image of a hot air balloon with the words cloud cover vol. 1

08/11/2022

Your Teams went from green to yellow while you read this

By Jane Dornemann

image of a hot air balloon with the words cloud cover vol. 1

Image by Evan Aeschlimann

As a marketing agency focused on cloud technology, 2A stays on top of industry developments.

Every few weeks we scour the internet for the latest on AWS and Microsoft—and now we’re bringing that news to you. But in typical 2A style, we’re we’ve made it an entertaining read.

AWS

– Maybe flying Delta won’t feel like the eighth circle of hell now that the carrier has chosen AWS as its cloud provider. Yes—believe it—a company that spends most of its time in the clouds has not yet moved to the cloud.

– AWS Cloud WAN is now generally available. It’s a managed service that simplifies global network operations by unifying environments and connecting on-premises data centers, colocation facilities, branch offices, and AWS cloud regions. Finally! The only reason I’m still on this spinning rock is because I refused to die until this happened.

– As Uber Eats knows, it’s not modern if it requires effort, which is why AWS unveiled three new analytics offerings for serverless that removes a lot of configuration and management work. AWS took a note from Delta’s playbook with the “without worrying about capacity planning” part.

  • – About that lack of effort: 68% of organizations plan to rely more on AWS managed services in the next year. Skills shortage is one reason. Or maybe Kim Kardashian is right, maybe “nobody wants to work these days” was the wisest thing ever to leave her chemically enhanced lips as she cattle prodded the children making SKIMS in a Bangladeshi sweatshop. But it’s unlikely.

– In a revamp of its Security Competency program, AWS worked with security experts to create 8 categories that correspond with customers’ most in-need security capabilities.

– Procore, which sounds more like an ab workout machine than a construction software company, is using AWS IoT TwinMaker to help customers create digital twins for buildings, factories, industrial equipment, and production lines. Waiting on my digital twin of Miles Teller from Top Gun.

– Siemens has joined the AWS Partner Network with its MDR industrial cybersecurity solution now on Marketplace. 2A saw this one coming from miles away when we did a case study on Siemens’ role in propelling (get it?) Amazon Prime Air’s drone design.

– Microsoft isn’t the only cloud provider moving into the world of video games—Riot Games has chosen AWS AI, ML, and deep learning to power its esports content delivery for games like League of Legends, which is played exclusively by people with severe rage management issues (source: gamer husband).

  • – Perhaps taking another cue from Microsoft, a TechRepublic writer thinks AWS is shifting some weight to open-source projects. And wouldntchaknowit, they just released Cloudscape Design System as open source on GitHub.

– Want more drama than my 9-year-old’s Pokemon card trading exploits at summer camp? Look no further than this Linkedin post, where an AWS SVP calls out Microsoft’s alleged superficial licensing practice changes to appease the European Commission. TechRadar even reported on it.

– You know when you intro one of your besties to your other bestie and they become…besties? We feel that now that Fortinet has launched its cloud-native protection service on AWS. Fortinet will also be the launch partner for Amazon Guard Duty Malware Protection. Just don’t have a sleepover without us, OK?

– After sending its Snowcone into space last month, AWS just can’t get enough of that star stuff—it will help Japanese space tech developer Warpspace to develop a satellite communication relay network service. (Memories of Rick Moranis ordering Ludicrous speed, for those of us over 40.)

– President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenksyy says Slava AWS and Microsoft, handing over a peace prize to the cloud providers for their efforts in remaining on “the light side of digital.” Find out what they did here. Google got the prize in May.

– Once again, 2A is the sole reason why Amazon’s earnings call was so hot for cloud—AWS revenue rose 33%, beyond analyst expectations.

– Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro wants you to know that it achieved AWS Healthcare Competency status. Sorry, I left my thanks for participating prize for you at home, Trend Micro.

– AWS continues to set its sights on startups and is investing in programs to help them scale—like SaaS Central, an “intensive five-week program.” First stop: India.

