Tag: digital

Midwest Digital Marketing Conference Returns to St. Louis

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Events.

The Midwest Digital Marketing Conference (or “MDMC”) returns to Union Station in downtown St. Louis on April 12 & 13.


In its first year in 2013, known then as the State of Digital Media Marketing Conference, the conference was a half day event hosted at the J.C. Penney auditorium on the campus of University of Missouri St. Louis. Now in its fourth year, event organizers UMSL Digital are hoping to reach over 2,000 attendees! This will be the second year that the event is held at the historic and expansive Union Station.

Midwest Digital Marketing Conference

Spry Digital are proud sponsors of this year’s conference. You can get more information about our digital platforms and sustainable tech for business from company representatives at our table in the exhibitors hall, so come by and say hello.


Last year’s event included more than 50 speakers from digital leaders like BuzzFeed, Pandora, Refinery29, Pinterest, Under Armour, Johnson & Johnson, Eloqua, Ogilvy One, Google, Yahoo, Nielsen, eHarmony, LinkedIn, and more. This year’s event will once again have top speakers in areas of data, digital, e-commerce, creative, social media, tech and innovation.

Spry Digital’s Creative Director, Joe Duffin, will be on a panel discussion titled “Layers of Content: The Nuances and Evolution of Today’s Content Marketing Universe”.

We hope to see you at MDMC for what promises to be an inspiring two days of talks, networking, fun and digital!

For more information about location, speakers, schedule and tickets, visit the MDMC website.

Dispatches from the Spry Hive 2015: Week 40

Posted by James McDonnell & filed under Tips.

When NASA opens the week with major news about a planetary neighbor, it’s hard to focus on all the other happenings from around the world. Thankfully, it’s Friday, which means another recap of the past week’s news, all in the Spry Hive!


It’s usually a good idea to keep liquids away from any electronics, but this new, liquid clock perfectly visualizes the flow of time.

Learning and following along with sign language has never been so easy with the new SignLanguageGlove.

Thanks to Netflix, you can turn your living room into a true home theatre with the click of a Switch.


World-wide fugitive Edward Snowden caught everyone’s attention when he surfaced on Twitter this week.

Digital Advertising

Advertisements have almost become an expectation when visiting a news site, but have you ever wondered how much mobile data we waste on them?


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If their new store in Brussels is a sign of things to come, then keep your eyes peeled for a major redesign at the Apple Store near you.

Trying to make your latest design scream, “America”? Your job just got a whole lot easier with this new guide for U.S. web design standards.

Clean up your folders and make sense of those duplicates with this simple version control app, Folio for Mac.


Create a lot of animations with CSS? Then you’ve got to check out Velocity.js, an engine so easy that it feels like cheating.

Move over Vagrant, you’ve been replaced! HashiCorp released their newest development/deployment tool for developers this week, Otto,

Gatsby lets you create dynamic websites with a plain text editor and React.js. Now that’s easy, and live!



Those living under a rock might have missed NASA’s major announcement on Monday where they confirmed the existence of liquid on Mars.

As if fast food wasn’t spooky enough already, Burger King has unveiled its Halloween Whopper that features a startlingly black bun.

We can’t guarantee that next week’s Spry Hive will include another major announcement from NASA (is discovery of little green men next?), but we’re sure to find some other tasty morsels from around the web. See you next week!

Dating Tips For Winning A Long-Term Digital Partner

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under Tips.

When designing and building websites and applications for a living (like we do), a digital firm is creating an extension of a client’s business model that touches practically every aspect of that business: Operations, technology, marketing, customer acquisition, etc. Getting to know a business on such an intimate level can create a lot of pressure for both the client and the agency. That is why fit is so important — If you don’t have a sound digital strategy, the consequences to your business can be costly. A lot of time and energy can be spent going down the wrong path due to a lack of clear communication or not understanding the capabilities of the team. The honeymoon period of working with a new team, along with any competitive advantage that you may have once enjoyed, can go away quickly. How do you ensure that your digital partner is the right one to meet the challenges ahead?

For Valentines Day, we’re donning our matchmaker’s hat and have assembled a few tips that will hopefully help you land the ideal long-term interactive partner.

Get to know them.

It may sound obvious, but often many client-agency relationships aren’t given the time to blossom. Spend some time getting to know the people that you’re trusting to build your interactive future. Who are the owners? What is their experience working with companies or organizations like yours? Who are the people that would be working on your project (and what is their experience, roles, dependability)?

A reputable partner wants to be just that, your partner, so they should be willing to meet you on more than one occasion, in multiple settings even, to get to know your business and understand your goals. If they aren’t inclined to make time for you beyond the first meeting, or seem urgent to sign and jump into work, then they likely aren’t thinking about the big picture or the partnership. If it feels like things are being rushed, it may be a signal that the agency is more concerned about signing work than successful deliveries. Ask them what percentage of their business is repeat businesses versus new business, or how many clients they have on retainer. Getting referrals from their existing customers is always a good idea.

