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  • Logo Identity Quiz: KC Fast Growth Edition

    How many of these logos do you recognize? Even with the type obscured, many are easily deciphered. Others may be more difficult if you’ve had fewer encounters with the brand. Go ahead, see how many of these 12 Kansas City-based fast growth brands you can decode. Then scroll down the page for the answer key. […]

  • A Starter Guide to a Career as a Strategist

    What advice would you give college students pursuing a career in marketing? Learn to code instead? Invest in your 401k early?! The local Ad Club asked if I’d do just this. Specifically on how to get started as a Strategist. The following are the slides/sketches I offered up to the future talent in our industry. […]

  • Tomorrow’s Traveler

    Q&A featuring Hipmunk, The Dyrt and ATPCO – originally posted on In the face of industry-wide transformation, leaders must shift their focus from asking “what’s happened?” to asking “what will happen in the future?” We were fortunate enough to ask a few industry leaders what they see coming next. Featured guests: Adam Goldstein, CEO, […]

  • Content Creation Checklist: 10 Ways to Get it Right

    How do you know when the content you’re creating is worth the effort? Not only worth creating, but worth your audience consuming? To help build a well-oiled content machine, it helps to have clearly defined processes and checkpoints. Over the years, we’ve developed a checklist that grades our content ideas. It’s our top-requested resource. In […]

  • Right & Wrong: Lessons in Shareable Content

    As marketers, we’re steeped in the best practices of developing and distributing content. But if we’re all following the same rules, how can your message stand out? It’s a not easy, so we developed a 10-point checklist to grade our ideas against before we set out to create a new content series. The funny thing […]

  • City vs City: the Ultimate DMO Search Throwdown

    With organic search being the lead driver of traffic to most destination websites, we wanted to find out which cities had the strongest SEO game. We picked 10 of the top U.S. travel destinations and pitted them head-to-head. Here’s what we found out: First, let’s meet our contestants: LA – CHICAGO – NYC – […]

  • Donald vs Hillary: Brand Voice

    Hillary Clinton said it at the debate: words matter. In marketing, we call it brand voice. Your brand voice should resonate with your audience and differentiate you from competitors. But word choice has a big impact on your message. Politicians know this better than anyone: using the wrong word can mean the difference between winning […]

  • Digital Marketing Stackup: Sandwich Edition

    Somewhere between lunch and a strategy session, we got curious. Which sandwich shop rules the digital space? We decided to figure that out. First, we wrote down a few favorite spots that we frequent around town: From there, our analysis takes into account several important aspects that are crucial for any successful restaurant to consider: […]

  • Learning to Unlearn

    With experience comes many lessons. In advertising, those lessons can be invaluable but also potentially dangerous. Personally, I’m in my 15th year in digital marketing. Every year should draw me closer and closer to saying things like “we’ve always done…” or “this always worked in the past” – but you won’t hear me say either […]

  • Discovery as a Discipline

    At any one time you’re either in Discovery Mode or Delivery Mode. Discovery is the insight, the idea that guides what we Deliver. The funny thing is, we all admire the Discovery moments but rarely make time for them as we’re obsessed with the daily Delivery. For mature organizations especially, Delivery is the name of […]

  • What SNL taught me about content strategy

    What can a sketch show teach us about content marketing and strategy? A lot. Besides what the kids are doing these days. Here are some of my favorite lessons from decades of SNL – all of which happen to have a convenient content strategy parallel. Have a Schedule Weekly shows at SNL mean that creators have […]

  • How to Make Great Video on a Budget

    Video creation and production can seem like a huge undertaking for marketing teams. From video planning to execution, the resources below can help your team make the most of the time and money available to you. 1. Don’t skimp on time. If you’re on a budget, the best investment you can make in a video […]

  • Contagious Video

    Sometimes the Internet surprises you. When San Jose asked NATIVE to shoot photography and video last August, we had two goals in mind: 1. Build up the video content library The meetings-focused Team San Jose was transforming into the new meetings AND leisure-focused Visit San Jose, creating a need for high-quality leisure content where little […]

  • What’s your project?

    Side-projects. Passion-projects. Whatever you call them, practicing your craft on your own terms is wildly beneficial. Few things teach us more than experimenting with a personal project. Not surprisingly, those hobbies can often turn into full-time gigs. Writers record podcasts. Project managers become photographers. Geologists become homebrewers. Everyone has a project they’ve considered and put […]

  • Scouting Report: World Series Content

    It’s World Series time: our hometown Royals are taking on the Mets of New York. So we asked two questions: 1) Who has the best fans online? 2) What’s the top content of the postseason? We may be biased, so we let the numbers do the talking.   TEAM FAN BASE It turns out “flyover […]

  • Right & Wrong: Lessons in Shareable Content

    What makes content shareable? It’s a hot topic many people are trying to figure out. We’re no different at NATIVE. In fact, we’ve developed a list of 7 questions we ask ourselves when evaluating new content ideas. It’s our quality control. We find our initial ideas typically fail this checkpoint. But when we tweak the […]

  • Budgeting for Content Strategy and Creation

    It’s budget planning season, and more and more companies are dedicating real dollars to content strategy and creation. But let’s be honest. Math is hard. Budgeting is hard. So how do you determine how much of your budget should be allocated to content? Before you pick a random number, take a look at these five […]

  • An interview about interviews with CMYKC Podcast

    We ran into the CMYKC crew and a podcast broke out. Have a listen won’t you?! Recorded May 25, 2015 Listen to more episodes here:

  • Things we’re pretty sure are true about content

    Open strong Use emotionally strong language to grab attention. It’s them, not you Don’t be distracted by your own interests. What are buyers’ interests? Define your audience segments well. Really well. Fill a need – whether emotional or useful. Then avoid the distractions of the masses. Express a point-of-view Take a stance. Don’t be just […]

  • Ideas: How to keep ‘em flowing

    Marketers agree a steady flow of ideas is important to marketing success. In fact 99.2% in a recent study agreed. It’s sort of endearing 0.8% decided to take a stand against idea generation. Haters gonna hate. *Source: Kapost, “Content Ideas,” April 8, 2015 For the majority out there looking for that steady flow, here’s some […]