– Boring hyper-technical stuff you may not care about unless you dream in Ruby on Rails:

  • – The people want more serverless, and we shall give it to them! AWS has enhanced its Step Function with Function Workflow Collections, which allows users to create easier workflows.
  • – I SAID MORE SERVERLESS: AWS has made Lambda Powertools TypeScript generally available. It helps developers follow best practices because nobody wants to work these days.
  • – AWS has fixed Amazon Redshift classic resize so that clusters stay online. So, if you ever want to resize your clusters when restoring from a snapshot, well, now you can.

Microsoft

– Canada welcomes its first cloud-only bank, Equitable Bank, thanks to a “strategic acceleration” using Microsoft Azure. Sounds like something I’d say to get out of a speeding ticket.

– Microsoft will expand its relationship with space companies via its Azure Space Partner Community. There’s also this puff piece on Azure Space. How many martinis did Microsoft PR buy this reporter over lunch? Probably several. And that’s OK because martinis make us more pleasant people sometimes.

  • – Keeping its eyes on the skies, Microsoft has launched Project AirSim, a new platform running on Azure that builds, trains, and tests autonomous aircraft using simulation.
  • – “BUT WAIT!” someone at Microsoft said—we can’t conquer sky and space until we conquer the Earth, and we can do that with a Cloud for Sovereignty because governance is all the rage these days.

– Less dazzling news from Inspire 2022: the preview of the upcoming update to Azure Stack HCI 22H2I as well as Azure Remote Support and Marketplace.

– While the Microsoft/Activision deal is likely to go through in the U.S. (and Microsoft’s lawyers try and fail to wash those sweat stains out of their clothes), it still has to fight the final boss: The United Kingdom.

– If AWS can’t give me a digital twin of Miles Teller, I bet Microsoft can—but only after it joins its digital twin platform with Cosmo Tech’s to help cloud customers monitor their emissions in real time, which is the plan.

For a few precious hours, Teams users around the world didn’t have to worry about that green dot turning to yellow just because they looked away for two whole seconds. It was because of a software update. Someone buy that developer some martinis!

– Microsoft reported double-digit quarterly revenue growth, and Azure revenues are up 40% from last year. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’ve been doing more work for them and then its stock goes up. I know this because I had to take macroeconomics twice in high school—once during junior year, and again in summer school after I failed the final. So, trust me, I KNOW.

– Network infrastructure provider Commscope has deployed a solution with Azure to help factories adopt agile practices. Pretty sure Kim Kardashian knows a factory that might want it.

– Microsoft Azure has joined Intel’s Foundry Services Cloud Alliance as an inaugural member. Good timing with the House having recently passed a billed to rev up U.S. semiconductor manufacturing.

– AWS went heavy on the gas with contact center tools, and Microsoft got on that like white on rice with its new Digital Contact Center Platform.

– Anyone who has binge-watched a show on Netflix will understand that sometimes we need somebody to save us from ourselves—and that somebody is Microsoft. The cloud provider will power Netflix’s first ad-supported subscription offering. I am not going to begin my fifth consecutive hour of Ozarks if I have to watch another Tide commercial, so this is a good thing.

– But not everybody agrees. This dude says Microsoft isn’t saving me from insufficient sleep but rather saving Netflix from certain doom—and that Microsoft may have plans for an eventual buyout.

– Microsoft is joining the Zero Trust love pile, with Windows 11 forcing its trust issues on user hardware.

– Oracle and Microsoft announced the general availability of Oracle Database Service for Microsoft Azure.

– The public preview of the updated Management Center is out.

– What do SMBs really want? Microsoft will tell you. It’s also expanded its partnership with Sage, which sells operational software to SMBs, and will integrate products.

– Microsoft fixed 32 vulnerabilities in the Azure Site Recovery Suite, 30 of which allowed privilege escalation.

– Telstra, one of Australia’s leading telecom and tech companies, has entered a five-year deal with Microsoft, one of the largest telecom partnerships to date for the cloud provider. This is great for anyone who had plans to ring a Kangaroo in the outback.

