Mike Cronin, Director of Strategy

As we all know, great ideas don’t get produced by accident. It takes a concerted effort from all involved. Not the least of which are the clients.

Recently, in MediaPost Agency Daily, our Director of Strategy, Mike Cronin, shared his thoughts on some of the specific client behaviors he’s seen lead to great creative ideas–from “Selling Out” to “Steering Into Fear.” Here’s an excerpt:

 

 

“In advertising, we take almost maniacal pleasure in discovering great ideas. Like bizarro anthropologists, we obsessively hunt these ideas down and study them inside-and-out as though they’re artifacts from an alien world. We salute the insights and creative briefs that inspired them.

What we rarely seem to acknowledge are the clients. Specifically, client behaviors that help enable great ideas.

There are numerous client behaviors we’ve all witnessed when pitching an idea. Whether it’s the basics of open communication, receiving some tough love, or finally agreeing on a creative idea, it’s time we celebrate the counterintuitive practices.”

Read the full article entitled “The Art of Being a Great Client” at MediaPost.

 

 

We are so excited to introduce you to our new Senior Media Planner, Anne Raymond!  Anne is joining KC from the digital marketing agency, FRWD@Bain. Throughout her 4+ years there, Anne has worked as a media planner for more traditional agency clients covering primarily CPG and Restaurant verticals. She has experience in media planning across various channels including OOH, CTV, paid search, paid social, organic social, programmatic display, video and native media. Despite her cross-channel experience, Anne finds programmatic media her true “bread and butter”. She is interested in the variety of formats and targeting capabilities that programmatic display and video platforms offer.

Most recently at FRWD@Bain, Anne has worked as a digital media consultant for a variety of Fortune 500 clients spanning large furniture retailers, insurance companies, etc. This work involved analyzing historical traditional and digital media performance to find areas of optimization and create test plans for messaging strategy, cross-channel funnel strategy, in-platform campaign performance and measurement capabilities.

When Anne isn’t deep in spreadsheets, she enjoys living the downtown life in Minneapolis with her fiancé, Jeff, and her cockapoo, Sophie. You’ll frequently find them exploring the local dog parks, venturing across the Stone Arch Bridge or hitting the Mill City Farmers Market on the weekends.  She also spends a lot of her time in the suburbs with her identical twin sister Sarah. When she’s not hanging out with friends and family, she enjoys doing yoga or riding her Peloton, reading mystery/thriller books and listening to crime podcasts.

KC Truth currently has an opening for an Account Director. KC is an agency that cuts through the BS and uncovers truths in order to create meaningful connections for brands with their customers to drive business growth. We also happen to have the ultimate conference room, our Truth Bar.

We are seeking an Account Director who can build and nurture relationships and be a thought leader for clients and agency teams. This person will lead KC’s most important clients overseeing strategic business planning, integrated creative strategy and execution across all mediums including digital and social, media campaign development, and financial stewardship of these accounts. Candidates should possess strong team management and talent development skills as well as business development acumen in both new and organic growth.

If this sounds like you, please send your resume to: jobs@kctruth.com.

SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Self motivated: Persistence is at your core and you set your own internal goals and objectives. Dive into the weeds, roll up your sleeves, and do work that needs to get done.
  • Sound judgement: Making wise decisions and identifying root causes of issues. Thinking strategically and separating what is a priority.
  • Good communication: Being a good listener and communicate is a way that is concise and articulate.
  • Make an Impact: You like to make a difference and inspire and mentor others. You focus on strong performance over process.
  • Innovative: You challenge prevailing assumptions and suggest better solutions.
  • Courage: You say what you think and take smart risks. Stand up for yourself and KC.
  • Entrepreneurial: good at prospecting, networking, agency promotion and cultivating new relationships
  • Positivity: You’re a positive force inside KC, motivated to help the agency grow and it’s staff succeed

 

RESONSIBILITIES:

Business & Account Leadership

  • Serve as a strategic business leader and trusted client advisor on all aspects of the client business.
  • Earn trust by understanding and enhancing the business and relationship needs of our clients and team members.
  • Offer insights based on past experience and marketing and industry expertise that support the clients’ organization and decision-making processes.
  • Leverage knowledge of how KC offerings can help drive growth opportunities.
  • Lead the creation of annual planning approaches that create alignment across client product and brand groups.
  • Lead the Truth Workshop pre-planning, facilitation, and client deliverable outputs working with the account, strategy, and creative teams.
  • Develop and negotiate Statements of Work to clearly outline expected deliverables and payment schedule and maintain profitable financial stewardship.
  • Work with the client, strategy, and account team to draft clear and actionable creative briefs.
  • Mentor team members, working with them on creating achievable career goals and growth plans.

