Makovsky Integrated Communications received the first-ever Grand Stevie Award for Interactive Services Agency of the Year in The 2013 American Business Awards, the top business awards program in the U.S.A. (Entry to The 2014 American Business Awards is now open. Find out more here.) Here we look at what winning the Grand Stevie has meant to the company; and at Makovsky’s work for MediScripts, which earned them two Gold Stevies in the Marketing Awards categories of the 2013 ABAs for Online Marketing Campaign of the Year and for Business-to-Business Marketing Campaign of the Year.
When Timothy Kane, Makovsky’s Executive Vice President, Digital Branding, heard that his firm had received the 2013 Grand Stevie for Interactive Services Agency of the Year, he was both delighted and surprised.
“It was especially gratifying because we’ve made a major effort to build our integrated and interactive capabilities,” said Tim. “In fact, I joined the firm specifically to establish a digital practice. This Grand Stevie is a wonderful acknowledgement that we are accomplishing our goal.”
MediScripts’ Marketing Challenge
Tim was the executive in charge of Makovsky’s multiple Stevie Award-winning MediScripts marketing campaign. “For nearly 20 years, MediScripts had enjoyed an almost effortless increase in sales and profits,” he explained. “MediScripts’ personalized prescription pads were the perfect way for pharma companies to put their messages right in physicians’ hands at the exact point of prescription.”
But then everything changed.
A Shift to Digital Channels
In recent years, pharma marketers have been shifting an increasing percentage of their marketing dollars away from traditional marketing vehicles and into digital channels. Younger brand managers began to dismiss MediScripts as just another tchotchke.
Makovsky’s challenge was to find a way to move MediScripts out of that tchotchke graveyard and into the world of multichannel marketing.
Introducing a New Medium
The first step was to reposition MediScripts as an actual advertising medium:
MediScripts. The most engaging medium. The agency then redesigned MediScripts’ brand identity, with a modern proprietary font and an icon specifically designed for use in digital applications.
Next, Makovsky suggested a shift in targeting. Over the years, MediScripts had aimed the majority of its marketing efforts toward senior brand marketers at the major pharmaceutical companies. Makovsky suggested broadening their targeting strategy to include younger brand managers, agency media planners, and agency creative directors. Why? Because brand managers control the budget; media planners control the buy; and creative directors control the campaign idea.
The new MediScripts launched in September 2011:
- A new MediScripts website featured separate user interface pathways for its three targets: Brand Managers, Media Planners, and Creative Directors. (This award winning website won a Silver Stevie in the website awards categories of The 2013 American Business Awards.)
- A campaign of provocative digital ads confronted the conventional media wisdom. Headlines like "What ad is more effective than any ad on this site?" drove MediScripts’ targets to the new website in record numbers.
- Erez Lapsker, the young CEO of MediScripts, became the public face of the brand, authoring bylined articles, white papers, and podcasts, and hosting a Marketing Agency Happy Hour with representatives from key organizations.
- Feature articles in major pharma marketing publications such as Med Ad News, PM360, and PharmaVOICE repositioned the company and legitimized point-of-prescription advertising.
From Antiquated to Innovative
Makovsky’s work for the new MediScripts produced immediate results. In the first 90 days of the campaign:
- Website traffic shot up by 120%; unique visits increased over 80%;
- Six feature articles and a corporate announcement produced 65 million media impressions;
- The podcast was downloaded 765 times by key targets and the white paper 104 times;
- The advertising produced historic click-through rates—as high as 4,800% above industry norms.
But there was one final—and unexpected—result. MediScripts, once considered an antiquated company with an irrelevant value proposition, was named PM360’s Most Innovative Company of the Year, for its ability to show value within the digital space and convey measurable engagement.
Tim summarized it this way: “The hardest part of any digital campaign is how to measure its success. Not only was MediScripts able to see an increase in meetings and sales, but also the campaign paid for itself almost immediately.”
About Timothy Kane
Timothy Kane is Executive Vice President, Digital Branding at Makovsky Integrated Communications. In his thirty-year career as an award-winning writer, designer, and marketing strategist, Tim has developed a unique perspective on the value of branding. "The market always rewards strength," he says. "And strength is revealed through communications."
About Makovsky Integrated Communications
Kenneth D. Makovsky launched the firm in 1979 with a simple philosophy: “There is no task so difficult that it can’t be accomplished by a team of smart people working in harmony.” That mantra holds true more than 30 years later. Though many of Makovsky’s people have big agency and big brand credentials on their résumés, everyone shares an entrepreneurial mindset, infusing everything the company does with a sense of urgency and total commitment to results. That fosters a culture of collaboration, bound by a shared dedication to exceed clients’ expectations. For more information visit: http://www.makovsky.com/
Ruwena Healy, CEO of Marketing 24/7, Inc., in Trussville, Alabama, USA chaired the final judging committee for the Communications and Marketing Awards categories in the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's top honors for women executive, entrepreneurs, and the organizations they run. Her company won the Gold Stevie for Low Budget Communications Campaign of the Year in the 2012 Stevies for women. Here she applies her own award-winning marketing expertise to provide some tips for marketers on planning for 2014.