  • – Microsoft must love it down unda’ following another Aussie deal. Leading Australian agribusiness Elders has selected Microsoft Dynamics 365 to…grow corn…and stuff. I dunno, TLDR.
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07/20/2022

Swipe right for a committed agency partner

By Mike Lahoda

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Image by Thad Allen

Summer has finally arrived here in the Pacific Northwest. We’re swapping raincoats for sunscreen, marveling at the bright skies, and for some, diving into the dating pool. That’s right—time to refresh the Hinge profile pics, add a quirky blurb to the Bumble bio, and find that summer love.

Here are 5 tips for online dating success. Kidding! This is not that kind of marketing blog.

But there are parallels between dating and working with an agency. We find that the most successful marketing assets are the result of a great client-and-agency partnership. So how can you build a lasting, healthy relationship with an agency?

  1. Be upfront about what you’re looking for. Just looking for a casual infographic? Or are you seeking a committed partner to help strategize the best lead-gen methods? We appreciate and respect your preferences, just let us know so we’re on the same page.
  2. Introduce us to the family. No need to wait until things get serious to meet the parents and siblings. There are often numerous stakeholders involved in any asset development, and we’re happy to coordinate with the whole team. Let us know who’s involved at the start, so we can account for feedback and reviews to deliver on time.
  3. Communicate your feelings. We have many talents at 2A, but we’re still working on mind-reading. Share how things are going early and often. Straightforward feedback cultivates collaboration, builds trust, and leads to a fulfilling partnership.
  4. Don’t ghost. No one enjoys getting stood up, canceled on at the last minute, or a lack of responsiveness. We understand that schedules are packed and conflicts arise. That’s ok, we just appreciate some advance notice.
  5. Express gratitude and love. Did that eBook make your prospects swoon? We’d love to hear about it! And if you have friends in the market for marketing assets, we hope you’ll recommend 2A. There’s a whole team of consultants, program managers, designers, and storytellers ready to get to know you.

Think we’re a match? Reach out and let’s set a date to connect.

decorative image of Jane and a newsroom

07/06/2022

2A’s own Lois Jane uses journalism for fresh storytelling

By Forsyth Alexander

decorative image of Jane and a newsroom

Image by Thad Allen

While other children in her Brooklyn neighborhood were on the playground or hanging with friends, Jane Dornemann was busy publishing a newspaper full of stories about what was happening around her. How this journalist grew in Brooklyn and then branched out until she joined the storytelling team at 2A is a fascinating tale of determination, family ties, world travel, climate change, content marketing, and death doulas.

Dogged by climate change

After graduating from Fordham University with a journalism and communications degree, Jane spent a year as a print media buyer in New York before traveling to Florence, Bangkok, and Honolulu to teach English. Her family has strong roots in Hawaii—can you say “kama’aina?”*—and she found a home there for a couple of years. She earned a master’s degree in creative writing at the University of Hawaii while writing and editing for newspapers and other publications.

*Child of the land

Once she earned her master’s, she returned to New York, where she turned her thoughts to meshing her skills with the needs of her family, particularly her son’s health. This entailed working in PR and communications. Eventually, it also meant leaving New York for cities chosen for their weather. But then, as she puts it, they were “chased out by climate change” as smoky conditions became less favorable for her son.

Her adventures in climate change are how she ended up in her current home in Durham, NC, where she works surrounded by posters picked up on the streets during her travels. In Durham, she began applying her writing skills to content marketing and freelancing, which also included ghostwriting.

“I’ve worked in three different areas I see as kind of a triangle”

Jane sees journalism, PR, and content marketing as a triangle, because the three connect. “Look at content marketing. A big part of it is the audience. It’s like pitching a story in PR or creating a messaging framework in communications.” She says they all require asking yourself who the reader will be and what is needed in terms of voice.

She finds a lot of satisfaction in content marketing, which is what 2A clients are looking for when they engage with us. From blogs to eBooks to animations and more—she is adept at using content for awareness and education.

A nugget of goodness in every content bite

Even though she rarely writes investigative exposés anymore and she’s no longer responsible for launching major press campaigns, Jane still uses those skills. Often clients come to us with a need to extoll the benefits of their products and services, and they are looking for a fresh new way to talk about them. If Jane is their storyteller, they will get the freshest of the fresh with added sparkle because nobody knows how to get to the golden nugget of a story and then write great headlines better than a journalist with PR experience.

