In Mike’s case

When Mike Wojcik, our director of digital design walks into the office every morning, he’s got his hands full. In one hand he’s got his trusty sidekick Bowser, the French Bulldog we’ve all come to know and love. In the other, he’s got what he needs for his work day. What kinds of things does a talented, hard working, die-hard Flames fan, hockey-loving, creative and all-round fantastic designer have in his case? Check it out.


Want to know more about Mike’s gear?
Water Bottle @Ikea, Coffee Mug @CalgaryFlames, Shot Glass @CalgaryFlames, Sunglasses @DragonAlliance, Mario Action Figures @Nintendo, Lotion @BathAndBodyWorks, Yerba Mate Tea @GuayakiMacBook Pro by Apple; desk by @Ikea, Bowser @FrenchBulldog.

Feeling the love

We’d like to congratulate PACE Credit Union on its resounding success at the 2015 MACU Strategic Marketing Conference.

PACE entered its Feels Like Love campaign for adjudication in the 25th annual Achievement in Marketing Excellence (AIME) awards. Not only did PACE receive an AIM award for New Product Launch, they also received the most coveted award of the evening – the People’s Choice Award.

Congratulations to Dan Coldwell and the rest of the marketing team at PACE. We loved working on this creative campaign with you and we applaud your accomplishments and your vision.

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Meet our creative director

Kathy brings a unique combination of creative, strategic and business experience to her role as thirdstream’s creative director. A talented copywriter, she’s instrumental in helping us – and our clients – tell a brand story with a fresh voice that rings with authenticity. She’s able to do this because she’s got a knack for hearing subtext, making her a writer who knows how to get to the heart of what people want to say in a way that makes others want to hear it. As our creative director, she’s a perceptive, intuitive thinker who believes that collaboration is the path to innovation, excellence and the best possible product and end-user experience. Kathy’s been a key player in our business since our ‘way back’ days. She’s worked with hundreds of clients and played a central creative and strategic role in helping many Canadian credit unions get results and win national advertising awards. Oh yeah … she’s is also an accomplished musician, educator, university instructor and choral conductor.

Here are some other interesting facts about our creative director.

Tell us about yourself
Hmmm. I’m a professional eclectic with a background in music, education, writing and business. I’m a full-on Pisces and a fan of words, authenticity, people and beautiful innovation. And I love how all of this comes together in my role as creative director.

When did you join the thirdstream team?
Officially started as copywriter in 2004 but I’ve been on this crazy bus since our earliest days as a web development company.

What is your role with thirdstream?
Creative director, marketing, copywriter and user experience design. 

What appeals to you most about the work you do with thirdstream?
I love our collaborative philosophy and commitment to living at the crossroads of creativity, innovation, strategy and integrity.

What do you appreciate the most about being part of this team?
I love the regard we have for one another’s skills and talents. The people on our team challenge me (in a good way) to learn and evolve professionally. They’re also really good people – grounded, balanced, fun and funny. I’m proud to be a part of it.

Now for the fun stuff

Milk River, AB

Lethbridge with long-term stops in Halifax, Vancouver and New Haven, CT.

Grew up in which decade?
70’s and 80’s.

Biggest musical (or other) influence 
I’m drawn to singer/songwriters and artists who know how to treat a melody. Ella Fitzgerald is my absolute fave because she sang the face off of every tune she ever recorded.

Favourite tune/band on your ipod right now
I’m always happy when Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Adele or Johnny Cash stroll through my playlist.

Huge fan of

Meaningful connection and saying it like it is.

Family you’d like to mention?
I’m married to the boss (CEO Christian Clapton) and ridiculously proud mother of 3 sweet humans and one Yorkshire Terrier.

You’re happiest when
I’m in the mountains with my family. Disneyland is a close second.

Favourite Beverage

By day, really (really) good coffee. By night, a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Greatest inspiration
My husband and his endless tenacity.

