Here's where we invite you to learn more about the fun and interesting things we're doing as an organization. It's a great place to learn more about our team members, client spotlights, and industry and community news.

AW President & CEO Monica Kolbay Participates in Digital Marketing Webinar

As we return to more normalcy after a year of pandemic-enforced restrictions, we’ve noticed that many of our clients are asking us to help them embrace more aspects of digital marketing. Obviously, digital marketing has been trending upward for the past 10 years or more, but recent factors have caused interest to skyrocket.

Our President & CEO Monica Kolbay recently joined two other thought leaders in the digital marketing field in a one-hour webinar entitled “Banking on Digital Marketing with Stories That Connect.” Jay Sedgwick, Banking Industry Specialist of WebbMason Marketing, led the webinar.
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Yoga Wednesdays at AW

There are plenty of ways we could celebrate Hump Day at ArachnidWorks, but we’ve found one that’s alcohol-free, sugar-free, and 100% relaxing… yoga!

Every Wednesday afternoon at 4:00 PM, the team gathers in the big, open area on the third floor of our new downtown office for a group yoga session. Led by our client Kimberlyn Cahill of Life’s Work Yoga, we spend the hour focusing on breathing, stretching, and learning the basics of yoga practice. Kimberlyn’s approach is “Come as you are,” which makes us all feel relaxed and welcome to participate at whatever level feels comfortable.

Fortunately, our new space allows plenty of room to observe the recommended physical distancing while still enjoying a group activity. And while each of us participates individually at a different level, these once-weekly sessions are interactive, collaborative experiences that build teams and lift spirits.

Working as a team is an everyday occurrence at AW, but our Wednesday yoga meet-ups are a different type of team work. It’s been interesting to observe how helpful the process of relaxing the mind and body in an intentional way can be.

Kimberlyn advocates an “intentional self-care” approach to living a more balanced life. With her guidance, even those who are brand new to yoga—like many of us—can explore the powerful connection between the breath and the body. Kimberlyn integrates breath work with a series of intelligently sequenced postures that builds strength and endurance in a way that is challenging but gentle, with adaptations for those who are less mobile.

There’s a saying “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Kimberly teaches “restorative yoga” that settles the nervous system and returns the body to a state of ease. After several months of practicing yoga individually and as a group, we are learning how taking as little as an hour a week to relax and unwind together revitalizes us and gives us even deeper creative reserves…and it feels great physically, too!

A Sign of the Times

arachnidworks sign
Hey, Frederick locals—have you walked by our offices at 47 South Carroll Street lately? Did you notice anything new?

If not, glance up next time. With the help of AMI, our brand new signs are in place! Another local business and one of our former neighbors on Pegasus Court, AMI did a great job creating attractive signage that complements the one-of-a-kind 19th century building that has housed our offices.since last February.

You’ll notice that our traditional AW burgundy is set off with a border of light-hearted green—we think the combination is a fun graphic update for our business as we continue to grow and thrive in our new location.

Working in one of Downtown Frederick’s historic buildings just steps away from the Carroll Creek Linear Park is a creative opportunity we’ve only just begun to explore. Hanging these signs was the next step in making our new building our forever home.

AW sign by Carroll Street

Merry Christmas From ArachnidWorks!

AW Blitzkreig Team
‘Tis the season for ugly sweaters, too much food, and general holiday merrymaking—and everyone at AW was in it to win it at our annual holiday party.

Due to COVID-19, this year’s plans were a bit more sedate than in previous years, but a physically distant, masked good time was still had by all. We closed at noon and spent the afternoon enjoying monster subs from South Market Street Sandwiches (#trythe4sisters) with all the trimmings, playing games, listening to holiday music, and basking in the glow of our little Charlie Brown Christmas tree. As always, the highlight was the presentation of the annual A-Dub Awards, where each of our unique contributions to life at Arachnidworks, Inc. is recognized and applauded.

For a bunch of geeks, we’re a highly competitive lot. Project Manager Joel Layman’s Grinch sweater helped him win top honors in the Best Holiday Attire contest, followed by a round of games as a warm up to the main event later in the afternoon. We ended up declaring a draw between designer Drew Ahrens and copywriter on the Holiday Trivia Game (just to keep the peace), but Wes Stull was the clear winner of Name That Tune.

Next we enjoyed some holiday hijinx at ClueIQ, one of Frederick’s escape rooms around the corner from our offices at 47 South Carroll Street. If you’ve never been to an escape room, it’s a live-action adventure in which two or more players have to use hidden elements to find clues, solve the puzzle, and produce a solution in less than an hour…not unlike working in advertising and marketing, so we all felt right at home.

This was our first holiday season in our new Downtown digs, so being within sight of Carroll Creek added to the festive vibe. A lot of things feel different this year, but the most important things are the same as they ever were—we’re grateful for our talented team, and another wonderful year of helping our clients thrive and meet their goals!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at AW!

AW Camelot Escape Room Team 1

Lumberjakkss & AW Team-up For Co-branded Boat

co-branded boat at frederick office building

We would like to say a special THANK YOU to Lumberjakkss for creating this AWESOME co-branded boat for us!

