How to Facilitate Better Feedback in the Creative Review Process

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/24/18 6:40 PM / by Hassaan Bey

Managing feedback is a crucial project management skill. While feedback is vital to virtually every aspect of a business from a marketing campaign to operational adjustments, creative feedback is particularly difficult to nail down. This mostly stems from the fact that while stakeholders have the power to approve or reject a creative endeavor, they rarely are creative professionals.

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5 Ways to Arm Your Sales Team with Content

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/24/18 10:44 AM / by Hassaan Bey

The average marketing team spends countless hours strategizing, planning, and executing the production of content for the purposes of inbound marketing. The goal, above all else, is to use top-of-funnel content to attract prospects into the funnel.

That’s where, once in the funnel, the focus shifts as 70% of brands concentrate on converting leads to customers. But sales teams continue to struggle through that final conversion process for a variety of reasons.

If your sales team isn’t ready to roll over and give up, then consider how they could start using content strategically at key points in the buyer’s journey. Here are some proven-effective types of content that will help your sales team build relationships and dramatically lift conversions.

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The Roundup: How Traditional Media is Reinventing Itself with Branded Content

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/23/18 1:01 PM / by Brian Bosché posted in Featured Post

Welcome to The Roundup, a weekly series in which Hassaan, Slope's Creative Manager, and myself, CEO & Co-Founder, discuss news from across the marketing and creative industry. This week we are talking about brand marketing and the trend of publishers building studios to take branded content in-house.

You can watch the full video below, and read through this blog post for quick links to the topics we discuss.

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How to Set Deadlines that Make Sense for Creative Projects

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/22/18 10:07 AM / by Hassaan Bey

When you stop to think about it, deadlines are one of the most familiar practices in a business setting; we’ve all been dealing with them in one way or another since our first encounter with homework. By setting up a precise schedule of events and breaking up the entire project into a series of deadlines, teams can actively plan and meet their goals rather than stumble towards one large date. But just as there’s ambiguity with one deadline, so is there with many of them.

Project deadlines are incredibly helpful, but also demanding and intimidating. They don’t have to be. A large portion of project management stems from the deadline; without them it’s basically impossible to keep track of a project’s progress. Setting proper deadlines is a project management skill that’s not a simple walk in the park - that’s why it’s so important to take a step back to make sure you’re using them effectively.

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Distinguishing Between High and Low Creative Stakes

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/17/18 9:07 AM / by Hassaan Bey

With many marketing departments producing a large volume of assets, creative teams are always chasing the next deadline. The high of wrapping up another successful project can quickly give way to waves of panic at the thought of having to come up with another genius marketing plan. Between brainstorming, collaborating, negotiating and arranging logistics, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the scale of a project, especially if you are juggling multiple ones simultaneously.

By learning how to distinguish between low and high creative intensity work, your team will be able to prioritize their allocation of time so that they are no longer drowning in the clutches of panic-induced creativity.

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How To Balance Brand Building and Transactional Marketing

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/15/18 8:11 AM / by Paul Kovalski

It’s one of the most difficult topics in advertising today. It’s something that CMOs and Business Leaders think about on a daily basis. It’s not going to get any easier.

What am I referring to? Simply put- the balance between branding and sales. The balance between sustaining long term economic growth and hitting short term revenue numbers. The qualitative strategies that change the way your company is viewed vs the quantitative tactics that get you immediate sales.

Recognizing this balance and managing it effectively starts at the top of the organization. It’s impact is felt on both company culture and customer loyalty.

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The Roundup: The Rise of Live Streaming Video Marketing

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/14/18 12:48 PM / by Brian Bosché posted in Featured Post

Welcome to The Roundup, a weekly series in which Hassaan, Slope's Creative Manager, and myself, CEO & Co-Founder, discuss news from across the marketing and creative industry. This week we are talking about how different brands, influencers, and marketing teams are using live streaming video to engage their audience in new ways.

You can watch the full video below, and read through this blog post for quick links to the topics we discuss.

