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EBACE Connect(ed)

Kudos to everyone involved in the masterful planning and execution of EBACE Connect. This first-time event rocked. Cohosted by the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) and National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), the event provided a magic mix. It leveraged virtual platforms to provide informative, inspiring sessions that were shot and edited to provide the best-possible armchair-attendee experience. As someone who loves learning directly from industry leaders, EBACE Connect gave me (and the rest of my colleagues at Greteman Group) much to chew on.

Here are a few of my highlights.

Erik Lindbergh, Chairman of the Board of the Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation, at EBACE Connect
Erik Lindbergh, Chairman of the Board of the Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation, at EBACE Connect

A Greener World and Bluer Skies

Seattle’s unrivaled Museum of Flight provided the backdrop for keynote speaker Erik Lindbergh and NBAA CEO Ed Bolen’s talk. It started with footage of Lindbergh’s famous grandfather’s first-ever, solo transatlantic flight in 1927. I’d never seen how the crowds had to push the Spirit of St. Louis along the soggy ground to help get up the speed for takeoff. It gave me chills.

Lindbergh, an aviator and entrepreneur, built upon that kind of communal spirit. Reminding us that together we must, and can, do great things. Regaling listeners with examples of the quickening pace of innovation. We need that can-do encouragement as we pull out of a global pandemic, address supply-chain challenges, explore new fuels and propulsion systems, and push to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

The Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation plans to roll out prizes to encourage carbon neutrality, partnering with the XPRIZE Foundation, backed by Elon Musk’s $100 million funding. Lindbergh brimmed with enthusiasm, saying, “Let the competition begin.”

Lindbergh’s setting challenges for himself, too, saying in 2027 he plans to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s flight with one of his own – flying a low- or zero-carbon aircraft from New York to Paris. I hope he pulls it off.

Boeing Business Jets President James Detwiler at EBACE Connect
Boeing Business Jets President James Detwiler at EBACE Connect

Listening to the Leaders

The Lightning Round with CEOs was another huge highlight. Topics ranged from responding to the pandemic, finding new customers, articulating the benefits of business aviation, leveraging customers as advocates, promoting diversity, attracting young talent and meeting ongoing challenges. CEOs’ comments were edited and packaged to create a zippy presentation with rapid-fire responses. CEOs participating included:

  • Benoit Defforge, President, Airbus
  • James Detwiler, President, Boeing Business Jets
  • Eric Martel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bombardier
  • Didier Kayat, CEO, Daher
  • Éric Trappier, CEO, Dassault
  • Michael Amalfitano, President and CEO, Embraer
  • Mark Burns, CEO, Gulfstream
  • Markus Bucher, CEO, Pilatus
  • Ron Draper, President and CEO, Textron Aviation

The CEOs, while bullish on aviation, didn’t sugarcoat the challenges facing the industry, particularly supply chain disruptions and constraints with inflation in raw materials and lost capacity in both people and products. All communicated the resilience of business aviation and the essential services it provides. And they defended their industry. “Every airplane that we’ve built in the last 20 years is more efficient in a number of ways, not just in the fuel that we burn and the efficiency of engines, but also by the aerodynamic efficiency,” said Gulfstream CEO Mark Burns.

While they acknowledged 2020 was a difficult year for everyone, they pulled together and adapted as needed – thanks in large part to digital tools. While many might have been working from home, they were still supporting aircraft worldwide. The challenges posed by COVID-19 also highlighted the health and safety benefits of private aviation – and led to a number of first-time buyers of whole aircraft. Is everyone flying privately that can afford to? No, but they’re starting to understand and want that freedom and security. Charter offers an entry point. BBJ President James Detwiler pointed out that roughly one million new customers flew privately last year.

Advanced Air Mobility Moves Forward

One day the Jetsons will have nothing on us. Listening to leaders from electric aircraft developer pioneers Faradair, Pipistrel, Volocopter and Wisk made me a believer that a paradigm shift will be coming. In just a few years their remarkable technological advantages in everything from electric motors and batteries to flight automation will change how we think about private travel. Autonomy is coming. Hopefully public acceptance and regulatory efficiencies are, too.

Possible, Affordable, Climate-Neutral Aviation

Will aviation achieve its carbon neutral goal by 2050? Yes, said speaker Dr. Anthony Patt, professor of climate policy at ETH Zürich. He added that we could see something similar to what has happened for solar and wind electricity – with policies designed to incentivize investment to achieve capacity expansion and cost reductions without imposing excessively high costs on energy users. I like the sound of that.

