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HMG Creative Unwrapped: The Whole Story

HMG Creative Unwrapped: The Whole Story

Posted on Aug 22, 2019 by Sarah Hetrick

The Bold Beginning

At the age of 18, James Trumbly enlisted in the Marine Corps, kickstarting a lifetime of ambitious pursuits and bold endeavors. Four years later, after completing a tour in Iraq and Kuwait in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, James returned home, wrapping up his military career and embarking on the next exciting phase of his life: business ventures. With an entrepreneurial spirit, James joined a friend in opening a car dealership and auto brokering business. The business flourished, bringing a host of opportunities and connections, as well as a need for improved marketing resources. James knew a web presence would be crucial to the business’ continued success, so he took on the task of designing and developing the company’s first website. 

Completely self-taught, James learned development skills while pouring his efforts into the auto business. During this time, James was introduced to a small business owner whose local company sparked an innovative idea: an online hub to synthesize content for specific geographic regions. With new expertise in web development and the gusto of a true entrepreneur, James launched 411NorthCounty.com, an online community sourcing local content for eight North County cities of San Diego. The site integrated several resources for each county, including a directory, events calendar, local news, classifieds and job listings (think Craigslist meets Local News Source), fueled by sponsorships from small businesses.

The Early Years

As James and his team approached businesses for advertising services, it became evident that many lacked the resources for robust marketing and creative efforts. As a solution, 411NorthCounty.com expanded its offerings to include creative and marketing services for businesses in need of supplemental marketing support. The creative side of the business took off, so James sold 411NorthCounty.com to a local publication and honed his focus on the newly-founded creative agency… HMG Creative. 

During the initial stages, James ran HMG out of a friend’s small rented room where he lived at the time. Even still, the agency continued to grow and thrive, with expansion hinging on the addition of a talented designer/creative director. Fortunately at the same time, James’ childhood friend Johnny Jeffers, located in Austin, TX, was ready for the next step in his career and looking for a creative position. The two decided to partner up, and the rest is history. 

The Big Move

After a few years, HMG Creative upgraded from coffee shops and in-home offices to its first physical location, an office space in Vista, CA. Team members like Johnny continued to work remotely until 2011 when HMG made its biggest business move yet. In an effort to bring the whole team under one roof (and bring James back to his Texas roots), HMG moved its headquarters to Austin, planting HMG in a booming market, positioned for wild success and exponential growth as an agency expert in the creative industry.

The Climb to the Top

From our beginnings as a simple, home-grown agency to a well-respected, award-winning top agency, HMG has continued to provide quality digital marketing and creative services to clients for over 15 years. Throughout our years of growth, we learned that our key to success is not trying to be everything to everyone, but to find out what we’re good at and focus our efforts there. We’ve since been able to build a well-rounded, talented team with a sweet spot in mid-market companies where we feel we can offer the best services and value at a competitive price. We’re privileged to work with clients like RetailMeNot, Ikea, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and State Bar of Texas as a collaborative partner for their creative needs. 

As we continue to grow and evolve, HMG aims to be the go-to creative partner in Austin and Central Texas for brands seeking their next level of business growth. With unmatched reliability and talent, our goal is to provide the best ideas, expertise, and experience any agency can offer.

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How to Maintain Strong Brand Personality in Your Email Designs

How to Maintain Strong Brand Personality in Your Email Designs

Posted on Jul 31, 2019 by Sarah Hetrick

Maintaining a brand identity is no easy feat. The biggest brands have had years to strengthen and build up how they present themselves. These brands have the reputation to change whenever they need to go in a new direction. Branding impacts nearly every facet of how you do business, such as how your business looks, how it communicates, and how it markets. That’s why it’s integral to build a brand that customers can easily connect with, and also why you should maintain a strong brand personality throughout all of your online activities.  Continue Reading →

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Purpose: You Should Give a Sh*t

Purpose: You Should Give a Sh*t

Posted on Jul 12, 2019 by John Paulsen

“Purpose Driven Creative” – We say that to clients all the time. We discover, design and develop with a client’s core purpose as our compass.

Honestly, most clients don’t really care. No seriously, many don’t give two shits about the purpose behind their brand culture, their web presence, or their marketing strategy. I’ve sat in plenty of meetings with great people who don’t understand the idea of purpose as it relates to their business. I’ve spent countless pitch calls defining the difference between brand identity/logo colors and a comprehensive brand strategy. Most don’t get it.   Continue Reading →

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Vision & Mission Statements

Vision & Mission Statements

Posted on May 28, 2019 by John Paulsen

Initially, we titled this article “Vision vs. Mission” to clarify the difference between an organization’s mission to accomplish something and its vision to make an impact. The final title, as you may have already noticed, lost the word “versus.” Strategically, we want to demonstrate that while mission and vision are two different thoughts, they are by no means competing. One has a more in-depth focus than the other, but the two work in tandem.

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Why Apple’s New Ad Is Absolutely Genius

Why Apple’s New Ad Is Absolutely Genius

Posted on Apr 11, 2019 by Da Jin Kim

This week Apple released a new ad that is, quite frankly, as unlike Apple as can be. While Apple has for years been acclaimed for its eloquent, clean, inspiring, and rather calculated advertisements featuring its products, this week’s ad featured products in a much more realistic setting. Though the popularity of products from iPhones to AirPods is so prevalent that Apple no longer has to reiterate its slogan of “think different,” Apple has always been rooted to this famous catchphrase. Continue Reading →

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How Simon Sinek’s “Why” Changed Business as We Know It

How Simon Sinek’s “Why” Changed Business as We Know It

Posted on Apr 03, 2019 by Da Jin Kim

What is the true measure of business success? For years, successful companies have been defined by wide profit margins and exponential growth. In this day and age, however, businesses are shifting their definition of success beyond sales and revenue to also include further-reaching aspirations like purpose and social impact. Continue Reading →