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Jack Pelton Honored at Wichita Aero Club 2019 Trophy Gala

True leaders lead. Jack Pelton demonstrated that last Saturday night at the Wichita Aero Club 2019 Trophy Gala. Greteman Group colleagues Ashley Bowen Cook, Jordan Walker and Meghan Wolfe attended the event honoring one of aviation’s most respected and beloved members.

In her role as vice chair of the Wichita Aero Club and chair of the trophy selection committee, Ashley says she knows how many worthy nominees the organization considers every year and how difficult the decision always is. Except this year.

Read Ashley’s column in this week’s BlueSky Business Aviation News

jack pelton wichita aero club gala
Photo courtesy: Visual Media Group. Man of the hour, Jack Pelton, Experimental Aircraft Association CEO and chairman, and this year’s Wichita Aero Club trophy winner. He used some of his podium time as the honoree to give a shoutout to Greteman Group’s recently launched I Fly Wichita campaign.


ashley bowen cook with Becky and Patrick Tuttle
Highlights of the annual Wichita Aero Club gala include time spent with friends. Pictured here are Wichita Councilwoman Becky Tuttle and Delta Dental of Kansas COO and former WAC Chair Patrick Tuttle.


Greteman Group colleagues Jordan Walker and Meghan Wolfe attended the gala with me. They found it equally inspiring.

AirFlair Winner Takes Delivery

Austin Powerplane has landed. AirFlair winner Brandie Thompson took delivery of her groovy, pattern-mixing design Monday, Jan. 28, at WSU Tech’s south campus. University President and longtime agency friend Sheree Utash opened the ceremony by talking about how, years ago, Greteman Group’s branding of Wichita Area Technical College helped drive enrollment and the momentum that led the college to become part of Wichita State University. She thanked us for our commitment to advancing STEM initiatives, particularly those targeted to women.

airflair winner design
Brandie Thompson’s Austin Powerplane was randomly selected from more than 200 entries.

A Focus on STEM

We launched AirFlair, an online, paint-a-plane game and competition, in October 2018 as our traditional holiday outreach to clients and friends. Players designed their own aircraft livery, painting the fuselage, engines, wings and tail with a multitude of colors, patterns and textures. Our annual agency giving associated with this outreach donated funds to WSU Tech’s aviation STEM initiatives.

airflair delivery
Presenting AirFlair winner Brandie Thompson with her hand-painted Learjet 45 model aircraft. The Society of Decorative Painters in Wichita, Kansas, painted the model.

Serendipity was certainly at play when we randomly drew Thompson’s Austin Powerplane from the more than 200 entries submitted. She is a WSU Tech professor and school alumna.

Our selection of WSU Tech for holiday giving, however, was not chance.

Colleague Ashley Bowen Cook and I attended the inaugural General Aviation Women’s Leadership Forum by the International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA) in January 2018. We immediately felt connection to the goal of the event: to help attract, retain and promote women in aviation as a way to make the industry bigger and better.

The experience stuck with us. It jostled us again when Dreams Soar Founder Shaesta Waiz spoke at a Wichita Aero Club event about her experience as the youngest women to circumnavigate the globe in a single-engine aircraft and STEM’s role in attracting women to aviation.

Adding Art

Integrating science, technology, engineering and math into real-world applications helps us all soar. Adding art to the mix, Thompson’s one-of-a-kind design was hand painted by Society of Decorative Painters artist Miho Halsey. Executive Director Jennifer Arnold said the Learjet 45 model was the Wichita-based organization’s first-ever aircraft, connecting the Society to the Air Capital in a new way.

Our hope is that our simply fun AirFlair game might spark an interest that leads to so much more: a student choosing a STEM major, more women supporting women in the industry or a donation to the school training our next generation of aviation professionals.

wsu tech stem initiatives team
(l-r) WSU Tech President Sheree Utash and Executive Director of Marketing and Community Outreach Andy McFayden showing off Austin Powerplane.

Sonia’s Podcast Talks Work and Wardrobe

It’s good to have friends who’ve walked a mile in your shoes. If you don’t have a strong mentor group, try to find or create one.

I had the honor of being involved in a closely knit, professional peer group for many years. And when I say close, I’m not exaggerating. We shared everything – business ups and downs, financial insights, HR challenges, changing client bases – the works. We were placed together by an advertising-industry consultant who knew all of us and thought we would be a good fit. He rightly believed that we had something to teach each other and enough shared experiences to have a whole lot in common.

bell buckle mentor group

Come Ready to Learn – and Teach

And, eureka, we hit the jackpot. We’d all been agency owners for a while and had achieved a certain level of success. In fact, I joined because one of the firms I looked up to was also invited to the group. I’m so glad I did. The input, advice and mentorship helped all of our businesses grow and evolve.

