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Tyler Kimball's shuttlecock glass art

Creative Mornings: Transparency

At the last Creative Mornings presentation, Tyler Kimball from Monarch Glass Studio in the 18th and Vine District, spoke on Transparency. We were mainly treated to a digital display of many of his amazing pieces of art made from blown glass. But a couple quotes from him were good takeaways. When people ask him, “What is your favorite piece to make?” his response is, “Because I’m constantly growing, I answer, ‘The next one.’” He also said, “Glass is very reflective of the past, […] it harps on the present state-of-mind [… but also sees into my future.]” To watch Tyler’s presentation, go to Tyler Kimball Talk.

cerner.com website homepage

KC IABC – Enhancing the Digital Experience: The Redesign and Relaunch of cerner.com

Throughout 2016, Cerner’s marketing team was on a journey to relaunch cerner.com. Sarah Bond, Director of Brand & Digital Experience at Cerner, shared at the KC IABC October meeting the research, strategy and steps the team worked through to complete the launch. According to the research Sarah shared, 94% of clients go to a company’s website for information before contacting the company one-on-one. The website is the company’s front door. Over time a website can become cluttered, similar to a garage. When a home is new or when a family first moves into a house, the garage is clean. Then the family grows and with growth, the garage gets cluttered. To manage the clutter, the family organizes it with shelves and hooks and boxes, but nothing gets thrown out. The same thing happens with a website. We add new content, but do we take the time to analyze existing content and remove what is no longer important? Sometimes the clutter gets out of control and it is time to start over. When you start over, you must have a vision.…

photo of lifesaver in a pool

Crisis Communications in a Social Era [SMCKC recap]

Morningstar Communications presented at the September SMCKC breakfast on “Crisis Communications in a Social Era”. We know it is important to take care of things before they become a crisis. But when there is a crisis, it can be an opportunity for marketing to shine. We live in a digital world of instant communication. When a crisis happens, it is important to respond quickly, but not unrehearsed. Be prepared by having a plan in place ahead of time. Then deliver it with transparency and honesty to your audience when the crisis happens. Tricia McKim and Brian Van Note from Morningstar Communications shared examples of how Southwest Airlines handled their massive technology failure. They were prepared, transparent and authentic, used the omni-channel approach and had fast response times. Since preparation is key, here are 8 steps to follow: 1. Write crisis communication plan. 2. Engage communications leader. 3. Conduct senario planning. 4. Determine roles. 5. Define key stakeholders. 6. Craft preliminary messages in advance. 7. What channels to reach stakeholders? 8. Train your teams. Here are 5 Tips for Communicating in…

Our responsibilities: email, meetings, clients, travel, networking, learning curve, invoices, bills, sales, accounting, legal stuff

CreativeMornings on Creative Burnout

Creative Burnout – with Megh Knappenberger As creative people, we are often asked to make something out of nothing. But we are creative so we can do that, right? Yes, for a while, but anyone who is pouring out their creativity, especially if they do not take time to refuel, is going to eventually run out. They will begin experiencing burnout. Love for creativity is like any other relationship. Falling in love is the easy part. Megh talked about how she had a close connection to creativity while studying design in college. I think many of us can relate to that. We are surrounded by our field of study, we hang out with students who are majoring in the same field, and we are at a stage in our life when we have a hunger to learn more and more so we can soon take on the world with our skills and talent. But then, the rest of life happens. We are soon distracted by other responsibilities, whether it is marriage, children, bills, buying a house, etc. Take a moment…

Only those who attempt the absurd will achieve the impossible - MC Escher

Coffee and Design – Design Disruptors

I attended a Coffee and Design meetup last night, where we watched the documentary, “Design Disruptors”, which is about the rising importance of design as a competitive advantage in disruptive technologies. Among the companies interviewed in the film are Netflix, Google, Facebook, airbnb, MailChimp, Salesforce and Lyft. These companies are finding ways to solve old world problems with new world technologies. They don’t necessarily follow the rules of the industry. An example is how Uber and Lyft are making taxicabs look like an old world problem. They listened to customers’ complaints about taxi service and they provided a better solution. Some people who used to stay at hotels are now trying out airbnb. Blockbuster lost their customers to Netflix and other forms of streaming movies. What other opportunities are out there to improve products and services? When I think of the word “disruptor”, I think of someone causing disorder or interrupting service. In business, it is actually considered a good thing. It means to radically change by introducing a new product or service. Do something in ways people never thought…

