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
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.