Scaling to New Heights on Mt. Cleverest Day

It’s that time of year when the spring warmth turns to summer heat. The change of season also marks an important day here at clevermethod: Mt. Cleverest Day. In the same vein as the 3M 15 Percent Rule or the Google 20 Percent Time, Mt. Cleverest Day allows us to work on a problem that we wouldn’t get to in the course of our day-to-day work. You can team up with a colleague or run a solo mission on an idea, just as long as you can finish it in a day. 3M pioneered the idea of giving employees company time to work out solutions to any problem. Emphasis on innovation and failure has kept 3M prospering. Many of 3M’s famed products were discovered while employees worked on 15 percent time, Sticky Notes and sandpaper to name a few.

 

This year we have teams working on a variety of projects, including building a game that leverages Unity. Meeting applications were a popular topic this year. We had two groups working on two different meeting apps. An in-meeting app provides a common place for meeting attendees to add comments, allot time for topics, and email notes to attendees at the conclusion of the meeting, etc. Another group worked on developing a digital display to show room availability for our conference rooms. This uses a Raspberry Pi and a digital screen and connects to our calendars to show who is using the rooms and at what time. We also developed new assets for our social media (including this blog post), check out our Game of Thrones themed tweets here, here, and here.

 

Our blood, sweat, and tears went into this day. Mostly Dave’s blood after he sliced his finger on the underside of a table. Dave got 5 stitches and a new nickname: Ser Daveos, and we got to fill out our first OSHA form.

 

At the end of the day we compile the projects into a presentation and show them off to the partners the following day. Some of our projects were just practical applications of learning a new program or method. Some ideas are applied to projects we are currently working on, and some ideas are shelved for another day. Creative and innovative companies provide forums to pursue creative and innovative ideas. Mt. Cleverest Day is our forum.

Snapchat: The Next Biggest Advertising Platform

With a whopping 100 million users daily, Snapchat continues to make a prominent mark in the digital world of social media. Established in 2011, the app continually dominates app stores, and earned the title, “Fastest Growing Social App” in 2014. What started as disappearing messages, stripped of any advertisement or promotional matter, is now a leader in market reach that’s causing Fortune 500 advertisers to bend over backwards. While innovation and access to a network of youth may sound appealing, is ten seconds of promotional fame worth the hefty $750K price tag?

 

It all comes down to brand. Brand image, brand identity, and how brave you are to test your consumers’ brand loyalty. Snapchat’s core user demographic consists of individuals between the ages of 17 and 24. For companies catering to this age range, Snapchat could be a worthwhile option, although the app does have a few shortcomings.

 

Most marketing campaigns are designed for consumers to view at very specific points in time, and Snapchat holds no control of when users decide to press down their finger. If your ad can be opened at odd hours of the night and spark the same consumer response, this form of advertising may be for you. Take GrubHub for example. As an early adopter of Snapchat’s advertising, the specific time that their ad is viewed has no effect on consumers’ responses. Using the story feature to post sequences of appetizing and tasty photos leads users to access promo codes for online food delivery. It doesn’t matter if GrubHub’s ad is seen at 3 in the morning, or at 3 in the afternoon. Discounted food always sounds good to an 18 year old, no matter the time.

 

Their advertisements are there, but GrubHub and an endless list of other companies have learned to dodge the immense $750K-per-day price tag. They simply created their own account, and began gaining their own followers. Yes, there’s a loophole to Snapchat advertising, and it’s free. Although market reach must be gained through efforts made on your own, it’s a much better alternative than pulling out your depleted wallet. Personal account advertising has upsides that may even outweigh the market reach gained from paid advertisements. Snapchat implements limits on paid ad lengths as well as content, yet these guidelines/limits are not enforced with personal accounts. Although, like GrubHub, you may have an immense amount of friends on the app, it is still considered a personal account; therefore, Snapchat cannot put limitations on your displayed content.

 

So your company’s consumer demographic mirrors Snapchat’s, and your advertisement delivery has no specific time frame. What’s next? To pay or not to pay, you decide.

 

 

Follow clevermethod on Snapchat!

Simply open Snapchat on your phone, point your camera at the logo below,

and tap your screen!

clevermethod

Looking for a job? Don’t look here!

The Interview.

Over 10 years ago, I nervously walked into a conference room and sat down.  What followed was a series of people coming in, one after another to talk to me.  About everything.  My background, my interest in technology, my hypothetical super powers (if I were to have one) and what I’d be doing if it wasn’t this.  I was prepared for all of the “standard” interview questions, but struggled to understand how a hypothetical super power was relevant in the context of whether or not I would be a good programmer/analyst (yes, that’s where I started!).  I did my best to answer their questions (and tried to remember all of their names), and left feeling hopeful.  A few days (maybe a week later) I was called back to go through the same process again, with more people!  My interview took about a day.  Like literally 8 hours.  But they eventually decided to give me a shot.

 

Star Wars.

Before I even officially started at clevermethod, the whole company went to see Star Wars.  In the middle of the day.  I started to get excited.

 

My First Days.

At my previous job they had a pretty standard new employee training program.  A binder that you went through with test exercises, example projects and a lot of documentation and paperwork to read.  My first day at clevermethod was not like that.  I was thrown right in.  I was meeting with clients and working on actual projects with legitimate deadlines.  Within a few months I was flying to Los Angeles to document and understand a complex consumer relations application.  To say the training wheels were off would be a misstatement – they were never on!  But I was learning a ton (very quickly!), and gaining confidence as I started to see the trust that was being placed in me.