Like many companies, you are probably in the midst of preparing your strategic plans for 2014. Successful business leaders understand that in order to anticipate a profitable upcoming year, you have to plan.
If you are struggling with the planning process for your marketing and social media, or need a few ideas about how to implement a plan going forward, here are a few important tips to keep in mind:
1. Figure out where you stand.
It may seem obvious, but in order for you to move forward, you have to figure out where you are right now. This means taking a serious look at the inner workings of your marketing and social media plan. Conducting an internal and external audit of where your business really is—and not where you think it is—will give you a true picture of where you stand. Now would also be a good time to examine the strengths and weaknesses of your business. What are you doing right and what have you done that hasn’t worked?
2. What are you trying to accomplish?
Too often, businesses think that if they advertise everywhere and post everything on social media, they will magically receive countless leads, gain more loyal customers, and increase their bottom line. In order to craft the right message to get concerted results, you must identify what outcome you are looking for and then proceed to target the right market with the right message through the right medium.
3. Identify your target market and plan how to reach them.
The best way to identify your target market is by investing the time to create a buyer persona. A buyer persona is an example of a real person you need to influence crafted from information you retrieve from interviews you conduct with customers or potential customers, or from website and social media analytics you collect from your website or social media business page. For example, you can gather the analytics from your Facebook page to find out the exact age group, demographics, and gender of the individuals who visit your page the most. From this information, create a persona of an individual within that median group and make a plan that targets your message toward him/her to gain more engagement and interest in your business. Understanding who your clients are will help you serve their needs and keep them coming back.
4. Have clear objectives and goals and research, research, research.
Be specific about your own objectives and goals. Do they align with your business’ mission and priorities? How will you get there? Which team members will be accountable for implementation? What are your competitors doing? Research is a critical component that too often is left out of the planning process. Research is a continual part of the process that you have to take time to achieve if you want your overall plan to be succinct and, most of all, successful.
You’re not done: You must evaluate! Put benchmarks in place (i.e. quarterly) to review what you’ve done, measure your success, research some more, and evaluate your successes and failures.
Strategic planning is a vital part of any business and if you want to use marketing and social media to help brand your business, you need to take the time to think things through and get the most out of your time and resources. Remember the old saying: “Plan your work and work your plan!”
About Ruwena Healy
Ruwena Healy is the CEO of Marketing 24/7, Inc., a full-service marketing, branding, and public relations firm, which she founded 8 years ago. Marketing 24/7 has a diverse client list and is one of Birmingham, Alabama’s Top 10 PR firms. Marketing 24/7 and Ruwena have garnered numerous international, national, state, and local business awards. In addition to recently being awarded “Honorable Mention” in the international Enterprising Women of the Year Award by Enterprising Women magazine, Ruwena won a Gold Stevie in the 2012 Stevie Awards for Women In Business. Ruwena was recently named 1st runner up in the Birmingham Business Journal’s Social Madness competition that showcased a company’s social media savvy by gaining new followers and encouraging follower engagement.
Ruwena continues to gain popularity as a LinkedIn expert and trainer (her LinkedIn profile was among the Top 1% of the Most Viewed profiles in 2012). She is a sought-after speaker, trainer, and lecturer, and has also presented numerous programs on branding, social media, public relations, and how to successfully get the word out about your business. Ruwena maintains a marketing blog at MasterMarketing247.com and her articles have appeared in PR News’ 2011 Crisis Management Guidebook, Birmingham Business Journal, The Birmingham News, Alabama Business News, and al.com. Ruwena is an active member of the Birmingham, Alabama community: she is a member of The Women’s Network; a member of the Board of Directors of the Public Relations Council of Alabama’s Birmingham Chapter; a former Board member and currently a member of the Public Relations Society of America Alabama Chapter; and a current member of Alabama Women In Business.
Ruwena has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Florida and a Masters in Business Administration from Florida State University. Today, with twin boys that are seven years old, Ruwena gives her time to fundraisers for their school and as a leader in the Cub Scouts.
About Marketing 24/7
Marketing 24/7, Inc. works with a diverse client list of companies, entrepreneurs, and professionals to offer unique expertise in personal branding and company branding. The firm has proven itself with marketing and business development effectiveness for the purpose of increasing revenue and profits. For more information go to: www.marketing247.net
MAC Presents of New York, New York USA won the Gold Stevie® Award for Small-Budget Marketing Campaign of the Year in the communications and marketing awards categories of the 2012 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's top honors for women entrepreneurs, executives, and the organizations they run. (Another MAC Presents campaign also won a Gold Stevie for Small-Budget Marketing Campaign of the Year in The 2013 American Business Awards.) The entry deadline for the 2013 Stevie Awards for Women in Business is August 28 - get the entry kit here.)
Here we look at the highly successful AT&T/Samsung sponsorship that MAC Presents put together with the New York fashion label rag & bone.