Greatest achievement (so far)

Still working on it, but I’d have to say my happy, healthy family is pretty much the best of the best so far.

In Jeff’s case

Jeff Coomber, our director of product management, loves innovation. This would probably explain his ‘early adopter’ philosophy. He’s usually the first in the office to try out the latest technological doodad, app or software. Checking out the latest happenings on Kickstarter is a daily thing for this guy and it goes without saying the he’d never miss an Apple release. What kind of things does a user-experience enthusiast like Jeff have in his case? Check it out.


Where did he get this gear?
Coffee Mug @starbucks; Bose QuietComfort 15 Headphones @bose; journal @wipebook; whiteboard must-haves @STAEmars; Apple TV with remote by Apple; iPhone 6 by Apple; iMac by Apple; water bottle @SIGG_NA; desk by @ikea.

In Kathy’s case

Before our creative director Kathy Matkin-Clapton heads to the office, she loads her workday essentials into her carrying case. We recently met her at the door and emptied the contents of her case (and hands) onto her desk. Check out Kathy’s eclectic collection of ‘must haves’.

What’s in our creative director’s case?

Where did she get this gear?
Lunch bag by Binksi’s Studio @Etsy; water bottle @swellbottle; cappuccino @starbucks; tech cleaner @whoosh; iPhone 5S by Apple; headphones @beatsbydre; wearable @fitbit; lip balm @ChapStick; sunglasses @39dollarglasses; notebook @decomposition from Chapters; MacBook Pro by Apple; desk by @ikea.





Meet our office manager

IMG_5442The picture of kindness and humility, Richard isn’t exactly the kind of guy who goes around boasting about his accomplishments. We’re happy to do it for him. This Ghanaian-born business whiz has a Bachelor of Science and a CMA and MBA in finance and project manager. Among his many accomplishments is growing a small business from 500,000 to 35,000,000 GBP and heading up the administrative office of the Ghana division of British Airways. Since joining our team as office manager in December of last year, Richard has taught us a lot, brought us together as a team and streamlined how our office runs. thirdstream is much the better for it.

Here are some other cool facts about Richard.

Tell us about yourself
My name – Richard Odei-Wontumi – means ‘a Friday born’ in Ghana. Generally speaking, people born on a Friday are described as being adventurous, wise and tenacious. We’re also known to be leaders, passionate and the people who tend to get things started.

When did you join the thirdstream team?
December 8, 2014.

What is your role with thirdstream?
Office/business manager. This means I oversee office administration, financial management, human resources, facilities and developing office culture.

What appeals to you the most about the work you do with thirdstream?
The people in the company and management.

In 1-2 sentences, what do you appreciate the most about being part of this team?
Being able to share ideas and listening to other ideas. The way people think and see things comparing to your thoughts and figuring out what to do next, excites me. 

Now for the fun stuff.


Ghana and the United Kingdom.

Grew up in which decade
In the 1960’s and 70’s .

Biggest influence when you were growing up
My parents.

Huge fan of
Gospel music

Family you’d like to mention
My kids: Ewurakua, Paa Kwesi, Ewurabena and Sandra and my wife Cecilia.

Other hobbies and interests
Reading, talking to people and socializing. I’m also a world traveller and can be very adventurous.

Favourite beverage
Chocolate milk.

Greatest inspiration
I love these phrases:

What is going in your head may not be the real story, the opportunity you have is the real story. Make your best out of it.” and “The only constant in life is change.”

Let’s have coffee

Not all of the people on our team drink coffee, but those of us who do are rather passionate about it. There’s something about a really great cup of Joe for us. The aroma, the taste and the kick are awesome. But so is sharing it with a colleague over an idea, a story, a strategy or a challenge. In fact, some of our best ideas as a company have begun with a thoughtful conversation and coffee.

We’re also very big fans of supporting local business and celebrating the grassroots power of entrepreneurship. After all, we are a small business and we are powered by entrepreneurship and innovation.

