The Stevie Awards Blog

Simplifying the Complex: The Key to Stand-Out Videos

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Mar 05, 2018 @ 03:43 PM

The team at Vend, a San Francisco, CA based point-of-sale software company in the USA, has built a multitude of features into their retailer software that can be confusing to the average person—from inventory management and digital receipt generation to customer loyalty capabilities and an analytics dashboard.

Such abundant functionality is great for users, but can be a headache for the marketing team. How do you convey all those benefits in a short presentation that doesn’t lose the audience’s attention?

Vend seems to have found the answer, as evidenced by a brief video it shares with prospects via YouTube and other channels. Using in-house talent, including writers Simon Pound and Nick Houldsworth and their Director of Design, Michael Ramirez, the segment earned the company its second Gold Stevie® Award in three years.

Vend.jpgThe goal: communicate everything the app can do, in just two minutes. That’s no easy task when your product’s prime benefit is being an all-in-one solution that retailers can turn to for their sales optimization needs.

The creatives at Vend developed a video that laid out the software’s top five selling points, but also imparted a lively feel that keeps the viewer engaged. To do that, they used animation that quickly bounces from one scene to the next. Underscoring the narration is buoyant music—a contribution from James Dansey—that gives the work a lively, playful feel.

One of the virtues of the video is that, for its considerable scope, it never loses the viewer. The uncluttered graphics certainly help. Throughout the piece, for example, the team uses the same flower pot to represent the merchandise it can help users manage.

The resulting production is proof that you don’t need an off-the-wall idea or gimmicks to make a great video. Sometimes a simple idea and solid execution will do the trick.

The payoff: a Gold Stevie in The 2017 American Business Awards for best video in the sales-technology category—not bad for a $5,000 internal production. Considering the company brought home a Gold in 2015 for a product overview video, the creative team is clearly on a roll.

Reflecting on that initial win, Pound says the impact was significant. “That was great. It helped us recruit, get media attention, and double down on a creative approach,” he says. “It opened doors with partners and led to us winning other awards in Stevies around the world.”

The Growing Role of Video 

Since its founding in 2010, Vend’s cloud-based point-of-sale and retail platform has become the tool of choice for sellers around the globe. It’s now used by more than 20,000 stores in over 150 countries. Through its mobile platform, the company likes to say that users are able to run “the next generation of retail.”

In addition to its San Francisco headquarters, the company now has offices in Auckland, Toronto, London, and Melbourne, and has raised more than $45 million (U.S.) from top-tier investors.

A smart marketing strategy has certainly helped hasten that growth. Online video, in particular, has proven to be an effective medium, Pound says, because it’s being used in a way that marketers can easily track.

“We are loving that with new retargeting and audience creation tools available to us we can now measure and convert from video, meaning it is back in the front of our plans,” he explains.

This latest video, entitled “5 ways Vend will transform your business,” has proven to be a particularly powerful tool. People who have seen the video on Vend’s website are twice as likely to request a demo and take a trial.

The production was also key to a re-engagement campaign for older leads that it was trying to convert. The effort led to 200 trials, simply by showing how the software has evolved in a compelling way.

It’s not the only video for which the company has received attention of late. Its recent e-commerce and PayPal videos have also won awards for their ability to drive results.

What’s the formula for success? “Quality, creativity, and originality,” says Pound. “And trying to make complex things simple.”

It’s a recipe that seems to be catching the attention of business owners, not to mention a panel of experienced judges. “Winning Stevie Awards have been huge for our business to ensure we are at a world-class level,” Pound says.

Tags: video awards, marketing awards, business developement

A Chico, CA Startup Connects Travelers with RV Rentals

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Mar 01, 2018 @ 10:52 AM

Vision, discipline, and going against the grain are three principles Bonnie Worthington embraced as she set out to establish RV Rental Connection, an online site allowing RV owners to rent their vehicles to prospective vacationers.

The online enterprise based in Chico, California in the United States is a team of three, led by Worthington as founder and CEO, and operates in 30 U.S. states and Canada. The site offers multiple styles of recreational vehicles, from pop-ups, to trailers, and multiple-bedroom motorhomes.

RV REntal.jpgRV owners are able to begin with a free trial to test the success of the rental exchange program before making the decision to sign up for a monthly, no-contract subscription. RV Rental Connection even makes insurance coverage recommendations for renters and rentees with an emphasis on excellent customer service.

Worthington’s creative brand idea culminated with the tagline, “Rent the RV. Own the Experience.” The innovative business model has earned her recognition with The Stevie® Awards for Women in Business in four categories: Startup of the Year and Company of the Year, with 10 employees or less, Female Entrepreneur of the Year, and Maverick of the Year.

