Meet the FortyFour Team: Karla Fleming Edition

Meet Our Business Analyst

Business Analyst Karla Fleming from Digital Agency FortyFour

Have you ever wondered what a business analyst does on a day to day basis at a digital agency? Our resident BA, Karla Fleming, is here to explain it to you, while also sharing her thoughts on podcasts, latino food, and the always raging debate here at FortyFour—pineapple on pizza.

Where are you from?

Jefferson, GA

Give us the elevator pitch you have ready when someone asks you to explain what a business analyst does at a digital agency.

As a business analyst, my job is to retrieve business and technical requirements from the client and verify that the solutions we are delivering are in line with the client’s needs. To do this, I am writing user stories and I stay in contact with the developers to make sure that they have all of the information and tools that they need to deliver the solution needed.

What has been your favorite client project so far and why are you proud of it?

Phobio has been one of my favorite projects so far because I have been able to see the project develop and change from the time we won the business until we launched the site.

What’s something you’re really, really good at cooking?

I never enjoyed cooking until just a few years ago. I’m still working to specialize in good everyday meals. But desserts are my favorite type of food to prepare! My specialty is a cranberry apple pie recipe that was passed down from my mother-in-law!

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Written by on June 22nd, 2018 in Culture

Meet the FortyFour Team: T.R. Wilhoit Edition

Meet our senior marketing manager

From breaking into the marketing industry to his feelings regarding pineapple on pizza, read on to find out what our senior marketing manager, T.R. Wilhoit, has to say.

What brought you to FortyFour?

I had worked at my prior agency for around 4 years, which makes me ancient in “agency years” so it was about time for a change. Coming from a more strategy and planning background, I was interested in learning E-commerce and developing new programs for clients in this industry.

What has been your favorite client project so far and why are you proud of it?

I really enjoy working on Case-Mate’s ongoing marketing. We’re able to see the results of marketing efforts quickly since we’re focused on the E-commerce site, which is rewarding. Plus the target market is something I’m not as familiar with (more fashion-focused), so I learn something new about their audience almost weekly.

Tell us one of your secret talents.

Not sure how much of a secret it is, but I have been a musician my entire life. I mostly play electric guitar but I also play bass, drums, trombone, and baritone. I’ve also put out electronic music a few times, which is featured in the background of this fun Vietnamese makeup tutorial video.

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Written by on June 7th, 2018 in Culture, Uncategorized

Meet the FortyFour team: Carson Britt edition

Get to know our senior software engineer

This week we sat down with Carson Britt, our Senior Software Engineer. Hear what this front-end pro has to say about growing up in Georgia, riding his bike through the city, and why you shouldn’t limit your own skillset.

Where are you from?

I’m from Atlanta. I grew up in the ‘burbs and moved to north Georgia at 14, but then I went to Georgia Tech and stayed here since.

What brought you to FortyFour?

Before this I was at 22squared, which handles more traditional advertising, and we weren’t really getting into digital the way I wanted to. I wanted to go into something more digital-focused, where I could feel more challenged. I wanted to do bigger, more intimidating projects from a dev perspective.

What has been your favorite client project so far and why are you proud of it?

I’ve worked on nearly every project here but a favorite has been CREDO Mobile. I got to work on a couple of microsites for them, and I liked the style of it. It’s very front-end heavy stuff which is really interesting on Drupal.

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Written by on May 15th, 2018 in Culture, Work

Meet the FortyFour Team: Katherine Wilmot Edition

An interview with FortyFour's director of project management

This week, we sat down with our director of project management Katherine Wilmot to chat about her agency experience, where she buys horseradish pickles, and what she wants to name her future doggo. Check out her answers below!

Where are you from?

Ridgefield, CT

What brought you to FortyFour?

Thomas, [one of our Managing Partners]. I had been working at larger agencies, but I wanted the opportunity to make a bigger impact. It seemed like the best way to do that was to get in at the ground level of a startup agency, so when Thomas reached out, I went for it. I’ve been here 3 years in May. 