We met twice a year in person at one of the agency’s hometowns and another couple of times through catchup conference calls. We structured our meetings to let everyone download what was going on in their firms and to allow time for brainstorming around challenges presented.

We were there for each other and really dug deep. Sometimes we were painfully blunt. But it came from a good place and feathers were rarely ruffled. Or didn’t stay that way long. The feedback was delivered with honesty, heart and a sincere desire to be helpful.

bell buckle friends

Open Yourself to Others’ Input

So, if you ever have a chance to join a group of peers (that you don’t compete with), that have diverse viewpoints, solid experience, and you have a thick skin, it will be one of the best experiences of your career. It was for me.

Don’t Make My Mistakes

Newfangled owner Mark O’Brien was one of the Bell Buckle members I became close friends with. He interviewed me for this podcast focused on lessons I’ve learned over my 30 years as president and creative director of Greteman Group. I tried to be as open and frank as possible in the hopes other business owners would relate to and learn from my experiences. My ride has had its bumps, but it’s a journey I would make again.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Fly More than the Flag. Fly Wichita.

Look around our city. License plates, bumper stickers, hats, shirts, murals up and down Douglas Avenue – all display the flag. Wichita’s flag. Our city pride emblazoned across any available surface. It’s the kind of puff-out-your-chest, hold-your-head-high attitude that gets stuff done. That makes a difference. That raises our entire region. It’s just the kind of civic-driven approach Wichitans should use when choosing an airport.

gary plummer wichita chamber of commerce i fly wichita
Gary Plummer, president and CEO,
Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce

The I Fly Wichita economic-development initiative kicked off this week with a downtown rally. Backed by change-agent Wichita businesses, city officials and organizations, it joins Project Wichita and The Chung Report challenging people to practice what they preach. To fly more than the flag. To fly Wichita.

The Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce, which hosted the kickoff, sent out an invitation, and almost overnight had RSVPs for all 300 tickets. I have to think people were hungry for more than the breakfast and networking. They wanted to know how they could play a role in boosting our economy through their travel choices.

Ready to Rise

The quality of our air service directly affects our quality of life. Skeptical? There’s research to prove it. More airlines, routes, nonstop destinations, competitive fares and larger aircraft improve much more than Wichita Eisenhower National Airport – and your next vacation.

Better air service attracts businesses – and talent to staff them. It draws entertainers and events. Did you know the NCAA will be back in 2021? It brings in sports teams and other groups that host conferences for hundreds or thousands of people who spend money at our restaurants, shops and hotels. Who see our pride and fall in love with our city, so they come back again. And encourage their friends to do the same.

i fly wichita panel
(l-r) Devin Hansen, president of Sunflower Travel; Moji Rosson, Visit Wichita vice president of sales; Mike Zucconi, director of development for Hesston College; and Evan Rosell, vice president of projects for Project Wichita/Greater Wichita Partnership gave powerful arguments for choosing to fly out of Wichita.

Eisenhower National Airport celebrated its sixth record year in a row in 2018. Let’s keep that momentum going. That gleaming new terminal is the door to the city, a welcoming gateway to the Air Capital. It’s also our portal to prosperity. When we drive to an out-of-town airport thinking we might save a buck or two, or when we don’t support our low-fare carriers so they’ll stay – it’s like taking our flag and stomping on it.

What do you say? Will you join us and tell the world, I Fly Wichita?

Read the latest coverage:

Cultivate Your Social Landscape (Part II)

Are you roaming the ever-changing social landscape without a map? Facebook and Instagram and Pinterest, oh my! The first part of our Clean Up Your Social Landscape blog offered tips on tackling your company’s overgrown social presence.

We helped you clean up. Now, let’s venture into the dry, cracked desert of channels long ignored to cultivate your social landscape.

Get the Fertilizer

You jumped into social media for your business, starting with the standard three channels: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Everybody uses Facebook. Everyone has a Twitter account. LinkedIn is a no-brainer. You posted your first post, your second, but where was the engagement? You asked questions, used polls, but where was the reach? You planted the seed, but nothing grew.


The Right Channels

Posting a poll to your Facebook page about which color of your product customers like best won’t work if the people who like your Facebook page are your employees.

