Advertising Trends

New advertising trends are always developing and evolving over time. From print to digital, there have been many trends. With all the many rapid changes in trends, it can certainly be difficult to keep up with them, but we are here to help! We have developed a list with explanation about the newest advertising trends to help guide you in your next campaign. If you are interested in finding out what they are and how to go about them, continue reading.

An incredible amount of advertising occurs on digital media. This is, of course, no news since everyone is always hooked on some type of digital technology and happens to be all around us.  This brings us to our first trend…

Video Advertising:

According to research, mobile ads specifically have resulted in growing revenue. People are constantly looking at their phones or tablets to pass time or to avoid awkward situations, which is why many advertisers are placing their focus on mobile video ads. Over the past year, advertisement videos have accounted for 30 percent of all online video consumption.

Keeping it Short:

Everyone is constantly on the run or moving onto the next task. Because of this, short video advertisements have become a popular trend. Snapchat, for example, has become a popular advertising platform especially for targeting young millennials. Videos are usually 10 seconds long and can appear in random randomly throughout while browsing through live stream videos or going through the discover section.

Chat Advertising:

Advertising on chat apps have also become the popular thing to do since people are constantly communicating through instant chats. Examples of these apps are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and WeChat.

Entertaining while Informing:

Because people, especially millennials, dislike seeing “salesy” posts, the advertisements have become more entertaining while still being informative. Of course, this can be done with videos but also with infographics as opposed to lengthy blog posts.

Networking Organizations We’re a Part of: The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

This month we are highlighting the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, a networking organization we just recently became a member of! The Greater Boston Chamber currently supports over 1,500 organizations from all industries and of all sizes in the region. Their mission is to develop an economic growth throughout the greater Boston region as well as a vibrant and inclusive business community. By joining the organization, businesses are able to benefit from, not only networking opportunities but also, advocacy, leadership development, and innovation initiatives.

Strategic Networking Opportunities:

The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce offers networking events with top businesses and political leaders speakers in order for members to build professional connections, meet prominent business and government leaders, and engage in issues relevant to business community.

Business Advocacy:

The Greater Boston Chamber gives businesses a voice in economical and political situations through legislative efforts and policies, which help improve the region’s business climate and competitiveness. These advocacy efforts take place through the public policy committee, the “Advocacy Pulse,” a monthly update for all members, and “Growth Tracker,” an online resource with comprehensive economic views.

Leadership Opportunities:

The Greater Boston Chamber cultivates programs for the region’s business leaders. These include the Executive Leadership Institute, Boston’s Future Leaders, Women’s Leadership Program, and the Chamber Intern Connect, an internship website.

Innovation Initiatives:

Along with this, the chamber creates initiative designed to foster and promote the growth of the region’s economy. They also take initiatives towards showcasing innovative companies, and innovation-related advocacy.

Among all of these services, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce offers many other services. To find out more about the benefits and services available through this organization, visit their site here.

Podcasting & Content Marketing

“Content Marketing’s purpose is to attract and retain customers by consistently creating and curating relevant and valuable content with the intention of changing or enhancing consumer behavior.” (Source: Content Marketing Institute)

If you were to take this definition of content marketing you could see that podcasts are the perfect platform for this marketing strategy. Now, if you’re thinking, “Podcasts, really? Who even listens to those anymore?” Well, podcasts are actually more popular now than they ever were. Today there are thousands and thousands of podcasts available on iTunes alone. Podcasts exists for every, and any, topics. Whether it is music, sports, medical, entertainment, business, science, cooking, marketing, or anything else, you could probably find a podcast on that topic. This makes podcasts an excellent medium to create content marketing.

To give an example of how podcasts are ideal for content marketing, think about a cooking podcast where they, of course, talk about cooking experiences, recipes, and anything that has to do with cooking and food. Just by doing this, the hosts is providing their audience with important cooking information while keeping them entertained. Here, the audience learns about what the best cooking utensils are for certain recipes, what products produce the best flavors, and more. Maybe, the hosts gets a promotional code for a certain product that they really enjoy using and decide to share it with their audience. All of this can lead to the audience to build a relationship with the cooking podcast, and maybe even associate cooking with that particular podcast.

In this example, the host of the cooking podcast is consistently providing their audience with relevant content and building relationships with their audience in order to enhance the amount of loyal listeners and ratings. With that said, if you have been thinking about creating a podcast in relations to your business, keep this in mind and remember that content marketing can take your business far.