What’s been your favorite client project so far? Why are you proud of it?

Phobio, because they share the same startup mentality that we have. Being a software/tech company, we share a lot of ideals. We’ve helped them with a couple iterations of their website. The first was a re-skin, and now we’re re-platforming them onto a CMS while implementing additional branding and messaging updates. Giving complex technology products a tone and voice that makes you want to work with the people behind them is always a challenge, but working with the Phobio team has been fun.

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Written by on April 9th, 2018 in Culture, Work

Our work with CREDO Mobile to create anti-gun violence posters featured in Fast Company

We helped our client empower activists at the March for Our Lives

Can a brand drive more change and direct the future of philanthropy? As a recent article in Fast Company notes, our client CREDO Mobile is exploring how to do exactly that.

CREDO Mobile has always stood for progressive change and regularly engages its customers to support worthy causes. As millions of activists across the globe prepared for the March for Our Lives this past weekend, CREDO Mobile wanted to support those activists with anti-gun violence rallying cries. CREDO Mobile partnered with our design and content teams to create 12 unique posters decrying gun violence and the weapons lobby in the US. All twelve free posters are available for download here.

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Written by on March 26th, 2018 in News, Work

We’ve got something to chat about

Why group chat is more efficient and effective for our dev team

Love it or hate it, group chat has a place in the day-to-day life of every agency. No more sitting in a pod with a designer, a UX lead, a project manager, and a developer to make decisions: newly available tools are changing the development process for the better. Group communication tools have increased transparency, improved efficiency, and strengthened collaboration with our clients.

Here at FortyFour, we have group channels for everything: for projects, for teams, for favorite TV shows, for random thoughts (and there are a lot of random thoughts). Catching up daily on the kitten and Nicholas Cage memes can be time consuming, but distractions aside, we’ve found that private and public chat rooms have enabled us to make decisions without losing momentum.

Breaking Concentration

Before we sing the praises of group chat, it’s worth noting that it has its own drawbacks. According to research that I found online (it must be true), every distraction costs somewhere between 20 minutes and 2 hours of productivity. On top of having an open floor plan and a highly collaborative environment at FortyFour, our group chat never goes away. Everyone has to learn to manage the distractions in their own way.

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Written by on March 22nd, 2018 in Culture, Insight, Resources

Meet the FortyFour team: Graydon Gordian edition

Get to know our Director of Content & Editorial

This week we sat down with Graydon Gordian, FortyFour’s director of content & editorial, to talk about his past as an amateur boxer, his love of basketball, and even a little bit about life at the agency.

Where are you from?

Austin, Texas–keep Austin weird!

What brought you to FortyFour, and how long have you been here?

I had been working at Turner, which is where I’d been since I first moved to Atlanta from New York. But I’d always been intrigued by the agency world, so I called a friend of mine who ran an agency, Thomas Frank [Founder and Executive Creative Director of FortyFour]. We talked, and I started as contractor before coming on full time as the Director of Content and Editorial. It’s been almost 2 years to the month.

What’s been your favorite client project so far?

My favorite project has been Phobio. Phobio is a software company that makes device trade-in and workforce communication platforms. We have a close relationship with the executive team–we’re not just their agency, we’re a strategic advisor to their organization, which is what we always seek to be. Our work has included a multi-phase website redesign. A big part of that effort has been developing a broader corporate messaging strategy for the organization. We’re adding value in a lot of ways and framing the future of their business–it’s fun.

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Written by on March 13th, 2018 in Culture, Work

What is a business analyst, and why do agencies need one?

FortyFour's Director of Business Analysis Andreu Harris explains

FortyFour has been growing quickly, and this past year, we officially added business analysis to our competencies. But you might be wondering: what is a business analyst, and why did we need one here?

Business Analysis Defined 

The business analyst (BA) acts as a bridge between the cultural and technological sides of a digital agency. From the UX designers to content strategists to technology directors, various agency teams have a difficult time integrating the myriad projects and platforms in which they’re working. That’s where the BA comes in.

