Element Designer Series: Q&A with Director of Publications Ann Behling

2016 keeps moving along, and signs of the fall season are everywhere you look, from autumn leaves and pumpkin everything to Halloween costumes and apple picking.

Each month, one of our talented designers creates a new Facebook cover image and answers a few questions for our blog. Our latest Designer Series subject is Element’s Director of Publications, Ann Behling.

Ann has worked at Element longer than the vast majority of us. In fact, she started here in 2003, just a few months before the ad agency switched from River North Communications to Element Creative.

(Get more fun facts about Element here on our blog)

Ann is a big fan of this time of year, so she seized the opportunity to design a seasonally themed Facebook cover image!

Continue reading Element Designer Series: Q&A with Director of Publications Ann Behling

6 Ways to Make Your B2B Content Marketing Better

Far too many B2B companies have blogs they’ve neglected, mismanaged, and left to rot. They go month after month without updates, and when a new post is finally published, no one reads it anyway.

So, management decides blogging isn’t even worth the effort. Don’t let that happen to you and your company’s blog!

A good blog can be a cornerstone of a powerful content marketing program, but only if you know how to do it right.

It seems so much easier to create content for a business-to-consumer company while business-to-business marketing seems like it is supposed to be dry and dull.

Here’s how some marketers assume the formula works:

B2C Content = Fun! B2B Content = Bored to death.

But, that’s just not true!

Continue reading 6 Ways to Make Your B2B Content Marketing Better

Content Marketing Specialist
Kasey Steinbrinck has been creating content since he was just a little kid, writing stories and making radio shows on his Fisher Price tape recorder. He went on to produce local television and wrote for an area newspaper before discovering the power of telling stories online. Kasey worked as a content marketer, blogger, and copywriter for two ecommerce companies before joining Element in 2015.

What Top Ten ’90s Songs Can Teach You About Google Adwords

Hey … remember the ’90s?

It’s hard to believe Google was nothing more than a big idea that founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin had in 1998. I wonder what music they were listening to?

As Element’s Director of Digital Marketing, it’s my job to stay up to date on digital advertising strategies, and Google AdWords is easily one of the most important platforms. Keeping up with best practices allows us to provide our clients with the expertise they need for success online.

I also happen to consider myself somewhat of an expert on ’90s music. So why not combine AdWords and ’90s pop songs?

Here’s what we can learn about Google AdWords from 10 hit songs.

Continue reading What Top Ten ’90s Songs Can Teach You About Google Adwords

Director of Digital Marketing
Officially, Derek is Element's Digital Marketing Director, specializing in search engine optimization, social media marketing, and website user experience design. However, outside the office, Derek cannot be pinned down to a single title, so let's go with "happy-hour-turned-late-nighter," "driveway fire-starter," "fins-up-Parrotheader," "world traveler," "Frisbee-throwing-dog-lover," and "up-to-the-minute digital dominator."

We Put New PR Specialist, Chloe De Young, to the Test – Here’s What Happened

Public relations can be a tough gig. Your client’s image and reputation are put into your hands, and they expect you to deliver results when it comes to media coverage, public awareness, event planning, and crisis management.
chloe-marshmallowThat’s why it’s important to have people like Chloe De Young on your side.

Chloe is Element’s new public relations specialist, joining PR Director Tara Brzozowski in serving our clients’ needs on everything from press releases and media plans to featured articles and influencer outreach.

Previously, Chloe’s worked for a Fox Valley ad agency and as in-house marketing specialist for HJ Martin & Son. She also volunteers for House of Hope in Green Bay through Touchdowns for Hope.

Since starting at our agency this summer, she supported her team in the Element Games by stuffing marshmallows in her mouth at an incredible rate.

But beyond her résumé, how are we so sure Chloe is good at what she does?

We decided to put her to the test.

Continue reading We Put New PR Specialist, Chloe De Young, to the Test – Here’s What Happened

Element Designer Series: Q&A with Creative Director Mike Tessmer

For the month of September, our Designer Series brings us the “leader of the pack,” Mike Tessmer.

Mike is Element’s Creative Director. As an experienced art director, he works closely with the design team and helps conceptualize many of the amazing ideas we bring to life for our clients.

mike tessmer
Mike Tessmer

As you’ll learn, Mr. Tessmer is also a car guy. He drives a Prius to work because he needs to get good gas mileage due to a long commute, but he’s a fan of fuel-guzzling machines of all shapes and sizes.

For last year’s Element Holiday Gift Guide, Mike even suggested high performance motor oil as an ideal present.

(Word to the wise, this is probably not a good choice for wives and girlfriends.)

Mike’s September cover image for Element’s Facebook page also has an automotive theme.

Start your engines, and get ready to find out a little about Mike Tessmer’s creative process!

Continue reading Element Designer Series: Q&A with Creative Director Mike Tessmer

What Does New Interactive Art Director Ben Fascitelli Know About Wisconsin?

ben-fascitell UX and interactive art director

One of our newest employees is someone who is playing for two teams at Element. Ben Fascitelli is our Interactive Art Director/User Experience Specialist. He’s already working closely with our web developers as well as within the creative/design department.

