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The Evolution of QR Codes

Someone in our company asked me the other day if we could print a QR code on posters which would be displayed throughout a trade show. When people scan the code, they would be directed to an online version of a PowerPoint presentation. I thought, “Why not? We can do that.” We’ve used QR codes in the past to link to websites and YouTube videos, but it hasn’t been something people get very excited about. Or perhaps, not many people knew about them. A QR (Quick Response) code is similar to a barcode, but can hold at least 100 times the amount of information than what a typical barcode can hold. They have been around since 1994, developed by a Japanese company to help track vehicles during manufacturing. They were introduced in the U.S. sometime around 2010 when the first QR code scanner app was released for smartphones. As the technology evolved, the code began to contain more and more information. Although the use of QR codes has been popular in Asia, they have had a difficult time defending their…

GKC-PRSA SEO word cloud

GKC-PRSA Recap: Content Marketing & SEO

Do you go online to research a product and compare prices before going to a store to make a purchase? A great deal of buyers do. If you own a business, this stresses the importance for customers to be able to find you online. However, without great content marketing and SEO, that is very difficult to do. Jessica Crozier and Matt Kortum from Inquest Marketing presented at the latest Greater KC chapter of Public Relations Society of America (GKC- PRSA). Their focus was on content marketing and SEO. When people think of content marketing, these things come to mind: Blogging Social Media Videos Email Marketing Podcasts Editorial Content Newsletters The truth is content marketing encompasses all of these. If you are using only 1 thing on this list, you really are not using marketing to its full capacity. Jessica defines content marketing as “a style of marketing that presents your brand as an expert in a particular field or product in order to accomplish organizational goals.” When building your content marketing strategy, first find your niche in the market. What can…

Life doesn't get easier. You get better - Cocktail Bandits

Be Inspired – Creative Mornings

I would like to share more quotes from Creative Mornings events. Take a minute to be inspired by these words. “You can be committed to something, but you still have to love what you do.” — AJ Brockman “The base of every good story is ‘what if?’” — Crystal Wilkinson “Intention is to say, ‘I have a dream, and now I’m going to do something about it.’” — Jeremie Kubicek “Designing for seniors, in a way, is designing for you. Because here’s a dirty little secret: you are all getting old.” — Busy Burr “Life is funny. It throws things at us and we have to adjust.” — Christine Kelly “Is there a market for this? Or even better, can we create one?” — Cocktail Bandits “There are no rules as you move forward into the unknown. Don’t go out there unprepared, don’t charge ahead without looking forward, don’t think about what it’s going to feel like when you trip and fall.” — Sam Cruz “We often confuse urgent with what’s important. We think they’re the same…Quite frankly, urgent only…

Augmented Reality - photo by mankind2018

Create an Immersive Experience

The Adobe MAX 2018 conference drew a lot of attention to Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). Virual reality is a form of immersive computingthat can take you anyWHERE. You can tour the Eiffel Tower or ride a raft through the Grand Canyon, all from your own living room. View some VR videos at youtube.com/vr. Augmented reality is a form of immersive computing that can bring you anyTHING. You have the opportunity to see objects in front of you that actually are not there. Imagine walking up to a real live dinosaur…or what appears to be a live dinosaur! We as designers and artists are no longer limited to the screen. The world around us becomes our canvas. With over a billion AR-enabled devices in the hands of users today and even more wearable and headset devices being used, immersive media is something that is no longer seen in science fiction. It is right here in front of us.  We have the creativity, but augmented reality requires different skills, different programming languages and a knowledge of different tools. That was…

KJO Media

Video Content That Gets Results – Part 2

In Sean’s initial post from the BMAKC event last month, Video Content That Gets Results, he covered the different types of video KJO Media explained. I’m going to talk about some elements to consider during your pre-production and production phases. First of all, who is your audience? How will you communicate to them? When you talk to someone in person, you usually have their attention at least for a little while because it is difficult for them to turn away from you when you are face-to-face. In a group meeting or presentation, they likely won’t get up and walk away. It is more difficult to grab their attention and keep it when they are viewing your video on their own initiative. For example, a TV commercial is short and it comes during a time when a lot of us are ready for a short break from the show we are watching. That means the commercial needs to grab the audience’s attention quickly, before they leave the room or before they pick up their phone to check notifications. With a video on a…