 

My Co-Workers.

Starting a new job you always wonder what the people are going to be like.  Will everyone be nice? Are you going to fit in?  Will you have someone to eat lunch with?  The answer I soon realized was yes.  To all my questions.  We ate lunch together every day.  We had a contest to see who could wear more orange and blue (a throwback to those that remember our original branding!).  I started to realize that the whole team just gelled.  Our skills and personalities complimented each other.  We had inside jokes (mmm…peanuts…), celebrated birthdays, and always found ways to help each other.  Looking back, I realized this was the reason for the day-long interview.

 

Growing Up.

I was an ambitious 23 year old when I started at clevermethod.  I was newly married, just bought my first house and was still trying to figure out the whole “being an adult” thing.  The partners were young single guys in their twenties too, just trying to make it work in a rented office space next to a daycare.  We all worked hard, and we all worked together.  And the hard work paid off.  In 2008 clevermethod moved to 1200 Maple Road.  We had a fancy new building.  I had my own office.  In 2009 I had my son (who’s now 5 1/2 and finishing up Kindergarten!).  In 2012 I had my daughter.  Things like affordable insurance, health savings accounts, 401Ks and flexible time off started to increase in importance – fortunately they were (and are!) important to clevermethod as well.  Our services grew (up) too.  When I joined clevermethod it was a relatively new company that made websites, whose process was defined more often than not by the client or the project.    Now we are a modern marketing agency, proud of the process that we’ve been able to define (and refine) over the years.  We grew up.  Together.

 

Full Circle.

So why don’t you want a job here?  A job is something you do to earn a paycheck.  You punch in, you punch out.  When you leave, you aren’t checking your email, or checking in to see how your co-worker is doing in the daily squat challenge group on Facebook.  A career might be better.  A career describes a journey that can include a number of jobs and experiences.  clevermethod is a small company, so we all have a lot of “jobs” here that contribute to a career.  So it’s a bit closer, but still not everything.  It still seems too small.  clevermethod has been there with me through good times and bad.  It’s helped me grow and evolve as a person and as a professional.  Heck, I’m even married to a clevermethoder (almost 12 years already)!  It sounds corny and cliché, but the only word that comes to mind to describe what clevermethod is to me is family.  So sure, clevermethod could be one heck of a job, but it could also be something so much more.

 

Enough with the websites, already.

We’ve been filling up screens on behalf of our clients for nearly 15 years. When we started, saying “we make websites” felt like enough to convey to people (or, to our mothers) what we did. But these days, it doesn’t begin to cover all of the things we do to help brands make the most of their online marketing.

 

A quick description of our company has always been elusive. Digital Agency, Web Design Studio, Custom Software Developers – they were all true, but none of them ever felt quite right. So we asked ourselves, are we a tech company that does marketing? Or is it the other way around? And the answer was “yes” to both.

 

So we created our own category that feels just right. Whether its pixels or code or campaign ideas, it’s what we do and it’s what we now call modern marketing. Check out our bitchin’ new site to read all about the evolution of our brand and our services.

We rethought our own visual branding, too. Take a look:

 

cm-LOGO-animation

 

The finger tapping the circle represents the interaction that takes place when devices deliver our work to people. The fact that it looks like a “C” is a bonus. The “end wrench” in the center represents our blue-collar ethic and attitude.

 

We’d love to know what you think about our refreshed brand and position. Among its many benefits is that when our moms ask us what we do or people drive by our office, they get it. We do modern marketing.

 

So, heres to the new clevermethod! Many, many thanks to everyone who put their time and their sweat into making it happen.

The New Meeting Room

It goes by many names, including ‘Cantina’, ‘Coruscant’, or simply ‘Conference Room C’, but regardless of what you call it, clevermethod’s new meeting room is a welcome addition to 1200 Maple Rd.

The vibrant green room is a beautiful sunlit space where we can have our brainstorming sessions, meetings & lunches (and a couple drinks from the beverage cooler).

  • The East facing wall is built from reclaimed wood paneling from Buffalo ReUse.
  • Creative work can be shared wirelessly with the team on the Apple-TV connected screen on the West wall.
  • Collaborative notes and ideas can be written on the large dry-erase surface on the North wall.
  • Through the South wall we can enjoy the great view through the garage door converted into a glass panel wall.

We’re looking for a Content Administrator to join our team.

We are seeking a Content Administrator for our Localization team who will be responsible for tactical, detailed management of localized content in a content management system. This role also involves managing requests from customers for maintenance of site content as well as localization of new content as initiatives are launched. This position is within our Localization team but has visibility to the entire organization.

The ideal candidate will be a dynamic, self-motivated individual with experience and skills in web content management, writing and editing for the web, graphic design and site management.

The Content Administrator will work closely with account management and project coordination teams as well as the customer as needed, so strong communication skills are required. Tasks require a strong attention to detail and ability to work under tight deadlines.

The term “localization” does not simply refer to the translation of content. Our team works closely with our clients to understand the content that will be presented to international markets and implement that content. This position does not require the candidate to translate content in any way.

Interested? Apply online! http://www.clevermethod.com/careers