Ben is helping create websites our clients love – and more importantly – that provide the people our clients want to reach with a well-designed and intuitive online experience.

We think you’ll agree, the way he approaches his craft is inspiring …

Continue reading What Does New Interactive Art Director Ben Fascitelli Know About Wisconsin?

A Winner’s Perspective of the Element Games

5 days. 5 teams. 5 Element Games. All live-streamed on Element’s Facebook page.

element games gold teamYou’ve seen our Element staff roll around on office chairs and stuff marshmallows into our mouths, now we give you an inside look into the team that won it all. Eric, Tara, Chloe, Kara, and Aaron share their thoughts on what it feels like to be gold medalists in the Element Games.

“Wait … what? We won? How did we … who … wow.” – Ericthe teams compete in flonkerton

 It sounds like his shock stemmed from the Flonkerton race.

On a sunny August morning spirits were high as we gathered around five employees wearing cardboard boxes and flip-flops, one of which was Eric. While it doesn’t sound like much, you could feel the tension in the air. element games in de pere wisconsin

It didn’t look good for the now-champion team as Eric did not earn a medal. Despite Eric being thoroughly stretched out, Mike D. took home the win. Thankfully, Eric’s other team members rallied and started to win the other Element Games.

“Never underestimate my dedication to walking and carrying my precious morning coffee without spilling it. Practice makes gold.” – Kara

racing around element with coffeeKara competed in the Coffee Mug Chasea. Players raced while trying to not spill their oh so important caffinated beverage. Kara’s skill of moving fast while spilling less than others resulted in a first place win for her team.

Tacking this up on the medal board was a sudden game-changer for their team. Could this be an underdog story?

“I’ve been training relentlessly for this moment since I was a small child. Validation at last.” – Aaron

element games office chair wheelerWhile wheeling around on chairs seems like an odd hobby to have as a child, it might have paid off this time. The Office Chair Wheeler had Element employees outside in the parking lot cheering for their fellow team members. Our neighbors found it entertaining too.

Aaron sped through the parking lot bringing home the win for his team, making it two golds in a row. Could the underdog team really become the Phelps of the Element Games? Only the next two games would tell.

“I was pretty much the useless team member that could only fit 10 marshmallows in their mouth.” – Chloe

marshmallow mouth game We think her view on winning is not justified. While she did not win the Marshmallow Mouth, the Element Games were about teamwork. Chloe was able to rely on her team to still take home a gold medal in the end.

And to be honest, fitting ONLY 10 marshmallows is actually a great feat.

The Marshmallow Mouth while entertaining, was one of the most challenging Element Games. Molly was the winner, giving her team their second gold.

“At first, I thought the competition was going to be tough. Turns out none of those boys can bounce a ping pong ball to save their lives.” – Tara

tara plays pong bounce at elementThe final Element game was Pong Bounce. This required both skill and luck as competitors tossed ping pong balls into cups and containers on the kitchen counter from 12 feet above. While it sounds easy if you partook in typical college festivities like beer pong, this was a challenge even your most experienced frat boy couldn’t anticipate.

Tara had the perfect combination of aim and velocity as she gracefully tossed ping pong ball after ping pong ball into high-scoring containers. Her win ultimately secured the team’s championship.

So it feels great to be on the winning team, but how did the rest of Element’s employees feel about competing in these fun games? It fueled a competitive edge. We’ve seen employees subtly try to walk fast with full coffee mugs as they move around the office. Some have given up walking all together and just wheel their chair around building up leg strength. This practicing is understandable, because sometimes it takes another 4 years to prepare.


Element Designer Series: Q&A with Lori Schwartz

The calendar page has flipped to August, and we’ve flipped our Facebook cover image over to a new design from one of Element’s talented artists.

Every month, we’re featuring a new image that our graphic designers and art directors create. Then we dive inside their heads for a Q&A session to find out where they get their ideas and how their creative process works.

For August, we have a hand-drawn design from Senior Graphic Designer Lori Schwartz. She also has a new responsibility at our agency – picking out the bottles of craft brew that fill the Element beer fridge!

Lori doodled this drawing, and doodling is actually one of the 12 creativity hacks we talk about on our blog. But, Lori used a special doodling technique. Keep reading to learn more …

Continue reading Element Designer Series: Q&A with Lori Schwartz

The Importance of an Agency Partnership (and When to Find a New One)

Having an agency partnership is invaluable. You might have an agency on retainer to manage all of your content marketing, or simply use an agency once a year to complete the only thing you don’t handle in house – the annual report.

Either way, you’re a winner! You understand that nobody has 32 hours in a day, and a good agency is a like a secret weapon in your back pocket.

Just like having a nanny who knows where everything is in your house, and is able to care for and know your children almost as well as you do, an agency partner understands your business, takes the time to learn and understand your business goals, and works hard to help you achieve them.

Is that what you’re getting from your agency partnership?

Continue reading The Importance of an Agency Partnership (and When to Find a New One)

Director of Business Development
Lisa Gaupp is Element's road warrior. She's a people person who brings proven tactics and a disciplined organized approach to the free spirited, thought-provoking mixing bowl that is an agency. Lisa and her husband are raising two boys in the Fox Valley, and she still has her Little Kickers championship soccer trophy from 2nd grade.