 

THE ACCOUNT DIRECTOR SHOULD ALIGN WITH OUR KC VALUES:

 

  • We’re passionate: We are in this business because it is our passion. We care about doing the right thing, making our clients successful, and learning new things to be better at what we do. We don’t let our passion get in the way of empathy and understanding where others are coming from.
  • We’re collaborative: Great ideas come from contributions of all. We are a team and use “we/our” and not “I/my.” This means being respectful of differing points of view, being confident yet humble enough to say we don’t know the answer when we don’t.
  • We’re curious: We are curious about the world and think it is ok to ask lots of questions. We like to learn about our client’s businesses to understand their challenges. We learn by being good listeners.
  • We are bold thinkers: We like to think about what hasn’t been done before. We are curious about new ideas and new ways of doing things. We like to break the mold. We win or fail together, not alone.
  • We are no BS: We’re straight talkers and speak the truth with clients and KCees alike. We believe BS gets in the way of simplicity, and simple is always better than complicated.
  • We’re persistent: We don’t stop until we find a way through the BS to the right answer. We do what we can to solve every problem the best way possible. We are respectful of “no” but can always ask why?

 

 

KC Truth is seeking a smart, motivated Digital Media Planner with experience in programmatic to join our team and geek out over data analysis.  KC is an agency that cuts through the BS, finds the truth and builds brands with smart, bold ideas in digital, social, broadcast, print and beyond. It’s also home of the ultimate conference room, the Truth Bar. 
The Digital Programmatic Media Planner will work collaboratively with internal teams and our clients to develop programmatic strategies and work independently to manage the execution, optimization and reporting on those strategies. The ideal applicant will have experience in programmatic buying and a strong understanding of, or desire to manage DSP technology. Digital/data dorks strongly encouraged to apply. (But if “Programmatic” or “DSP” are foreign concepts, this isn’t the job for you.)  

If this sounds like you, please send your resume to: jobs@kctruth.com.

Skills and Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree preferably in Advertising, Marketing, Business, Economics or similar 
  • 2 – 4 years of experience in digital advertising  
  • Good understanding of working in programmatic platforms 
  • Experience in The Trade Desk preferred 
  • Excels at Excel
  • Passion for digital marketing, data and analysis 
  • Strong analytical skills with the ability to dig into the details and make data-driven recommendations 
  • Organized and detail-oriented with effective written and oral communication skills 
  • Team player with a positive attitude 
  • Bonus if you’re into lunchtime crosswords, happy hour dart games, or joining our ad league bowling team (2017 champions!) 

Primary Responsibilities: 

  • Work with media team to build out integrated media plan presentations 
  • Understand client brief and objectives to make strategic recommendations 
  • Set up and manage campaigns in DSP 
  • Proactively monitor campaign activity for delivery, ad quality and performance 
  • Pull reporting and identify ongoing optimization opportunities  
  • Work with media team to ensure plans are recorded for client billing purposes and trafficked according to campaign specifications 

KC Values: 

  • Passionate: Give a shit about KC, our clients, what you do and the people here with you 
  • Curious: Listen, ask insightful questions, have a point of view, learn and grow 
  • Collaborative: Be humble, confident, and respectful and assist in generating ideas 
  • Resourceful: Be willing and able to do what it takes to get the job done right, including asking others for help 
  • No BS: Straightforward, authentic, and accountable 

Alex Cullen, Media Director

As you may have heard, Google announced that due to advertiser push back their phasing out of cookies would be delayed to late 2023. Frankly, that’s not surprising. Having attended numerous webinars and panel discussions, as well as reading my fair share of industry articles on the topic, it seemed to me as though no one, not even Google had a solution that would work for most advertisers.

Sure, we all know that companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon want to control the world wide web, but advertisers are stepping up and collectively saying for the first time, “This can’t happen.” It’s great to see that it didn’t take anti-trust lobbying and government regulation to at least temporarily prevent this. The good old-fashioned “Will of the people” won the day.

As I’ve previously written, the cookie-less future is something we are tracking very closely, but our clients need not worry. In addition to the myriad types of targeting we leverage (contextual, keyword, etc.) and the way in which we find relevant audiences (panel-based vs. FLoC), we counsel clients on ways they can create deeper and more enriched site experiences for visitors to effectively capture audience information via 1st party pixels.

If you have questions about what this all means for your business and how we can help, please feel free to reach out to us.

 

 

We have a new Finance and Operations Specialist who’s work history is as dynamic as she is!  Anna spent the past 20 years managing boarding kennels for pets, teaching preschool, earning a Bachelor’s in Business Management in her 30’s while raising a family, office management for her husband’s custom millwork company, and most recently dialing in to billing, finance, and operations at two highway heavy road construction companies in Mankato.