For example, while writing a blog about the benefits of AI, Jane dug through the client’s interview and found out that the client had developed a first-of-its-kind AI platform. And for a recent case study, she did the math to home in on key numbers that would impress readers and then wrote unforgettable headlines to move the story.

Also, while working on a talk track for a Microsoft conference, she discovered some nuggets about the process itself that she shared in a recent 2A spotlight blog. “Building a talk track isn’t as simple as churning out a few bullet points—it’s more like constructing a house. The presenter and the writer begin with a few ideas, and through an iterative and highly collaborative process, those ideas become a final presentation,” she wrote.

Going for the gusto

Jane’s ability to pull out new and different perspectives from life’s experiences is not confined to delighting 2A clients. Since 2018, she has been a death doula, someone who helps people at the end of their lives—and their families—with the transition. She says that she has learned a lot from her patients. “You should go for the gusto,” she says, “If you are thinking about doing something out of your comfort zone, do it, so you don’t have regrets later.”

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06/22/2022

What does it take to construct a talk track for Microsoft Build?

By Jane Dornemann

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Image by Rachel Adams

Talk track
/tôk trak/
noun: A script that accompanies a presentation deck or video.

Why create a talk track if you really know your stuff? In the case of this year’s big Microsoft Build event, you create a talk track because presenters have a lot of information to cover and they’re on the clock. When they’re on stage presenting to hundreds of thousands of people, having a track talk helps them focus on their presence instead of trying to recall a list of details in a limited amount of time.

Building a talk track isn’t as simple as churning out a few bullet points—it’s more like constructing a house. The presenter and the writer begin with a few ideas, and through an iterative and highly collaborative process, those ideas become a final presentation.

2A has written executive talk tracks over the last few years, which means we know a thing or two about going from the blueprint to the front door. There are four main parts of the Building process (get it 😉).

#1 Lay the foundation. First, you’ll need to determine which comes first: the talk track or the visual presentation. Either you’re building a talk track to align with a finished presentation, or you’re designing the presentation around a talk track. This is a personal preference and one that may be influenced by available resources. And because the talk track and presentation must be timed to match each other, it’s important they aren’t built independently.

#2 Put in windows so the audience can really see the person. When presenters read a talk track that doesn’t sound like them, that disconnect is going to come across to the audience. Writers should have several calls with speakers to get a strong sense of their voice and personality. What tones do they naturally use? Are they fast talkers (this will affect timing, too!)? The more a writer can adopt the speaker’s style, the more naturally the presenter will deliver the track. You’ll also want to consider the subject knowledge of the presenter versus the knowledge of the audience—sometimes you’ll need to help the speaker translate what they know to a more general audience.

#3 Make renovations. A first draft will never be the end, so be flexible. Expect revisions depending on content—you may need to re-order information, add details, or cut down on certain sections. Through iterations, you need to ensure you’re staying within the time limit, that the track still aligns with the presentation, and that there’s room for introductions and conclusions.

#4 Decorate. Add small details for big effects. Don’t underestimate transitions—not just openings, closings, and moving the audience into the next part of the presentation, but also little transitions between ideas within the same subject. Additions like “well,” “so,” and “now let’s talk about” make for a much more natural delivery.

Do you need an expertly written talk track? Whether it’s for a sales pitch or a big company event, 2A can help!

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06/15/2022

Bravo Langston Seattle and three cheers for 2A’s working groups

By Alyson Stoner-Rhoades

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Image by Suzanne Calkins

An article came out in the Seattle Times last year stating that Seattle is fifth in the running for fastest diversifying big city in the United States. That same article proceeded to remind us that we are also the sixth whitest city in the country. While many of us may lose sight of our self-work and reeducation in the progressive bubbles we occupy, data points like this show that it’s still imperative to keep pushing and growing.

With that in mind, 2A’s two working groups—the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) group and the 2A Giving group—decided to join forces and focus our energy on organizations that elevate Seattle’s Black communities. We wanted to support organizations with a financial contribution and also get the team together for an event. We found the perfect fit at Langston Seattle.