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How to Recharge Your Creative Energy

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/10/18 12:04 PM / by Hassaan Bey

A creative team on the brink of burnout is easy to spot: lack of enthusiasm, derivative ideas and consistently poor results. Just as there is no single cause of creative fatigue, a magic cure does not exist for refilling your creative well. However, team managers can use these seven proactive strategies to bust through mental blocks and rejuvenate drained energy.

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A Conversation with Kristin Twiford, Content Marketing Manager at Libris

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/9/18 10:43 AM / by Brian Bosché posted in Featured Post

Welcome to our interview series, Creativity Drives Business, where successful marketing and creative leaders share industry insights, how they got to where they are today, and explore the future role of creativity in business.

Kristin Twiford, Content Marketing Manager at Libris, discusses how Libris focuses on visual storytelling as a pillar in their marketing strategy.

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How to Align Your Sales and Marketing Departments

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/8/18 3:30 PM / by Paul Kovalski

Arvind Gupta once said that “biology is the most powerful technology ever created.” It is a special thing when we are operating at full capacity. However, things can start to go downhill quickly when our parts of our body stop talking to each other.

You can probably surmise that I am making an analogy here. You would be right! Just like our body works together in concert to survive, our organization needs to work together to continue to grow and improve. When parts of our organization begin to operate in silos things can get messy real quick. When our incentives are not aligned we end up going in different directions.

The two most front facing teams of an organization are sales and marketing. We are the ones that are constantly in conversation with our customers. Why is it then that we often feel in isolation? It starts with incentives.

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7 Ways to Get Better Creative Feedback

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/3/18 10:27 AM / by Hassaan Bey posted in Featured Post

Meaningful feedback is super important when trying to tighten up a creative project and exceed expectations. While great creative feedback makes your project look great, the relationship it tends to harbor makes your department look even better. Here are 7 ways to get better creative feedback on your next project.

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15 Tips to Help You Write Great Copy

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/2/18 11:34 AM / by Paul Kovalski

Copywriters have the difficult job of writing to sell and oftentimes we forget who we are selling to! Use these tips as a resource for writing with more intention and empathy. Your customers will thank you for it.

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The Roundup: What's Next for Out of Home Advertising?

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/1/18 7:34 AM / by Brian Bosché posted in Featured Post

Welcome to The Roundup, a weekly series in which Hassaan, Slope's Creative Manager, and myself, CEO & Co-Founder, discuss news from across the marketing and creative industry. This week we are talking about one of our favorite forms of advertising, Out of Home! We discuss how Out of Home has come in and out of style, what the future of Out of Home looks like, and give some hot takes on our favorite billboards.

You can watch the full video below, and read through this blog post for quick links to the topics we discuss.

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How to Recognize and Combat Creative Fatigue

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/26/18 2:11 PM / by Hassaan Bey posted in Featured Post

Our fast-paced, performance-driven culture demands working at full speed. When you're constantly building and representing your company's brand, modern marketing teams must keep around-the-clock hours to build their credibility as determined, committed and thorough employees. The added pressure to consistently produce genius results on tight deadlines is often the tipping point for falling into a creative funk.

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How to Audit Your Content Workflow

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/24/18 11:25 AM / by Paul Kovalski

With over 2 million blog posts created every single day the pressure to write actionable content is higher now than ever. As creators and content managers, we understand that the best content comes from a highly organized and efficient system.

Having your team act as a well-oiled machine helps push out content faster. It also ensures that your customers (and prospective customers) leverage your product or service in a meaningful way. Enter content workflows.

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Why Your Brand Needs a Visual Style Guide

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/19/18 1:20 PM / by Hassaan Bey

Track the presence of any of your favorite brands around the web, television, and print ads and you’ll notice a consistency in how the company portrays itself visually. Those brands likely have a visual style guide in place, and it’s one of the most essential marketing documents a business has.

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Why Your Work Requests Need Examples

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/17/18 11:16 AM / by Hassaan Bey

As creative professionals, we are in the business of interpreting stakeholders’ wishes. Since we are not mind readers, it is critical that we establish a clear idea of what the stakeholder wants at the very beginning of the project. The problem is that most stakeholders don’t know what they want or what their budgets can buy. It is common to get vague work requests that sound something like, "I want a clean-looking brochure,” “I want a website that is engaging” or “I need a video that will go viral.”