Anna is looking forward to working in a creative industry, since her secret passion has always been art.  In fact, she even has a little side-hustle as a henna artist!  She hopes to help the team and our clients maintain consistent and accurate finances and looks forward to digging into the details of processes and collaborating on ways to improve them.

When she’s not counting beans (we promise we gave her a calculator) Anna enjoys escaping to her home in the middle of nowhere with her daughter, their dog Artemis and FOUR cats where they garden (lazily) and play in the woods.  In the “before times” Anna enjoyed hitting up any live music she could find.  Anna told us, “I’m also looking forward to continuing to travel the country for short stays in whatever city my husband happens to be working in!”

 

We couldn’t be happier to welcome Kyle Leisen to our growing team of brilliant media gurus. Kyle joins KC Truth as a digital media planner, a position he is no stranger to. Kyle has been in the media space for almost 5 years, coming from Haworth Marketing & Media located in Minneapolis. He comes to us with years of experience in consumer retail, healthcare and non-profit.  While continuing his role as a media planner, Kyle hopes to bring his expertise and knowledge to our ever-growing media team.

When not heads down in agency life, he likes to spend his time brewery hopping and going on road trips with his partner and two dogs (Willow and Bailey) in their converter van.  We can’t wait to get to know you, Kyle! (and your adorable dogs!) 

 

We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Mike DePauw in the newly created position of Executive Director effective immediately. Mike will work closely with our founder and CEO Sue Kruskopf and the rest of the team to deliver strategy, creative, and media to KC Truth’s clients at a global scale.

“Mike’s strength lies in his versatility and his ability to excel across all facets of the industry,” said founder and CEO Sue Kruskopf. “Mike understands how to build brand momentum and influence action, and will bring his global perspective to the table. We feel strongly that Mike will make an immediate impact on our business, and know he will be a huge asset for our clients in the coming months.”

A seasoned agency veteran, Mike has an undeniable track record of consistently delivering results for global brands and a knack for developing diverse, talented teams within agencies. Most recently, Mike was SVP, Director of Account Leadership at Periscope where he managed key accounts such as UnitedHealth Group, Cox Communications, Bellisio Foods, and Summit Brewing, and more. 

Prior to that, Mike built his career at world-class agencies including Leo Burnett in Italy and Switzerland and Ogilvy in New York and Singapore. During his tenure, Mike directly impacted the business outcomes of Fortune 500 clients and brands including American Express, Moet-Hennessy, Coleman, 7UP, Kraft Foods, Post Cereal, Coca-Cola, General Motors, Allstate Insurance and Philip Morris. 

“There are not many shops out there today that have strategy, media, and creative all under one roof. KC Truth is one of the few, and I am impressed with how they are able to do it all effectively, at global scale no less,” said Mike DePauw. “Big ideas, marketing platforms and communication that cater to human truth and experience drive brands to greater heights. Finding the truth is the core of KC Truth’s ethos and is what drew me to them. I cannot wait to continue shaping brand identities alongside Sue, Mike (Cronin), Robb (Burnham), and the rest of the agency.”

 

We are thrilled to have Alex join us for the next three months as a creative apprentice while she continues to pursue her degree in graphic design.

Alex is a junior studying at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Working in both digital and analog mediums, she has found a home within the realms of collage, animation, and design. Using design as a vehicle of exploration, Alex is constantly searching for the ways in which form and color can coexist within a composition. Her work is an experimentation of dualism and dichotomy, with juxtaposing symbolic elements often intermingling within a single composition. The driving force behind her design creations is ultimately expression and connecting with others through art. So yeah, just in case you couldn’t tell, Alex LOVES graphic design.

During her time at KC, Alex hopes to absorb as much as possible about advertising and the role of design within it. Aside from being a student and designer, Alex also enjoys collaging, petting animals, and crocheting.

 

We’re excited to announce the addition of Kate Dwyer to our passionate crew of creative and strategic problem solvers. Kate joins KC as Account Manager to help support our 3M and McNeilus clients.

Most recently, Kate was an Account Manager at Periscope where she worked with clients like Walgreens, Dole, and Quad. Previously, she worked with brands including IBM and Land O’Lakes.

People that know Kate say her undying enthusiasm for her clients is what sets her apart. She has an innate ability to quickly build strong relationships and bring smiles to the faces of everyone she works with. This allows her to connect with clients and their brands in a deep and impactful way.

When she isn’t in client meetings Kate enjoys golf, exploring the North Shore with her husband, and playing with her dog named Pancake.  Oh and her beverage of choice?  Coffee, the more caffeine the better!