Facebook Blueprint Exam

For several months I contemplated taking the Facebook Blueprint Certification exams. Similar to the Google AdWords exams, passing the tests would give us a badge recognizing that we basically know Facebook advertising at a very high level. It is a nice way to separate ourselves from the pack of people and agencies that promote themselves as Facebook experts. I did it and here is a little bit about my experience.

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Clayton Clark
Why Big Gives?

Recently we launched a unique program to offer non-profit organizations free marketing services. There are some obvious reasons why we created a charitable program within our business but if you want to know all of the thoughts and discussions that happened leading up to Big Gives, here you go.

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Clayton Clark
Grace Meat + Three

It’s safe to say that Grace Meat + Three was one of the most anticipated restaurants of the year for Big Rush. Chef Rick Lewis already has two certified hits under his belt with Southern and Quincy Street Bistro so we had no reason to believe this would be anything but exceptional.

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Jonathon Becker
Taco Buddha

We took a trip to Taco Buddha on 8.25.17, a day after their grand opening. It’s a small place on the northwest corner of Jackson and Pershing in University City, next to Cursed Bikes & Coffee. First impression was that the front patio was delightful, small (four tables that seat six each) but charming with lovely outdoor plants and big umbrellas. Outside there was a table to get extra utensils, napkins, lime water, and free apples (!). It’s the little things people. Because of the aforementioned charm and it was nice day, we sat outside. But, the inside was just as charming, simple but inviting.

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Courtney Clark
First Impressions of Snapchat Ads Manager

About a month ago we were given access to Snapchat's new advertising platform. We were excited to start using this service since many Snapchat users are in the target demo for some of the businesses we work with. The social network boasts 173 million users and growing, 18+ times users open the app each day, and 30+ minutes spent in app each day. After making a few ads for some of our Plato's Closet stores, here are a few thoughts we have to share.

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Clayton Clark
Blues Fired Pizza

We're not sure why so many pizza places are opening and expanding in St. Louis but we could not be more excited about it. Blues Fired Pizza is a well known food truck in St. Louis but they recently opened a brick and mortar location in Kirkwood. They use a wood-fired oven built by the owners that cooks pizzas in 2-3 minutes at 800 degrees. You can get 8" personal pizzas, salads and drinks.

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Clayton Clark
Vicia

We were finally able to get ourselves over to the much hyped Vicia (vi-see-uh) which opened in March in the Cortex Innovation Community (St. Louis’ 200 acre innovation hub and technology district). When I called upon the trusty ‘ole Google Maps to help us find this place, it was described as a “sleek eatery for local, seasonal cuisine highlighting vegetables & sustainably raised meats.” And, I would agree. The restaurant is aesthetically pleasing with being very modern and monochromatic, yet feeling airy and comfortable- albeit quiet/peaceful/serene (I am used to dining with a 3 year old and it’s never quiet!) And the food was different, a good different. We went for lunch which is offered Monday-Friday 11am – 1:30pm as I had also researched lunch was a more causal counter-style service which is more our speed for a weekday lunch anyway. When we got there we were quickly greeted by a gentleman that handed us a paper menu and pointed us toward the counter/bar to place our orders and that we would be texted once ready to pick up at another counter near the kitchen. We just got waters and they were already poured on the bar so just grabbed them and made our way to an outside table in the enclosed patio next to the awesome looking wood-fired grill.

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Courtney Clark
Pizza Head

If you're a pizza lover living in St. Louis, now is a great time to be alive. We made our third stop to a new pizza place, this one serving up New York style pizza with attitude. Pizza Head is located on South Grand and serves pizza by the slice along with full pies. One interesting fact about this restaurant, they don't have meat. They have meatless pepperoni and sausage along with a cashew cheese pizza for vegan diets.

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Blue Duck Maplewood

We kind of missed this one. Blue Duck Maplewood was on our radar but they opened on Valentine's Day so we missed the Grand Opening. We went for lunch a week later. There is a Blue Duck location already in Washington, MO but we felt his counted as a new place to try. Don't judge.

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Clayton Clark
Courtney's Take on Sardella

I am really feeling the fresh approach to Niche Food Group’s newest venture, Sardella, from the food to the décor. I was so captivated by the space that I even snapped some photos of the vibrant blue tiles and wall of sardine tins. The food, now the food, it’s delicious and different. Or what they call “rethinking breakfast, lunch, and dinner”. If you go for breakfast, do not go seeking traditional options. I had the bowl which according to their menu is root vegetables, quinoa, barley, kale, swiss chard, fried egg ($10). The version I tried on opening day definitely had kimchi in the mix so I’m not sure if that was a typo online. If kimchi is still part of this bowl, I would definitely add avocado for an additional $2 to complement the spiciness. (As you may know- since kimchi is fermented, it has good bacteria and numerous other health benefits – happy gut, anyone?). Portion-wise, the bowl was perfect for me especially since I also had a sweet treat and coffee.

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Courtney Clark
Hi Pointe Drive In

Our first official Grand Opening taste test of 2017 was Hi Pointe Drive In. This fast casual burger joint is owned by BBQ master Mike Johnson who also owns Sugar Fire Barbecue. There was quite a bit of hype surrounding this place. Once again, my wife Courtney tagged along with Jon and I. 

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Clayton Clark
Sardella

Our first team outing to a restaurant opening was late in 2016 to Sardella. This restaurant is owned by the main man of food in St. Louis, Gerard Craft. His company, Niche Food Group, owns some of the best eateries in the area. The latest venture by Craft has a casual setting with unique flavors that mix old school Italian and new school St. Louis.

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Clayton Clark
Introduction

Does the internet need another marketing blog? No, it probably doesn't. There are already a lot of really great people writing a lot of great things about marketing. Chances are with a little bit of Googling, you can find the answer to the question you're looking for.

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Jonathon Becker