Adobe MAX - The Creativity Conference

Adobe MAX 2018

The Next Generation of Creativity October brings with it some exciting events. For many, it is a time to find a fall festival or a pumpkin patch to pick out that perfect pumpkin for their Halloween jack-o-lantern. In our house, our celebrations that month include the birthday of our daughter. For many Adobe software enthusiasts, we know October also brings the annual Adobe MAX conference. This is where creative types gather to learn of all the new advances, tools and tricks Adobe has been working on over the past year and is releasing right NOW! I attended my first MAX conference 11 years ago in Chicago and I still remember the excitement of walking into the conference center ballroom to kick off the event with the keynote speakers. The overhead lights were out but the room was illuminated with ginormous video screens filled with colorful motion graphics set to music coming through a wall of loud speakers. It’s been a bit since I’ve attended a conference in person, but that doesn’t mean I have to miss it entirely. The keynotes…

You've Got Mail

Communicating Professionally with Email

AWG held a lunch and learn this week titled “Communicating Professionally”. Those of us who attended received many good takeaways from the session. We even had a chance to partner up and practice listening techniques and demonstrate what NOT to do. I would like to share some tips we were given on using email as a form of communication in business. Be concise and to the point. Your reader should not have to scroll down the page to read a single email. This of course is acceptable if they are reading an entire email string in conversation view. When responding to someone’s email, answer all questions. Have you ever been excited to get a response you have eagerly been waiting for only to find out all your questions were not answered? If you don’t know the answer to all of them, refer to someone who can help. Pre-empt relevant questions if you are able to. This will provide efficiency for your reader. Use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. I don’t think I need to expand on this, but I will. Improper…

AMA - The Power to Imagine Better

The Power to Imagine Better

As you define your brand, are you pushing beyond the status quo to discover its full potential? What is your level of effort to connect with your customers? At Kansas City’s latest American Marketing Association luncheon Phil Bressler challenged us to answer these questions and then provided some thoughts and examples from other companies. Phil is a marketing/branding consultant and the founder and president of Latch – An Idea Company. Studies prove companies with creative marketing do better than those who consider marketing a low priority. I am a creative person. I have worked in graphic design in one way or another since my career began. However, I, among others run into barriers that get in the way of being creative. I find I have too much administrative work to do or too many deadlines that take priority. Other barriers people shared at the presentation include ideas becoming bottle necked somewhere else within the organization, no one to bounce ideas off of, lack of meaningful customer insight, lack of leadership support, and unproductive brainstorming sessions. One thing we do with…

Book cover by Daniel Miyares

Creative Mornings Recap

The Power of Clear Intentions – Daniel Miyares Miyares works for Hallmark Cards during the day but he is also an award winning picture book author and illustrator. As Miyares accepted guidance from experts during the writing and illustrating of his first book, he realized a lot of decisions were made for him. He did not want to replicate that the next time. After his first book, he saw a lack of intention in his process and in his career goals. In his children’s books, he had to write them for the child; not for the consumer who may be the parent or grandparent or family friend. He asked himself the question, “What is going to relate to a child?” Not all his book reviews were favorable, but that did not stop him from creating for the young person the books are intended for. He knew he needed to have a clear intention about why he was doing what he was doing. In the grocery industry we can ask, “How can we relate to our customers? What do our customers…

Creative Mornings talk on Commitment

Commitment – Creative Mornings recap

Having visited over 75 countries, Creative Mornings speaker Tania Carriere has discovered new possibilities through travel. She has learned to step outside her comfort zone and have a passion for change. Her adventures have led to life lessons and commitments that guide and shape her life and her career. The definition of commitment is “the things we say yes to, wholeheartedly, the principles that guide our lives”. It is different than rules. Rules are given to us by someone else with an expectation to follow them. Commitments are something we choose. Are we intentional about the things we choose to be committed to? Everything is a choice. We can choose who we will be and what we will leave behind. What changes do we need to make in what we are we doing? Be open to change. Be that person to step out and make a difference. “There is a difference between ‘the way’ and ‘the way I know’. There is always another right answer.” What is the one thing you can do today that will make a difference?