Coming Together Again In Person

NBAA CEO Ed Bolen at EBACE Connect

Aviation is built upon face-to-face interaction and building relationships, so it’s understandable that this industry embraces tradeshows. Having so many shows go dark last year because of COVID-19 hit us hard.

The thought that we’ll all be together again next October in Vegas for the NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (BACE) fills us with eager anticipation. And next year, EBACE plans to return in person and in full force, May 23-25 at the Palexp just outside of Geneva.

Hope to see you soon.

This column first appeared in BlueSky Business Aviation News.

Word on the Street

One of Wichita’s leading, privately owned commercial real estate brokerage firms shook things up recently with a little help from us. We worked with the leadership of John T. Arnold Associates (JTA) on the eve of the firm’s 50th anniversary. Our charge: create something fresh and accessible. We assisted with a name change, rebranding, signage and media outreach.

Street Commercial President Evan LaRue

The new name – Street Commercial – has a friendly vibe and plays off President Evan LaRue’s name, which is French for “the street.” It emphasizes connection, something the firm has built its sterling reputation upon. The wordmark has a retro, industrial feel with a brick-red, distressed color palette and bold, noncorporate typography. A locational pin icon adds a modern-day element.

Dimensional, neon signage with push-through letters draw attention to the company’s new office in the historic Domestic Laundry Building in the heart of downtown Wichita’s Douglas Design District. The three-story, white-glazed-Bauhaus-inspired landmark is also home to Greteman Group, Open Road Brands, Scott Rice Office Interiors and 3DX Energy.

New Name and Look, Same Team and Values

“Evan suggested several name directions, but we steered him toward Street,” says Sonia Greteman, president and creative director. “The singular word “Street” has power, a hip look and feel, sounds good and suggests street smart and grit. His vintage aesthetic and willingness to go the extra mile made working on his brand a dream. Die-cut business cards and cool-shaped realtor signs will make his business the talk of the town. This brand screams attention to detail and reinforces a team with tremendous market experience. It knows how to close deals where everyone feels like a winner.”

Making Deals and Building Community

LaRue acquired JTA in 2019 from Marlin Penner and Don Arnold. Both men served as longstanding mentors to LaRue, who credits them with instilling a “people before profits” philosophy that continues today. Street Commercial, as JTA before it, offers full-service commercial brokerage. It assists clients (including many of Wichita’s leading developers) with the acquisition, disposition and strategic analysis of commercial real estate assets.

“Wichita has such a rich, vibrant, real-estate past,” says LaRue. “We are honored and humbled to be a part of that tradition. We look forward to what lies ahead.”

App Tracking Transparency and Data Privacy

Data is gold in this digital age – but data privacy is invaluable. People value their privacy, and one digital powerhouse just rolled out an anticipated software update that puts privacy back in the hands of users by limiting or restricting third-party data collection and use.

Opt-Ins Put Privacy in Users’ Hands – Literally

Users of Apple devices now have control over their data and privacy like never before. iOS 14.5 requires apps in its App Store to get user’s permission – the opt in – before tracking activities and collecting data, a prompt known as App Tracking Transparency (ATT).

If you’ve been paying attention to conversations surrounding the update, you know of one company that’s taken an opposite stance. Facebook took out full-page ads criticizing Apple, saying ATT will negatively impact small businesses that rely on Facebook’s ad network to market and sell products and services.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook tweeted this response: “We believe users should have the choice over the data that is being collected about them and how it’s used. Facebook can continue to track users across apps and websites as before, App Tracking Transparency in iOS 14 will just require that they ask for your permission first.”

So, What Do We Do?

For digital advertisers and marketers, the question now becomes: “How will I effectively reach my target audiences if they opt out?”

First, if you are using Facebook to advertise, ensure you follow its ad account step-by-step to verify your advertising domain and configure your conversion events.

Domain verification will establish which Facebook Business Manager account has the authority to configure and prioritize conversion events for a given domain. Following iOS 14.5, each domain will be allowed eight conversion events in addition to event page views (in Facebook), landing page views (for verified domains) and link clicks (on ads).

Next, get creative. There are plenty of marketing strategies and tactics you can implement to attract and retain customers. Here are just a few.

Activate Your CRM: If you have a customer relationship management tool storing users who have already opted in to your ads, content, emails, etc., activate that for your advertising channels. Upload your list to Facebook or LinkedIn and start creating audiences who match your current customers’ attributes.