Not only do you need to know who your existing social audience is, but you also need to figure out where your target audience is on social. Facebook is full of employees? Great. Try finding leads on LinkedIn. Twitter isn’t getting any love? Try posting your latest product colors on Instagram.

Industry is a factor, too. B2C companies might see greater engagement using customer-focused channels with built-in ad platforms: Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat. B2B companies might use Twitter to share news and events to get in front of journalists and trade publications, but then turn to LinkedIn to collect and nurture leads. Plant the seed where your audience is, not where you think they are.

Time and Resources

It won’t matter that you’ve chosen the plot of land where your audience is waiting to see what blooms if you don’t have the time and resources needed to cultivate it.

Marketing teams get leaner every year. The person who was once your webmaster now also manages your blog, email marketing, newsletter and social media. As technologies evolve, so does your team. But your team doesn’t always grow. Wear too many hats, and you might lose one. That one is usually social media.

Faced with emailing your loyal customers about a just-for-them offer and coming up with something to tweet… well, we’d pick the email, too.

We had a client who came to us with all the talent to activate social for lead generation and public relations, but not an ounce of time left in the day to post. We audited their content and resources, categorizing everything for ease of immediate use, and alleviated the stress of planning what to say when. Passing the cultivation over to us allowed our client to bloom.

Social Advertising

Your business might be brand new and, therefore, brand new to social media. It won’t matter how engaging your content is, how dedicated your social media manager is or how often you tweet if you don’t have an audience.

Today, the social media landscape is pay-to-play. Advertising gets your channels in front of an audience. With advanced targeting, you can get in front of the exact audience you want – your customers, potential employees or the media.

Clean It Up

Cultivate your own landscape with these tips:

  • Do your research. Make sure you’re activating social channels your audience uses.
  • Adjust your content to talk to the audience you want. Think: Employees are on Facebook; customers are on LinkedIn.
  • Hire a dedicated person or team to manage your social media. Put time and resources into your strategy to see return.
  • Boost your organic social with advertising. Build your audience or sell your products, but make sure you’re visible.

Click here to contact us if you need help cultivating your social plot to get your channels in front of the right audience. Our support comes in a variety of levels. Ad hoc, supplemental or full-service, we’ve got you covered.

Clean Up Your Social Landscape (Part I)

Social media are ever-changing. Legacy channels update services. New channels appear and popularize or disappear faster than the next season of your favorite sitcom. How do you keep up? Companies come to us with social landscapes wildly overgrown or – more often – deeply neglected. Does one describe you?

Don’t worry. Hope is not lost – and neither is access to that long-forgotten Facebook page. Let’s look at how to clean up your social landscape whether it’s too tangled to get through or in need of some serious TLC.

Welcome to the Jungle

Has your company created as many social channels as networks exist to maintain the latest and greatest social experiences? Have company silos bred duplicate Twitter accounts, Facebook and LinkedIn pages? Are you up to your ears in notifications?

Too Many Channels

Do you use the standard three social channels: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn? These three rightfully have their place in your lineup because of their wide adoption.

But what about the other five or eight you’re trying to juggle? Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr and Pinterest all serve different purposes, even if they serve the same audiences.

If you can’t answer what Instagram does for your company, why are you using it? If you find yourself struggling to create content for these channels or don’t know what purpose they serve, strike them from your strategy and revisit them again when the time is right.

Duplicate Channels

Duplicate channels are far worse for your business than juggling (and dropping) too many. Duplicates confuse your audience, disrupt your search optimization and prevent you from engaging with users who are using a Facebook page or Twitter account you don’t have access to.

Most of the time, duplicate channels are born from silos.

Example: Your remote sales team wants to talk about a last-minute offer on social, but they’re not connected to the marketing team at HQ. Sales takes matters into their own hands and – pop! – one rogue Facebook page after another is populated with two or three posts, and then left to dry up.

Changes to privacy and security settings throughout the social landscape have made it more difficult for someone to come in, claim and deduplicate your channels. Even if that someone is you.

Claiming an unmanaged Facebook page is fairly simple. Click here to see the steps. You’ll just need some paperwork. Claiming a managed page, however, isn’t easy.

We had a client who came to us without admin access to their Facebook page. We hunted for days for the admin, working back and forth with Facebook’s support team – who wouldn’t just give us the name. Getting access to Twitter and LinkedIn was just as hard.


Imagine trying to find which smartphone has the Snapchat credentials.

