By: Neil Sniffen

Date: February 15, 2017

This week’s post is dedicated to Neil Sniffen, our Senior Strategist. Neil is a strategic thinker, team leader, and a digital jack of all trades. He’s worked on rebrands of major agencies, created digital and content strategies for international brands, and co-authored a book on ecommerce optimization. Neil has an inherent passion for inspiring and educating people through compelling content and digital strategies.  Working closely with Subtext’s heads of Strategy, Technology, and Client Relations, Neil develops data-driven strategies and content to help create customer-centric digital experiences that drive results. He’s is also a father, husband, and a rabid Jayhawk. Rock Chalk!

Do you have a Subtext memory you wish to share?

Sitting next to Tore Gustafson every day provides too many memories to list.


How did you hear about Subtext?

I discovered Subtext doing competitive research for another agency in Portland. They happened to be looking for a digital strategist at the time, must have been fate.


Describe a typical day for you at Subtext.

No day is the same for me at Subtext. Whether I’m working on a specific client project, planning future work, writing, editing, jumping through RFP hoops, or finding random GIFs, each day offers something new.


What inspires you right now about digital?

I’m inspired by our work to become B Corp certified. It really is refreshing and amazing to work with a group of people all dedicated to making a positive change in the world. We’re so close to getting certified.


Oxford Comma?



Have you made any new digital discoveries?

I recently got my Optimizely Platform certification. Not that this is a discovery, but that test is really hard.


Favorite work/digital focused long-form read (could be longer blogs or essays/columns)?

I’m a huge fan of Gerry McGovern. His customer-centric and design simplicity philosophies have really shaped how I approach all projects. His central theme: Design for what people are on-site to do, and nothing else. It’s so simple.


What is your favorite App/Website right now? Why?

Franz. You changed my life.


Do you have a book or blog that has influenced your digital philosophy? Why?

Gerry McGovern’s “The Stranger’s Long Neck” changed how I approached web strategy.

Stephen King’s “On Writing”. I taught high school English for 6 years, in that time I read this book probably 100 times. I learn something new every time and it motivates me to write better (runner up is E.B. White’s “The Elements of Style”).


What is your favorite outdoor activity?

Soccer when I can. Trail running and hiking when soccer is not available.


What’s a life/computer hack you use?

I have my home office desk set up with my guitar amp and guitars nearby. Anytime I get stuck on a problem, I can quickly get my brain out of the rut (and usually come up with a new approach) with just a few minutes of annoying my neighbors.


Do you have a health hack? What is it?

Not so much a health hack, but the lunch run is about the only time I get to exercise anymore.


What is your beer or drink of choice? (can be non-alcoholic)

I have two favorites that I can’t get in the states: Victoria Bitter and Kilkenny. I think they’re my favorites because I can’t get them and haven’t had them in years (which means they’re probably terrible).


Favorite Instagram account to follow?



Favorite Twitter follow?



Do you have a favorite quote (either your own or from some famous dead/living person)? What is it?

“Pay Heed All Who Enter: Beware Of The Phog” – Rock Chalk Jayhawk


What’s up in your Netflix queue?

My 4-year-old son controls my queue. Most likely DinoTrux.


What’s a movie you can watch over and over again? Why?

Just about anything by John Hughes or starring John Belushi.


What’s the best documentary you’ve seen?

Pearl Jam Twenty – nothing earth shattering there, just a great documentary by one of my favorite directors (Cameron Crowe) fanboying all over one of my favorite bands.


What are you listening to right now at your desk?

Metallica “Hardwired… To Self-Destruct”


What do you listen to at work when you are heads down and focused?

Anything by Coheed and Cambria


What’s your favorite album(s)?

Pearl Jam “Ten”, Bad Religion “Against The Grain”, Coheed and Cambria “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth:3”