Marketing Awards Blog

How a Stevie Awards Winner's Integrated Marketing Campaign Increased Global Sales

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Mar 04, 2013 @ 05:17 PM

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.)

Marketing Challenge
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.

Communications Strategy
Ron Klingensmith, Chief Creative Officer, Slack and CompanyAn 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.

Outstanding Results
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.  

About Fellowes:
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.

Tags: marketing awards, International business awards, American business awards, Best of the ABAs, Slack and Company, Ron Klingensmith, Fellowes, Best of the IBAs, marketing campaign

4 Ways Stevie Awards Winner Used Mobile Marketing to Increase Sales

Posted by Liz Dean on Fri, Feb 22, 2013 @ 11:44 AM

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. Ryan Mocan, MediaCom

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
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.

Phenomenal Results
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. 

About MediaCom:
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.

Tags: marketing awards, American business awards, innovative technology, Ryan Mocan, Tablet Marketing, MediaCom, Mobile Marketing

8 Tips to Spice Up Your Email Marketing, From a Multi-Stevie® Awards Winner

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Feb 07, 2013 @ 11:54 AM

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.)

Janine Popick, CEO, VerticalResponseNow 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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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. 
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

About VerticalResponse:
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.

Tags: Email Marketing, Janine Popick, business awards, American business awards, stevie awards, management awards, VerticalResponse

3 Ways to Win Marketing Awards in 2013 Sales & Customer Service Awards

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Dec 27, 2012 @ 02:30 PM

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 ServiceThe 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:

  1. Outbound Marketing Program of the Year
    Recognizing marketing programs that use advertising, promotions, public relations and sales.
  2. Inbound Marketing Program of the Year
    Recognizing marketing programs that rely on content generation, lead development, and prospect cultivation.
  3. 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 help@stevieawards.com or call us at + 1 703-547-8389 and we'll get back to you right away.

Tags: sales excellence, best customer service, customer service awards, marketing awards, call center awards, sales achievement, best marketing, marketing award

Two Techniques for Securing Target Accounts, From a Stevie Awards Winner

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Dec 05, 2012 @ 12:49 PM

Babcock & Jenkins of Portland, Oregon, USA, won the Stevie® Award for Outbound Marketing Program of the Year in the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, the world's top business awards for contact center, customer service, business development, and sales professionals. (The final entry deadline for the 2013 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service is January 15. If you haven't already done so, you can request your entry kit here and it will be emailed to you right away.) Here we look at how they helped their client, CenturyLink, break through the clutter with a targeted mailer.

Denise Barnes, President of Babcock & JenkinsCenturyLink, the third largest telecommunications company in the United States, needed to expand its market share by connecting with senior technology executives at top-tier companies. CenuryLink faced many challenges including:

  • Many of the targeted companies were in markets where CenturyLink had little or no brand recognition.
  • The audience was a difficult one to connect with: Skeptical, no-nonsense, discerning, and busy. About the last thing they had time for was a marketing message.
  • The executive-level decision-makers that CenturyLink needed to reach were not going to give them the time of day unless CenturyLink could somehow break through to them with something that would not only grab their attention, but also deliver relevant, valuable information.

Collaborating closely with the sales and marketing teams at CenturyLink, marketing awards winner, Babcock & Jenkins developed a pilot campaign with the following objectives:

  1. To drive engagement with targeted prospects, and
  2. To deliver qualified leads that result in sales meetings.

Breaking Through the Clutter

CenturyLink Targeted Account Program (TAP) mailer achieved its objectives through two main techniques:

  1. The strategy was to make every interaction personal and truly relevant. Each prospect received a high-end architectural tube in the mail with a customized network map showing what CenturyLink could do to connect their specific locations and improve network efficiency.

    The mailer broke through the clutter with impressive, blueprint-sized, customized-network diagrams that the CenturyLink sales engineers were developing to help close contracts. These diagrams not only showed specifically how CenturyLink could address a prospect’s unique network challenges, but also how committed the telecommunications company was to providing great, personalized service.

  2. A hand-written sticky note on the network diagram pointed to a personalized micro site, accessed via a personalized URL, where the recipient of the mailer could drill down into a 40-page recommendation specific to his or her company. The site featured a welcome video from CenturyLink’s CTO. The site also enabled prospects to see who their Account Manager would be and how to contact them.

    Tracking on the site enabled passive profiling, giving sales insight into the prospect’s interaction with the web pages. A sales alert notified reps when their target responded to the site. For non-responders, a series of coordinated direct mail, email, and phone touches reminded them to go online and view their proposal.