Not only was Worthington surprised with the award, but she was also in awe when she realized she would stand next to successful business women from around the world (from companies such as Microsoft and Verizon) at the November 2017 Stevie Awards in New York City.

“Our team has worked very hard this year to provide great value to our RV Rental Listing Members and website visitors who want to rent an RV from a private owner,” Worthington says. “We couldn’t have won these awards without our loyal RV rental owners and dealers who believed in us as a startup and have hung in there with us as we grow and prosper.”

This budding CEO champions the discipline to integrate strategy and to implement it towards achieving goals. Worthington told her local publication ChicoER that she was not afraid to operate a little differently from the rest of the vacation business and online marketplace, positioning RV Rental Connection as a “disruptor to disrupters.” This is what earned her the Maverick of the Year award.

In her lifetime, Worthington has won awards in academics, writing, golf, and competitive horseback riding. She is committed to staying fit and “keeping her mind sharp” with reading, math exercises, and other mind games. She remains dedicated to success, believing if she is driven to achieve, she will.

Tags: company of the year, female entrepreneurs, maverick awards

Winners Announced in 12th Annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Feb 26, 2018 @ 10:02 AM

World's Top Customer Service Awards and Sales Awards Presented in Las Vegas

Winners in the 12th annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, recognized as the world's top customer service awards and sales awards, were unveiled on Friday night at a gala ceremony in Las Vegas, NV, attended by more than 600 executives from around the world.

The complete list of Stevie Winners by category is available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/Sales.

SASCS event pic.jpgDP DHL, with Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award wins for activities in Argentina, Lebanon, the U.S., Vietnam, and other nations, was the most honored organization this year, earning the top Grand Stevie Award trophy for the fifth consecutive year. Other Grand Stevie Award winners, in descending order, include IBM, HomeServe USA, VIZIO Inc., Sales Partnerships, Inc., John Hancock Financial Services, FIS, Carbonite, Visualize, and Delta Vacations.

IBM won 10 Gold Stevie Awards, the most in the 2018 competition among Gold Stevie winners. HomeServe USA won six while Delta Vacations and GNResound won five each. Sales Partnerships, Inc. and Vizio won four. DHL Express Bangladesh, FIS, Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company, Mercer Consumer, Runzheimer, and UPMC Health Plan each won three. Winners of two Gold Stevie Awards include: Apttus, Birevim A.S., Carbonite, Comcast, Dell Technologies, Delta Airlines, DHL Express Vietnam, Gladly, GO Fuel Stations Inc., GuideWell Connect, Imparta Inc., ISN, John Hancock Financial Services, M Partners Ltd, MTM, Network Alliance, Samsung Electronics America, SAP America, ServiceNow, Sun Basket, TTEC, VXI Global Solutions, and Yapi Kredi Bank.

Leaders among multiple winners of Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevies include: Albridge, Allianz Global Assistance, BlueCat Networks, Druva Inc., eMoney Advisor, iHeartMedia, Nuance Communications, Overstock.com, Response, Rimini Street, SmartLinx Solutions, Wells Fargo Treasury Management Client Delivery, and Wyndham Vacation Ownership.

Winners in the People’s Choice Stevie® Awards for Favorite Customer Service, as determined by more than 124,000 public votes, which were announced on February 15, were also presented at the event.

The presentations were broadcast live via Livestream and are available to watch online.

The awards are presented by the Stevie Awards, which organizes several of the world’s leading business award shows including the prestigious International Business Awards® and The American Business Awards.

More than 2,500 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition. Finalists were determined by the average scores of more than 150 professionals worldwide in seven specialized judging committees. Entries were considered in 89 categories for customer service and contact center achievements including: Contact Center of the Year, Award for Innovation in Customer Service, and Customer Service Department of the Year; 60 categories for sales and business development achievements, ranging from Senior Sales Executive of the Year to Sales Training or Business Development Executive of the Year to Sales Department of the Year; and categories to recognize new products and services and solution providers.

Sponsors of the 12th annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service include HCL Financial Services, Rant & Rave, Sales Partnerships, Inc., and ValueSelling Associates, Inc.

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards, solution provider, business developement

Who's Coming to the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service on Friday?

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Mon, Feb 19, 2018 @ 12:31 PM

This coming Friday, February 23 we'll celebrate the 12th annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service with a gala event at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada USA.  More than 600 professionals from around the world are expected for the presentation of the world's top honors for customer service, contact center, business development and sales professionals.  Grand, Gold, Silver, Bronze and People's Choice Stevie Awards will be presented in a wide variety of categories.