Fun Promo Products for Warmer Seasons

If you’re planning on getting a fresh new stock of promotional products, we have the perfect ideas for the warmer seasons that will get everyone’s attention! We sat down with our personal promotional product expert, Annie Galvao, again to find out what this upcoming season’s popular promo products are. Here are the products she brought up:

Mesh Beach Chair

Who doesn’t like a comfortable beach chair to carry around during company beach outings, or personal beach day trips? Beach chairs are perfect for those reasons and even better to promote your company! There is a ton of canvas space to place your company’s logo and information on.

Beach Towels

A heavy-duty beach towel is always a good idea. This product also has a ton of canvas space to customize with your company’s logo and information. A product like this does a great job at increasing your brand exposure. You can never have too many towels, so you can be sure that recipients will love this product.


Another product you can never have too many of is t-shirts! These are great to package together with other items to give away at corporate events or as simply corporate gifts. They’re great for any season.

Beach Buddy Mat

Sometimes just laying on a towel can be uncomfortable. Fulfill your prospective customer’s need by handing out a beach mat with your company logo.

Sunscreen Lotion Bottles

Sunscreen is an essential product, especially in the warmer seasons when the sun is out for a longer period of time. By having sunscreen lotion bottles with your company logos, you can guarantee that your brand will have the exposure it needs


If your company is one that’s know for thinking a little outside of the box, then you should consider a multitasking cooler. What I mean by that is the ones that serve multiple purposes outside of keeping your drinks and food chilled, like one that has speakers to play music from and can also transform into a chair. This item is perfect for tailgating a show, game, etc. and for cookouts or camping!


If interested in any of these promo products for your business contact our Sperling Interactive team!

First Hand Opinion on Trade Shows

This year our company has attended a total of 3 trade shows. Sperling Interactive had a booth at the North Shore Tourism Exhibit, the North Shore Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, and the Small Business Expo in Boston. I sat down with our Sperling sales team to find out what the big deal on trade shows are.

According to team member Colin, business expos can be very successful because they create company awareness and make it easier to communicate and inform audiences on the services we offer, how we can help their businesses, and who we are as a competitive brand. Colin’s favorite trade show was the Small Business Expo for this particular reason. The team was able to bring awareness of Sperling Interactive to the audience while being among big brand name companies in Boston, which supports the team’s goal of expanding the business in the Boston area.

When reflecting back on these events, the team acknowledges what worked and didn’t work for them when promoting our services. The first thing they learned from the first trade show they went to was that these events are more about educating the audience about your business’ service and less about trying to sell it to them. They also learned that having informational products like flyers and brochures, as well as promotional products stimulates more conversations with the audience. By the time of the second trade show, our team was prepared with informational handouts and silly putty that said, “Let us mold your market” on the packaging as our promotional product. The uniqueness of this was a great conversation startup.

The team also generated conversations by creating an incentive for people to go up to our booth. For the last trade show they attended, our team came up with the idea of raffling a free 3 page website by having those interested drop their business card into a box. This turned out successful because now we have many businesses we can get in contact with as well as a new client. At the North Shore Chamber Business Expo, the team also offered professional head shots in order to start a conversation. This was perfect because photography is one of the services we offer and because they were able to communicate with people while they waited for their head shots. Because of this incentive, team member Max decided that this particular trade show was his favorite.

Some things that stood out to them from these trade shows were that many of the bigger brand name companies had a large amount of employees at their booths. A lot of the booths that were receiving the most attention were the ones with a variety of flashy products. They also noticed a booth that was offering consultations on the spot with a separate meeting area. Overall, they noticed that there was diverseness in company industries in all the trade shows.

Unique & Fun Promotional Products

Last month some of our team attended the North Shore Business Expo, and, like you can imagine a business expo to be, there were many diverse businesses at this event. Many, if not all, businesses had many impressive and creative promotional products to distribute. After seeing all the cool gadgets, we decided to give you guys some insight on unique and fun promo products.

We spoke to our personal promotional product expert, Annie Galvao, who has worked in her fieldl for over 5 years. Annie has told us that the most important factor to take into account when choosing the appropriate product for your business is to think about the best way to show the public what your business is about. You don’t just want to give away things that will end up in the trash. You want to be creative and choose something of value that is useful for your customers. The goal of a promo product should be to thank your clients and to solicit new ones.

For our promotional product, we decided to go with glow-in-the-dark silly putty. Now, you may think, “why on Earth would you choose THAT?” The answer to that is because it is a relaxing, fun product to play with. We tailored this putty to our business by having the container say “Sperling Interactive” and “Let us Mold Your Market.” What do you think now, creative?

