Archive for News

avatar

IQ Spotlight: Nick Lentsch, Lead Developer

IQ Spotlight Nick Lentsch

 

IQ is made up of a bunch of rockstars that make incredible work for our clients everyday. We want to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to work in IQ, so every other Friday we’re going to interview an IQ-er and let you get to know them better.

For the official record, what is your name and your title at IQ?

My name is Nick Lentsch, and I’m the Lead Developer at IQ.

What does your ideal workspace look like?

I like a simple and clean workspace. I wish I had more monitors, but what developer doesn’t? I also want to get some more pictures of my family at my desk, especially with our new addition.

What are a few sites you visit at least once every week?

I like to check The Verge and get a daily dose of what’s new in tech around the world and I also check Quartz, which has more technical-specific industry news.

Tell me about the moment you knew this was the direction you wanted to pursue professionally.

I’ve really been into technology and gaming since I was a kid, and I just kept learning more. As I got older I started dabbling in different areas and liked development the most and just starting figuring out how I could make money doing what I loved to do. And here we are now.

What does “Creative Intelligence” mean to you?

To me it’s taking the newest technologies and using them the right way to integrate new ideas and creative problem solving and find great solutions to our client’s problems.

How has the recent addition of a new tiny human at home affected you and how you do work in the office?

I’m not getting that much sleep, so I just feel tired a lot of the time. Having two small kids at home is exponentially more difficult than just one. That’s for sure.

Quickfire:

Cake or Pie?

Cake.

Pizza or Spaghetti?

Pizza.

Marvel or DC?

Marvel.

Math or English?

Math.

Spring or Fall?

Fall.

Now you know a little more about Nick Lentsch!

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

You may also like:

IQ Spotlight: Carol Montoto: Associate Creative Director

Danger: Good Times Ahead

Pushing Boundaries in a New Year

avatar

Danger: Good Times Ahead

Danger: Good Times Ahead

In case you haven’t noticed there is a sea change happening in business. As companies go into 2015 they are more confident that their marketplace is solid than at any time in the last five plus years. This is very different from every January I can remember since the recession hit. If you recall, as we would roll into each New Year, brands would emerge extremely cautiously, prepared at any moment to run for cover as they watched their consumers crawl back into their shell. Of course they had reason to be gun-shy. Pretty much on schedule every year the promise of the economy turned to ashes usually around the second quarter. Budgets were cut, rosy forecasts trimmed and the rest of the year was usually a matter of subsistence marketing.

This year, however, is different. Confidence is brimming, because the fundamentals are finally, truly strong. More important, consumers feel the wind at the back of the economy for the first time in a long time. As a result brands are bullishly turning their attention to full force competition. That’s a big shift in mind-set. Planning to grow market share in the face of competitive pressure requires a different set of strategies and tactics to those required to just make it through the year.  This is made much more demanding when you consider that consumers have been trained by years of scarcity to be value conscious, sophisticated buyers. The upshot is the most challenging, competitive environment brands have probably ever seen.

The lean years have turned consumers into smart, careful shoppers. Buyers of all stripes have been provided with the tools, education and practice to become adept digital consumers armed with the skills required to make the best possible decisions every time. This has reshaped the buying process and redefined consumer expectations. Now there is really no choice for brands but to deliver enablement, transparency, quality and a superior experience. Anyway you look at it, it’s a tough nut to crack, but the companies that deliver on these expectations will earn a place in the consideration set.

All of this requires not only a different mind-set, but also a different tool kit to what brands used the last time they went out to do battle in a strong economic environment. Some forward thinking companies saw this coming, recognized that buying dynamics would forever be linked to new consumer expectations and put the pieces of a new kind of brand ecosystem in place. This ecosystem intelligently connects all of a brand’s touch-points throughout the consumer decision journey. With technology supplying consumer insights, and content keeping the consumer engaged, the new brand ecosystem has shifted to more science than art, and provides companies with more predictability even in the face of more complexity.

