The bottle on the shelf: How great design complements EOP strategy

Here at The Hodges Partnership, we’re big believers in the EOP model – short for earned, owned and paid media.

We’ve got folks on staff who eat, sleep and breath earned media. They have Today show reporters on speed dial. Other Hodgers live in the owned media world, churning out quippy social media content in their sleep. And a third paid media crew can tell you all about Meta’s average cost-per-click and why A/B testing is the way to go.

My team? We span all three.

Design is the through line that runs across the entire EOP model, and over the past several years, Hodges has very intentionally invested in and grown its internal creative services team. Here are two reasons it’s not only made sense for us as an agency but also has proven to be invaluable.

Design exists everywhere, and it impacts customer behavior

How many times have you gone to the grocery store and chosen something based on the packaging? You know you like Cabernet Sauvignon, but you are greeted with 58 different Cab Sauv bottles staring back at you, so you snag one with a cool label and cross your fingers that it will become a new favorite.

The same can be said across all other industries. Customers gravitate towards things that are pleasant to look at. So do clients. It sounds shallow, but thank goodness it’s the truth, or I wouldn’t have a job.

It would be a shame to have the world’s best product or service and be less successful because your presentation of it is doing it a disservice. That’s where we come in.

On the earned front, we’ve put together b-roll packages to help a reporter better tell a client story. We’ve created infographic one-pagers and demonstration signage to help clients secure funding during General Assembly season. On the owned front, we’ve designed annual reports, photo backdrops, trivia games and printed maps. And on the paid front, we’ve probably designed 1000+ social media ads and banner ads of all size.

When each leg of the EOP stool strategically comes together and how they are each presented looks cohesive and thoughtful, it elevates a brand and its offering, making it easier for them to find success – whether that’s clicks, downloads, purchase behavior or engagements.

Internal design capabilities streamline project management for our clients

With an internal creative department, the clients that come to us for media relations and content marketing – two of our core capabilities, can easily access design services without having to find an outside design partner – making their lives easier, which is what we set out to do every day.

They don’t have to spend valuable time researching other partners, getting them up to speed on their business and the project at hand. They work with one account manager but have access to media relations experts, reporting and analytics-minded folks and designers.

That said, some client needs go above and beyond the design services we offer to complement our EOP work, and in those cases, our clients are afforded the benefit of having Hodges leverage our industry relationships to find the right third party partner and manage the project from start to finish.

We have a deep bench of talented ad agencies, illustrators, animators, photographers and videographers we work closely with throughout the year and pull in as projects come up.

We have the relationships, so our clients can focus their time and energy where they need it most.

At the end of the day, our goal at Hodges is to help make our clients the heroes, and part of that is making them look good – literally. Taking a corporate, word-heavy report and turning it into one you might pick off the shelf if you were looking at 58 of them. If your brand needs help connecting the EOP dots through design, shoot us an email.

Aidan Newbold

With almost ten years of experience in the design space, Aidan Newbold is The Hodges Partnership’s Director of Creative Services. She has a multidisciplinary background with experience in graphic design, fine art, illustration, writing, advertising and photography.

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