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Alissa Menke, VP of Innovation

The Creative Mind of Alissa Menke

Alissa Menke, VP of Innovation
You get out of the creative machine what you put into it …

As many of our readers know, Alissa Menke spent more than a decade at jhP helping clients grow and thrive in digital spaces. She was an early adopter of social media strategy, search engine optimization, and built the geo-targeting solutions we provide at jhP today.

When Kansas City-based DARI Motion offered Alissa what she believed to be her dream job in 2016 – to run an agile marketing department promoting digital technologies that improve athletic health – we understood she had to take it.

In jhP fashion, we partied; we cried; we shared in her dream.

 

 

Now what we secretly had hoped for has come true – Alissa is back! In time, she realized her dream job is at jhP. With her, she brings a wealth of experience garnered at DARI. We’re proud to re-introduce Alissa as jhP’s Vice President of Innovation, where she’ll continue to shape the future of marketing and advertising for our partners.

“It was really hard for me to go. jhP was my first real job. Leaving was something I had to do to prove – to myself – it was the place I had to be. I’m ready to rock and be a part of the growth that’s happening at jhP.”

~ Alissa Menke

Alissa is a mover and a shaker. She offers honest and fresh perspective. She understands that the best creative minds are always thinking – always learning – always nourishing the machine of creativity.


Learn More About This Creative Mind

Read our Q&A with Alissa Menke – new VP of Innovation


Alissa greeting Shawn at Genstler Eye Center

 

jhP: You’ve been designing digital strategies for more than ten years – how would you describe the direction of digital over the next ten years? 

AM: Digital has become even more integrated into people’s daily lives. Ten years ago, jhP’s online experience took place at a desk with a computer and relatively speaking, was pretty novel. Brands only had to make minor changes to their marketing strategy to stay in front of their customers – launch a basic website, start a Facebook Page, and run a few display and search ads if they were being progressive.

Now we rely on a variety of tech to make our busier lives easier to manage. Technology will only become more convenient, quicker and expected.

The challenge brands face isn’t simply keeping up, it’s knowing what’s out there; understanding how it can be used; and determining if it needs to be included in their marketing strategies. There’s no reason to keep pace with the bright shiny new tech if it doesn’t make sense with your brand strategy and impact your target audience.

 

jhP: You’ll be going beyond digital, looking at innovations that have the potential to change the way our clients communicate. Where did you plan to start?

AM: I’ve started by getting reacquainted with our clients, their campaigns, and the work we’re doing for them. I’ve also been reconnecting with the jhP team and getting to know the newer members. While I was away, the growth in jhP’s digital skill set was remarkable. It’s awesome to see how the team’s developed. They’ve expanded our offerings and executed so many successful campaigns for our clients. I’m so proud of them!

Since our clients are in such great hands with their digital experience, it’s given me the opportunity to do what I do best – explore unchartered territories.

 

jhP: Tell us more about DARI Motion. What did you do and how will that experience impact your work here?

AM: I left jhP two years ago for what I thought was my dream job – I was the Director of Marketing at DARI Motion, a national biomechanical analytics software startup in Kansas City. During my time there, we grew rapidly adding new clients, new market verticals, new products and new staff.

For the majority of my time at DARI, I operated on a lean startup budget. That gave me an opportunity to learn new skills, sharpen old ones and refine my digital craft. It also allowed me to be really hands on with my experimentation and testing. I loved being able to execute campaigns, observe how they performed in real-time, and make adjustments on the fly.

One thing that really stood out about my time with DARI, was the impact that user experience had on the brand. Simply promoting and then delivering cool technology wasn’t enough. Marketing was directly impacted by the way clients experienced and engaged with the brand long after the sale was complete. Frustrated users, or those that didn’t understand the information they were pulling from their DARI System, posed problems through negative word of mouth.

Other than learning a lot about myself … who knew I wouldn’t mind the four times a week commute? The biggest takeaway I have from my time at DARI is agility, a more holistic understanding of user experience, and resourcefulness.

 

 

jhP: It might be a little self-serving, but we have to ask. 🙂 What is it about the culture here that you missed the most? What excited you the most about coming back?

AM: That’s easy! I missed my jhP family and the opportunities I have working with this team. I really took for granted the brainpower and experience of those around me. While I consider myself to be a very confident and independent thinker, I need fellow creative thinkers to talk through ideas, refine and expand them. I need people to question me, push me, and want more out of me. In many ways, I just didn’t feel very challenged working in a small marketing department.

At jhP I’ve always had access to any tools, resources, educational opportunities I’ve asked for – maybe not everything, but close enough. 😉  jhP encourages growth, it’s a core value. I’ve missed that type of support.

Cultural Awareness & Communications

A Conversation with Eugene Williams

Eugene Williams has been in Topeka for 20 years as a general manager for public television at KTWU, which he says is amazing because general managers typically last for 20 seconds.