Below are the most popular promotional products Annie finds herself selling:

  • Tech Gadgets:

This consists of micro fabric cloths, which has enough surface space to incorporate all the important details of a business, tablet holders, and many more.

  • Apparel:

This consists of bags, t-shirts, jackets, socks, and much more. These are great because they are, essentially, traveling promo products.

  • Wristbands:

These continue to be a hot item, especially when promoting a cause.

  • Reusable Cups:

Cups with fun colors have enough surface space to incorporate details about your business, or even a QR code that leads to your website!

  • Molskin Journals and Padfolios


Some more unique and fun promotional products are:

  • Waterproof Blue Tooth Speakers
  • Customizable Jewelry
  • Customizable Candy
  • Any pet gadgets:

This can be leashes, dog tags, toys, etc. They are perfect for any business because everyone either has a pet or knows of someone who does.

  • Zipper Pull
  • Luggage Tags:

There are some new tags with GPS system in them that connect to a cell phone app so that you never have to wonder where your luggage could be.


Some fun industry specific products are:


  • Sanitizers
  • Chilling towels
  • Shoe wallets
  • Light-up wrist bands
  • Fit bit- like gadgets

Home Security:

  • Light-up key adapters
  • Key ring safety alarm
  • Flashlights

There are many unique promo items. Insure a unique, fun, and creative one that represents your business!

Benefits of Direct Mail Marketing


Some may think that direct mail: like catalogs, envelopes, coupons, etc., is overrated now that digital marketing has taken over but reality is that this is still one of the most effective marketing strategies.

According to the Creative Guerrilla Marketing site, studies conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) show that direct mail receives a higher response rate than emails. This makes promoting your products and services more affective. The reason for this is because it is more likely to open a physical mail rather than an email. By doing this, it is a physical entrance of your brand to their home, which helps perceives the mail as an invitation rather than spam. This act also allows your consumers or potential customers to build a physical bond with your brand, which helps keep your company in their minds when thinking about a specific service or product you offer.

Encompassing its successfulness, direct mail marketing also makes measuring the success rate much more simple than in the digital form. Measuring the outcome of a direct mail marketing campaign can include the response rate of phone calls and/or, depending on whether this was provided to consumers in their mail, the amount of coupons received back.

Direct mail can also be portrayed as a more friendly marketing gesture. Because of this, whenever a follow up phone call needs to be made, instead of having a boring and cold conversation with the consumer, your employees phone calls with the consumers can be more friendly and with better communication. Having a warm conversation can lead to better and positive brand recognition.

The most valuable benefit that comes from direct mail marketing is that it teaches you about what demographics, or audience, you should be targeting. When getting the address of the responsive consumers, you could gain better knowledge of what interests them the most, what their income is like, and much more. By acknowledging the customers you already have, you could figure out what consumers you should be targeting.

Importance of Brand Consistency


Having brand consistency for your company or organization is extremely important for your business. Brand consistency should exist throughout all documents created by your business, the location of your business, the products your business offers, and much more.

One reason why consistency is important is because it can help create the perception you want clients to have of your organization. If your branding is consistent in every aspect, the client will perceive your business as a professional one.

The way you portray your brand, and the consistency of it, also conveys the kind of attitude your company has. It can portray whether your organization is a serious one, if you follow through with what your organization is about, or if you are confused as a business owner on what you want your business to be.

With that said, having brand consistency can exclude any confusion the audience may have on what your organization is about. If the audience doesn’t know what you are about, then you could potentially lose them as customers. That’s something no one looks forward to.

Integrity and investments can suffer when you are not consistent with your branding. By building an effective brand consistency, you can protect these aspects of your business.

Most importantly, having consistency can help your business grow through previous successes. If your company had an amazing achievement in the past, you would probably want clients to remember that it was your company that did it. If the brand stays consistent throughout time, potential clients can recognize your business and its achievements easily.

Here are some examples of businesses with great brand consistency:

The Museum of Fine Arts

This Boston Fine Arts museum has been consistent with its brand’s colors sticking with the two-to-three tone pallet and their signature red color. They also have their logos on all employees’ aprons, outdoor banners, throughout their website, and brochures. 

Lush Cosmetics

Because Lush is an organic, natural cosmetic store, their products sit in their raw forms to show their freshness and fill the shop with their products’ scents. For the products that need to be packaged, the ingredients are displayed at the top of the packaging so that customers know about the organic materials in them. They also gave stickers of the packagers face on them to give a personalized feel to them.