Today as we launch into the best environment in years, those brands that studied the new consumer and invested in the infrastructure and technology, find themselves ready to activate these sophisticated marketing ecosystems. Brands that did not do the work, however, are in a very different position. They will quickly find that they don’t have what they need and will be forced to not just change the tires on the bus at 60 mph, but to try and rebuild the whole bus without stopping.

Within the next few months the gap between the haves and have-nots will play out and for the first time the stark realities of marketing in the digital age will be plain for even the most hitherto blinkered to see.

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

You may also like:

Pushing Boundaries in a New Year

Head to Head: IQ Designers Duke it Out Over Brand Style Guides

3 Technology Game Changers

avatar

Pushing Boundaries in a New Year

Social kickoff January 2015

It’s the first Monday at work in 2015, and at IQ we’re thinking about growth, refining skills, and transformation. This month we’re focusing on pushing boundaries in creative intelligence. We will be sharing original articles here on the blog and in our other social media channels (TwitterFacebookTumblr, and LinkedIn). We’ll also be sharing other articles and links that inspire us and push our perceived limits. So keep an eye on our channels as we share things that push, grow, and expand our creative intelligence.

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

You may also like:

IQ Spotlight: Carol Montoto, Associate Creative Director

Head to Head: IQ Designers Duke it Out Over Brand Style Guides

3 Technology Game Changers

avatar

IQ Spotlight: Carol Montoto, Associate Creative Director

Carol Montoto, ACD

Carol in her Ugly Christmas Sweater for the contest at the IQ Holiday Party.

IQ is made up of a bunch of rockstars that make incredible work for our clients everyday. We want to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to work in IQ, so every other Friday we’re going to interview an IQ-er and let you get to know them better.

For the official record, what is your name and your title at IQ?

My name is Carol Montoto and I’m an Associate Creative Director at IQ.

Tell me about your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame microsite I worked on when I was at Sapient-Nitro. It was a massive project that we had to get finished in a month. We were working nights and weekends and it wasn’t just the creative team, we worked closely with our developers, our motion graphic guys, everyone was just so passionate about the project and the end result was amazing and totally reflected that passion.

What’s your superpower?

I would say my energy. I’m sure you’ve seen me running around the office like a crazy person getting all the things done. Maybe the coffee helps.

Outside of IQ’s clients, what brand is doing really well in advertising lately?

For me, they have to suck me in and make me think it’s not an ad until they show the brand and I’m like “oh, they got me!” I really liked when Skeletor took over Honda’s twitter a couple weeks ago.

What is “Creative Intelligence” mean to you?

I think it’s more the collective of brains in a room coming together. Not just people in any one department, but the cohesive vision of the agency.

What is your favorite holiday tradition?

Anything snow related, even if it’s fake snow. I try to go skiing and snowboarding at least once during this time of year. I love snow?

Quickfire:

Hat or scarf?

Scarf.

Sun or moon?

Sun.

Strawberry of blueberry?

Strawberry.

West coast or East coast?

West coast.

Handwritten or typed?

Handwritten.

Now you know a little more about Carol Montoto!

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

You may also like:

Russ Sauvé, Social Media Community Manager

Head to Head: IQ Designers Duke it Out over Style Guides

Why Designers Love Whitespace

avatar

Snapchat is the New Facebook.

A quick explanation of why brands should love Snaps.

Snapchat article by Eric

As our social media channels become overrun with stagnant ads, eager parents (and grandparents), over filtered photos of food, and articles that begin with “Top ten things,” the next generation of users have found a new way of sharing their lives: Snapchat. Brands are looking, too. Snapchat is a mobile only platform that allows real time sharing of someone’s life. No filters, no editing, no “10 reasons why_____.” Just you telling a story with your phone. Casey Neistat does an amazing job explaining the rise of Snapchat in his recent video with Jerome Jarre:

Yet as this new space is emerging, few brands are taking advantage of the 30 million monthly active users, mainly because no one has really figured out the best way how.

Right now there are three ways brands are using it:

Sponsored Snapchat:

These are posts that go out to every user, from Snapchat. They are usually pretty short and generally video. Recently there was a trailer for the Dumb and Dumber movie that went out.