Follow the rules, though, let your customers know what you’re doing with their data.

Email Marketing: Content is king, but email is the court wizard of conversions. The people who want your daily deals, weekly newsletter or quarterly insights are your lowest hanging fruit. Nurture them with relevant, consistent content.

An automated workflow can make this process much easier for your team, but you can put emails together manually, too.

Inbound Marketing: Activate all your channels (not just ads). Organic search driven by optimized content can lead users to your landing page or website, which should then take them on a journey toward your call to action. Measure this tactic by analyzing SEO and tracking events happening on your own website.

No user data needed.

Organic Social: Facebook ads might be taking a hit, but your current customers likely follow you across your organic social channels. Engage them with contests, giveaways and more. Encourage Facebook shares, mentions and retweets as well as the coveted “Add to Story” on Instagram.

Hey, word of mouth is digital now, too.

Does your business need help navigating the ever-changing digital advertising landscape? Contact us to help with your Facebook ad account as well as to develop strategies that engage your target market despite limitations.

Marketing Product Launch Checklist

You identified a marketplace need. Conducted feasibility studies. Researched the competition. Developed your unique value proposition. Prepared your sales directors. Defined your benchmarks for success. Secured the necessary trademarks and staked out your intellectual property. Tested your product or service – and perfected it. In short, you’ve laid the necessary groundwork for launch.

Before takeoff, though, ensure you’re maximizing every tactic you need for a successful launch in our Marketing Product Launch Checklist.

marketing product launch checklist step one

Set Your Strategy

Nothing comes from nothing. Develop an integrated marketing strategy that sets your product launch on a clear trajectory.

  • Address each of your channels, including advertising, blogs and press releases, social posts and your website – to name a few.
  • Allocate a budget and determine your expected ROI.
  • Prepare your assets, such as the ads, photos and videos you’ll need to activate your tactics.

Every marketing product launch strategy should also have a contingency plan that prepare you to pivot if something unforeseen happens – like a competitor with a similar product coming to market first.

Gather the Team

Activate both internal and external stakeholders, such as the CEO, beta testers, the media and potential influencers.

  • Pitch your offering and an interview with spokespeople to the media – or invite them along for a demo.
  • Tap into early adopters – your beta customer group – to get first-hand experience content.
  • Your CEO can help generate attention by being actively involved in the launch.

Tell Your Story

Deploy your brand story and how this new product or service advances it – and why prospective customers should buy in – across your channels.

  • Capture attention with clear, compelling copy and strong visuals in all of your assets.
  • Explain the benefits of your product or service. Prove why it’s needed.
  • Let your target audiences know when and how to buy – and how much it costs.

Pick Up Momentum

Strategy outlined? Check. The team’s together? Check. Key messaging? Check – you’re ready for launch.

Keep up the velocity after launch with these tactics:

  • Attend relevant industry events and tradeshows.
  • Host an event, whether safely in-person or virtually.
  • Participate in community and industry panel discussions.
  • Run a social media contest.
  • Set up a loyalty program, if appropriate.
marketing product launch checklist download button

Developing, launching and securing adoption of a product demonstrates innovation and leadership – but only if you do it right. Are you ready to go for it? Give us a call.

It’s a Blast When Your Best Friend Owns a Gallery

January 2021 marked a momentous occasion; my best friend, Trish VanOsdel, bought an art gallery. And to top that, one of my favorite people on the planet, Mike Michaelis, is her partner. That puts an art lover and collector like me in a dangerous situation. Temptation. Is. All. Around.

To make matters worse, they quickly appointed me their chief marketing officer. I’m a kid in a candy store. Fabulous art calls to me like a siren. Designing and engineering a website with beautiful imagery and loads of historic content is a dream job. It’s true what they say, if you do what you love, you never work a day in your life.

I’m proud to say that the region’s premier art gallery now has a website befitting its stature. Collectors rely on Reuben Saunders Gallery for discovering new talent, established Kansas contemporary artists and internationally acclaimed artists (including my two favorites: Birger Sandzén and Lester Raymer). Now, collectors can virtually explore the gallery’s offerings anytime, anywhere. That includes the gallery’s specialty offerings: one-of-a kind-estate works.

A search-engine-optimized website is paramount for any business, but especially one that offers highly sought after works to collectors worldwide. Reuben Saunders Gallery attracts buyers from Europe to Hong Kong. We aren’t just in Kansas anymore.

