Kiri Wysynski

FKA is seeking to add a senior client strategist to our growing team. If you’re looking for a new challenge and have a minimum of seven years of experience in an advertising or interactive agency, we’d like to talk with you.

Working at FKA, you will build effective long-term relationships as a valued strategic partner, working face-to-face with local and national clients. In this role, you will manage and mentor junior members of the client services team and be supported by executive leadership. You will work closely with FKA’s other departments—media, technology, creative and communications—to produce nimble, integrated campaigns that produce results.

You should be a strong communicator, from day-to-day email to presentations, and have a bias for action. Experience with highly integrated campaigns, analytics, email marketing, ecommerce and an understanding of the potential of digital and interactive marketing are absolute musts. Previous hands-on experience with Google Ads (formerly AdWords) including YouTube, Facebook Business Manager (including Instagram) and other self-serve platforms is an asset.

FKA offers an exciting, supportive and fast-paced advertising agency environment. We start each day with a scrum to collaboratively manage capacity and risks. Every week we send an agency-wide survey to make sure the team is feeling connected and challenged and take steps to improve things that aren’t working well. FKA provides team members with competitive compensation, health benefits and opportunities for professional development and networking.

FKA is a best-in-class Google Premier Partner and one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies—we were just ranked 150 on the 2018 GROWTH 500 list.  We boast a stellar team of some of the best and brightest in the business and have been recognized with awards from the Advertising Club of Edmonton, Digital Alberta and International Association of Business Communicators.

If you’re interested in doing great things with a great team, please send your cover letter and resume with “Strategist” in the subject line to no later than 5pm on Friday, March 8th.

A question I hear a lot when talking to people and organizations who are interested in working with Starburst is “we’re looking for an agency with experience in our industry — do you have that?”

If you want to be the same as everyone else, we strongly recommend this strategy. But breakthrough ideas don’t come from people who’ve walked the same path over and over again.

In fact, one of the reasons creative agencies still exist today is because of their diversity of thinking. Being an outsider to an industry has a huge advantage. As an outsider, you’re forced to ask questions — questions an industry vet might not think to ask because they’re constrained by typical ‘best practices,’ cookie cutter solutions and/or the dreaded mental rut.

The difficulty that comes from working with agencies in the same industry as yours is their inability to look at your problem separately from your product.

Why does this matter? Because problems are not industry specific.  If you’re a home renovation contractor who needs to generate leads and increase conversions, your problem isn’t about your products or services — it’s about how you’re marketing them. Similarly, if you’re a national bank trying to rebrand, you need an agency with extensive branding experience, not banking experience.

Smart marketing works across all categories: government, banks, furniture stores, manufacturing companies, restaurants and more.

When we’re given the opportunity to do work for a new industry, we’re challenged by circumstance to learn everything we possibly can about it. We don’t make assumptions based on what we’ve done before because every company is different. Instead, we apply what we’ve learned in other industries with similar problems. The more industries we’ve worked in, the stronger and more knowledgeable about varied marketing problems we become.

Marketers often forget that there is a basic understanding of human behaviour at the foundation of our business. It’s flawed to assume that because Agency X sold a similar product to yours they can achieve the same result selling it the second time around.

When you hire an agency with too much experience in your industry, you run the risk of looking like everybody else, and to us, that’s simply not effective advertising.

We are obsessed with optimization.

We optimize ad structure, copy, creative, tactics, strategy, landing pages and brands based on results. We iterate on our work and take the learnings and make it better.

At least, this is what we do for our clients.

Our need to rebrand came out of a realization that our brand didn’t quite fit who we were as an organization anymore. We had spent time reiterating processes for honing our clients’ brands but we missed fully maximizing the opportunity to optimize our own company as well.

As a result, we started to discuss what Starburst should look like versus who we had become. This led to not only discussions about our brand and internal culture but also about our own processes.

As we reflected on all of this, one concept was apparent and continual—that we optimize and iterate while also encouraging our clients to do the same.

In many ways, Starburst was already becoming an agile organization—we’ve just chosen to accelerate this process.

What does agile mean?