For the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note, AT&T and Samsung wanted to target the creative, fashion-forward mobile consumer, who would not only want the latest in advanced technology but would also view the device as a fashion accessory.
A custom promotion solution was needed that would establish a Galaxy Note social community within the fashion world during New York’s Fashion Week. Ideally, this social platform would integrate the phone into the daily life both of a fashion designer partner and of respected fashion bloggers.
The Ideal Collaboration
MAC Presents worked with AT&T and Samsung's marketing teams to select the ideal designers for them to collaborate with, and to create the unique marketing that would effectively reach the Galaxy Note's target audience.
MAC Presents developed a custom program that enabled AT&T/Samsung to partner with rag & bone, one of today's leading fashion brands based in New York City. To help reach the Galaxy Note’s influential target audience, MAC Presents worked with rag & bone to create an exclusive case for the Galaxy Note device.
The Galaxy Note was integrated into rag & bone’s 2012 fashion show during New York Fashion Week with signage and an exclusive, branded VIP area backstage. Additionally, influential fashion bloggers such as Bryan Boy, Leandra Medine, and Susie Bubble were given Galaxy Note devices to use for posting to their blogs and tweets during New York Fashion Week.
Comprehensive Media Plan
MAC Presents developed a comprehensive media plan that included print, outdoor, and online advertising as well as social media and public relations outreach. Bus shelter advertising was utilized to promote the partnership in key locations around New York City.
All creative featured the still photography of New York-based photographer Danny Clinch. Danny also shot a :30 commercial for the Galaxy Note featuring rag & bone's designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville. The pair also hosted a private Galaxy Note launch party in New York City that included a performance from Band of Horses. With many celebrities in attendance, the event attracted millions of press impressions.
MAC Presents’ combined media outreach efforts garnered over 114,000,000 million consumer impressions.
An extensive online campaign was implemented to increase awareness of the collaboration between AT&T/Samsung and rag & bone. MAC Presents partnered with fashion publications Front Row Daily and WWD to create rich, online advertising opportunities. Additionally, MAC Presents partnered with Billboard.com to reach the fashion, music oriented consumer.
A daily Facebook advertising plan was put into effect to launch the campaign and build awareness of the Samsung Galaxy Note.
In total, over 4 billion consumer impressions were garnered through online efforts.
The Value of Social Media
Marcie Allen, president of MAC Presents, comments: “Social media has opened up brand involvement beyond tour sponsorships.” Allen points to MAC Presents' launching of Nokia Music with AT&T through a sponsorship with Green Day that has garnered more than 165 million social media impressions, as well as a Gold Stevie in the 2013 American Business Awards. “All the programs we put together in 2012 were heavily based in social media,” she says. “There has to be value. You have to be able to measure and track sales. You can do that with social media.”
“As a woman in the music industry, recognition in the Stevie Awards has proved an effective tool for me to encourage more women to enter this industry,” continued Allen. “As someone who has been in the music industry for 18 years, I want to inspire women and show them that anything is possible. All power to the Stevie Awards for Women on its 10th Anniversary!”
About Marcie Allen
Marcie Allen is President of New York City-based sponsorship and fulfillment agency MAC Presents. Allen leverages her eighteen years of music industry experience to negotiate high profile sponsorships between the world’s leading brands and artists. Allen has executed partnerships on behalf of brands including Jeep, Microsoft, Samsung, CITI, AT&T, and Nokia. She is a seven-time nominee and two-time winner of Billboard Magazine's Concert Marketing and Promotion Award. Allen was named to Billboard’s Women in Music in 2010, 2011, and 2012 and Billboard’s 40 under 40 in 2013.
In April 2013, The White House honored Allen as one of their Hurricane Sandy "Champions of Change." The event highlighted people and organizations directly involved in response and recovery efforts following Hurricane Sandy. Allen directed a documentary short, “Beach 119,” about her efforts in Rockaways, New York, after the storm.
Prior to starting MAC, Allen owned and operated MAD Booking & Events, which booked and produced music festivals across the country including On the Bricks in Atlanta, GA. Allen is on the board of directors for Musicians on Call and the TJ Martell Foundation.
About MAC Presents
MAC Presents is an award-winning sponsorship and fulfillment agency based in New York City that executes partnerships between the world’s leading brands and artists. With expertise in the music industry, MAC creates authentic brand connections that produce unique experiences and ignite consumer passion.
Julia Shih, Director of Strategic Alliances at AMAX, in Fremont, California, USA, received the Gold Stevie® Award for Female Executive of the Year – Business Services in the 2012 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's premier awards for women executives, entrepreneurs, and the organizations they run. (July 24 is the early-bird deadline for the 2013 awards. If you haven't already done so, you can request an entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away.) Here we look at how Julia is changing tech branding.