Whopping ROI

The campaign achieved the following results:

  1. Engagement
    63% of the targeted accounts (19 of 53) started a dialogue with
    sales.
  2. Pipeline
    26% of targets (11 of 53) were converted, meaning they were funneling revenue into the pipeline.
  3. ROI
    The company's ROI became a whopping 8: 1.
  4. Sales and Marketing Happiness
    A CenturyLink sales rep told us: “This is the best marketing program I’ve seen in my 15 years in this business.” (Yes, it’s a nice quote, but more importantly it shows that the CenturyLink sales team had bought into the marketing strategy 100%. That is critical to making a targeted accounts campaign successful.)

Babcock & Jenkins went on to roll out the CenturyLink TAP mailer to targeted accounts in other regions and with select partners. The B2B marketer is also planning to scale the program to a larger number of accounts, and to extend it to customers for cross-sell and up-sell opportunities. Finally, there are plans to test and fine-tune the campaign with new tactics and touches.

Denise Barnes, President of Babcock & Jenkins, feels that this is the most exciting time for the marketing industry in the last 50 years.  On winning the Stevie Award, Denise commented: "The aim of our agency is to make heroes of our clients, and winning the Stevie Award for Outbound Marketing Program of the Year was the best accolade possible for CenturyLink's highly successful TAP mailer.  This recognition is made even more rewarding by the knowledge that the Stevie Awards are judged by sales and customer service professionals in a wide range of industries."

About Denise Barnes
As President of Babcock & Jenkins (BNJ), Denise oversees all aspects of the agency, including strategic planning and day-to-day operations. She joined BNJ in 1998 and is responsible for the groundwork that has enabled the company’s success. With more than 25 years marketing experience, her previous successes include launching more than 20 commercial web sites, including Billboard®, LIFE® Magazine, Sports Illustrated®, and DrRuth.com. She also helped the emerging start-up E-Machines to grow from ground to $50 million within five years. 

About Babcock & Jenkins:
Babcock & Jenkins delivers authentic, unique, relevant stories on behalf of its clients in order to build brand, drive demand, and accelerate pipeline. Babcock & Jenkins engages audiences in meaningful conversations to form and preserve lasting, profitable relationships. For more information go to: http://www.bnj.com/.

About Century Link
Century Link is the third largest telecommunications company in the United States and is recognized as a leader in the network services market by technology industry analyst firms. The company is a global leader in cloud infrastructure and hosted IT solutions for enterprise customers. Century Link provides data, voice and managed services in local, national and select international markets through its high-quality advanced fiber optic network and multiple data centers for businesses and consumers. The company also offers advanced entertainment services under the CenturyLinkTM PrismTM TV and DIRECTV brands. Headquartered in Monroe, La., CenturyLink is an S&P 500 company and is included among the Fortune 500 list of America's largest corporations. For more information, visit www.centurylink.com.

Tags: business awards, marketing awards, Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, Babcock & Jenkins, Outbound Marketing Program of the Year, CenturyLink, Denise Barnes

50 Ways to Win Marketing Awards in The 2013 American Business Awards

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 @ 03:29 PM

There are 50 marketing awards categories in The 2013 American Business Awards, the premier business awards competition in the U.S.A., to help you highlight your marketing successes. (Wednesday, December 12, is the second early-bird entry deadline for the 2013 ABAs, request your entry kit here  and you'll receive it right away.)

Our Marketing Campaign of the Year Categories for Industries include:

  • AccountingThe American Business Awards
  • Advertising, Marketing, & Public Relations
  • Aerospace & Defense
  • Automotive & Transport Equipment
  • Banking
  • Business Services
  • Chemicals
  • Computer Hardware
  • Computer Software
  • Computer Services
  • Conglomerates
  • Consumer Products - Durables
  • Consumer Products - Non-Durables
  • Diversified Services
  • Electronics
  • Energy
  • Financial Services
  • Food & Beverage
  • Health Products & Services
  • Hospitality & Leisure
  • Internet/New Media
  • Insurance
  • Legal
  • Manufacturing
  • Materials & Construction
  • Media & Entertainment
  • Metals & Mining
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Real Estate
  • Retail
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

Our Marketing Campaign of the Year - Specialty Categories include:

  • Brand Experience of the Year (New category for 2013)
  •  Business-to-Business Advertising Campaign of the Year
  • Business-to-Business Marketing Campaign of the Year
  • Consumer Advertising Campaign of the Year
  • Consumer Marketing Campaign of the Year
  • Mobile Marketing Campaign of the Year
  • Online Marketing Campaign of the Year
  • New Product or Service Introduction of the Year (New category for 2013)
  • Retail/Merchandising Marketing Campaign of the Year
  • Small-Budget Marketing Campaign of the Year (<$3 million)
  • Viral Marketing Campaign of the Year

Our Marketing Professional Categories include:

  • Marketing or Advertising Agency of the Year
  • Marketing Department of the Year
  • Marketing Team of the Year
  • Marketing Executive of the Year
  • Marketer of the Year (for non-executive marketing professionals)

If you can't make the December 12, 2012 deadline, March 27, 2013 is the entry deadline and April 24, 2013 is the last day that late entries will be accepted with payment of a late fee. Finalists will be announced on May 8, 2013. Entry details are available at www.StevieAwards.com/ABA

Looking for more ways to showcase your organization? There are a number of other ABA categories that should be of interest to communications professionals, including many of the corporate literature awards, annual report awards, website awards, video awards, and live event awards categories.

