of a $600 website complete with a one-hour photo shoot.
As our client base grew in size and scope, so did our capabilities. After our first year, we landed small contracts with area companies that contracted us for our expertise in Hispanic market strategy. Our first true agency clients. Even with these clients on board, we still weren’t creating full-blown ad campaigns.
In the beginning our ideas were also mostly tactical. We were more interested in how we could influence a client strategically than we were about the creative process:
- How can we improve media buying in the Upstate Hispanic market?
- What data, tools and strategies could we provide clients that would help them make better decisions?
- How could we generate a metric for measuring ROI?
- What grassroots initiatives could we create or leverage that would help our clients better connect with Hispanic consumers?
Part of our strategic mindset came naturally. Ramón is a tactical and strategic thinker, and I am an operations-minded person. It was very easy to think about strategies.
Another reason we were so strategically focused was because strategy was what our clients were looking for. Our first clients did not have a production budget that allowed us to spend much time on creative. We were focused on strategy and results.
An Actual Campaign
It wasn’t until the end of our second year when we created our first ad campaign:
- The client: South Carolina Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
- The campaign: Nosotros Somos.
The campaign centered on featuring four different components of the Upstate South Carolina Hispanic community. Hispanics in our area are Familia, Empresarios, Profesionales and Comunidad. Each ad featured a member of the SC Hispanic Chamber showcasing one of those facets of our community.
Our experience in this campaign tested our creative side, both from a design standpoint and from a copywriting one. While this campaign was a local insertion, it formed the basis for our methods and philosophy for creating ads today.