Putting the Art Front and Center

Streamlined navigation guides visitors through artists, exhibitions, services and news. Genres include the Associated American Artists (1934-2000), Prairie Print Makers (1930-1965), contemporary, three dimensional, and artisan jewelry, a new gallery addition. (I had the honor of attending market in Dallas with Trish and helping pick out unique, original artist-made creations, but more on that later.)

One of the challenging aspects of the new site was transferring huge data files of historic information to retain valuable SEO. Our agency reduced the digital footprint exponentially. This drastic reduction enables the site to load more quickly and run like a well-oiled machine. Understated, elegant design allows the star of every page to be the artwork – rendered big and bold. The masonry grid allows you to see each piece fully and for all content to be updated efficiently by Trish’s capable in-house team.

The site invites interaction. Read artists bios. Watch videos about the artistic process. Find out what can be done about aged-yellow prints or grime-darkened paintings. Learn how tears in a canvas can be minimized or repaired. Grab a cup of coffee (or, if you’re like me, tea), because this site rewards lingering.

It also offers counsel to those wanting to build an art collection, but overwhelmed by the very thought. Its gentle encouragement can help you get going. Impressive credentials on the knowledgeable staff builds trust and connection. More enticing, creative surroundings can be just a click or phone call away.

A Proud Legacy Continues and Grows

The new site doesn’t replace the desire to be within the gallery walls – especially for First Friday art crawls and must-attend art openings. The gallery serves as a key member of the Douglas Design District and a second home for art lovers. What Reuben Saunders started in 1977 continues strong today under Trish and Mike’s ownership. Recently reimagined gallery spaces, ever-growing additions to artists represented, fresh exhibits and expanded product lines (handmade furniture, special books, gifts and jewelry) guarantee surprises on every visit.

If you haven’t been by in a while, prepare to be dazzled. The gallery feels alive with vibrant new works – many artists new to me – and positive momentum.

We will defiantly be adding some new works to our collection. I can’t say no to temptation forever.

Trish says, “Buying great art doesn’t mean you have to fly to Santa Fe or New York. The works we carry – both regional and national – hold up to what you will find in any major city. You don’t have to save up and wait for your next trip to buy art.”

And, I’m not going to.

One on One with Sonia Greteman

PBS Kansas CEO Victor Hogstrom’s popular 30-minute One on One show recently featured Greteman Group President and Creative Director Sonia Greteman. The show bills itself as a lively, insightful conversation and this one certainly is. There’s never a lull or lack of interesting banter.

Hogstrom kicks off this episode with a big question: Who are you? We won’t steal Sonia’s thunder by answering that here. You want to watch and find out for yourself. But she covers a lot of ground during her allotted half hour.

Sonia reminisces about the life experiences that showed how she could turn creativity into a bankable business. She shares a-ha moments from childhood – taking, developing and selling photos for “a buck and a quarter” at the local speedway under the tutelage of her father, chief photographer at Boeing Wichita. Learning to respect the power of words from her librarian mother. Invest in the stock market at age 17 and discovering the value of patience paired with planning. Of introspection turned into action. Of setting and achieving bodacious goals.

“Greteman Group was my destiny,” Sonia says, as she talks about her professional journey. Pivoting from design only to branded, holistic, results-focused marketing. When asked about her secret for success, she acknowledges it’s no one thing, but many. Under-promising and over-delivering. Reinventing yourself regularly. Fueling efforts with passion. And giving back to the community every step of the way.

Interview Highlights

What was it like to grow a business at a time where she was usually the lone woman at the conference table?

Sonia: “I believe the men liked me being outspoken and opinionated. Being female may have been an advantage.”

How does she keep ahead of the game when digital tools change so quickly?

Sonia: “I surround myself with the best and brightest. Being able to put a measurement strategy on everything triggers my left brain. It’s so much fun to see the results.”

What does she think are the qualities of a good campaign?

Sonia: “Simplicity, unity of word and visual, and disruption – surprising, thrilling, charming you. Whatever’s needed to grab your attention.”

What would she like her legacy to be?

“So much of what we do doesn’t last, so my lasting contribution may rest on some of the environmental graphics we created – the Keeper of the Plains Plaza and the aviation history display at Eisenhower National Airport. They tell stories worth knowing and remembering.”

There’s much more. Including what makes her laugh – and cry.