Agile is a way of thinking about project and team management that comes from software development. It’s broken into many different ways of practice but at its core are four main values:

  • Individuals and Interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Response to change over following a plan

So what does that mean for an ad agency?

We interpret those agile values as follows:

  • We understand that people drive success. Tools and processes are what we use but they won’t determine the success of a project.
  • It’s better to show a client that something works by delivering relevant solutions that meet their needs than to write about it, discuss theories and create documentation.
  • We involve our customers throughout the process. Not just at the beginning and end. We consult with them and treat them as part of our team. And we expect to be treated as part of their team. Customer insight and feedback is valued.
  • We understand that things will change in the course of any project. We work with our teams and clients to incorporate change versus fighting against it.

So how does this affect our rebrand?

There are lots of things we need to get done—from logo development and website changes to our business cards and all the things in between.

And honestly, we’ve been talking about doing these things for almost a year!

Now we need to start doing—prioritizing action. So we’ve begun taking the steps to iterate on our brand, collateral and website. Doing chunks of work each week.

And the key is that we don’t think it should stop once things seems to be okay or “ready for a launch.”

In many ways, this goes against traditional marketing where we do everything and launch a big campaign all at once.

But this isn’t really the way marketing works anymore. We need to be flexible and adjust in response to the changing digital and marketing landscapes.

We are going to be working on our brand and website each week from now until our official “launch” and then continually after that—iterating and optimizing ourselves.

This means that you will see changes to our website each week. We expect that it might look a little mis-mashed at times. We will also be working on our collateral and will show you sneak peeks for that as well!

We will keep you informed of our progress along the way. In fact, you can watch it on our Trello boards here.

Additionally, we will be documenting our progress in blog posts on this site so you can see a bit about what we are doing and how we are doing it. This will include design, copy, development and process related posts. 

We’ll be posting weekly on what’s going on, what we’ve accomplished and what we are learning. Stay tuned!

Starburst is lucky to have a lot of great clients, and the best are the ones we work with as partners. One of those is All Weather Windows Renovations. When great clients, great partnerships and smart creative and strategy come together, the results are award winning. 

We have been working with All Weather Windows Renovations for a number of years to promote their window and door services to homeowners. In the fall of 2016, we launched the “Don’t Let It In” campaign, and the results exceeded our expectations. 

Now, we’re also thrilled to learn that the “Don’t Let It In” campaign won a 2017 IABC Silver Leaf Award of Excellence in the category of marketing, advertising and sales vehicles. 

As the only agency in Edmonton to have received this prestigious award this year, we’re truly honoured to be recognized on such a national scale.

We would like to thank Fay Poholko, Tracy Nadiger and the rest of the All Weather Windows team as well as Mediactive, our media partner. It truly was a group effort and one that we’re looking forward to continuing. 

IABC Silver Leaf Awards

The Silver Leaf Awards is an awards program recognizing excellence in IABC members across Canada for business communication in a number of categories, including advertising, employee engagement, digital communication, graphic design and special events — to name a few. Award submissions are judged based on the soundness of the strategic planning, quality of the execution and the results achieved.

At Starburst, we pride ourselves on delivering the highest quality of work to our clients. That means that nothing leaves our office without being reviewed and proofread by a number of our team members. While a stunning visual design will draw attention to an ad, copy errors will undermine even the best design and can ruin an entire campaign.

To ensure the highest quality of work coming out of our office, our Creative and Account teams make sure to proofread all copy on an ongoing basis throughout a project—from websites, to print ads, to digital banners and more. Continuous quality control allows us to keep tight control over any changes that might occur, particularly during the client revision period.

As with copy, so too with graphics. Our Creative and Interactive teams are constantly checking to ensure that designs are consistent and work well alongside the copy.

Our Account team is also responsible for knowing the client’s brand and visual standards, so they work with the Creative and Interactive teams to ensure that each item continues to align with the client’s vision as the project progresses. We make use of the full strength of our team to ensure the final piece is free from error.

We’re all about quality control over damage control. We’d rather spend our time making sure our design, interactive and copy elements are fully proofread and examined before sending them out—because your campaign is too important to be ruined by small errors.