The 5th Annual WordCamp Kansas City 2016

WordCamp KC 2016

While attending WordCamp KC 2016, I picked up a few tips, mainly about security and SEO fundamentals. When creating a password, use at least 12 characters. A simple but long password is more secure than a complex but short password. Use a password manager such as KeePass or 1Password. When sending logins to clients or customers, use onetimesecret.com Use captcha on WordPress login screens. Ubersuggest.org gives you what people are searching for and meta keyword suggestions. Meta tags and alt tags are still important. Cachedpages.com shows you the cache Google has on your website. Use dnsqueries.com to check domain name health, IP address information and reverse DNS lookup. Screamingfrog.co.uk/seo-spider allows you to crawl websites’ URLs and fetch key onsite elements to analyze from an SEO perspective. Use inspyder.com/products/InSite to check any website for spelling mistakes, broken links and SEO problems. Ahrefs.com tracks your website’s backlinks, keywords, brand mentions and helps you to know what your competitors are doing. Use webpagetest.org to test your website performance and speed.

presentation on Reality

CreativeMornings on Reality

Reality – with Stefan Mumaw Movies are not real. We don’t go to the movies for reality. We go to feel, to be moved. Think about products that are sold in stores. Does the product itself make a person excited? Most products themselves are boring. We must use creativity to make them more interesting, to make people feel. Dog food is boring. But add a dog with the dog food and you’ve got personality. Add a story around the dog and you are moved. Making ads and websites is not what we’re here to do. We are here to make people feel. Mumaw says no one really cares about the product. They care about themselves and how they can benefit from the product. To create emotion, Mumaw suggests: 1.    Putting human first, product second 2.    Construct a story 3.    Pursue empathy Most people are driven by fear. How can we alleviate their fear? Listen to Mumaw’s presentation.

Illustration on geo-fences


Geofencing is the use of GPS satellites, Bluetooth or WiFi to create a virtual boundary around a specific location from which you can trigger an event for your mobile device. This technology has been used in apps to help parents locate their child or lost pet and in professional environments to communicate location with employees working in the field. Imagine you’re driving home from work, caught up in the details of what happened at the office, keeping an eye on traffic and you forget to make that stop at the grocery store to pick up what you need for dinner that night. Here’s how geofencing can help. As you’re approaching the exit ramp to the local grocery store, your phone is tracking your location and it also gets a signal that a grocery store is nearby. Your phone then alerts you with a reminder to pick up dinner. Grocery store owners, you can go a step further by sending advertisements for your store and specials as a prospective customer enters your geofencing area. A customer who would normally stop at…

Fast food logos using bright red and yellow.

Color Psychology in Food Marketing

You may have done a color analysis at one time to determine what color wardrobe you look best in. But have you thought about how colors affect the way we feel about the food we eat? Color psychology has been used in marketing for a long time. For example, red is the color most used by fast food chains, followed closely by yellow and orange. Yellow and orange are colors that make people feel hungry. The color red is associated with emotion and passion. So when one sees red combined with yellow and orange, they become passionately hungry. Green and earthy tones for usually used for eco-friendliness, natural, organic, healthy food choices. For those who are conscious about healthy eating, these colors are appealing. For the meat, potatoes and gravy guy, maybe not so much. White represents purity and cleanliness, but it can also appear plain and sterile so marketing with this color needs to be done carefully. Black signifies elegance but is not very appetizing. If you want to use a dark color, go with dark brown instead. Blue…

photo of eye tracking device

Eye Tracking for Website Analytics

I was reading an article recently about eye-tracking systems that are being used in the gaming community. While someone is sitting in front of a computer monitor or other electronic device running a video game, this tracking device can see where someone is looking or see the motion of an eye relative to the head. Eye Tracking has been used in industries such as automotive, medical, aviation, psychology and the Department of Defense. This is also the same technology Google used for Google Glass. Considering its capabilities, I can also see where it would be helpful in the area of website analytics and user behavior. We currently use Google Analytics to track on each website where users are going when they come to a website. We can see what page they begin their visit on, what page they exit from and each page they visit in between. We can also see how long their visit is on any particular page. With some extra effort, it is possible to find out what links are clicked on. The information we are not…