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AMA Recap: The Future of Search

American Marketing Association (AMA) held a workshop titled, “The Future of Search”. Scott Schaper from Unravel talked about the trends of Internet browsing over the years and Google’s ever-changing algorithm. Considering Google dominates searches on the Internet with 90% of the market, it is important to try to stay on top of what they are up to. One of the big things they are up to right now is making non-secure connections more apparent to website users. I talked about this a few months ago in SSL Certificate = Secure Connection. Browsers have begun showing discreet warnings. I’ve noticed some people question and show concern over these warnings, while others are either not bothered by them or they don’t even notice them. Google plans to make those warnings more prominent to users in their Chrome browser. I first heard this was going to happen in October of this year but I haven’t seen it yet. Schaper is saying it will happen in January of 2018. Security was only one of the topics covered in the workshop regarding a user’s experience.…

Kindness + Empathy = Loyalty

Adobe MAX 2017 Recap: Building Fun, Creative Work Environments

Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of Creative Mornings and owner of SwissMiss design blog and studio, was one of the speakers at Adobe MAX this year. She talked about some of the values she bases her companies on, her approach to being a leader and her favorite interview questions. She is genuine and inspiring and has a unique way of building fun and creative work environments. Tina was trained as a graphic designer in Switzerland and Germany but had a dream to go to New York City. She recalls the business owner who hired her for her first job in NY and continues to show gratitude toward him. “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” — William Arthur Ward Becoming a mom inspired Tina to pursue other dreams she had in life, such as starting her own design studio and her own blog. She says, “I’m a better boss because I’m a mom and I’m a better mom because I’m a boss. Both of these roles force you to really think about what…

KCDMA - Flipping the Funnel

“Flipping the Funnel” – KCDMA Luncheon Recap

Account Based Marketing Strategies for Niche Audiences Selling a product or service in a highly competitive marketplace can be a challenge, especially if you are trying to reach a unique audience. Having a small marketing budget makes the challenge even greater. Angela Ridpath, Vice President of Marketing at MCH Strategic Data, spoke at this month’s KCDMA Luncheon. She shared how MCH breaks away from the traditional marketing strategy by flipping the funnel. With the traditional conversion funnel, you market to a large audience of potential customers but only a small percentage of that audience takes action and becomes your customers. What happens when you first identify who your customers are and market only to them? This is what a flipped funnel would look like. After identifying your audience, dedicate a lot of time creating high quality content. At the presentation, Angela passed around an example of a direct marketing piece that was mailed to their target audience. It was similar to one of those greeting cards that plays an audio clip when the card is opened. In this example a…

https:// secure connection

SSL Certificate = Secure Connection

I used to think only websites that accept credit card information need an SSL certificate. Although those websites do need the highest level of security, they are not the only websites that need a certificate. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It is used to validate your website’s identity and encrypt the information sent to and received from your website. This keeps hackers from being able to see and steal private information. Source: dzone.com Internet browsers are now making it more apparent when a website does not have a certificate by showing some of these indicators. In most cases, this is nothing to be alarmed about, but it does give customers a sense of insecurity. Some people viewing these websites feel vulnerable to having their personal information stolen or publicized. Although the majority of our retailer websites do not require a customer to sign in when viewing the website, we do offer an option to register and sign in. Registering gives customers the ability to sign up for email newsletters or text messaging. They can save shopping lists and recipes,…

Graphic for Wordcamp Kansas City 2017.

WordCamp recap – Digital Business Decisions

“Entrepreneurs are the most creative, risk-taking people, but they are in denial of what they really need.” —Melissa Roberts, speaker at WordCamp Kansas City 2017. While I was at WordCamp – Kansas City, I sat in on a session targeted toward business owners. I walked away with some good questions for our retailers to ask themselves when they are considering a website or other digital marketing services for their store. 1. How complex should my website be? How serious am I about my business? Is it a business or a hobby? 2. Who is my customer? What are their demographics and interests? 3. Where and how does my customer make buying decisions? (website, social media, email) 4. What is my brand identity and positioning? What is my unique value proposition (UVP)? A UVP is a clear statement that describes how you solve your customer’s needs and what distinguishes you from the competition. 5. How much should I pay for a website? Some entrepreneurs want to do their own website, then find they are spreading themselves too thin and do not…