Julia Shih has been described as part drill sergeant, part cruise director, and all heart. As Director of Strategic Alliances at AMAX, her passion for the company’s growth and well-being is contagious. She is a strong believer in a healthy work/play balance, a management that truly cares, and a system that focuses on each person’s potential instead of fixed roles. This encourages AMAX team members to feel that they are truly a part of something. Julia is a visionary leader who brings out her team’s highest potential and who allows them to showcase their unique personalities. She makes it easy for people to get behind her for a common goal.
On winning the Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year in 2012, Julia responded with her now-infamous PHAT-Data™ rap, celebrating the PHAT-Data™ Hadoop Cluster line (winner of a Gold Stevie for Product of the Year in The 2012 International Business Awards), which you can listen to at: http://www.amax.com/download/PHAT_Data_rap.mov
The core business of AMAX has always been OEM Server Manufacturing, so its brand has always been hidden behind that of customers such as McAfee, Riverbed, Cisco—some of the best-recognized names in the industry. As a result, most people had never heard of AMAX, despite it being an award-winning x86 hardware manufacturer with 30 years in the industry.
When Julia Shih joined AMAX in 2010 she was given the challenging task of being the key handler of the AMAX brand. Her objective was not only to develop and market the new AMAX-branded product lines of servers, storage, and big data solutions to industries, but also to have AMAX’s name stand out amongst household Tier 1 competitors such as Dell, HP, and IBM.
The key was to create memorable marketing initiatives that served a very focused purpose: to get AMAX’s name out there and to generate revenue through viral campaigns that would create brand recognition, core-competency/product recognition, and ultimately brand appreciation for one of the industry’s best-kept secrets.
Some of Julia’s most creative initiatives were guerrilla campaigns, including Project Captive Audience at the 2012 RSA conference and trade show. Free chair massages were offered to attendees, who were also offered iPads loaded with a (relaxing) AMAX product presentation streamed for customers wearing noise-canceling earphones. Feedback from attendees was that this was “genius,” and many attendees commented that they consequently “knew more about AMAX than any other company at the show.”
Other initiatives included passing out pints of beer—with the catchphrase: "That's a SWEET Rack!"—in exchange for seeing product demos to promote AMAX's rack server solutions; and a Big Data Haiku contest which raised Facebook likes by over 1100% in a matter of weeks. The press release alone received 900 views within the first 12 hours, went viral on social media, and was picked up by bloggers the next day.
Perhaps one of Julia’s most successful initiatives was the creation of Ballapalooza, an industry basketball tournament benefiting Autism Speaks. The tournament brought key members of the tech industry together in a one-of-a-kind networking event. Working on the theory that those who play together are more likely to do business together, the tournament’s format placed players on teams according to both skill level and professional fit. The event not only generated a surprising amount for the charity: it also increased business, deepened relationships, and allowed employees within the same companies to bond and to improve work relationships.
Doing More with Less
Julia does more with a small marketing budget than most companies that spend millions. Her marketing philosophy is based on common sense. When asked about her core approach to marketing strategy, Julia says: “You don't need to spend millions if you truly understand your brand, your audience, and how to connect the two in a compelling story.”
Julia’s strategic campaigns for product launches—including the PHAT Data Hadoop Cluster—increased total sales inquiries by over 640% and led to an increased company revenue of $26 million in 2011, most of which was from AMAX-branded solutions.
About Julia Shih:
Julia Shih has always thought outside of the box. She started her career in the film industry, and so brings a refreshing, dynamic, and creative perspective to the work she is now doing in the tech industry. As AMAX’s Director of Strategic Alliance, Julia is the key handler of AMAX’s brand as it touches sales, marketing, and client/vendor partnerships. She utilizes a Hollywood deal-making mentality to build symbiotic relationships with leading technology partners to build AMAX’s brand as a global technology leader. By targeting breakout technologies and products in the datacenter, Big Data, and high performance arenas, Julia is bringing cutting-edge solutions to market.
Founded in 1979, AMAX specializes in engineering and manufacturing advanced Cluster, Server, and Storage Solutions. Headquartered in Fremont, California, AMAX globally operates ISO:9001/14001/ TL9000 certified and UL approved facilities throughout North America and China to service the US, Canadian, LTAM, APAC, and EMEA regions. AMAX's expertise drives two key divisions that deliver customized computing solutions to a wide range of industries: AMAX's Appliance Manufacturing Division provides efficient and top-of-the-line manufacturing solutions and global logistics to OEM customers, while its Enterprise & High Performance Computing Division provides innovative and scalable cluster, server, and storage products developed for HPC, Cloud, Virtualization, and Big Data applications.
Carmen Yazejian is President of Network9, a Web design firm in New York City, and Chair of the Committee for Final Judging of the marketing awards categories in The 2013 (11th Annual) American Business Awards, the top business awards in the United States. (April 24 is the last day that late entries will be accepted with payment of a late fee per entry. If you haven't already done so, you can request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away.)
As the president of Network9, you regularly post on your own blog. What advice do you have for businesses on beefing up their own social media?
Be proud of who you are, and know that you have something unique to contribute. Present a point of view only you can express, be entertaining, and have fun!