Clean It Up

Untangle your landscape with these tips:

  • Write a social media policy and enforce it. Click here to read ours. Who represents your company on social? Hint: Not everyone. Not anyone. Just one person, team, department, etc.
  • Create social channels you need based on your strategy and audience – and no more. Every product doesn’t need its own Facebook page.
  • Search Google for your business and “Facebook,” “Twitter” and “LinkedIn,” etc. to find all the possible duplicate channels clogging your landscape.
  • Username and passwords are easier to have than to find. Admin access is better to have than to get. Know who has access to these channels, and make sure you do, too.

If you need help finding and jumping through the countless hoops social networks put in the way of you getting access to your accounts, contact us. We’ve been there. We’ve got the scars to prove it.

Sonia Greteman for Graphic Design USA

Sonia Greteman shares lessons-learned from 30 years of owning her aviation advertising agency in Wichita, Kansas, the Air Capital, in Graphic Design USA. Be strategic. Do what you say. Celebrate the wins.

Sonia says, “They will come your way. Especially with a team that helps you be better, smarter and cooler than you could ever be on your own. I was lucky to have found that and hope you are, too.”

Greteman Group celebrates its 30th anniversary April 1, 2019. Click here to read Sonia’s column.

The Cameraman Doesn’t Lie

Most of us who carry a camera for a living tell a version of the same joke. “Relax,” we say. “You’re doing fine. Everyone is thrilled that the camera is pointing at you and not me.”

It’s never really funny, but it’s always true. It was told a time or two around the shop recently as Greteman Group team members bravely allowed themselves to be filmed going about their day. The result is a peek into the creative minds of our designers, web developer and digital strategist.

It’s not easy to make working on computers look interesting, yet these team members do compelling work and their passion comes through on screen. Day in and day out, they challenge themselves to think differently – even on the same project. That’s not easy to do, either. But that’s how discoveries are made.

A final note: It was shot in slow motion. These people work way faster than that.

Email Marketers Segment Customers for Targeted Campaigns

How many emails did you receive during the holidays exclaiming the best deal of the year or your last chance to take advantage of a great offer? How did your untouched inbox look when you returned to work after your holiday break? You might dread the Monday morning slog through your inbox, but those marketers know email is king. We’re here to tell you, they’re right. In 2018, we walked you through some of our email design basics, so you know why they’re using engaging visuals and big, bold buttons.

Let’s dig deeper in 2019 and take a look at how email marketers segment customer lists and deliver targeted content based on customer data to get the best return compared to any other marketing tactic.

Attract an Audience

Email rules the marketing realm, but only if you’re sending wanted content. Emailing users who haven’t asked is a surefire way to get your emails flagged as spam. Too many spam complaints will get you in trouble with the customer’s email service provider – and your own. Not to mention the potential hot water you could get yourself into if you email a user protected under CAN-SPAM or GDPR without their permission.

email self-segmentation graphic for Momentum and Velocity enewsletters

Avoid getting your domain blacklisted (and a lawsuit) by emailing users who opt in to receive your content. Use inbound marketing tactics to attract subscribers. For example, Greteman Group uses social media to encourage Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn followers to sign up for our Momentum or Velocity quarterly enewsletter. Boosting these types of posts with advertising dollars increases your reach and potential subscriber return.

Beyond social media, inbound marketing tactics include blog content, public relations and writing guest columns for publications your customers read.

Segment Better

Not all of your email subscribers are going to get all of your content, especially if you offer disparate products or services. An MRO wouldn’t send its Gulfstream customers the latest deals on Embraer refurbishments. At Greteman Group, we ask our subscribers to self-segment, opting in to receive either our aviation or non-aviation newsletter. Segmentation, though, can go beyond the checkbox. Smart email marketers use customer data to segment email subscribers into specific categories, so they can send relevant, targeted content.

MRO email segmentation for aircraft in need of an interior upgrade

Consider our MRO. They’re only going to email the offer to Embraer owners and operators – who haven’t been in for an interior upgrade in the past. How do they know who’s who and what’s what? They’re using the data in their customer relationship management (CRM) system to segment their email subscribers into “Embraer aircraft without interior upgrades” and “Embraer aircraft with previous upgrades.”

Our MRO can take segmentation to the next level by using website cookies to track and analyze logged-in users’ onsite activities. If [email protected] reads blogs and case studies about the best time to refurbish an aircraft, the MRO knows that particular subscriber is well into the research phase of the customer journey.