The presentations will be broadcast live via Livestream, starting at 5:15 pm Pacific time.  We thank our sponsors for their support of the event: HCL Financial Services, Rant & Rave, Sales Partnerships, Inc. and ValueSelling Associates Inc.

Below you'll find a list of the organizations currently registered to attend the event.  Before we get to that, though, note that entries for the 2019 edition of the awards will open in July.  Add your name to the mailing list and we'll email the entry kit to you as soon as it's available.

Get the Entry Kit

60K Ltd. Sofia Bulgaria
Access One Inc Chicago IL
Achievers Toronto ON Canada
ActiveCampaign  Chicago  IL
Adestra  New York NY
Adobe Systems Incorporated  San Jose  CA
AFLAC Supplemental Insurance Columbus GA
Agilence Mt. Laurel NJ
AkSigorta Istanbul Turkey
Albridge  Pennington  NJ
AllClear ID Austin TX
Alliance Data Columbus OH
Allianz Global Assistance Richmond VA
Ally Bank  Detroit MI
American Airlines Ft. Worth TX
ARIIX  Bountiful  UT
Asurion Nashville TN
AWeber - Email Marketing Chalfont PA
BambooHR Lehi UT
Betta Group São Paulo Brazil
BIREVIM A.S. Istanbul Turkey
Borusan Otomotiv Ithalat ve Dagitim A.S.  Istanbul  Turkey
Bottomline Technologies Portsmouth NH
Brainier Solutions  Inc.  Minneapolis MN
Carbonite Inc. Lewiston ME
Care.com HomePay Austin TX
CareerArc  Burbank  CA
Chewy.com Hollywood FL
Cisco Systems Inc. San Jose CA
CKR Property Management  LLC  Houston  TX
ClearSlide San Francisco CA
Clio - Practice Management Software  Vancouver  BC  Canada
Collective Health  San Francisco  CA
Comcast Philadelphia PA
ComEd Oakbrook Terrace IL
Competence Call Center Vienna Austria
Con Edison New York NY
Convergys Cincinnati OH
Cross Country Home Services Fort Lauderdale FL
CSA Travel Protection-Generali Global Assistance San Diego CA
CSS Corp  Chennai India
CubeSmart Self Storage Malvern PA
DAT Solutions Beaverton OR
DataCore Software Fort Lauderdale FL
Dell Technologies  Bangalore  Karnataka  India
Delta Air Lines  Atlanta  GA
Delta Defense  West Bend  WI
Delta Vacations Minot ND
Deutsche Bank  London United Kingdom
DiCentral Corporation Houston TX
DISH Network Roseland NJ
Donan  Louisville  KY
Dorel Juvenile  Columbus  IN
Druva Inc.  Sunnyvale  CA
EMKAY Inc Itasca IL
eMoney Advisor LLC Radnor PA
Etech Global Services Nacogdoches TX
EXTRA Loyalty Solutions  Istanbul  Turkey
ezCater Boston MA
First American Database Solutions Santa Ana CA
FIS Jacksonville FL
Flight Centre Montvale NJ
Fluxx San Francisco CA
FreshBooks Toronto ON Canada
Future Generali India Insurance Company Ltd. Mumbai India
GEICO  Washington DC
GNResound  Bloomington  MN
GoDaddy Scottsdale AZ
Google Fiber Inc Mountain View CA
Grand Rounds  San Francisco  CA
Grosvenor Services Dublin Ireland
Grovo  New York  NY
GuideWell Connect  Jacksonville  FL
HCL Financial Services  Sunnyvale CA
HomeServe USA  Norwalk CT
Hospitadent Dental Group  Istanbul  Turkey
HUB International Chicago IL
IBM Armonk NY
iHeartMedia  Inc.  New York  NY
Imparta Inc. Austin TX
Infinity QS International Fairfax VA
Innovative Group Miami FL
InsureMyTrip Warwick RI
Intelenet Global Services Mumbai India
Intellis (formerly Warshaw Group  Inc.)
Intuit Inc. Mississauga ON Canada
iProspect  Boston MA
iQor St. Petersburg FL
ISN Dallas TX
Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality  Istanbul  Turkey
Jado Solutions  Chicago IL
Janek Performance Group  Las Vegas  NV
JB Bush  Newport Beach CA
John Hancock Financial Services  Boston MA
Kansas Turnpike Authority  Wichita  KS
KT Seoul South Korea
Learning Tribes Miami FL
Legacy.com Evanston IL
ListenFirst New York NY
LoftSmart  New York  NY
Loop Communications  Charlotte  NC
MarketBridge Bethesda MD
Marriott Intermediary Partner Care Omaha NE
MBX Systems Libertyville Illinois
MediaRadar Inc. New York NY
Medical Guardian  LLC  Philadelphia  PA
MetTel New York NY
MHT Partners  San Francisco CA
Mitsubishi Electric US Inc Visual and Imaging Systems Division Cypress CA
Mixpanel San Francisco CA
Moody's Analytics New York NY
Mozy by DELL  Draper  UT
MTC Performance Schaumburg IL
MTM  Lake St. Louis  MO
National Insurance Corporation of India  Kolkata India
NCR Corporation  Duluth GA
Network Alliance  Inc.  Reston  VA
Nisbet Associates  Cambridge United Kingdom
nThrive  Alpharetta GA
Nuance Communications Inc. Burlington MA
Oi S/A  Rio de Janeiro  Brasil
OmniUpdate Camarillo CA
OneCause Indianapolis IN
OneWest Bank  Pasadena  CA
Optum Eden Prairie MN
OptumRx Costa Mesa CA
Other World Computing  Woodstock  IL
Overstock.com  Midvale  UT
Park Place Technologies  Cleveland  OH
Periscope Data  San Francisco CA
PlanGrid San Francisco CA
Prov International Tampa FL
Pushpay Holdings Limited  Redmond  WA
Rant & Rave  Coventry United Kingdom
Response Lindon UT
Riva CRM Integration  Edmonton  AB  Canada
Riversource Life Insurance at Ameriprise Financial Minneapolis MN
RizePoint Salt Lake City UT
Runzheimer Waterford WI
RXBAR Chicago IL
sahibinden.com Istanbul Turkey
Sales Partnerships  Broomfield CO
Samsung Electronics America  Ridgefield Park  NJ
Sandler Training  Kansas City MO
SAP America  Newtown Square  PA
SAP America Newtown Square PA
SCAN Health Plan Long Beach CA
SelectAccount Eagan MN
ServiceMax  Pleasanton CA
ServiceNow Santa Clara CA
Seven Corners Carmel IN
SGEi Las Vegas NV
ShopKeep Inc. New York NY
Simpson Healthcare Executives  LLC  Old Lyme  CT
SmartLinx Solutions Edison NJ
SoFi Healdsburg CA
SoftPro Raleigh NC
SolarWinds Austin TX
Sprout Social  Chicago  IL
Standard For Success Cloverdale IN
Stanley Black&Decker Türkiye  - Istanbul  Turkey
Stewart A Xerox Company Mount Laurel NJ
Sun Basket  San Jose  CA
Sungard Availability Services Wayne PA
Symetra Bellevue WA and West Des Moines IA
Teachable New York NY
Tel  Salvador Brazil
The SAVO Group Chicago IL
Travelzoo New York NY
TTEC  Englewood  CO
Ultimate Software  Weston  FL
United States Equestrian Federation Lexington KY
UnitedHealthcare  Minnetonka  MN
UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh PA
USHEALTH Group Inc. Fort Worth TX
V Digital Services  Phoenix AZ
Value Prime Solutions  Rochester NY
ValueSelling Associates  Rancho Santa Fe CA
Verified Volunteers Fort Collins CO
Visualize  Birmingham MI
Vivint Solar  Lehi  UT
VIZIO Inc.  Irvine  CA
VMware  Palo Alto CA
VPay Plano TX
VXI Global Solutions  Los Angeles  CA
Wayfair  Boston  MA
Wells Fargo Treasury Management Client Delivery San Francisco CA
WePay a Chase company Redwood City CA
Wheels Inc. Des Plaines IL
Wolters Kluwer's ELM Solutions Houston TX
WP Engine Austin TX
Wyndham Vacation Ownership  Orlando  FL
Zelis Payments Clearwater FL