Target is a great discount retailer that everyone recognizes by the logo, the white puppies, and the red accent colors throughout the store. If you have not noticed, they are also consistent throughout their social media. They stay consistent with red colors, puppies, and logo throughout their pictures, banners, and posts on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

For the benefits of your company, stay consistent through the designs of your location, products, documents, and social media as you expand your business.

Why you Need Reputation Management

Are you a small or local business owner? Did you know that small/local businesses are more vulnerable to online reputation attacks? By this I don’t mean having hackers going in to hijack all of your media. It is much simpler than that. Someone posting negative content through videos, blog posts, complaint comments, or even promoting your competition or developing a hate site are all ways in which your business’ reputation can be attacked.

Word-of-mouth can travel much quicker than you may expect. If your business is being under attack and you don’t invest what is needed in developing your online presence and reputation, your business will suffer damages—like lost revenues—later on.

Luckily, we have searched and developed some points to guide you in avoiding such losses.

Assess Your Online Reputation:
The first step is to assess your current reputation by looking up the name of your business, your name, any brands and products in relation to your business, you high-profile employees, and usernames or handles. By doing this you would be able to determine where to start in managing your online reputation.

Be Active in All Relevant Online Mediums:
If you don’t already, make sure your business is on these 3 MAJOR platforms:

  1. Twitter
  2. Facebook
  3. Google+

Having a strong online presence can surpass any negative postings about your business, especially if you’re engaging with your audience.

Aside from the 3 major platforms though, stay up to date with other online properties that may be associated with you industry. If your business has visually-oriented products, get active on Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr and all other visual websites.

Avoid Online Argument:
Sometimes your audience can leave harsh comments about your business, but you must avoid negatively engaging with them. When handling these situations, be nicer than you think you should be and respond professionally.

Make Blog Posts:
Creating blog posts with relevant keywords in them can help with your business’ ranking. It also provides you with a reliable platform to respond to any major allegations made about your company.

Develop Platforms for Executive Names:
All individuals associated with your business (founders, owners, executives) should have strong social media. Many times, a company’s identity is associated with executives and, if they do not have high profiles online, they could be leaving themselves open to any online antagonists.

Be Mindful:
If your business is receiving a lot of negative feedback, you should probably reconsider whatever it is you are getting negativity for. There may be some weaknesses that your company members should address. If in fact you are in the wrong, own up to the mistakes made by your business and try to make amends with your customers.

It is crucial to invest your time and—sometimes—money in your business’ reputation development. People could be looking up your business online to find out more about it. If you are not taking control of your business’ brand online, someone else will.

Importance of Brand Consistency

Top brands like Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Microsoft know how to create a unique name, image and theme for their products or services.  Consumers can easily recognize their slogan, tagline, colors, logo and message in many forms.  When branding properly and consistently, a company can establish themselves as a strong presence in the market or field of business that attracts and retains loyal customers.  So how do top companies create that sense of brand consistency across all marketing and visual platforms?  Let’s explore some ways to be sure your product and service is being branded consistently.

  1. Appearance – One of the first things that consumers may notice about your company/service/product is how it looks.   It should go without saying that all print media and digital media should have a consistent appearance.  The physical look of your brand is based upon font, color palette, logo, and custom images.  By remaining consistent with the overall appearance of your brand you will make it easy to recognize.  This means all visual images of your company on your website, social media, and print media should be quickly discernible. Think about how easily we recognize the companies mentioned about merely by sight.
  2. Message and Voice – Consumers can easily identify a tone, message and voice in writing.  Your audience has come to expect a certain pattern in the content that you disseminate.  For example, if you post blogs or social media, the voice and message needs to be easily identified as something that would come from your company.  Are you young and hip? Techno and innovative?  Traditional and trustworthy?  This message will and should come across in all content. Problems remaining consistent in this area usually stem from changing writers, spokespeople, or marketing groups.  Try to maintain a clear message about what you stand for regardless of who is doing the work.  Also by using the same tone and descriptive words throughout your media you will make your brand cohesive no matter where a consumer hears about your company.
  3. A Brand Checklist – This may sound corny but before any newsletter, email, print media, social media post, or sign is created, have the marketing team go through a short checklist of questions that may include: Does the item have our logo, colors, and font used properly?  Does the image match what we are trying to portray?  Does the content sound like our brand?  Is the voice or tone consistent?  These quick questions may save your company from sending out a post or newsletter that customers will not recognize as coming from your valued brand.