What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
I only read good news. It helps keep me positive and have continued faith in the good in people.
What is your favorite business app?
I have Zite on my iPad. It gets smarter about what I like to read, and does the legwork for me. I get to read a ton of great articles all in one place.
If you were to meet young people starting out in Web design, what career advice would you give them?
Learn your craft well: Know the technology and study good examples. Intern or work with a good studio. Always remember you are in service to your client, and place their success above all. Be respectful, read between the lines, communicate clearly and often, and be honest. Always give clients what they ask for, but go a step further and give them what they don’t always know they need.
As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
I enjoy working on new and diverse projects with challenging goals, being on the hunt for new technologies, and solving at least one problem each day. Sharing new ideas with brilliant people keeps everything fresh.
About Carmen Yazejian:
“Design is just problem-solving and communication,” says Network9 President Carmen Yazejian. Raised in a close-knit community of multigenerational families—a model echoed in Network9’s Manhattan studio—she studied fashion design and co-founded two companies: Harrow Clothiers, a line of English school blazers that graced Saks Fifth Avenue’s windows; and Pirelli Bags, artist portfolios made of rubber that rocked the art supply market. One marriage and two kids later, she retooled her brain to think digital, fell in love with the Web, and founded Network9 in 2005. It is now one of the fastest-growing agencies in the country.
Network9 is a New York-based Web design firm at the cutting-edge intersection of traditional marketing and online communication. Founded in 2005 by former fashion designer Carmen Yazejian, its customer-centric approach brings clients of all sizes a highly talented team with individual expertise in brand development, web and graphic design, search engine optimization (SEO), copywriting, print work, and more.
Thai Life Insurance Plc., in Bangkok, Thailand, received the Gold Stevie® Award for Consumer Advertising Campaign of the Year in the marketing awards categories of The 2012 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition. (10 April is the early-bird entry deadline for the 2013 IBAs, take advantage of discounted entry fees for those entries submitted by 10 April, request your entry kit here. Interested in similar business award categories? The Stevie Awards now manage the IPRA Golden World Awards, which will be accepting entries through 20 May.) We look at how Thai Life’s ad campaign touched the hearts of millions.
Population statistics from a 2010 survey found that Thailand's population composition has changed significantly over the last 10 years. Thai society is aging and the 0-14 age group has proportionately decreased compared to seniors aged 60 years and up. This trend is a consequence of the decline in Thailand’s birthrate and the fact that Thais are living longer, higher-quality lives.
Because of this, many life insurance companies in Thailand have shifted their focus in order to communicate with seniors and to create customized insurance products for them.
A Different Approach
While also providing insurance products for seniors, Thai Life chose a different approach to their competitors: they focused on employed adults and their duty to their elderly parents.
Working with Ogilvy & Mather Thailand, Thai Life created an advertising campaign that communicated the message to working adults that purchasing life insurance for their parents would be a way for them to repay the kindness that their elderly parents had showed to them.
This strategy has been a powerful one. Today’s employed adults devote ever larger amounts of their life to work, leaving less time for expressing their love for their families and parents. The reality of modern life in Thailand has meant that long-standing traditions of parental care and family relationships are now crumbling.
This trend has adversely affected Thai Life’s core business. The family unit is the main source of business for the company, with most people purchasing life insurance as a source of security for the family.
Thai Life insurance decided to use the issues of gratitude, and of faithfully repaying a parent’s kindness, as a way of getting through to their target audience. Thai Life’s advertising campaign helped its customers to appreciate the value of taking care of their parents’ well being.
The Value of Life
Thai Life took an emotional approach. They used the story of a single deaf-mute father desperately trying to bring up a troubled teenage daughter. The climax of the story proved how, in the end, money or material possessions are not means to regain a daughter’s love: it’s the way the father proves his love towards her. The message stimulates the audience into thinking about the value of life (the insurance moment) and to get people to take action by “taking care of those who take care of you.”
When the “Silence of Love” campaign was uploaded to YouTube it received over a million views in the first week. It also received over 730,000 shares on Facebook. The campaign generated 7,153 phone inquiries during August-September 2011 resulting in over 1,154 new policies, with a premium value of approximately US $303,125, being sold by telesales during that same period. Additionally, over 962 new policies with a premium value of approximately US $2,758,900 were sold during the period July-December 2011 via sales agents.
The Thai Life “Silence of Love” campaign has received a number of awards, including Best TV Campaign over 90 seconds, Best Director, and Best Copywriting from the 2011 Bangkok Art Directors’ awards show, and a Bronze Award in the Corporate Image category from the 2011 Spikes Asia Awards. Additionally, “Silence of Love” was named Top Talk-About Advertisement in the 2012 Mthai Top Talk-About Awards, organized by www.mthai.com.
About Thai Life Insurance Plc:
Thai Life Insurance Plc. is proud to be a leader in providing unique products and services. It's the first Thai-owned insurance to support Thai people by offering products that meet the client needs. This is confirmed by the company’s mission to be "More Than Just Life Insurance."