Don’t try to change them.

Hire a team that is well established and structured to accomplish what you need them to do. Understand their core competencies, strengths and weaknesses. There’s no point thinking you can change an agency once you start dating. Agencies that are hungry for work may be less than sincere about their capabilities or capacity to deliver. Go beyond words and look at their work. Do they have experience working within a particular technology? Can they demonstrate success with a similar product or service to your own?

Your potential agency should also be forthright about their business objectives. Do their goals align with yours? Have a meaningful discussion with a potential partner about where their strengths lie and look for considered, honest answers about their weaknesses. A partnership is a two way street and a reputable company should be able to express misgivings about doing work outside their comfort zone. If you go with a team that doesn’t get it, don’t be surprised when expectations are not met.

Don’t go dark.

The key to any good relationship is communication. Expect clear communication protocols, meeting times, and set schedules of deliveries and milestones. If they are reluctant to provide them, that can be a bad sign.

A deep understanding of what you’re building, how you’re building it, time to completion, and risks or impacts to delivery are required and depend on good communication along the way. Expect weekly or regular meetings to discuss status of ongoing work and always get it on the calendar – It might just be too convenient for an agency to prioritize other work and not make the time for yours if regularly scheduled meetings are not kept. If they tell you that they have all that they need and will contact you when the work is done in three months, run in the opposite direction at full speed!

We take great lengths to stay in contact with clients during the course of the relationship, using multiple tools and channels of communication: phone, email, chat, web conferencing, forums, wikis, project and collaboration tools. No matter what methods of communication a potential agency uses, they should be comfortable adapting to communication methods that suits your business.

Evaluate the relationship periodically.

Sometimes, when working with agencies over the long term, familiarity can breed complacency. Ask yourself, does something feel amiss? Are you still made to feel special? Maybe you’re not getting results that you expected. Discuss and set clear expectations with your potential partner to determine what will be the measurements of success. Does your potential partner have the tools to measure that success? Whether success be measured by increased traffic, conversion rates, SEO or performance, get on the same page with a potential partner so both parties know what they’re working towards.

Know when to fold ’em…

Let’s be honest, some client-agency relationships don’t have a fairytale ending. Make sure that they have outlined what happens in the unfortunate circumstance that you need to terminate a contract. Who owns the work that will be produced? How easy will it be to retrieve your data should you decide to move on? A prenuptial agreement in the shape of a professional services agreement is the place to determine these answers. A respectable agency should have no problem discussing these terms.

Ending relationships is never easy, but if your agency isn’t meeting your expectations, you can’t afford to let the relationship wither on the vine. Directness and honesty is the best approach. Don’t be too hasty though – Make sure that you have a contingency plan and understand the impacts to your business should a change be necessary.

Take a moment to examine what did and didn’t work in your previous relationship so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes with the next agency you hire. Sometimes, sharing that information with a new potential partner can help both parties understand the pitfalls to avoid.

We at Spry Digital always encourage honest feedback from our partners and are always looking for ways to improve our client interactions to make our relationships more fruitful. Have any dating tips that you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments below!

Welcome Digital Strategist Lindsey Vehlewald

Posted by Ken Moire & filed under News.

Spryfam welcomes Lindsey Vehlewald as our new Digital Strategist for Spry Digital. Lindsey herds cats, both literally and figuratively, and has diverse experience in the new media marketing and nonprofit worlds.

A native of St. Louis (#STL), Lindsey graduated from Webster University before a string of events, states, and cities that led her to us. It’s all very mysterious, but we understand that she “takes care of people.”

In her role as Digital Strategist, Lindsey will be our one-stop shop for online, content, and social media strategies for clients. Spry is her first project. Watch our social media channels to see what we’re up to!

When she’s not at SpryHive, she’s herding cats for Tenth Life Cat Rescue, baking boozy cupcakes, or making tiny monsters out of felt.

Help us welcome Lindsey!

(Shout out and say hi to her at @lvehlewald or through @sprydigital on Twitter)

Team Player Stats:
Sign: Taurus
Power Animal: Prairie Dog
Personality Type: INFJ
Geeks out on: Cats, Oxford comma, s’mores, bourbon, photography
Known for: Sarcasm being mistaken for enthusiasm
Signature style: jeans + cardi + band tee + scarf
Pop Culture fandom[s]: “Game of Thrones,” “X-Files,” “Star Trek,” Hayao Miyazaki, Guillermo del Toro
Favorite bands: Sigur Ros, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Superhero power: conversing entirely in memes

Sometimes tweets for:
@NASASocial through #NASASocial (MAVEN launch, November 2013)
@OTSL Opera Theatre of St. Louis through #TweetSeats program