 

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards

Serving All Your Video Ad Needs with SpotX

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Tue, Feb 13, 2018 @ 02:45 PM

Media owners look for technology they can trust to help them gain complete control over monetized content with video advertising. SpotX is a company in the United States that considers themselves to be a one-stop solution, offering modern ad serving and sophisticated programmatic capabilities with an entire suite of integrations and ad units across all devices. This work has led them to win the Gold Stevie® Award for “Maverick of the Year” in The 2017 American Business Awards

Getting the message across

SpotX-Cofounders-1.jpg

SpotX is a video advertising and monetization platform with 20 offices across the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia-Pacific. Their technology powers modern ad serving, programmatic enablement, and other advanced video monetization tools for a variety of different media owners, such as PBS, Spotify, E.W. Scripps, Zynga, and Conde Nast. In October 2017, RTL Group, a leader across broadcast, content and digital, completed its 100% acquisition of SpotX which is currently combining its business with smartclip, a sister company. SpotX was founded in 2007 by Mike Shehan and Steve Swoboda, CEO and CFO respectively, and has nearly 600 employees.

Exceptional leadership

Publishers use SpotX to connect all of their demand sources—ad networks, DSPs (demand-side platforms), trading desks, and exchanges—creating a single place where media owners have complete control and actionable insights to maximize revenue. Mike Shehan is excited about the attention they’ve received.

“This award has helped us elevate our Chief Revenue Officer in-market and highlighted his exceptional leadership across members of our global team.”

Shehan continues on about how the Stevies specifically impacted their Chief Revenue Officer.

“Our Stevies winner, Sean Buckley, was named Chief Revenue Officer at SpotX last year at the age of 29, making him the fourth C-level executive at our company. Sean's tenacity and deep knowledge of the complex ad tech industry have contributed to his rapid rise and we're thrilled to have such a dynamic leader as a member of our team.”

Adapting to the Future

SpotX is deeply involved in the ongoing industry discussion around the rise of OTT video and the rapid adoption of programmatic advertising across desktop, mobile, and connected TV devices. “We've gained an early foothold in the burgeoning Asia-Pacific region, where mobile adoption over the last few years has spurred enormous growth in video advertising,” says Shehan.

As a leader in the over-the-top (OTT) video space, SpotX continues to drive home the importance of understanding how media buyers and sellers think about OTT advertising. In February 2018, the company announced detailed insights about the current state of video advertising on OTT in a report called “TV is Total Video: Predicting OTT and the Future of Video Advertising.” SpotX also announced a strategic integration with JW Player to launch Video Player Bidding, a new way to help reduce video latency and improve monetization for publishers with just one click.

SpotX is also a strong proponent of the server-to-server bidding model for ad inventory, aiming to educate the industry on the many benefits and efficiencies that it provides for media owners. Shehan comments on an organizational change they made that helped solidify their success today.

“We united the departments that serve our two distinct groups of customers under central leadership, spurring collaboration across our global teams.”

The adaptability of leadership in making sure that you’re always innovating and staying ahead of the competition is crucial in the world of video, and SpotX is all about “X marks the spot.”

Tags: Advertising awards, video awards, maverick of the year

Manatee Holdings Advances Sustainable Fishing Practices for the World

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Mon, Feb 05, 2018 @ 03:40 PM

As the global population increases, the oceans continue to suffer from overfishing. Since 1977, Manatee Holdings Ltd. has pioneered the use of sustainable aquaculture as an environmentally conscious way to meet the global demand for seafood while preserving the Earth and respecting the natural ecology necessary for marine life.

Based in British Columbia, Canada, Manatee Holdings is striving to meets its mission: to create the most environmentally beneficial food production operation on land or sea around the world, specializing in harvesting gourmet foods from the sea. Most of these foods are used in the sushi market.

manatee.jpgLourdes Gant, winner of the Silver Stevie® Award for Woman of the Year in The 14th Annual International Business Awards, is co-owner of Manatee Holdings with her husband, Eric Gant. Ms. Gant has been recognized internationally for her efforts in leading Manatee Holdings to develop environmentally conscious production practices in response to ocean acidification and overfishing. Canada magazines PROFIT and Chatelaine have recognized her as one of 100 Top Female Entrepreneurs—#84 in 2012 and #5 in 2014.

“I like to call myself a blend between serious business acumen and open-minded joy,” Gant states.

She works to find a successful balance in her career and her invigorating personal life, realizing they are not mutually exclusive.

Walking on fire, breaking an arrow with her throat, and splitting a board with her hand are just a few of her epic accomplishments. Some of her other feats include scaling the Burma Bridge and Possum log,;rapelling down high cliffs; zip-trekking in Canada; parasailing in the Bahamas; skydiving in Hawaii; swimming with dolphins in Mexico; and hiking the Andean mountains with llamas. The list goes on!

Beyond her personal accolades, Ms. Gant has earned a bevy of professional credits from auditing certifications from the International Register of Certified Auditors (IRCA) to earning her MBA and CPA. 

She say her keys to success are maintaining a positive attitude, intuition, and following a higher purpose. Here are the 10 best habits accompanying her beliefs in transformational learning:

  1. Accomplish
  2. Be consciously in charge of your way of life
  3. Duality (often described as yin and yang)
  4. Excellence
  5. Fact finding
  6. Integrity with self
  7. Kaizen (Japanese for “change for better”)
  8. Leverage
  9. Passionate mentoring
  10. Living with purpose

Ms. Gant resides in Royston, British Columbia, with her husband and their son, Elan, but they enjoy travelling to different tropical countries for the winter. She practices yoga and swimming. She also practices Taekwondo with Elan. Her philanthropic efforts go beyond environmental preservation. She recently visited orphanages in Peru with the "Give and Grow" program. 