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How the Milwaukee Brewers Recreated an Iconic Scene from "The Sandlot"

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/12/18 9:04 AM / by Brian Bosché posted in Featured Post

It was the 25th anniversary of “The Sandlot” this week, and the Milwaukee Brewers took the opportunity to recreate an iconic scene with players from the team. The video went viral, and was covered by ESPN, Sports Illustrated, USA Today, and more. I spoke with Caitlin Moyer, Director of New Media, and Evan Entler, Senior Manager of Marketing and Advertising, about how they put it all together.

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Introducing Work Requests in Slope

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/11/18 2:37 AM / by Brian Bosché posted in Product

We're excited to introduce Work Requests to Slope! Work Requests make it easy for teams to submit, review, and approve requests – and instantly create the resulting projects and tasks right in Slope. We know work requests are difficult to manage, and if they were a game show challenge, they may look something like this:

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A Conversation with Leslie Ye, Senior Content Strategist at HubSpot

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/3/18 9:13 AM / by Brian Bosché posted in Featured Post

Welcome to our interview series, Creativity Drives Business, where successful marketing and creative leaders share industry insights, how they got to where they are today, and explore the future role of creativity in business.

Leslie Ye, Senior Content Strategist at Hubspot, discusses how the role of content marketing is changing within organizations.

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The Roundup: Marketing March Madness

[fa icon="calendar'] 3/30/18 10:38 AM / by Brian Bosché posted in Featured Post

Welcome to The Roundup, a weekly series in which Hassaan, Slope's Creative Manager, and myself, CEO & Co-Founder, discuss news from across the marketing and creative industry. In honor of March Madness, we are talking about sports marketing! Some of the strongest and most loved brands in the world are sports teams, and there is a lot to learn about how they engage with their audiences.

You can watch the full video below, and read through this blog post for quick links to the topics we discuss.

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How We Handle Feature Requests at Slope

[fa icon="calendar'] 3/28/18 2:50 PM / by Kyle Gostinger posted in Product

We hear a lot of feature requests here at Slope. A. Lot. Any sales call inevitably ends with the customer suggesting some kind of addition to the product, and it can be difficult to prioritize the feedback. As a startup, we need to be very intentional at how we allocate our resources and time when choosing which features to add into the product and when. Here’s some insight into our process when we receive feature requests. 

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Why You Need to Document Your Distribution Workflow

[fa icon="calendar'] 3/26/18 10:46 AM / by Hassaan Bey posted in Featured Post

When you’re dealing with all of the moving parts involved with a content mill, the last thing you want to deal with is uncertainty when it’s time to publish. Of course, in a perfect world everything is where it needs to be a day or two before it’s scheduled to go out. But when you work in creative, last minute hiccups happen regardless of how perfect that perfect world might be. That’s where documenting your distribution workflow comes in.

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The Roundup: Why Marketing Matters During Oscar Season

[fa icon="calendar'] 3/21/18 4:54 PM / by Brian Bosché posted in Featured Post

Every year during Oscar Season, fans and critics alike spend hours debating which film should win the notable award. What doesn't get discussed nearly as much is the essential role that marketing plays in determining who actually wins.

In this episode of The Roundup, a weekly series in which Hassaan (Slope's Creative Manager) and myself (CEO & Co-Founder) discuss news from across the marketing and creative industry, we discuss the strategy behind The Shape of Water's trailers, whether Netflix content should be included in the Oscars, and the unique way Three Billboards used... billboards... to promote their movie.

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How to Better Communicate Bottlenecks to Stakeholders

[fa icon="calendar'] 3/13/18 1:44 PM / by Hassaan Bey

There’s nothing more frustrating than dealing with being the only one who sees a bottleneck. This is especially true when that bottleneck isn’t necessarily stopping you from hitting your goals–but only as a result of you working harder than the project warrants. While it can be difficult to communicate these types of bottlenecks to your stakeholders, especially when you’re hitting all of your KPIs, there’s still ways to get them on board with implementing a solution.

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