This interview originally appeared in The Silicon Review as part of a profile of the 10 Fastest Growing Digital Marketing Companies in 2018 (republished with permission; original here).
The digital world and the customers in it are changing, and no one knows this more than a company’s marketing department and media agencies. From strategists and analysts to designers and developers, there are a lot of roles that a digital agency can play in the growth of a brand.
As social networking becomes a primary activity for all ages — not just young people— it’s time to use creative thinking to expand research and garner greater shopper insights. Ad agencies are able to incorporate technological trends into creative strategy, whether it’s adding mobile experiences for older shoppers or incorporating a social networking community for an aging population. ThomasARTS, popularly known as TA is an independent ad agency that believes art and science can stand alone, but together they can create something much more powerful. TA helps its clients craft genuine emotional connections with their customers, using data to find the best times, places, and ways to do it. Headquartered at Farmington, Utah and with offices spread out in New York, Washington, D.C. and California, TA is one among the leading ad agencies in the US.
What led to the inception of the company?
I entered the world of marketing as a music composer and producer for radio and TV commercials. This exposure to advertising awakened the ad guy inside me. My ad career experience was wonderful with successful projects for Aetna, AARP, VSP (Vision Service Provider), Allstate, the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, Zions Bank, Iomega, UnitedHealthcare, Utah Travel Council, Mozy, and dozens of other local, national and global brands.
After twenty years of my stint in the ad world and my fling at running for political office, I founded TA in 2003 with my three sons. My primary motivation for starting an agency was to provide good jobs for people, then let them use their creativity, intelligence, and problem solving skills to help clients.
What were the grounds on which you have expanded your company and its offerings over the years?
We have always kept on top of market trends for ourselves because that is what we do for clients. We lived and breathed direct response marketing to produce results for our clients, so, as digital came to the forefront, we embraced it to produce results for our clients. With our legacy in direct response, we have always been about results, so our data and analytics capabilities just grew deeper as the science led it.
There are billions of Ad services in a limited number of niches. How will you make your strategies stand out amongst the rest?
That is easy because many agencies master one area like data or they have good ideas. At TA, we use the science plus the art to create the best solutions for our clients. And we never forget we are in a service business.
Are there any trigger factors that have played key roles in shaping your organization?
Gaining large clients on the east coast, in New York and Washington, D.C. enabled us to open larger offices and hire more people in those areas. We now have more client business on the east coast than anywhere else in the U.S.
Brand reputation management is a tricky task. How do you help your clients deal with that?
We have company values that include honesty, impact, and grit, among other things. We hire people of good character who use those values to work smart and hard for our clients. We get to the heart of their brand to enable them to deliver the right customer experience every point along the purchase cycle.
What drives you to excel in this arena?
Our clients! We always want to stay ahead of them in ideas, trends and understanding their market. We don’t rest, we continue to drive.
Sometimes branding and promotional strategies for a particular market sector are very challenging. How do you plan your strategies?
We have worked in healthcare and financial sectors for many years and have experienced the market dynamics. Our read of the market factors and legislative actions enables us to consult clients on business strategies first, then lead them to the right marketing strategies.
What do you feel fresher’s and peers need to keep in mind to figure out a place for themselves in today’s highly competitive marketplace?
People and organizations have to know how to add value. That is true in business as well as it is in life.
That is what is appreciated and rewarded.
Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?
We aim to have significant growth in all of our offices and serving even more Fortune 100 companies.