Slack and Company, an integrated marketing communications agency in Chicago, Illinois, USA, was named Marketing Agency of the Year in the 2012 Best of the ABA Awards as part of The American Business Awards, the premier business awards competition in the USA. Introduced in 2012, the Best of the ABA Awards are five best-of-competition prizes that are awarded to the organizations that submit the best body of work to the competition, in their own name or in the names of one or more clients. Here is Slack and Company's award-winning submission for Business-to-Business Advertising Campaign of the Year, submitted in the marketing awards categories of The 2012 American Business Awards. (The entry deadline for the 2013 ABAs is March 27, request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away.)
To keep its lead in the paper shredder market, Fellowes needed to:
- Achieve more brand visibility;
- Drive home the differences between its shredders and the competition; and
- Generate more traffic for channel-partner stores and websites.
An integrated program was created featuring the iconic bulldog mascot, who sets up messages that emphasize the core performance advantages of Fellowes’ lineup of tough and reliable shredders.
The “Bred to Shred” campaign was developed to build awareness and drive action using a mix of media including television and radio, targeted print, airport dioramas, and mobile/online ads supported by strategic search engine optimization and search engine marketing (SEO/SEM).
Although primarily a North American campaign, the television, print, and digital advertising was transcreated and went on to run throughout Europe.
The program has strengthened Fellowes’ best-in-breed reputation for reliable, jam-free shredding—and sparked demonstrable buyer interest. In its first seven weeks, the campaign was responsible for a significant traffic uptick at retail-partner websites and boosted visits to the Fellowes site by more than 13%. Total click-through rates from online media averaged 1.06%, sending hundreds of thousands of new shredder shoppers to retail-partner websites.
“With creative magic and strategic, integrated thinking from Slack, we've been better able grow our brand visibility, delight our channel partners, and protect our market leadership,” said Maureen Moore, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Fellowes.
"The Slack and Company team is grateful for this recognition from our peers in the business world,” said Ron Klingensmith, Chief Creative Officer at Slack and Company. “It shows just how powerful a tool integrated marketing can be in regional, national, and international markets."
About Ron Klingensmith:
Ron Klingensmith is Chief Creative Officer of Slack and Company, and has worked with the company for 20 years. Ron's strategically driven creative work has earned awards (Tower, Pro-Comm, CEBA) for countless clients. Not only that, he has mentored scores of seasoned creatives, who can be found working throughout Chicago’s ad community.
Before joining Slack and Company, Ron spent nearly a decade at consumer agencies, including a five-year stint at J. Walter Thompson. This consumer sensibility, combined with Ron's love for strategy, is a major reason why Slack and Company’s creative product is so people-friendly, while still driving measurable results.
About Slack and Company:
Slack and Company is an integrated marketing communications agency that works exclusively with business marketers to build strong brands and create profitable demand. Founded in 1988 and based in Chicago, Slack and Company now has additional offices in Singapore and Sweden. In addition to being honored in the ABAs, Slack and Company was also named Marketing Agency of the Year in the 2012 Best of the IBA Awards as part of The International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition.
Fellowes’ mission is to provide innovative workspace solutions to help people work more securely, comfortably, and productively. Founded in 1917 by Harry Fellowes and headquartered in Itasca, Illinois, Fellowes, Inc. employs more than 1,200 people throughout the world and has operations in sixteen countries. Fellowes products are now readily available in over 100 countries across the globe.
Fellowes, Inc. is the global leader in paper shredder design and engineering, providing the highest quality personal and general office business shredders on the market. Known as the “World’s Toughest Shredders™”, the company is notable for inventing the personal shredder and as being the only one to offer 100 percent Jam Proof technology.
New York-based MediaCom won the Gold Stevie® Award for Mobile Marketing Campaign of the Year in the marketing awards categories of The 2012 American Business Awards, the premier business awards competition in the U.S.A. (The entry deadline for the 2013 ABAs is March 27, request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away.) Now that the dust of Super Bowl XLVII has settled, we look behind the scenes at how the innovative technology achieved maximum ROI for a Super Bowl XLVI ad.
In 2011, Volkswagen’s “Mini Vader” TV spot was the must-see commercial of the Super Bowl. It was strong enough that MediaCom seeded it online way ahead of game day. Momentum was built up through mobile, search, and social media; and MediaCom was able to capture data that was vital for the targeted remarketing that turned the buzz surrounding the spot into sales floor action. This momentum turned the spot about an adorable kid in a Darth Vader costume into real call-to-action messages.
In 2012, imitation proved to be the sincerest form of flattery for MediaCom when the majority of Super Bowl advertisers copied their strategy—but MediaCom was able to do even better.
The challenge for MediaCom was to provide mobile and tablet support for the VW Super Bowl campaign, “Dog Strikes Back,” that would run before, during, and after game day. MediaCom developed an aggressive mobile search campaign around VW’s Super Bowl spot to not only match the blockbuster results from 2011, but also exceed them.