Ms. Gant is constantly seeking experiences around the world and using those experiences to transform herself. This outlook has helped her to develop Manatee Holdings Ltd. into the most environmentally beneficial food production company on land or sea.

Marketing Group Promotes the Intersection of Creativity and Strategy

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jan 31, 2018 @ 02:52 PM

For companies looking to hire a marketing agency, making a decision is usually dependent on accepting certain tradeoffs. You can either get the boutique provider that’s energetic and responsive to your needs, or go with a bigger outfit that has more resources and a recognized brand name.

Strunk Media Group has tried to eschew that binary choice, and it’s proving to be a winning formula. The American firm prides itself on providing the full menu of options that clients need, from website design and digital advertising to print and billboard marketing. But the eight-employee team also conveys a unique, playful attitude that’s in line with its young, tight-knit staff. “We’re different on purpose,” says co-founder and CEO Matthew Strunk.

Strunk-Media-Team(Left-to-Right).pngSince its inception in 2015, the agency has already garnered over 40 clients who have bought into its “all of the above” message. Based in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, a town in the United States with just over 5,000 residents, the burgeoning company has found success by recognizing trends and finding creative ways to adapt.

“There is no doubt that the marketing industry will continue to transform with the evolution of the internet, but successful and proactive marketing professionals evolve with it,” says Strunk, who continues to serve as a U.S. Air Force reservist, even as he steers the company through a period of swift growth.

Strunk media dog.jpg“While traditional advertising methods are still relevant, Strunk Media has been using online methods such as Facebook advertising, Google AdWords, YouTube, Pandora commercials and ringless voice drops delivered directly to consumer cell phones,” he says. “These methods have proven successful through higher impression rates, more involved customer engagement and specific targeting capabilities.”

Whereas marketing companies are sometimes seen as places where creativity is valued more than strategy, Strunk and his team are trying to meld the two. Each marketing campaign is created specifically for the needs of a given client and based on extensive research, he says.. For example, customers who hire the group for digital services receive a web audit that addresses weaknesses in their internet presence, something that helps the agency design a targeted action plan.

Realizing a Dream

In 2017, Strunk Media took home not one, but two Stevie Awards at The American Business Awards in New York City. The firm earned the Silver Stevie for “Startup of the Year” in the Business Services category and a Bronze Stevie for “Veteran-Owned Business of the Year.”

“As a new company, winning the Stevie Awards has given Strunk Media Group validation that its marketing methods are working,” Strunk says. “These awards are the first nationally-based recognition Strunk has received, which is a tremendous accomplishment.”

“Recognition from these awards will grow awareness of our brand, helping it meet new potential clients and become a better-known company,” he added.

For all the acclaim the company has received in a short period of time, the company nearly didn’t get off the ground. Strunk recalls having to think twice before leaving a steady job overseeing marketing for a local auto dealership.

“The biggest challenge we faced was gaining the courage to leave safe careers and risk everything for a business that could become amazingly successful or be a tremendous flop,” he says. “It’s easy to talk about your dreams, but implementing action to achieve those dreams takes an immense amount of energy, time and money. But once our plan was in motion, the needed energy to continue pushing forward has not been lacking in the slightest.”

In Strunk’s case, starting a new venture involves an added challenge: having a CEO who could be called into active military duty on short notice. Strunk says he’s tried to develop a team that’s as committed to the organization’s success as he is, something that will certainly pay off should his reserve unit ever be deployed.

“Each member of the company cares about delivering the highest quality work for clients while pursuing innovative ways to obtain new business and help the company grow,” he says.

Building chemistry amongst employees is a key part of that enthusiasm, and it’s something staff members try to do outside the office as well, whether it’s a weekly happy hour or a team lunch.

“These casual bonding moments help the team get to know their co-workers, strengthening the Strunk bond,” he says.

Tags: Advertising awards, marketing awards, marketing campaign, Startup of the Year

In Singapore, Artificial Intelligence Helps Job Seekers Find the Right Openings

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Fri, Jan 26, 2018 @ 01:09 PM

Finding a new job is a stressful endeavor, regardless of one’s background. But for high-level professionals, the scarcity of jobs at the top creates an added challenge.

The team at Singapore-based startup JobTech is trying to make that undertaking a whole lot easier, with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and deep machine learning. Their software provides a more accurate, unified view of the job vacancies available around the country, says co-founder Charlotte Lim.