We love it and we love having Lumberjakkss as a client!

If you’re strolling along Carroll Creek, be sure to check out this work of art on the wall behind our building!

boat being lifted

back of co-branded boat

ArachnidWorks Welcomes New Project Manager, Joel Layman

project manager joel laymanWhen COVID-19 descended on the U.S. earlier this year, we had no idea how it would affect our business. Fortunately, we’ve been able to stay very busy during the pandemic helping our clients update their messaging, improve their website visibility, and position their brand more effectively in light of the COVID-19 challenges.

Another pleasant surprise over the past six months has been an influx of new clients. Having new people is always exciting, but it was obvious that we were not only going to need a bigger boat, we were going to need to bring on more talent– and not just any talent…we needed a person with the right combination of style and experience to be able to get onboard fast.

How lucky were we to find Joel Layman, a skilled project manager with great marketing chops and a real desire to add value to our customers’ brands! For more than 15 years, Joel’s been coordinating collateral and managing creative teams for organizations like the Cleveland Cavaliers, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and STX Lacrosse. We love that he’s a utility guy with cross-over skills in web development, video production, social media, copywriting, public relations, retail initiatives, event planning, and grassroots marketing. He’s primarily a project manager, but we love that he’s got the big picture knowledge to understand how all the pieces need to work together to turn a complex vision into reality on behalf of our clients.

“I am beyond thrilled to join ArachnidWorks and help take the team and their clients to the next level,” says Joel. “It’s clear that Monica and everyone at AW are passionate about delivering top quality results to create true partnerships with each and every client. I have always loved building brands through meaningful stories and I am excited to bring my skills and experience to the group on both the agency and brand side.”

Top 5 Post COVID-19 Digital Marketing Trends

covid-19 marketing trends graphic
Call it a quarantine, lockdown, shelter-in-place, or a “safer at home” order, unprecedented public health measures forced by the global pandemic drove millions of people around the world into virtual seclusion. During this time, apps and platforms that were once used entirely for entertainment and personal connection have been hijacked for use by digital markers to reach consumers.

However, as the number and severity of COVID-19 cases begins to trend more positively, and some countries and US states are beginning to open back up, these same digital markers are wondering: how different will things look over the next year? Will things go back to normal? How has the novel coronavirus affected consumer behavior? And how will that affect digital marketing attempts to reach a society of consumers that have made significant changes in many areas of ordinary life?

Retailers are moving away from the on-demand inventory model. Extreme fluctuations in customer demand for everything from home gym equipment, to toilet paper, to hand sanitizer, to hair color, caused many retailers who were caught unaware and understocked to leave money on the table when supply could not meet the demand. Healthcare suppliers were unable to provide adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including disposable masks, isolation gowns, and gloves.

Even though ecommerce, which has exploded in recent years and skyrocketed during lockdown, will always be a fact of modern life, there will likely always be a demand for brick-and-mortar stores. Perhaps surprisingly, some had been trending towards online shopping long before the novel coronavirus locked us in our homes. Some retailers are moving away from ecommerce and building in what supply chain strategists are calling a “plan for uncertainty”.

Value is greater than low pricing, even in times of crisis. Consumers choose value over lower prices even where there is an uncertain supply. Product lines that sold at a premium price experienced higher demand than less alternatives during the early days of COVID-19, which continued even after things began to normalize. Multiple scams and faulty products peaked during the height of the pandemic, causing consumers to opt for purchasing higher priced items to ensure better quality.

People appear to value getting the product they need and can trust at an elevated price over getting stuck with inferior product they were able to purchase cheaply. Gearing marketing strategy towards improving brand awareness and developing trust is now more valuable than ever.

Consumers are more skeptical than in the past. Misleading claims and false information were so prevalent during the early days of the pandemic left many people concerned and confused. Conspiracy theories, half-truths, and politically motivated rumors abounded, made worse by the 24-hour news cycle and the additional hours of screen time that became routine for many adults.

Although distrust about “fake news” is now rampant, digital marketers can address these suspicions by using a strategy based on relatable customer experience, interactive content, and a focus on personalization.

Loss aversion psychology is a powerful marketing tool that is on the rise. Loss aversion describes the tendency of people to strongly prefer to avoid losses rather than acquire gains. Studies show that loss aversion is twice as powerful psychologically as the acquisition of something. The uncertainty that came with COVID-19 really ramped up fear and apprehension, which digital marketers used to drive sales. Expect marketing strategies based on loss aversion to move to the forefront as we move into a post-COVID marketplace.

Out-of-home ad spending is decreasing. Billboards, signage, and nearly every type of outdoor or non-digital advertisement has seen rapid decline, while all types of online marketing has increased significantly. This trend was accelerated pre-COVID, but has spiked due to increased screen time during quarantines.

Digital marketing has a significant advantage over traditional ads that require space, materials, and other resources. Digital ads allow marketers to leverage live video content– enhanced by AI if needed. Advertising in real-time with video marketing helps create a customer journey with digital touchpoints; content marketing excels because it focuses on the customer experience, interactive content and personalization.