Sponsored Snapchatters:

This is where a company approaches a popular Snapchatter and then asks them to do a story sponsored by them. For instance Casey Neistat spent a day with Karlie Kloss for fashion week, sponsoring and advertising Vogue.com.

Point all other channels to Snapchat:

This allows companies to use their existing audience on their other social channels to follow their Snapchat. This requires them to constantly produce content to keep people involved and interested, which is time consuming and expensive.

Speaking of content, this is the second problem companies are having: quickly producing cheap, quality content. No company (that I know of) is doing that right now. But individuals are, which is exciting because there is a totally new space that is untouched by brand use.

The fact is Snapchat is here to stay. It has been quickly adopted by the next generation of social users, and the current generation is adopting it, too. Snapchat is the perfect space for a new brand to be born on, and an even better space for a current brand to own. The opportunity is ripe. You just have to reach out and take it.

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

You may also like:

Russ Sauvé, Social Media Community Manager

IQ Presents #IQgifts!

Why Designers Love Whitespace

avatar

IQ Spotlight: Russ Sauve, Social Media Community Manager

Russ Sauve Social Media Comm. Mgr.

IQ is made up of a bunch of rockstars that make incredible work for our clients everyday. We want to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to work in IQ, so every other Friday we’re going to interview an IQ-er and let you get to know them better.

For the official record, what is your name and your title at IQ?

Russ Sauvé, and my title is Social Media Community Manager.

What is your favorite aspect of working at IQ?

Besides the incredibly kind people my favorite aspect is that no one has said; “don’t do it that way.” I’ve asked colleagues for input on deliverables to make sure I’m headed down the right path.  Instead of negative feedback when they see an improvable moment coworkers ask questions to nudge the ship in a more desired direction. They are helping me think in a more strategic manner. Those moments have been something remarkably fun to tap into, learn, and use in my day-to-day work.

Tell me about the moment you knew that this was the direction you wanted to pursue professionally?

I was fortunate enough to be employed at a live entertainment venue when social evolved to being a platform for brands. In launching and managing our social channels I became the biggest advocate and defender of our digital fans.  It was an amazing honor to help our fans experience and celebrate concerts, shows, events, and the historic venue in new ways.  Encouraging the fans and guests created passionate and outspoken advocates.

In your own words, what is “Creative Intelligence?”

Find data, sort data, and use data to create content that digital guests desire while delivering the message you want served. Utilizing what you know about your audience and giving them the awesome content they want that engages them and makes them not only a fan, but an outspoken positive digital force for your brand.

When do you feel like you actually became an adult?

The beginning of my career wasn’t exactly stellar; I got my butt kicked a lot (and deservedly so). But I would say I really became an adult about eight years ago when I started working at the historic live entertainment venue. Being a part of a historic organization where no one person is bigger than the whole and the venue always comes first, whether it’s restoring, maintaining, or serving the guests that keep it open.  That awakened a sense of humility and a desire to serve others.

QUICKFIRE:

Kindle or paperback?

iPad.

Wine or whiskey?

Whiskey.

Summer or winter?

Fall.

Cake or pie?

Neither, beef jerkey.

Pirates or ninjas?

*long pause* Mutants.

So now you know a little bit more about Russ Sauvé!

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

You may also like:

IQ Spotlight: Marica Slaughter, Program Manager

IQ Presents #IQgifts!

Why Designers Love Whitespace

avatar

3 Technology Game-Changers

Part of our job at IQ Agency is to make sure our clients don’t get blind-sided by new technologies, devices or changes in consumer behavior. So we make sure we know what’s going on and what’s coming. Being the founder and board chair of SoDA, the Society of Digital Agencies, helps because it lets us at IQ see what many of the most advanced, innovative agencies and companies in the world are working on. Here is a glimpse of some technologies that look like they might bring big change in the not too distant future.

1. Virtual Reality is Real Now

Virtual Reality

The Oculus headset at SoDA’s “What’s Next” meeting.

