North Valley hot air balloon company Rainbow Ryders

Craig Beckman said working with the North Valley hot air balloon company Rainbow Ryders, for whom they did web design and development as well as digital advertising, was a fun experience.

Co-owned by a Norterra husband-and-wife team, marketing and advertising agency Stoke Interactive aims to connect with clients and prioritize their vision, whether it’s a multimillion-dollar company or a local mom-and-pop shop.

“We’re a full-service marketing and advertising agency,” said Craig Beckman, co-owner. “We do everything from website design and development to print advertising, digital advertising and branding. I mean, we’re kind of full service, so if you can think about it in the advertising industry, there’s a good chance that we can get it accomplished.”

Lindsay Beckman, co-owner, has an extensive background in web development and design. She said she was also one of very few women doing coding in the early 2000s. With her skillset combined with Craig’s advertising skills, Stoke Interactive handles everything a company could possibly need, even if it is just opening.

“Our bread and butter is website design and development from the ground up. Then we do everything else from starting a business all the way to launching it,” Lindsay said. “So we start with branding, then go through all the graphic design, designing websites, any signage, brochures and print stuff. And then all the way up through photography, videography, advertising, SEO and social media. We kind of do it all, which has been awesome.”

Stoke Interactive started in 2008, when the couple still lived in San Francisco. Lindsay worked in a huge advertising agency with clients like Skype, the NBA, Hyundai and others. While she was certainly successful at her job, Lindsay said she wanted to work more directly with clients instead of a project manager handling the conversation and then passing along the information to her.

“I realized I wanted to do more of working directly with clients rather than being behind the scenes. I really enjoyed that excitement of hearing the client’s vision and coming up with a strategy to help them,” Lindsay said. “So when we decided to move to Phoenix, we just went full force with making it happen. It’s been great because it’s been me working with the owners of companies, seeing their visions and helping them bring that excitement to life, which is what I’ve always wanted to do.”

This one-on-one connection is something that Craig and Lindsay agreed made their business unique. They said they have gotten comments from clients about how unresponsive or uncooperative other companies were, whether going over budget, over timeline or just missing the mark on the intended vision. The first step in their process is to have an in-depth conversation about the business — their goals, clients, product, budget and timeframe. After that initial meeting, Craig then sends a detailed questionnaire to get even more information. He said getting this information is vital to making sure they meet the client’s needs and create a product they can be proud to showcase as their brand.

“I love the feedback and the collaboration of a client having a vision and being able to sit down with them and make it come to life,” Lindsay said. “That’s one of the most exciting things, because it’s not my business — it’s their business. We want to do everything we can to make them happy and represent them well. So, listening to all of their desires, wishes and goals is such a big part of it, and not trying to push too much of what we want to do but more about what they always wanted to do and help them achieve that goal.”

Because its approach is client focused, Stoke Interactive has been able to take on a wide range. Craig said they have worked with Firearms, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and Rainbow Ryders, a local hot air balloon company. Lindsay even designed the logo and created the mascot for Union Park School when it opened last year, and the company is working on projects with the Deer Valley Unified School District.

Lindsay and Craig try to keep their business local to be able to meet face to face and have good communication. On top of that, though, they live in the community and want to see it grow for the benefit of businesses and residents.

“We live in this community, our kids go to school here, and we’re involved with the school systems. We’re a big part of trying to do what we can to make Phoenix the happiest place for our family, which in turn means the happiest place for everyone else. It’s growing so fast and there’s so much exciting stuff happening here that it’s great to be a part of. I’m excited to see where it’s going to go.”

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