We invited all our employees to the live-streamed and in-person performance of “Winter in America: An Homage to Gil Scott-Heron.” Artists did fantastic renditions of Gil Scott-Heron’s work along with a few original pieces that had people dancing in their seats. The show was powerful and heavy with Black excellence. The in-person energy was palpable on the live stream. In addition to Langston Seattle, we also donated to two other incredible organizations: Creative Justice and Black & Tan Hall.

Our night at Langston was a lovely evening and the perfect way to wrap up a successful collaboration between our working groups. Back in the beginning of the pandemic, we were eager to find ways to grow personally and professionally, work on inclusivity, and give back to the community during such a trying time. That’s when we formed our two working groups to support this vision—each with their own budgets, goals, and regular monthly meetings. After some time settling into a cadence and knocking out some initial projects the working groups had the genius idea to combine resources and embark on a collaboration journey.

We are proud of our working groups and grateful for consistent reminders to keep educating ourselves, keep supporting our coworkers and communities, and keep working toward creating a more equitable and inclusive workplace.

If you don’t know who Gil Scott-Heron is, no judgment. May we suggest you start your education journey by listening to “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” one of Scott-Heron’s most famous works, here. Then—taking a cue from our working groups—head over to Google and keep learning.

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06/06/2022

If you give 2A an animation, we’re going to make it rhyme

By Katy Nally

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Lately I’ve been reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie on a nightly basis. Each time I open the book and tell my almost-3 year old about the critter’s shenanigans, I’m transported to the library of my elementary school. I can remember so clearly sitting cross-legged looking up at the librarian as she read the same words aloud. The fact that our public library still has plenty of copies of this 1985 book is a testament to the power of nostalgia. Parents who grew up reading about the mouse and his cookie have a little flashback when reading the same stories to their kids.

Nostalgia is a powerful force, especially when woven into marketing. In the world of higher education, nostalgia works wonders for alumni fundraising. Take our Funding with Rhyme and Reason animation we created for the Dartmouth College Fund (DCF). Not only does it elicit memories of being a carefree 20-something on campus, but the rhyming whimsy takes it a step further—injecting a Saturday-morning-cartoon vibe.

In this case, the ask of 2A was to reinvent DCF’s Wacky Business Model animation, which made unfortunate parallels between Dartmouth and begging for money. The animation also didn’t quite land why tuition funding is so complex.

Our first instinct was to write a song and perform it like a Schoolhouse Rock! episode. Then we realized we’re not folk singers. Instead, using singalongs as a springboard, we walked viewers through a complicated funding equation with a little water theme to tie it all together. A reservoir, pipes, and barrels played a serious role in explaining why giving is still important for a school with a large endowment. Meanwhile, the animation’s rhyming roots keep it light and upbeat.

So the next time you want to tap into your audience’s nostalgia—we’re here for you, to create something new, and we’ll work hard, too, this much is true.



Image of Madeline Sy on an opera program

05/04/2022

Marketing maestro Madeline makes their 2A debut

By Kimberly Mass

Image of Madeline Sy on an opera program

Image by Brandon Conboy

What do you get when you combine a passion for opera, an affinity for processes and patterns, and a love for solving complex problems? In 2A’s case, the answer is Madeline Sy, opera aficionado and marketing consultant extraordinaire.

“I’ve loved opera for as long as I can remember,” said Madeline. “While it has a reputation for being inaccessible, it’s actually the opposite—it taps into our instinct to tell stories through music, stories that explore these big emotions that reflect the universal experience of being human.” A case in point: Madeline’s favorite opera, Bluebeard’s Castle by Hungarian composer Béla Bartók, is based on a French fairy tale and follows Judith, Bluebeard’s latest wife, as she defies her husband’s request and opens one door after another in a misguided—and ultimately tragic—quest to uncover the castle’s secrets. “At its heart, it’s a story most of us can relate to, about the desire for knowledge even when it isn’t in our best interests. Like any great story, it invites imagination—every time I see it, I connect to something different, and there’s space for everyone who sees the opera to do that.”