At the beginning of any project, the BA gathers all the requirements and develops a game plan. Through consumer research, design thinking, customer journey mapping, user flows, prototypes, and user stories, BAs are able to round-up all the requirements a new project will bring with it. Their goal is to ensure a consistent product vision, from the initial client discovery phase to the product release and through ongoing maintenance.

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Written by on March 1st, 2018 in Insight, News

Meet the FortyFour team: Paul Landon edition

Get to know our user experience principal

Was Thomas Jefferson a prototypical UX designer? According to Paul Landon, a user experience principal here at FortyFour, the answer is yes. Read on to learn about his interesting theory–and what else he loves about UX, life at FortyFour, and Atlanta in general.

Where are you from?

Hampton, VA

What brought you to FortyFour?

Before becoming a user experience designer, I worked in architecture for several years. But I’d had a longtime interest in digital, so it seemed like the right trajectory to move out of architecture and into UX. I started working at an agency. One of FortyFour’s managing partners had worked at the same agency, and our networks overlapped. I could see that FortyFour had a great creative team, plus more structure and leadership, which was important to me. So I joined the team, and now I’ve been here two and a half years–Taylor and I started the same day, actually.

What’s been your favorite client project so far and why?

On my first day, we kicked off Exide’s website redesign project. It was a great opportunity to impact their brand globally and tackle a very complex set of website challenges. The architecture had to provide a more organized framework for very diverse business units, appease internal stakeholders, and speak across industries. We created a strong, scalable solution. It was the largest website I’d worked on at that point, too, so it was cool to work on every stage of the process. I learned a lot.

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Written by on February 27th, 2018 in Culture, Insight, Resources

Meet the FortyFour team: Taylor Daniel edition

Get to know our senior designer

We recently sat down with the talented Taylor Daniel, senior designer here at FortyFour, to learn more about what inspires her work, what she loves about Atlanta, and what she drinks at 4:30pm on Fridays.

Where are you from?

Snellville, GA

What brought you to FortyFour, and how long have you been working here?

I heard about FortyFour when I was making a move from Birmingham, and I was wanting to grow my skill set in digital & UI. FortyFour was attractive because it’s independently owned and run–a place where you could get your hands dirty and learn faster because you could work on both large and small accounts. The creative leadership came from big agencies and companies, so I knew I could learn from those experiences on a more personal level. And 2.5 years later, here I am! 

What’s been your favorite client project so far, and why are you proud of it? 

I’ve learned the most and done the most with CREDO Mobile. They came to us for help with digital marketing and e-commerce, but as we’ve built a relationship with them, we’ve helped them with their whole brand. The opportunity to define a brand and create the look feel has been awesome. Then, working on the UI of the donations and e-commerce sites–it feels rewarding to be part of a project from start to end.

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Written by on February 13th, 2018 in Culture, Uncategorized, Work

Making Phobio’s website & messaging more awesome

Leader in device trade-in and collaboration platforms recruits FortyFour for website redesign & messaging refresh

Phobio is known as a leader in the device trade-in space, but they’re more than a brick & mortar retail service–and they needed some help communicating that on their website. In partnership with the Phobio team, we’ve embarked on a two-phase effort to elevate their brand with updated designs and refreshed messaging. We’re proud of our hard work so far, so we wanted to take the opportunity to share the results of phase one and to congratulate our teams.

Phase one of the project began with discovery sessions to uncover what makes Phobio so great at what they do. Over the course of several conversations, we learned that they’re innovative and entrepreneurial, continually setting and resetting the bar for device trade-in. Their team is serious about software, but they also have vibrant personalities and a warm culture. So we realized that a pretty simple question seems to drive the Phobio team: what if we make device trade-in awesome?

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Written by on February 7th, 2018 in Insight, News, Work

FortyFour certified as a Google Partner in search advertising

Agency recognized for demonstrated knowledge and sustained client performance

We’re excited to announce that Google has recognized FortyFour as a leader in digital marketing and paid search advertising. Earlier this week, FortyFour received the shiny new badge that proves it: our agency is a certified Google Partner with a specialization in search advertising.

