A statewide tourism boom has ignited a growth spurt at Tampa-based ad agency Spark.
The firm has hired 10 people in 2013, to raise the payroll to 38 employees. Sales are up 25% over last year, and Spark now has clients locally and across the country, from the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg to a boutique hotel in Seattle. “We've had a great year,” founder and Chief Creative Officer Michael Peters tells Coffee Talk. “The travel and hospitality area has really helped us.”
New clients include Visit Florida, Visit Tampa Bay and The Epicurean, a Tampa hotel with a planned opening this December. Several people hired for those accounts and other work, adds Peters, come to Spark from bigger talent pools in New York, San Francisco and San Diego. The company intends to hire several more employees in 2014.
Peters says two industry trends drive the firm's growth, beyond tourism. Those trends are content marketing and a move from clients to spend more money on digital marketing and ads, and less on traditional media, such as print. Content marketing, says Peters, the idea of delivering information to customers by multiple forms of media, from videos and e-books to infographics and websites, is an especially influential movement. Most of the new hires at Spark work on content marketing for clients.
“It's not a growing trend that's going to go up and then go away,” Peters says. “It's here to stay.”