The first is virtual reality from Oculus Rift. This is a company, bought by Facebook last year, which is near to perfecting a virtual reality headset. I tried it, it is not a toy, and it is already remarkable. Imagine a viewing experience with normal peripheral vision. The image you see is an environment that responds to your movements almost exactly as it would in life. One of the programs I tried had me as a judge on “The Voice”. When I looked to my left there was the real Blake Shelton, when I looked to my right I could see Gwen Stefani in the next seat over. I can easily see how disruptive immersive, VR experiences will be, first in games, then in entertainment and marketing.  It reminded me of a movie called “Strange Days” which posits a future in which virtual reality is more seductive than life itself. I think this technology, which is going to market very soon, will take a little while to filter down to marketing, but once people have the headsets, the marketing applications will be endless.

2. Augmented Reality – Not a Gimmick Anymore

Style My Floor AR app

“Style My Floor” AR app

Augmented reality is also getting ready for prime time. Right now we use it for things like the “Style My Floor” app my agency just designed for a flooring company, where you can instantly see what your floors would look like in any number of different materials. But this technology is evolving fast to enable a virtual layer on life. Imagine seeing driving directions actually on the street, like the down markers in a football game, or vacancy signs at hotels, or a big arrow in the sky pointing at the building you are going to.  The marketing applications, especially for retail business will know no bounds.

3. The Data Layer is Forming

Google Glass by Luxotica

Fashion versions of Google Glass from Luxottica

Now hold that thought about augmented reality and think about what’s happening with Google Glass. I know, it may seem like an irrelevant novelty after all the empty hype. But things are quietly a-foot. Luxottica, the biggest eyewear company in the World, has partnered with Google to produce fashion versions of Google Glass that will look just like regular glasses. This will enable all of us to walk around life informed by a layer of data. Imagine what might be useful when you can get environment specific data in your glasses. Now combine a wearable device like this with all the data that the “Internet of Things” will produce, AND the possibilities of augmented reality, and you can see the potential. Before long I think this living data layer will be as ubiquitous as the smart phone and we will all, marketers included, wonder what we did without it.

4. Getting Ready for Tomorrow

Connect Cultivate Convert

All these technologies, and others, are on their way, but brands will only be able to take advantage of them if they are ready. That means getting their marketing ecosystem, which is now predominantly digital, wired up and operating.  This is not quite as easy as it sounds, but has to be done. It starts with having a sophisticated consumer centric strategy built round the new dynamics of the digital consumer. All these fantastic new technologies are coming, but if brands haven’t done these basics, they won’t have a marketing ecosystem to connect them to.

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

You may also like:

The SoDA Report – Volume 2, 2014

IQ Spotlight: Marica Slaughter, Program Manager

Designers Love Whitespace

avatar

IQ Presents #IQgifts!

Kicking off #IQgifts

December is here with its wintry weather and all the colors and festivities the holidays bring, and here at IQ we’re kicking off #IQgifts! We’re celebrating creative intelligence by giving back! We want to give back to you, not only in helpful ways for your day-to-day work, but also ways to give back in your local community. We will be sharing original articles here and in our other social channels (TwitterFacebookTumblr, and LinkedIn). We’ll also be sharing articles and links from other sites that were gifts to us. So keep an eye out for the #IQgifts hashtag as we share things that keep our creative intelligence under wraps.

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

You may also like:

Designers Love Whitespace

IQ Typography Challenge

IQ Spotlight: Marica Slaughter, Program Manager

avatar

IQ Spotlight: Marica Slaughter, Program Manager

IQ Spotlight Marica Program Mgr

IQ is made up of a bunch of rockstars that make incredible work for our clients everyday. We want to give you a glimpse of what it’s like to work in IQ, so every other Friday we’re going to interview an IQ-er and let you get to know them better.

For the official record what is your name and what is your title here at IQ?
I’m Marica Slaughter, and I am a Program Manager at IQ.

Tell me about the moment you knew this was the direction you wanted to pursue professionally?

Throughout high school I would take advantage of every opportunity to draw, and I loved it. So I went to Georgia State and got my Bachelor’s in Fine Arts & Studio Arts with the hopes of one day being an animator. That was the dream. So I went to get my Master’s in Animation. After three straight nights of drawing characters all night I realized I really enjoyed the process of collaborating with voice over actors, after affects animator, the sound and editing guys much more than the drawing part.