Google Partners are agencies who have proven to be both knowledgeable and successful in various advertising specializations. To become a paid search Partner, FortyFour had to pass Google AdWords product certification exams and demonstrate six months of sustained client performance in search advertising. Some of our most impactful work has come with partners such as Case-Mate, where we more than doubled paid search activity year over year, and Manhattan Associates, where we saw cost per conversion drop by 25% after taking over their program.

“Digital marketing, and search marketing in particular, remains an important pillar for brands,” says Director of Digital Marketing Ryan Anderson. “It’s an opportunity for companies to develop and deliver messages that resonate with their audiences. I’m proud that we’ve worked with our clients to do exactly that.” And FortyFour is proud of our digital marketing team for earning this certification–congratulations!

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Written by on February 1st, 2018 in News, Work

FortyFour gives back

This holiday, we raised money for three Atlanta charities

This holiday season, we decided to give back to Atlanta, the city that made us. We divided the office into three teams, and each team chose a local charity to support: the Atlanta chapter of the International Rescue Committee, The Giving Kitchen, and The Atlanta Children’s Shelter.

In a little over one month, 57 donors helped our teams raise $2,500 to benefit those charities. But it gets better–the partners at FortyFour generously matched every penny donated to each cause, which brought our grand donation total to $5,000. We announced the final numbers at our belated holiday party, giving everyone that much more reason to celebrate.

We’re thrilled to be a part of this community and thankful for the opportunity to give back. Thank you so much to everyone who helped us make a difference this year!

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Written by on January 30th, 2018 in Culture, News

Coke ranked as 9th favorite brand among millennials

Recent study attributes success to "Share a Coke" program

Brands are eager to capture the attention of millennials: the generation that came of age around the 2000s, was the first to adopt social media, and has driven consumer culture since it began gaining purchasing power in the mid-aughts. Famously picky and equally loyal, millennials are an audience every brand strives to be on the good side of.

Our longstanding partner Coca-Cola has done just that. According to Business Insider’s recent study of millennial brand loyalty, the most refreshing drink on the shelves is also millennials’ most beloved beverage. Out of a hundred iconic brands—including Apple, Nike and Amazon—the study ranked Coke as millennials’ ninth favorite.

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Written by on January 25th, 2018 in Insight, News, Work

Fast Company Highlights FortyFour’s Work with CREDO Mobile

Our copy, design, and video work gets a shout out

We’re so excited to see our partner CREDO get recognized for all the great work it’s doing supporting progressive causes. We’re not the only ones impressed, either. Fast Company published a piece applauding the company’s philanthropic efforts, as directed by its clientele. FortyFour’s contributions — including content, design, and video work — also appear in the article. We’re proud our contributions could help propel this brand’s growth, especially when paired with such good causes.

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Written by on May 26th, 2017 in News, Work

FortyFour Continues to Build an E-Commerce Capability

Our agency expands with Magento

Our agency is excited to announce further growth efforts in the e-commerce sphere. We now employ 10 developers specifically certified with the leading, enterprise-class e-commerce platform, Magento. Magento is written in PHP (hypertext preprocessor), a popular open-source, general-purpose scripting language malleable for web development. One in every four online businesses operate on Magento, making our team’s finesse all the more valuable. With so many developers on staff well-versed on this crucial platform, we can tend to clients’ needs even better, while keeping their brands’ practice as modern as possible.

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Written by on April 27th, 2017 in News

Shoney’s Gets a Refresh

Reinvigorating a classic American dining institution

The top casual dining destination asked FortyFour to revitalize its 70-year-old brand. We were so excited to breathe fresh life into the Americana favorite and attract new customers in the process. We worked closely to modernize Shoney’s across social media channels, as well as outside the digital realm with in-store menus, to-go cups, and billboard treatments. Read more about our work with Shoney’s here.

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Written by on February 1st, 2017 in News, Work