Test Your Segments

An opted-in audience and your down-to-the-detail segmentation strategy won’t do you any good if they don’t work. The only way to know if you’ve attracted the right audience and segmented them into appropriate categories is to test. We’ve already talked about A/B testing your content. You also need to A/B test your segments. Why? What you believe is your ready-to-buy segment might still be in the consideration phase. How do you know for sure? Split them, send Group A an offer and Group B content from your research and consideration phase, and then analyze the results.

test your email marketing segments

Which email got the best open rate? What about click-through rate? Which landing page had the most actions? What actions were taken on the landing page? Did Group A take advantage of the offer? Did Group B contact you for more information? Run multiple tests, not just one. Give your audience the chance to make up their minds about where they are in the purchase funnel, and then make sure they’re responding the way you expect them to. If they’re not, you might need to revisit your strategy.

To use email marketing to the degree described above requires the right framework. You must have a subscribed audience. Your website has to talk to your CRM which has to talk to your email subscription service. Your content needs to engage. Navigating the necessary connections, especially if you’re starting with legacy systems, is rough – but it’s well worth the work. When will you start?

This column originally appeared in the January 10, 2019, issue of BlueSky News.

Agency Unveils AirFlair Winner

Read the latest coverage:

WICHITA, Kan. – Greteman Group’s AirFlair free, online, paint-a-plane game has a winner – Austin Powerplane submitted by WSU Tech interior design adjunct professor (and school alumna) Brandie Thompson.

The winning entry was determined through a random drawing of the more than 200 entries submitted since the campaign launched in early October. Thompson will receive a three-dimensional aircraft model, customized with her winning paint scheme. The one-of-a-kind aircraft model will be hand painted by the Society of Decorative Painters, a Wichita-based nonprofit with more than 200 chapters worldwide. It will deliver to Thompson by the end of January 2019.

“The AirFlair model was our first-ever aircraft,” says Jennifer Arnold, Society of Decorative Painters executive director. “Hopefully this will spark others in the Air Capital – and aviation at large – to think of us for unique liveries. We represent artists from all kinds of media from around the world, and headquarter in Wichita, Kansas. It was an honor to be a part of this project and we had such fun – and success – in executing this design.”

Five other submissions were chosen for as runners up based on their high level of creativity. The names are as fun as the liveries: Camouflage (Dan Harvey, NetJets), Camu See Me Now? (Brad Houck), Dark E-Vader (Kathy Tyler), Marshmellow (Chloe Ying Wu) and Pucci Powered (Joan Mirabile, USAIG).

Even though the competitive portion of the AirFlair game has ended, people can still submit entries just for the fun of it. Participants submit a design they create by choosing from a menu of four components – a fuselage, wings, engine and tail – plus a background. The multitude of colors, patterns and textures can create almost a quarter-million possible combinations (248,832 to be exact). Designs (yes, you can create more than one) can be shared on social media.

“We want everyone to love and appreciate aviation like we do,” says Sonia Greteman, agency president and creative director. “Something as simple as a game can spark an interest that leads to so much more.”

As part of AirFlair, Greteman Group donated funds to WSU Tech for its science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) aviation initiatives. The National Business Aviation Association notes that business aviation contributes $150 billion to the U.S. economic output and employs more than 1.2 million people. The Air Transport Action Group reports that airlines support more than 65 million jobs worldwide in aviation and related tourism.

Greteman Group has developed an international reputation as an aviation-specialty marketing agency based in Wichita, Kan. – the Air Capital. Leading aircraft manufacturers, flight support, aftermarket services, fractional ownership, insurance, in-flight Wi-Fi, regional airlines and airport analytics have entrusted their brands to Greteman Group. Clients include FlightSafety International, SmartSky Networks, Wichita Eisenhower National Airport, USAIG, King Aerospace, Piedmont Airlines, Aviation Partners and APiJET. It also supports causes and clients such as Saint Francis Ministries, Mark Arts, the City of Wichita, Hutton Construction, GLMV Architecture, MKEC Engineering, Royal Caribbean Cruises and Verus Bank. Greteman Group has won Telly, Internet Advertising Competition, Metro and Business Marketing Association Pro-Comm awards. It has been recognized in such publications as Adweek, Advertising Age, Aldus, Communication Arts, Designing Identity, Identity, Graphic Design USA, Graphis, Hotels, HOW, Novum, Print, Step-By-Step, and by such organizations as the Mead Top 60, Kansas City Art Directors, Strathmore, International Festivals, Graphex Art Directors, and The National Library Council, American Advertising Federation, American Institute of Graphic Artists, Public Relations Society of America, and American Marketing Association. The firm is a founding member of the Wichita Aero Club. Greteman Group is a longstanding member of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) and is a certified women-owned business enterprise (WBE). The agency celebrates its 30th anniversary April 1, 2019.