Consumers gravitate toward campaigns that reflect their culture. Genuine and sincere messaging resonates when it is truly authentic. But where does the listening begin? How do we start the conversation? Recently jhP’s Charles Morgan [CM], account coordinator, sat down with Eugene Williams [EW], KTWU CEO and general manager, to discuss diversity in marketing and how businesses meaningfully engage diverse audiences in their communications.

CM: What’s on your mind when it comes to diversity?

EW: I think what we’ve done, and I’m talking about the whole communications industry and probably more importantly, society – we’ve kind of watered down what diversity means. We’ve tried to put diversity into these neat little pockets.

Continue Reading …

Silver, Gold and Keith Walberg

What You Should Know About the 2018 American Advertising Awards

Who doesn’t like an excuse to shine? With a traditional diamond theme for the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the American Advertising Awards, the jhP team arrived fine and ready to dine.

Continue Reading …

Magic, Cheer & jhP

Before Christmas merchandise even hits the aisles at the store, those of us in marketing are busy making plans to create the best holiday card EVER. While this is an annual challenge that jhP takes very seriously, we’re not alone. The American Advertising Federation of Topeka explained it well in a recent blog post titled Holiday Cards + Your Brand – One Very Special Package. Read the post here.

So, as you can see, planning for the holiday ballyhoo is a huge deal and usually begins as early as September. This year the golden ticket idea was a throwback to old-school animation – a single cell, drawn-by-hand animation.

Continue Reading …

Challenge Accepted

#jhPdoesInktober

During the month of October, jhP accepted the Inktober challenge.

Inktober is a global project that unites artists and creatives in one respected community, with only four rules, as outlined by illustrator and challenge initiator Jake Parker:

  • Make a drawing in ink.
  • Post it online.
  • Hashtag it with #inktober and #inktober2017.
  • Repeat every day of October.

Continue Reading …

Adventures with Disneyland’s creative director

Photo by Deb Ferrell

– Deb Ferrell, jhP Creative Director

During a family spring break trip to Disneyland this year, I had the opportunity to meet and have dinner with the Creative Art Director and Concept Architect at Walt Disney Imagineering, Bo Bolanos.

My daughter and I met Bo at the Disneyland entrance and had no idea who he was at first. Bo was, per a friend’s request, scheduled to let us in to the park. He walked up to my daughter and me, decked out in a suit and tie. Then we began to chat. I asked him what he did at Disney and – in a very unassuming way – he responded, “I’m kind of like an art director.” Continue Reading …

From jhP to NPR and back again

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a Texas-raised writer and editor who first joined the  jhP family in May 2016. I craft and hone words and taglines that appear in communications for jhP clients – with occasional mentoring insights from Kurt Eskilson. Much of what I do is creative and technical, working closely with account executives and the creative dream team. But that’s not where my career began. Continue Reading …

jhP Beer-ology

beer-ology-brewing-a-culture-of-camaraderie

Our jhP beer enthusiasts enjoy a good beer in great company every Friday at this fun thing called Beer-30. And guess what? You’re invited to join us next Friday via Facebook Live! Crack open your favorite craft brew and tune in at 4:30 p.m. to win two tickets for the fourth-annual “TAP THAT Topeka” Capital Brew Festival on June 25.

Kansas craft beer lovers, “TAP THAT Topeka” is for you. There will be 140 craft beers at the fest and lucky for you, it is only two weeks away.

Back to Beer-30. What is it and why do we do it?  Continue Reading …

Partnerology: It’s jhP tourney time, baby!

jhp_partnerology_bracket

It’s March again, and anyone who is halfway paying attention knows what that means – something about madness this month? People seem to really be into basketball around here. (It’s Kansas. Go figure.)

In the spirit of the season, jhP is launching our own tournament of a slightly different variety – it’s the jhP Partnerology Tournament! It honors great partnerships ­– the very thing we try to create every day with each other and with our clients. (Plus, it’s fun.)

A partnership is people joining forces to do more than they could alone. But what makes a partnership great? So many things: Shared vision. Mutual trust and respect. Yin meeting yang. Plus the magical spark that occurs when talents, visions and energy blend into something a bit more. That spark that ignites between partners ­– that’s what we’re after. That’s the P in jhP. And that’s what we’re celebrating.

So, every day these next two weeks on jhP’s Facebook account, we’re putting great partners head-to-head and inviting our clients, friends and YOU to vote. The key question: Which duo did partnership better? Vote for who you think made magic the best!

Are you digitally diverse? Rethinking your digital strategy

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How confident are you that your digital strategy is serving you well? Is it effectively putting your brand in front of your target audience? While most brands understand their marketing efforts must include a digital component, it’s probably time for many businesses to re-evaluate their digital strategy. Continue Reading …