What is your role in building the client/agency relationship?

As a Program Manager I manage a portfolio of projects for an account including planning, organizing, financial and resource management.  My job is to be able to identify and manage cross-project dependencies on the account.  The account management team manages the relationship with the client, but collectively we work to ensure client goals are achievable and improve brand performance.

What is something you know now about your job that you wish you knew when you were starting out?

That’s a tough one. In your career path you try to make sure you are fully prepared for what’s to come, but I think lessons are learned as you’re ready to learn them, at least that’s been my experience. Though I would have liked to learn how to distance my personal investment in a project so professional critiques felt less personal earlier on.

What does “Creative Intelligence” mean to you?

For me “Creative Intelligence” is the ability of collaborative minds to leverage each others creativity to influence and create innovative ideas.

What is your social media platform of choice?

Facebook. I just got on it a year ago, so we’re still in the honeymoon phase. I try to balance out time away from it, but it just keeps sucking me right back in.

Now it’s time for the quick-fire questions. So, waffles or pancakes?

Pancakes.

Beach or pool?

Pool.

Unicorns or narwhals?

Unicorns.

Video games or board games?

Video games.

Tea or coffee?

Coffee.

So now you know a little bit more about Marica Slaughter!

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

You may also like:

IQ Spotlight: Tricia Gillentine, Art Director

Why Designers Love Whitespace

SoDA Report – Volume 2, 2014

avatar

Designers Love Whitespace

The logic behind why we heart it so.

IQ Designers Love Whitespace

We do. It’s true. Designers really do LOVE whitespace. And whitespace is one of the most useful, yet most overlooked, tools in designing for advertising. But we often receive client feedback saying, “there is just too much whitespace” or, “that’s too much room between elements.”

When we’re tasked with incorporating many messages into a single digital advertising element, it’s easy for our clients to feel pressured to fill whitespace. But the idea that whitespace is empty, unused space in the design of a web page is a misconception that needs to be remedied.

When considered correctly, whitespace is a useful design element — yes, design element. Even the parts of a web page without content help the user interpret any message on the page. Whitespace encompasses the space around content, as well as, margins, padding, line and letter spacing, and gutters.

So why do designers cling to this seemingly blank space? Because Whitespace impacts the user experience in four key ways:

Draw the eye to a specific point.

Using the simplicity of the page to emphasize a message will direct where the user should look. One of the most successful companies that uses simple, clean design to guide users through content is Google. In the article, The Beauty of Simplicity from Fast Company, author Linda Tischler explains how the complex tool is made to be simple by the use of whitespace.

Prioritize messages.

In the same way that whitespace draws a user’s eye a point on the page, it will also help prioritize messaging. When a user is forced to navigate through multiple types of content competing for their attention, the message has potential to be lost in the noise. Using whitespace as a design element will help to guide users on an intentional path of content consumption, directed subtly by a company’s website.

Increase readability.

For A List Apart, Mark Boulton wrote an informative article on the ability of whitespace to increase a user’s ability to read content on a page, based on the amount of space given to each letter and line of content. A slight reconsideration of the design, giving more space can make an entire page more legible without decreasing the amount of content.

Over the years, Google has also become a great example of whitespace being used to increase readability and scannability of heavy content. What used to be a crammed page has now given way to a more open, spacious page that allows users to scan the page quickly for the information most relevant to their search.

Position your brand.

Luxury brands utilize a lot of whitespace. Using whitespace immediately creates a new visual statement of elegance, putting the focus on product paired with a simple and direct message. Many high-end cosmetic and jewelry brands, such as Chanel or Marc Jacobs, use white space to create visual luxury.

Discover even more about whitespace with these resources that give more information on using whitespace as a design and user experience tool:

The Verge, Eluption, UX Myths, A List Apart, How Google Uses Whitespace, Smashing Magazine, Hack Design, and Fast Company.

Want to know more about IQ? Contact Us

You may also like:

Mobile First Web Design

IQ Typography Challenge: Candy IQ

IQ Spotlight: Tricia Gillentine, Art Director

Stay Informed