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“Reclaim Your Creativity”: Bringing a Marketing Campaign to Life

Branding + Design
Jason Holland recently collaborated with Manko Marketing Inc. on the firm’s first marketing automation campaign, titled “Reclaim Your Creativity”.
Jason Holland Creative Studio recently collaborated with Greg Manko, Founder & Chief Creative Officer of Manko Marketing Inc. This involved the strategy, design, and development of the firm’s first marketing automation campaign, titled “Reclaim Your Creativity”.

“Focused exclusively on B2B financial services and FinTech, Manko Marketing brings simplicity, boldness, and impact back into the way your products, services, and solutions are promoted.”

What Do Your Clients (Really) Want?

The process began with Greg going back to the proverbial drawing board by partnering with our colleague Jennifer Phillips April at Write Words Marketing.

Jennifer steadily helped Greg gain clarity on his target audience, especially in terms of understanding their values and crafting corresponding messaging. They accomplished this via market research, connecting with past & present clients, professional & personal introspection, and concept development & idea generation.

With this powerful information in hand, Jen and Greg leveraged the backstory of the firm to create the relevant and compelling theme of “Reclaim Your Creativity.” This reflects the desire of B2B financial marketing professionals to revitalize something that has diminished over the past decade since the financial crisis, reinvigorate the spark that got them into marketing in the first place, and reach their goals—both professionally & personally.

As work began on training for the marketing automation platform, Greg also outlined in great detail every stage and element of the marketing campaign.

Manko Marketing's "Reclaim Your Creativity" Campaign"

Marketing Strategy meets Online Strategy

Throughout this process, Greg relied on Jason for online strategy and design. From the start, they collaborated on creative direction. Jason also provided continual guidance and support around:

  • Online visual design, user experience, content design, and social media design.
  • Front-end WordPress website development and search engine optimization.
  • Marketing automation platform integration, including leveraging both native and third party forms, email template design and development, and custom sales funnel landing pages.

From a visual perspective, Greg’s writing told a story that practically designed itself. In his own words, “I’ve loved great marketing since I was a child. In addition to playing “Cops & Robbers,” I regularly set up a marketing firm on my front porch!”

Based on this, Greg and Jason both knew from the very beginning that the central visual image for the campaign would represent the fun and playfulness of childhood: a kid on his front porch. The rest of the design flowed from there.

Modifying Marketing Automation

Deciding on SharpSpring to handle the marketing automation process, together Greg and Jason underwent weeks-long training for the onboarding process.

While Greg handled the CRM (content relationship management) and Sales aspects of SharpSpring, Jason would transform the online strategy he and Greg had discussed into digital materials via both visual design and technical implementation.

From a technical standpoint—implementation of the campaign, including forms, emails and templates, landing pages, and overall platform integration—proved a tricky task.

While well-suited for contact management—including an especially impressive lead tracking system—the native builders for forms, emails, and landing pages posed unique challenges.

The SharpSpring native builders were not as advanced as the tools with which Jason is familiar. To efficiently execute rapid development, which saves on time and cost overhead for the client and reduces development headaches for everyone, Jason devised an alternate solution.

Manko Marketing's "Reclaim Your Creativity" Campaign"

Building a Better Path

To make full use of his abilities, Jason devised and implemented a unique approach to integrating with the SharpSpring automation platform.

Leveraging the site-wide embed tracking code for SharpSpring, instead of building landing pages within the platform, those were instead constructed directly on the mankomarketing.com website using the Divi Theme drag-and-drop page builder by Elegant themes.

This method saved countless hours of development time. And, because the Divi Theme was used to build the landing pages, Jason was able to take full advantage of the modern WordPress theme’s bells and whistles. The result is beautiful landing pages that fluidly communicate the campaign’s story about how to “Reclaim Your Creativity.”

Leveraging the Divi Theme for landing pages eliminated many of the tedious aspects of web development—allowing for fast prototyping and letting the creativity flow between Jason and Greg.

Along those lines, the Divi Theme enabled display of beautiful light box overlays to play videos.

The result is an elegant, fluid, and functional design that helps tell the story envisioned by Greg as valuable to his clients. From a design standpoint, this was rapidly and efficiently designed and built all in one place, thanks to the Divi Theme.

The user experience is seamless—from the campaign home page and opt-in pages to the multiple landing pages and two offer pages.

  1. In the foreground, all elements effectively communicate the “Reclaim Your Creativity” story.
  2. In the background, this framework integrates well with the marketing automation features of SharpSpring.

Opt-in Form Optimization

Integrating opt-in forms turned out to be a bit of a challenge, due to some inconsistencies getting the forms to map correctly with SharpSpring and redirect issues with the Divi Themes form module.

The solution involved integration of the Ninja Forms WordPress plugin, mapping to SharpSpring native forms via individual landing pages. This approach met the technical requirements of mapping data correctly to SharpSpring and redirecting users to the appropriate confirmation pages.

Evolved Email Templates

The campaign needed to maintain the integrity of email forms within the SharpSpring ecosystem, without recoding third-party email HTML templates and then trying to integrate those into SharpSpring.

As both a designer and front-end developer, Jason was able to design and build a single, replicable email template directly in SharpSpring that is both elegant and on-brand with the overall campaign. Although it took a few extra hours for coding, the email template is fully operational and native in the SharpSpring platform.

Delightful Design!

Once the technical activities were settled, the time came for the most enjoyable part: visual design of the campaign. And boy, was that fun!

Weighing several initial options, Greg found the perfect image that would embody the entire theme of the campaign: the “front porch kid,” as he’s now affectionately called. Embodying the pure essence of the campaign, he symbolizes “making marketing fun again”—which pulls the whole campaign together.

From thoroughly-researched customer values and a well-written story, the rest of the campaign design came naturally and quickly. Each landing page includes an image that adds visual continuity to the entire campaign.

When creating each landing page, Jason imagined each visual as things around the house the “front porch kid” would turn into toys. Those include paper airplanes, colored pencils, origami birds, construction paper, etc.

On-brand and coherent throughout, the resulting campaign is a success in creative storytelling and visual problem solving—not only for Manko Marketing but also the new clients the campaign will attract!

A Powerful Partnership

This effort demonstrates a successful collaboration among Greg Manko, Jennifer Phillips April, and Jason Holland. All three worked together to bring to life a compelling, elegant, and fun campaign that conveys useful information as part of an inviting storyline, directly addressing the values of Manko Marketing’s client audience.

Even when faced with some hearty technical challenges, in the end, the team employed unique “out-of-the-box” thinking. This enabled not only full integration with the SharpSpring platform, but also saved hours on development and overhead time and costs for the client!

It’s a win-win-win!

Manko Marketing's "Reclaim Your Creativity" Campaign"

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