Driven by a desire to share their passion with a broader audience, Madeline began volunteering with the Los Angeles Opera’s community engagement programs. There they saw firsthand how the dedication of a small group of people and the power of a solid marketing message could be used in outreach efforts to bring the arts to underserved communities. From there, it was natural step to apply for the Watson Fellowship, a one-year grant that funds independent research and exploration outside the United States, which Madeline used to travel to South Africa, Australia, and Canada. “I wanted to explore how opera—and other artforms in general—can be accessible to people who experience and navigate through the world differently. I started with opera but by the end of the year had expanded to other art forms including a fully accessible music festival and a new opera produced entirely in ASL about deaf culture.”

As they worked to understand these challenges and find workable solutions, Madeline was drawn to HR and the ability of HR professionals to discover patterns, solve complex problems, and improve people’s daily work life. After completing their Master of Human Resource degree at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, Madeline joined bp as a People Advisor, where, in addition to day-to-day HR responsibilities, they worked on special projects that involved building relationships with internal clients and telling stories with data to develop, lead, and launch employee-based initiatives. “While I loved the combination of people and processes that HR involved, I realized I craved collaborating on projects and missed the camaraderie of working with a core team in a creative environment,” Madeline said. “I wanted to find a way to bring everything together.”

Enter 2A stage right: with its focus on building strong relationships and helping clients solve complex marketing challenges—and love of all things creative—2A struck just the right chord with Madeline. And while we don’t always know our aria from our overture, we feel exactly the same!

04/28/2022

Part II: We love our Embedded Consultants, and the feeling is mutual

By Nora Bright

Now that you know how consulting agencies impact the experience of Microsoft contractors, I’ll let you in on a little secret: some agencies have a bigger, more positive impact than others. And, according to our survey, 2A comes out on top. Read on to learn what 2A’s Microsoft contractors—or Embedded Consultants (ECs), as we call them—had to say about us and what benefits and perks we offer that made them more satisfied than folks at other agencies.


Embedded Consultants (ECs) love working at 2A
When it comes to the agency experience, 2A ECs were more satisfied than contractors from other firms.


Working at 2A leads to a better Microsoft experience
2A ECs were also more satisfied with their Microsoft experience than contractors from other firms.


Our benefits take the cake
There’s a lot to love about 2A, but our insurance benefits and company culture are the favorites.

Our superior benefits and company culture helped 2A ECs decide to say yes to their Microsoft contractor opportunities.


Ready to love your agency?
Whether you’re hiring a contractor or ready to embark on a new role with Microsoft, having the right agency behind you makes all the difference. Learn how 2A helps hiring managers and contractors shine.

Images by Guangyi Li

image of a van driving into a portal

04/18/2022

What building websites taught me about my 1997 Eurovan

By Erin McCaul

image of a van driving into a portal

Image by Guangyi Li

In September 2021 my husband and I welcomed our second child earthside. As we juggled newborn night feedings, calculated wake windows, kept our 4 year old entertained, and changed 10+ diapers a day we decided we needed more work and bought a 1997 Eurovan. Lovingly nicknamed Clark, we celebrated the end of my maternity leave with a two-week family road trip to see a friend in Salt Lake City, Utah.

In my role as a Program Manager at 2A, I’ve had the opportunity to build cool websites with our stellar in-house team of consultants, designers, storytellers, and developers. Lucky for me, I was able to apply 2A’s web process to get our van adventure ready.

Getting the wheels turning with a feature list

When building websites (and vans) the first question to ask is “what does it need to do?” Our van needed to make it 1,600 miles roundtrip to get us to Utah and home again, so we planned for safe car-seat installation, space for our down sleeping bags, a fridge install, and ample storage for snacks, ski gear, and toys.

Gathering requirements and objectives upfront ensures both smooth design and development phases. At 2A we meet with our client’s core team to really understand their vision and audience, and plan for the site’s functionality.

From bringing delicious apples to your doorstep, communicating the importance of healthcare interoperability, or building an interactive map for sports legislation every project starts with a feature list outlining what exactly the site needs to do and how we’ll do it.