The campaign included:
- Mobile search
- Contextual search, and
- Voice search
Here’s a snapshot of how MediaCom’s campaign worked:
1. Teaser Video
The campaign started well ahead of the Super Bowl, lending support around a teaser video. Rather than directing people to YouTube, all these efforts drove them directly to VW’s mobile-optimized website, providing an enhanced viewing experience on a mobile device or tablet.
2. Increased Search Traffic Through Paid Channels
Next, MediaCom continued to spread interest and increase traffic via major paid channels, including Google, Bing, Marchex Voice, and Kontera. MediaCom secured terms that were both specific to VW and more general to the Super Bowl. The MediaCom team also worked with ad networks like Kontera to secure in-text terms like “Super Bowl,” “vehicle,” and “new car”, effectively blocking the competition from these terms.
While MediaCom aggressively beat out competitors’ search terms, the real challenge came in defending VW’s own. Not only did other automobile brands bid on VW terms, but so did brands like Sketchers, Old Spice, and Doritos. MediaCom constantly monitored in real-time and adapted relevant keywords and ad copy to defend against competition at all stages of the campaign.
3. Voice Search
MediaCom knew that during the game people would be especially active on their phones and mobile devices – texting, Tweeting, and searching – so the team ramped up its efforts on Super Bowl Sunday. MediaCom was one of the first Super Bowl advertisers to use voice search. Consumers searching for related terms were greeted with an audio version of the VW Super Bowl ad and the opportunity to learn more about VW.
4. Free Skype Calls for Pizza
It’s a well-known fact that many people order food during the Super Bowl—especially pizza. MediaCom secured “pizza”-related terms, with VW sponsoring free Skype calls from consumers to pizzerias.
By providing consumers with an easy mobile search experience, MediaCom drove phenomenal results:
- 31.9% of YouTube commercial viewings came from mobile traffic
- Clicks increased 14% from 2011 to 2012
- Impressions increased 80% from 2011 to 2012
- A 1,745% lift in clicks on game day versus pre-launch
- Over 700,000 callers heard the VW voice ad on Super Bowl day
Most importantly, VW saw its sales soar 42% year-over-year in February, the carmaker’s best February for sales since 1973.
"The mobile media work we've done for VW shows how businesses can harness the power of new media to push sales to new heights,” commented Ryan Mocan, Digital Media Director at MediaCom. “Being acknowledged as Best Mobile Marketing Campaign in The American Business Awards shows that the business community is equally aware of this."
About Ryan Mocan:
Ryan Mocan is the Digital Media Director at MediaCom. He crafts strategies to lead and strengthen his clients business while developing POVs, providing thought leadership, and driving innovation. He also ensures that companies target the right audience to drive qualified traffic to their website, and increase their online ROI with digital strategies including SEM, SEO, social media, local search optimization, mobile, display, and web analytics.
Mocan’s work has been widely recognized throughout the industry and has received numerous accolades, including an OMMA Award; two IAB MIXX Awards; a Direct Marketing Association ECHO Award; an Adrian Award; a ClickZ Connected Marketing Award; and seven American Business Awards. Mocan has twelve years of online marketing experience and holds a double MBA in online marketing and management information systems.
Part of the WPP Group, MediaCom is one of the largest media planning and buying agencies in the world. Billing nearly $25 billion USD a year globally, MediaCom boasts over 4,500 employees across 89 countries and in 111 offices. MediaCom provides clients with business-building media communications strategies for some of the world’s biggest and best-known global brand names.
Janine Popick, CEO and Founder of VerticalResponse in San Francisco, California, USA, has won multiple Stevie® Awards, most recently for Executive of the Year in Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations in the management awards categories of The 2012 American Business Awards, the premier business awards competition in the U.S.A. (The entry deadline for the 2013 ABAs is March 27, request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away.)
Now that the novelty of a new year has come and gone, you may have slipped into some old bad habits with your email marketing. Today, I’m going to share 8 things that will spice up your email marketing in 2013.
- Facebook—More Than Status Updates: You have got a Facebook page, right? Well, it’s super easy to set up an email address sign-up form on your Facebook page, and nearly every email marketing service provider has instructions for this. Plus, while you’re driving people to check out your Facebook page, give them a reason—like a sale—for supplying you with their email address.
- Email + Social Media = Power Couple: Email and social media need to be thought of as a great team, like Jay-Z and Beyonce. If you utilize one and not the other, you could be missing out on some killer traffic back to your website or blog. Include social media icons linking to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest sites in all your emails and newsletters. These give your readers another way to engage and connect with your business. Want even more engagement? Share your emails on your social networks each time you send one.
- Start at the Top with Pre-header: We’ve all read a million times that your subject line is one of the most important parts of your email. But, the pre-header (i.e., the first line of text above the body of your email) serves as a wingman, or secondary subject line. It shows up in the mobile version of your email, and provides more content, which can get more people opening your emails. Use a pre-header regularly and see how it impacts your open rate.