Jobtech 2.pngOne of the challenges that job seekers face is that more than a third of jobs advertised in Singapore are either duplicates or sham listings. JobTech aims to identify and eliminate those extraneous entries and help PMETs (professionals, managers, executives and technicians) access legitimate matches.

Lim says she became frustrated with the lack of transparency and accuracy in the job results she found online when she was searching for a job herself. In seeking a solution to that problem, she met Wee Tiong Ang, a computer scientist whose work in the AI field offered a potential solution.

“I realized he had built an artificial intelligence capable of accurately mapping job seekers to job openings through complex data analysis of roles, skills and competencies,” says Lim. “JobTech was born.”

The company’s first offering, JobTech PMET, was specifically designed to help professionals in Singapore find and prepare for new job openings. In addition to offering insights into industry trends, the software is able to identify skill-set requirements and recommend classes the job seeker can take to improve their odds of landing the position.

One of the product’s strengths is its considerable reach. It currently tracks and analyzes more than 90% of online job ads in Singapore, according to the company.

JobTech predicts the platform, which has several thousand users in Singapore, will soon reach more than 10% of retrenched PMETs nationwide.

Other potential benefits

While job seekers have been the core audience to date, the firm sees other potential applications for the technology as well. For example, it plans to develop applications that provide deeper insights into hiring practices and improve human resource management.

TalenTech enterprise application promises to help companies automate the résumé-screening process by scanning and contextualizing submissions and pinpointing those that match the job requirements.

JobTech also hopes to help public entities increase productivity nationwide by providing a clearer picture of labor market needs. In fact, the government of Singapore is already a customer.

Though the company is still very young—it launched in late 2016—it’s already gaining plaudits for its novel approach to job searching and human resource management. In October, the company accepted the Bronze Stevie® Award for Tech Startup of the Year at The 2017 International Business Awards in Barcelona.

Fostering collaboration

While AI and machine-learning technologies are at the heart of JobTech’s platform, Lim suggests that the collaborative culture within the organization is another key ingredient in the company’s growth. Lim and her team regularly get together for “scrum” meetings to make sure everyone is working toward a singular goal.

“Members share their problems in the meeting and other team members will chip in with their expertise to help solve them,” she explains.

Employees are also encouraged to organize team activities outside of work hours. “These activities help everyone understand each other better and build stronger bonds,” says Lim.

Stevie Winner, Chicken Dinner

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Wed, Jan 24, 2018 @ 05:54 PM

International restaurant franchise Church’s Chicken® celebrated 65 years in San Antonio, Texas, U.S. this year. Founded in 1952 by George W. Church, Church’s Chicken serves signature small-batch, hand-breaded chicken, honey-butter biscuits and All-American sides. Church’s Chicken, and its international sister company, Texas Chicken, have 1,650 locations in 23 global markets with sales exceeding $1.2 billion annually.

Church’s Partners Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which provides assistance and scholarships to the employees and franchisees of Church’s Chicken, Texas Chicken, their families and their communities.

Churchs chicken laura.jpgLaura Reese, Church’s Senior Director of Media, Digital and Public Relations, won The Gold Stevie® Award for Most Innovative Woman of the Year in Franchising in the 2017 Stevie Awards for Women in Business. Reese used her specialized expertise from career experience at Nielsen and with private advertising firms to creatively advance the Church’s brand, furthering reach in their communities.

churchs chicken jen.jpgJennifer Chasteen, Church’s Vice President of Brand Strategy and Activation, won The Stevie Silver Award for Female Executive of the Year for Consumer Products in a business with over 2,500.

When Laura was promoted in 2017, she went through a deep dive of the Church’s brand. She asked herself – who are we? What do we do? What does it mean? And most importantly, why does it matter? Together with her digital agency partners, she examined the archetypes most linked with the brand: Nurturers and Everyman. This lead to a “principles of authentic participation” for the brand’s digital presence, and ultimately resulted in her biggest find – It’s in Church’s DNA to help build communities and people through its food. With the data on her side, she launched a daring new digital campaign, “Church’s Loves Community,” a video/short film campaign which would require the utmost collaborative effort from everyone on her team. Laura brought partners and team members together to strategize a launching plan, designate the platforms to be used, spend, timing, targeting, communication plans, success objectives and measurement.