Packing in the content(s)

My family loves camping, so before our trip I did an audit to see what I could move from our gear room to the van before placing a bulk order for mac and cheese. When building a website, it’s important to go through the same exercise with content and brand elements. Do you have an existing site that contains your brand gear? What content needs to be migrated, edited, or newly crafted? Are you keeping your current brand, opting for a brand refresh, or hoping for a new look and feel? What content do you have, and how does it need to be organized for users?

Taking it for a test drive

Before our trip we tested the van at our local ski hill and spent a weekend camping close to home. It was a great way to pressure test our designs for making coffee, sleeping, cooking dinner, doing dishes, and accessing toddler toys. Before launching a site, the crew at 2A tests all websites across different browsers and devices to make sure it all works and meets accessibility requirements before going live.  

Two days into our trip I was reminded that sometimes bugs pop up after launch—or in this case, mice. As I sanitized every surface of our van in a Walmart parking lot after discovering a mouse had eaten our bagels, I was grateful I’d planned to camp near cities with easy access to stores and Clorox wipes. To head off the unexpected at 2A, we plan for website soft launches. This means the site is technically live and discoverable, but we ask clients to hold off on announcements or marketing campaigns that actively send traffic to the site until we’ve had one last chance to check for bugs.

Towing the line on maintenance

An hour into our road trip Clark broke down in rural eastern Washington. One tow truck ride and a very kind mechanic later, we were back on the road after a few hours. The lesson? Vans and websites both require maintenance to keep them running smoothly. From WordPress version and plugin updates to new feature development, 2A has you covered well after your site goes live.

Ready for an adventure? Let’s build a site together!

Kimberly found her voice early on—now she’s helping clients discover theirs

03/30/2022

Kimberly found her voice early on—now she’s helping clients discover theirs

By Mai Sennaar

Kimberly found her voice early on—now she’s helping clients discover theirs

As our resident voice chameleon, Kimberly has the writing dexterity to perfectly capture any client voice. Her journey as a distinguished marketing writer began years ago following a move to Japan. Once back in the United States, Kimberly honed her skills for delivering rich and impactful assets, eventually building a stellar reputation as a writer and a diverse portfolio of work across a wide range of industries.

She honed her marketing writing skills over many years, and at this point, Kimberly’s knack for embodying brand voices comes naturally. Her ear is so keen that she can’t listen to too much radio in the car before the voices begin to pile up in her mind! And reading too many British spy novels have her adopting cheeky slang.

Behold the power of words

She attributes her inclination toward writing to an early awareness of the power of words. A funny story goes that perusing her grandfather’s bookshelf as a kid led her to pick up a Harold Robbins novel. Kimberly’s mother was scandalized at the discovery of her young daughter’s choice in fiction and the extreme reaction made Kimberly note the peculiar power of language and fictional worlds for the first time.

Kimberly’s pursuit of a college education was unconventional in the eyes of many in the rural Michigan town where she grew up, and literature served as a catalyst in her courage to cultivate her own perspective on the world. She cites To Kill a Mockingbird as a particularly transformative book when it came to her understanding of diversity and the broader humanity of people across cultural and religious lines. Gaining academic accolades for a feminist-leaning essay at her conservative high school was the moment when Kimberly first discovered a talent for persuasion that would later make her marketing work so impactful for clients.

From infographics to animations—giving life to a brand voice

For one of her first assignments at 2A, Kimberly used her chameleon-like skills to deliver an illuminating animation. While adept at shifting between distinct voices, she also helps clients discover and develop new brand voices to take their marketing approach to the next level. With an equal aptitude for persuasion, infographics and animations remain some of Kimberly’s favorite assets.

Kimberly has a long history of volunteer work that’s just as diverse as her writing portfolio. From working with hospice patients to coaching youth flag football, Kimberly has done it all. Perhaps most notably, she founded a longstanding Play in the Park program at her son’s former elementary school. The program is designed to foster community by helping students stay in touch over the summer. Her son is now 23 and the program is still going strong!

Kimberly says that her favorite thing about her volunteer work and her work at 2A is using her skills to enrich the lives of others.

If client feedback is any indication, she’s meeting her goal so far!