- Kick Dull to the Curb: If your subject lines are a snooze-fest, then using a pre-header won’t help. If you’re sending out a monthly newsletter and your subject line is “February 2013 Newsletter,” you can certainly do better. Read the content of your newsletter. What’s the most interesting thing that stands out? What do you think would make someone stop, read, and click-through to your website? Craft your subject line using that info. No more dull subject lines. Ever.
- ALT Text Has Got It Going On: Follow my advice from Kick Dull to the Curb and add some zing. ALT text is the copy you place “behind” an image (instead of the default tag) that displays if your recipient’s email browser turns images off by default. For example, instead of leaving your image’s super-exciting default tag of “dogfood3.JPG,” you could write: “Get 25% off all dog food until 3/31/13!” This will give your readers more context if their images are turned off, and prompt them to enable images to get the scoop.
- Target Practice: It’s time to do more with less. Take portions of your audience based on what they’re doing (or not doing) and send them a message that means something to them. Here’s an example: Got a winery? I bet you know who bought Pinot Noir in the last 6 months. Send an exclusive offer to your Pinot fans and see if you get better results than just sending it to everyone on your list. Give ‘em a killer deal to try a new varietal at a steep discount.
- How Often Do You Do It? Have you been sending monthly or weekly emails, at the same time, every time? Time to shake it up! Try to mail more often, or maybe less. It’s simple and easy to test: Just take a portion of your list (say 20% for trial purposes) and send two newsletters a month instead of one. See if you get a lift in opens and clicks, or a decrease in unsubscribes.
- Content Rules the Roost: You know your business inside and out, and everything that makes it interesting and unique, so share this in your emails, on your blog, everywhere. And use your content to your advantage. You can take blog posts you’ve created with a common theme and turn them into a helpful guide, or take a few guides you’ve written and turn them into an eBook. At VerticalResponse we do a number of webinars with a common theme, like Facebook, then send out a bundle of them to our prospects. By providing useful information, we help potential customers; and when it's time to look for an email and social media provider, we hope they’ll remember us.
By getting back to the basics with these 8 Email Marketing tips you can succeed with your subscribers, prospects, and customers in 2013 and beyond.
Did you enjoy this post? If so, sign up for the free VR Buzz weekly newsletter and check out the VerticalResponse Marketing Blog.
About Janine Popick:
Janine Popick is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse, a leading provider of self-service email, social media, event marketing, online surveys, and direct mail solutions for businesses and non-profits. She has won the Stevie Award for Best Entrepreneur in the Stevie Awards for Women in Business every year since 2008. Janine recently won the U.S. Small Business Administration award for Small Business Person of the Year and was named a 2012 Small Biz Influencer Champion by Small Biz Trends. Janine brings over 20 years of experience leading direct and Internet marketing programs for some of the biggest brands in technology and entertainment. Follow her on Twitter at @janinepopick.
VerticalResponse Inc. provides a full suite of self-service marketing solutions for small businesses, including email marketing, social media marketing, event marketing, online surveys, and direct-mail marketing. Its mission is to empower small businesses and non-profit organizations to easily and affordably create, manage, and analyze their own marketing campaigns. Users can benefit from a wide variety of features via a single dashboard, including more than 700 free email-marketing templates; social media management tools to create, schedule, and publish content, and engage with followers; and robust reporting so that they can understand overall marketing success. VerticalResponse is headquartered in San Francisco, California. For more information visit www.verticalresponse.com.
As the final entry deadline for the 2013 Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals, approaches on January 15, 2013, we wanted to highlight three marketing awards that should be of interest. (If you haven't yet done so, you can begin your submission process by requesting an entry kit here. The entry kit contains all of the instructions you need about how to prepare and submit your entries.)
The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service feature more than 125 sales awards, customer service awards, and call center awards categories honoring sales excellence and best customer service practices for individuals, teams, and departments, plus categories this year for products and service and solution providers. The 2013 awards will recognize achievements since July 1, 2011.
Three categories in particular that should be of interest to marketing professionals include:
- Outbound Marketing Program of the Year
Recognizing marketing programs that use advertising, promotions, public relations and sales.
- Inbound Marketing Program of the Year
Recognizing marketing programs that rely on content generation, lead development, and prospect cultivation.
- Demand Generation Program of the Year
Recognizing sales organizations (and their colleagues in marketing) for their demand generation programs.
Entries in these categories require an essay of up to 525 words describing the nominee’s achievements since July 1, 2011; links to any online materials that support the nomination; and a brief (125 word) biography of the nominee.
2012 Gold Stevie Award winners include Nationwide Financial (Demand Generation Program of the Year), CenturyLink (Outbound Marketing Program of the Year), and Monitronics International (Inbound Marketing Program of the Year), among others. A complete list of 2012 honorees is available at www.StevieAwards.com/Sales.
Winners of the 2013 edition will be announced at an awards banquet at Paris Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, on February 25, 2013.
Don't hesitate to contact us with any questions regarding the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at + 1 703-547-8389 and we'll get back to you right away.