Fast forward to the present, the Church’s Loves Community series has created four amazingly well-received films – Church’s Loves San Antonio, Church’s Loves Compton, Church’s Loves St. Louis, and the most recent film which debuted in August, Church’s Loves Atlanta. The latest film gained a highly-coveted launch on Nowness.com, a site with five million viewers that serves as the go-to global video channel for screening the best in culture based films. The film boasts a 4.8/5 rating on Nowness, and has gone on to be showcased at the 2017 BronzeLens Film Festival in Atlanta. Millions of views have been garnered, recognition earned on industry trades, and it has reached success on social media channels through short teaser content on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Under Laura’s direction, the Church’s Loves Community series has been connecting consumers everywhere with the essence of the Church’s brand – through their values of progress, unity, hard work and resilience, Church’s continues to bring communities together. Pioneering an innovative new role for a 65-year old brand can be seen as a daunting task, but if the Church’s Loves Community series is any indication of the brand’s future, we can be excited for the changes which are still to come.

“Both women are bringing a level of commitment and dedication to the Church's brand and its values of Stepping Up, Doing the Right Thing, Celebrating Differences, Working Together and Showing We Care,” says Hector Munoz, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer at Church's Chicken.

Church’s Chicken has made a commitment to honoring female professional business leaders who have impacted the international market for this legacy American restaurant.

Tags: women awards, Women in Business, employee of the year

Stevie Awards Announce Finalists in 12th Annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Fri, Jan 19, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Winners to Be Announced in Las Vegas on February 23

Finalists in the 12th Annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, an international competition recognizing excellence in disciplines that are crucial to business success, were announced today.

SASCS 2017 pic 3.jpgA diverse group of organizations and individuals around the world are among those recognized in the customer service awards, contact center awards, business development awards and sales awards categories. Organizations with five or more finalist nominations include 60K Ltd. (Sofia, Bulgaria), Albridge (Pennington, NJ, USA), Allianz Global Assistance (Richmond, VA, USA), BlueCat Networks (Toronto, ON, Canada), Carbonite, Inc. (Lewiston, ME, USA), Dell Technologies (Bangalore, Karnataka, India and Round Rock, TX, USA), Delta Air Lines (Atlanta, GA, USA), Delta Defense (West Bend, WI, USA), Delta Vacations (Minot, ND, USA), Deutsche Post DHL (worldwide), Druva Inc. (Sunnyvale, CA, USA), eMoney Advisor, LLC (Radnor, PA, USA), FIS (Jacksonville, FL, USA), GNResound (Bloomington, MN, USA), GuideWell Connect (Jacksonville, FL, USA), HomeServe USA (Norwalk, CT, USA), IBM (Armonk, NY, USA and Tokyo, Japan), iHeartMedia, Inc. (New York, NY, USA), Imparta Inc. (Austin, TX, USA), John Hancock Financial Services (Boston, MA, USA) Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company (Springfield, MA, USA), Mercer Consumer, (Des Moines, IA, USA), NCR Corporation (Duluth, GA, USA), nThrive Education (Los Angeles, CA, USA), Overstock.com (Midvale, UT, USA), Response (Lindon, UT, USA), Sales Partnerships, Inc. (Broomfield, CO, USA), SmartLinx Solutions (Edison, NJ, USA), Sun Basket (San Jose, CA, USA), TTEC (Englewood, CO, USA), UPMC Health Plan (Pittsburgh, PA, USA), VakifBank (Istanbul, Turkey), VIZIO Inc. (Irvine, CA, USA), VXI Global Solutions (Los Angeles, CA, USA), Wells Fargo Treasury Management Client Delivery (San Francisco, CA, USA) and Wyndham Vacation Ownership (Orlando, FL, USA).

For a full list of finalists by category, visit www.StevieAwards.com/Sales.

All finalist nominations ultimately will be named Gold, Silver and Bronze Stevie Award winners. The placements will be revealed during a gala banquet on Friday, February 23, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. Tickets are on sale now.

The awards are presented by the Stevie Awards, which organizes several of the world’s leading business awards shows including the prestigious International Business Awards® and American Business Awards.

More than 2,500 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were evaluated in this year’s competition. Finalists were determined by the average scores of more than 150 professionals worldwide in seven specialized judging committees. Entries were considered in 89 categories for customer service and contact center achievements, including Contact Center of the Year, Award for Innovation in Customer Service and Customer Service Department of the Year; 60 categories for sales and business development achievements, ranging from Senior Sales Executive of the Year to Sales Training or Business Development Executive of the Year to Sales Department of the Year; and categories to recognize new products and services and solution providers.

Beginning today through February 9, the general public may vote for their favorite providers of customer service in the People’s Choice Stevie Awards for Favorite Customer Service. Voting is open at http://peopleschoice.stevieawards.com. Winners of the People’s Choice Stevie Awards in multiple industries will be determined in mid-February and honored at the awards gala in Las Vegas on February 23.

Tags: customer service awards, sales awards, customer service leader of the year, customer service success, sales training

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