Women collaborating in workplace

Recap: Conference for Women

Women have worked hard for decades to prove their abilities and equality with men in the workplace. We, as women, need to put more effort into both our spoken and written communication skills to make sure they are powerful, and that they are a positive reflection of our talents and skills. I recently attended SkillPath’s Conference for Women where we learned some tips on communicating with power and professionalism. We were encouraged to evaluate how we come across to others. What are our facial expressions saying? What does our voicemail greeting sound like? Are we easily approachable? Do we expect others to read our minds or think the same way we do? In one of the sessions we learned about the 4 different types of personalities in the workplace – Focuser (self-starter), Relator (enthusiastic), Integrator (finisher) and Operator (detailer) and then learned more about how those personalities work together. What personality types do you work with? Do you work with “difficult” people who ruin your day? Is it really them who are causing you to have a bad day or…

Breakout KC entrance

Coffee & Design Recap: Breakout KC

Escape room experiences are exploding across the country and Kansas City was one of the first places to bring us the experience. There are now over 2000 rooms in the world. Breakout KC has been ranked in the top 5 by Trip Advisor and USA Today. Matt Baysinger, one of the founders of Breakout KC, heard about this new concept and asked his friend and co-founder to jump on a plane to go check out a few escape rooms. They soon opened their first facility in Kansas City and now have locations in Lawrence, Honolulu and Columbia, MO. They will be opening another location soon in Omaha. In an interview with The Pitch, Matt calls himself a catalyst. He says, “I love to take 10-year plans and turn them into 10-month plans.” After hearing from one of the staff members on the tour, he agrees Matt is a person with ideas and he works with his team to turn those ideas into reality. Upon visiting a real life escape room, you and your group are “locked” in a room filled…

letterpress dingbats

KCCIPA – KCDesignCore recap

Letterpress, lead type, screen print, saddle stitching, corner rounder, litho, calligraphy – just a few of the terms that were thrown around last night at Adobe’s KCDesignCore meetup. Our small group of designers were taken back in time as Calvert Guthrie graciously gave us a tour of his community print shop, Kansas City Center for the Ink & Paper Arts (KCCIPA). Calvert’s space, rented to local artists, comes fully equipped with everything a printer needs, including quite the collection of antique and modern printing presses. He also teaches classes, which include letterpress printing and calligraphy. Calligraphy is something he specialized in when he worked on greeting cards for Hallmark. When I was in Typography class in college, we practiced calligraphy, which has become somewhat of a lost art since the age of computers. We were also required to learn and identify over 100 fonts. Being able to instantly identify a font really speeded up my workflow as I was designing graphics. Since then, I’ve forgotten some of the characteristics of many fonts and the number of fonts I immediately recognize…

Mobile Phone home screen shortcuts

Mobile Phone Website Shortcuts

I’ve talked to a couple of our retailers lately who have asked for a way for customers to create a shortcut on their mobile phones that take them straight to the store’s website. The shortcut appears on the phone’s home screen the same way an icon to a mobile app appears. Based on which phone version you have, the steps may vary slightly but I am including them here for both the iPhone and Android.   iPhone Open website in Safari After the website loads, touch the share icon at the bottom of the phone screen.   Touch the Add to Home Screen button.   Touch the Add link at the top of the screen.   The icon appears on the phone’s home screen.   Android Open website in browser After the website loads, touch the More or Menu link in the upper right corner of the phone screen.   When the menu appears, touch Add Shortcut on Home Screen link.   The icon appears on the phone’s home screen.  

flying trapeze artist

Creative Mornings – Fantasy

At the most recent Creative Mornings event I attended, Heidi Van, Founder, Actress and Producing Artistic Director at Fishtank Theatre, talked on the topic of “Fantasy – Imagination Restored”. Do you remember a time during your childhood when you were scolded for day dreaming? Heidi says day dreaming is not so bad. It’s a great moment when we throw ourselves into the great unknown. Imagine a trapeze artist flying from one bar to the next. Fantasy is imagination unrestrained. Fear and doubt restrain our creativity. “Everything we desire is on the other side of fear and desire is the energy of evolution.” “There is no one on earth more prepared to do this work than you are and no one who has more permission to create outrageous art than you do.” To watch Heidi’s presentation, go to Heidi Van Talk.