Keep your work humming & attitude bright – show yourself some outdoors (spring) love.

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. – John Muir

It is well known that taking breaks outdoors can lift one’s spirit and induce positive inspirations, energy and, more importantly, creativity in the work place. This is true at KW2. We embrace the warm Wisconsin weather shift into the most alive and vibrant season of growth like no other place I have known. People transition into flip-flops and short sleeves, and the space heaters are replaced with desk fans. Our team gets ready as projects pick up speed and with them, the spring infusion of fresh inspiration and ideas throughout the agency.

Approaching the building doors in the morning sunshine, you can often find a designer sitting on the front step strumming a guitar, a cup of coffee by his side. Spring has sprung and it is time for KW2’s culture to transition to productivity infusions of all things outside. We enjoy outdoor group meetings, Beer:30 on the patio at day’s end, lunchtime cookouts, planting seeds in the container garden outside the digital wing and taking walks with coworkers through the surrounding neighborhood of the office. KW2 comes alive in the spring and our culture gets inspired and energized which leads to better work efficiency and mental focus for our clients’ communications initiatives. Welcome Spring, the good folks of KW2 have anxiously been awaiting your return.

Since joining the KW2 team, I’ve come to appreciate the creative ways we conduct advertising in our own way. We share the Common Cup (an agency mentality and we do actually share common, handcrafted cups) with anyone that strives for the common good, and we enjoy the company of our colleagues and comrades both in the work place and socially.

2013 marked the 43rd anniversary of Earth Day, a day set aside to recognize the influence of the natural environment on our well-being. The more we experience nature and all it has to offer, the greater is our desire not to litter, pollute or otherwise harm the planet we live on. Take time as we have at KW2 to integrate the outdoors into your everyday life this spring. Find a moment to step outside and bask in the sunshine, go for a walk with your children, friends or colleagues. Embrace what’s offered freely… mini, refreshing ADVENTURES. Ignite your focus and creativity for the common good.

“Go Outside,” The Cults:





A formula for client happiness based on family movie night

Friday nights are deemed Family Movie Night at our house. And on Friday morning like clockwork, the family and I talk pizza orders and figure out the movie du jour. Sometimes there is a little more strategic Netflix queue planning involved. Sometimes we have guests join us – friends or grandmas and grandpas. Sometimes we watch sequels back to back. This month is all about Star Wars – we’re going out of order based on the best viewing order recommendation we found online. And boy, Episode I had a really long wait. But, every Friday, without fail, is Family Movie Night.

As we all converge from our busy day, everyone gets in comfy clothes, grabs plates and heads to the living room. Yes, the living room. I am the crazy person that allows a five year old to eat pizza in the living room. But, he’s been doing this since he was three. No disasters yet. (Knock on wood.) And we each have our designated spots where we sit. Even the dogs have their spots – easily accessible for any crumbs dropped.

This got me to thinking. FMN boils down to a simple formula: Predictability + Collaboration = Happiness.

Every Friday. Always pizza. Always a movie. Always in the living room. No matter how crazy the week or what is going on for the weekend, we have carved out time for our family to be together.

In the case of FMN, our family runs as a democracy. Everyone has a say. We collaborate on our choices, agree or find a compromise that everyone can stand behind. (Yes, I’ll admit, the five year old wins most of the time.)

All of us look forward to this time together. Okay, and we’ve been known to dance during the credit songs.

So, isn’t this what clients really want from their advertising agency? And why they keep coming back?

They want to know they’re going to get the very best service with each and every project. You do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. And their job will be done right every time. They expect you to come to the table with loads of ideas and be open to hearing theirs. All with the goal of finding that perfect collaborative balance to choose the best possible direction (solution). And, ultimately, they want to be over-the-moon happy with their creative. Well, who doesn’t want that?

Hey marketers – we could all adapt a little more FMN into every project and every client relationship. It goes a really long way in building those trusted partnerships. Especially the happiness part.

As Yoda would say, “May the Force be with you.” Okay, that was lame. Cut me some slack. I haven’t watched Star Wars in over ten years.


Putting customers first in a small Irish Wisconsin pub with free beer.

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Putting customers first, 16 ounces at a time.

So there’s this small tavern in the small town of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin a few miles from my home. It’s called Paddy Caughlin’s Irish Pub. It’s wonderful.

Alas, I didn’t celebrate my Irish brethren there this year. (This photo was taken last summer.) But the photo shows an incredible idea for how you can put your customers first – let other customers buy them something. In this case, it’s a beer.

This simple “pay it forward” chart shows who bought a beer for a pal, and who has a free beer coming their way. This idea plays into the neighborhood hangout brand that they’re trying to carve out. It encourages word of mouth. And it means instant revenue for the bar; with 15 to 20 percent of gift cards going completely unused, it’s likely that this is a pretty profitable tactic.

Free beer? Great idea, Paddy.


a pie chart showing campaign success metrics

Don’t forget metrics for traditional media

Digital thinkers are constantly creating new ways for us to learn, work and play. The emergence of digital media has also paved the way for demanding metrics about every campaign tactic. As an agency with a history of media expertise, KW2 has never forgotten one important lesson underscored by the digital era: don’t forget metrics for traditional media.

Digital media has shown us that more and more, we as advertisers are accountable for our clients’ dollars. And hey, we should be. That brings us to the question: How do we measure traditional media’s success?

Here are some time-tested ways we use to gather metrics for a traditional media campaign:

1. Connect. Want to see if a TV spot is capturing your audience better than radio? We’ve varied the call to action on two spots, such as phone numbers vs. website addresses. We also used this method by promoting a sale in one medium only – then measuring the traffic from that piece.

2. Pull. The standard in A/B testing is to “test and pull”: try out two or more options and then cut out the ones that are under-performing. In the case of traditional media, this might come in the form of a consistent radio ad and pulsed TV. Then, reverse it if you have the budget to do so. Track how user awareness and behavior changes. See how your web traffic changes with the start and stop of a spot.

3. Poll. At the action stage of your campaign (in-store purchase, website visit, phone call, contact form), ask those who got to you how they got to you. This could be in the form of an exit survey post-purchase on your website. Perhaps you offer an in-store incentive for those who fill out a short survey on the spot. It’s the classic, “How did you hear about us?” And it can be incredibly powerful when you need to know what worked.

In digital media, our guiding principle for the foreseeable future is metrics. But if traditional media is right for your brand, don’t forget about metrics. Do, however, always push yourself to find the best way to measure how media is performing for you.