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Let’s Get Emotional: How to Truly Engage Your Audience

It doesn’t matter how actively you reach out to customers, how much original content you produce. It doesn’t even matter how good your brand’s reputation is. The bottom line is this: without emotionally engaging your customers, your brand will fail.

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10 Fun Facts You Didn't Know About Ascend

Everyone has some fun, quirky facts that make them special and unique. It’s what keeps things fun and interesting, in here and in the big world. Check out the top 10 fun - and maybe slightly odd - facts that make our team unlike any other.

What’s your best fun fact? We’d love to hear it!

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Guerrilla Marketing: Not as Scary as It Sounds

As the old saying goes, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

Well, in the marketing world, “when the marketing gets tough, the tough take to marketing.” It’s time to think like a guerrilla warrior and evaluate new, unexpected methods to attack - er, attract.  

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It’s the Little Things: How a Small Business Can Cultivate an Awesome Company Culture

Company culture can make or break a business. Instead of letting your company’s people become akin to the cast of the film Office Space, it’s important to build and cultivate a positive and healthy company culture that inwardly and outwardly projects an authentic impression. This article explores the definition of company culture, factors that must be considered, and how to implement a low-budget strategy for cultivating an awesome company culture, with examples from your friends at Ascend.

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Authenticity: In a World Cluttered with Spam, the Truth Shines Through

Authenticity is about establishing trust and drawing in customers by providing them with value. While it is about being transparent and showing consumers the real side of your brand (rather than just a polished, professional side), it is not necessarily about spontaneity. Some say it’s not so much about being honest or ethical - don’t donate to a charity just to drive sales - but more about being true, consistent, and trusted. This article dives into how we got here and how to practice authenticity in your own brand.

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From Cave Drawings to Helvetica: the History of Art & Design

There is a fine balance between the artist and design world. The work of creatives has overlapped since the beginning of time: from the very first cave drawing to the creation of Helvetica, art and design have always been connected.

Art can take on many forms: architecture, dance, sculpture, music, painting, and poetry. As society has progressed, so has our artwork. We’ve been through many art eras - the Renaissance, Modernism, Cubism, Baroque, Twentieth-Century - and now we are in the era of contemporary art. Every single one of these eras has developed the way that we design and create today: from color palettes, to font families, to layout, and pattern making, our past has brought us to a beautifully designed present.

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8 Killer CTA Examples & Why They Work

After the previous article about everything you need to plan, test, and optimize your own stellar CTAs, it's time to dive into some real-world examples to get the inspiration flowing. There is no exact equation for the perfect CTA to enhance CRO; however, there are many techniques and tricks to help you get the clicks you want from the right people. 

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CRO Crash Course: The Art of a Call-to-Action

You have a website for one key reason: to convert leads into customers. What is the fundamental element that closes the deal? The calls-to-action strategically and meticulously sprinkled all over your site. A call to action, simply put, is a method in which select words are used to prompt a user to complete an immediate action in a sales setting, either online or in print form. Though the definition of a call-to-action sounds easy-peasy, getting the most out of the ones you create for your website takes effort, so let’s walk through: the core elements of a call-to-action, the planning process, how to test your own CTAs, and finally, key optimization factors.

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Smarketing 101: Tying the Knot with Your Sales and Marketing Department

Besides being a funny-sounding portmanteau, smarketing is also the current lead-generating standard every business model needs. The actual term “smarketing” was coined by Hubspot around 2005, and the idea behind it is aligning the sales and marketing teams and processes within a company. It sounds simple in theory, but it takes a lot more effort in practice: after we touch on where this concept came from, we will walk through some essential elements that come together to form a successful smarketing strategy.

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Conscious Capitalism: Can Business be a Force for Good?

As his day job, Adam Melnick is the Senior Entrepreneurship Officer at nonprofit Colorado Lending Source and runs the Ice House 10-week entrepreneurship program there; he spent the last 3½ years learning everything he possibly could about entrepreneurship. About 2½ years ago, Adam was exposed, as he says, to the idea of Conscious Capitalism for the first time. The mission resonated so well with Adam’s passion, and his perception of the business culture of Colorado, that it inspired Adam to co-found the Colorado chapter of Conscious Capitalism.

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