Not long ago (over a cup of locally roasted coffee, of course), we wondered how we could merge these shared passions in a way that included our clients. That’s where our ‘Let’s have coffee’ idea was born.

We reached out to Cupper’s Coffee and Tea, a Lethbridge business that offers an impressive array of coffees and teas from all over the world. They also import premium green coffee beans and roast them to perfection every day. Sipping Cupper’s freshly roasted coffee is such a sweet indulgence that we’ve adopted a favourite Cupper’s roast as as our own. We call it StreamBean. 

The especially-addicted coffee drinkers among us even sip their java from ceramic mugs hand-made by Mike Oleksow. Mike is an artist who lives in the Southern Alberta Rockies. Owner of Muddy Mouse Pottery, he creates gorgeous, one-of-a kind mugs by hand. It’s a beautiful thing. 

So beautiful, in fact, that we have decided to share this coffee love with our clients. If you’re a coffee drinker who loves beautiful things, just let us know. We’ll send you a half-pound of our StreamBean. If you decide to book a demo of cumulus™, our online account opening platform, we’ll send you one of Mike’s mugs as well.

Want some StreamBean coffee? Let us know here.
Want coffee and a one-of-a-kind mug? Book a demo here.

Cool insights from our Art of Attraction webinar

Great product offerings or rates will always be important, but they don’t do enough to attract the attention of today’s hyper-connected, socially-driven, digitally-savvy, mobile-centric customer. If you want their attention, you’ve got to meet them where they spend the most time online (i.e. social channels). Then you’ve got to do the right things to catch their eye and inspire them to take action. 

We chatted about this at our May 13th ‘Art of Attraction’ webinar. Here’s a recap of the top insights that came out of that discussion. Psst … there’s also a link to a video blurb of the webinar at the end of the article.

How much of my marketing budget should be dedicated to digital marketing?
Most FIs are currently dedicating about 20% to 30% of their marketing budget towards online media, including web advertising, social media and SEM.

We talked about the value of shifting funds away from reliance on traditional vehicles to more digital channels. This is where most clients and potential clients are spending their time. Digital channels provide rich data, including real-time information on performance. It’s also simple to make adjustments if required.

How would you suggest an FI should divide its digital marketing budget between all of the vehicles?
We touched on four key areas for digital success:

  • digital campaigns
  • digital/online/social advertising
  • social media
  • SEO

In terms of how to allocate within these, it really depends on each organization and should align with its business goals, markets, geographic locations, etc. 

Why is digital marketing so important?
It’s highly scalable and affordable, which means that FIs of any size can engage with their audience using a combined strategy. It’s also very measurable, helping FIs to get a full understanding of where their budget is being most effectively spent.

What are the stats on retargeting actually resulting in conversions?
Retargeting converts ‘window-shoppers’ into new clients or business. In general 2% of the people who come to your site will convert on their first visit. Retargeting brings back the other 98%, because it keeps track of who visits your site and displays your retargeting ads to them as they visit other sites online. Industry research1 tells us that website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert on your website. So there’s that.

How much research does someone do when considering opening a bank account?
Consumers check 8.9 sources before making a decision to open a new account.  Most of this research is performed online. The younger the person, the more sources they require before making a decision, and the more online sources they use2.

How many variables affect conversions from retargeting?
There is tremendous variation between and within verticals to offer a one-size-fits-all benchmark. Some factors that will impact conversion include:

  • quality of audience segment
  • quality of the ad creative
  • harmony between landing page and ad creative

In general, if all of the above elements are in place, you can expect a higher conversion rate via retargeting than via traditional display due to the fact that you’re focusing your ad on users who have demonstrated prior interest. The best way to benchmark is against your own past performance.

If you’d like to know what we’re chatting about in future webinars, check here or sign up for our newsletter in the top right hand corner of our blog to receive notifications.

1. by Adobe, 15 Mind-Blowing Stats About Retargeting, 2013
2. Google/Shopper Sciences, Zero Moment of Truth Study, Banking 2011