SYRACUSE — Zoey Advertising has a new home base after moving to 906 Spencer St. this past May. Along with having it renovated to suit the agency’s needs, it also has room to house its growing staff.
While many businesses in the advertising industry cut staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoey Advertising did the opposite, growing from 12 to 15 employees.
Owner Steve Roberts attributes that growth to the agency’s strategy, which isn’t just about selling ads. “Our clients are really more partners than they are customers,” he says. “There are lots of places that will sell ads. I don’t want to sell ads. I want to create a strategy.”
The philosophy not only helped the agency’s existing clients during the pandemic, but also brought in new clients as Zoey worked with them to navigate the ever-changing pandemic landscape, he says.
Formerly housed in about 2,000 square feet above Harbor View Wine and Liquors at 936 N. Clinton St., Zoey Advertising now occupies more than 3,000 square feet in its new location.
“We built specific spaces here,” Roberts notes. One thing needed was more studio space for “The Local Show” radio program the agency hosts on WSYR radio. The program — which airs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays and again from 7-9 a.m. on Sundays —features an ongoing “conversation” between Zoey Advertising and local business owners.
The new Spencer Street office includes a custom-built recording studio instead of a space modified to serve as a studio, Roberts says. “We’ve also got expanded areas to do video and photography.”
The larger office also provides more office space and a large “think tank” space for meetings between staff and clients.
“It’s a more productive space, a more collaborative space,” he says.
While he could have moved the agency anywhere, Roberts chose to stay in Syracuse. “We wanted to be in the city of Syracuse,” he says. The new location is convenient for both employees and clients and provides plenty of parking.
The space also provides room to grow further, Roberts notes. While he’s happy with the current staffing level, the agency has several opportunities to grow via new clients that would require even more staff. “I can’t believe how many opportunities,” he says.
Zoey Advertising currently has about 25 clients at any given time. Regular clients include Geddes Federal Savings and Loan, New York State Maple, Clinton’s Ditch - The Pepsi Place, The Syracuse Nationals, and Heid’s of Liverpool.
The agency (www.zoeyadvertising.com) provides an array of services to match the marketing strategy it develops with each client. They include photography and videography services, audio and video commercial production, web development, and social media. Zoey even has licensed drone visual creators on its team, Roberts notes.
He started Zoey Advertising in 2010 after suffering an injury in a car accident and leaving his previous job as an outreach director for a Christian ministry. His recovery was long, and he started Zoey on a part-time basis while he healed.
Roberts named the agency after his dog Zoey, a soft-coated Wheaten terrier who comes to work with him every day and makes sure to greet every client.