Tags: communications awards, business awards, website awards, corporate literature awards, marketing awards, annual report awards, marketing campaign of the year, marketing award

3 Tips on Marketing Abroad, From a Stevie Awards International Judge

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 @ 10:30 AM

Jin Mu Cho, Vice President of the Korea Business Communicators Association and Chair of the new product awards and product management awards categories of the final judging committee for The 2012 International Business Awards shares insights on conducting business abroad. (Sign up here to receive information on how to enter The 2013 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition, opening in January.)

Jin Mu ChoAs someone at the top of the communications profession, what advice do you have for people marketing abroad?

  1. Surround yourself with motivated individuals. In PR and marketing it is important to be surrounded by creative individuals with original ideas.
  2. Meet with top professionals in the marketing industry, to observe how they work, and to learn their perspectives. 
  3. Find a mentor who is willing to share his or her experiences in the marketing industry.

What are your top tips for companies seeking to promote their products or services?
To promote anything successfully, a marketing campaign should have originality and also simplicity in order to make an impact.

What was the best advice you ever received at the beginning of your career?
Keep things simple; think ahead; and always strive to improve.

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
The lawsuit between Apple and Samsung over cellular phone patents was fascinating. Because the lawsuit attracted an enormous amount of media coverage it caught the public’s attention, and both companies were able to promote their technologies and brands.  As a result, it increased brand awareness throughout the world.

About Jin Mu Cho:
Jin Mu Cho has been Vice President of the Korea Business Communicators Association (KBCA) since 2006. From 1988 to 2011, Jin Mu worked at the advertising company Daehong Communications Inc., a division of the LOTTE Group, in Seoul, where he was Director of the Public Relations, Events, Marketing, and Administration Division.

Jin Mu is a regular consultant and lecturer on topics including marketing, PR, crisis management, and events for the education institutions of The Korea Economic Daily and The HankyoReh daily newspapers, and at Yonsei University and Korea University. He is also a public relations advisor to the Korean Government since becoming a member of the Presidential Committee on Social Cohesion in 2010, and he was a public relations member on the Korean Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission from 2010 to 2011.

Tags: marketing awards, International business awards, stevie awards, new product awards, product management awards, Korea Business Communicators Association, Jin Mu Cho

4 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Social Media, From an America Means Business Presenter

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Aug 27, 2012 @ 02:52 PM

Janine Popick, CEO and Founder of VerticalResponse in San Francisco, California, USA, has won multiple Stevie® Awards, most recently for Best Entrepreneur in the 2011 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Gold Stevie for Executive of the Year/Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations in The 2012 American Business Awards. (The entry deadline for the 2012 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's premier awards for women executives, entrepreneurs, and the organizations they run, is August 29. If you can't make the deadline, late entries will be accepted through September 28 with payment of a late fee. Request your entry kit today.) Janine recently spoke at America Means Business, a three day event for entrepreneurs, sponsored by the Stevie Awards. The following is an extract from that presentation: Janine Popick

As a business owner, the last thing you’re probably thinking about as you go through your day is posting to Facebook or tweeting on Twitter. I get it. I’ve been there. But getting started with social media is not that hard or intimidating—really! And if you are already using some form of email marketing, it’s even easier. Here are four tips on how to make the most of your already limited time and to make social media work to grow your business.

1. What to Publish
You’ve probably heard the phrase: Content is king. With social media, content is more important than ever. But who has all this content, and who has the time to create it?  Not me, you’re thinking.

Here’s a secret: You already have a ton of content that you can share with your fans and customers. Here are some fresh examples:

- Employee stories

- Photos and videos

- Guides, whitepapers, or notes

- Outside content (content you don’t own but can share)

- Questions and polls

- Great offers

- Events

- Press and awards

If you have a blog, this is where all your content should reside because a) you can post your content there and easily link to it in your social media posts, and b) a blog is ever-changing while your website is not. (If you don’t already have a blog yet, this is a key reason to start one.) A blog also gives you search engine optimization (SEO) benefits because search engines like Google love content. The more new content you have about a particular topic or category such as your industry, the more likely it is to appear on the results pages when someone is searching for those words.

The next step is to create a social media content calendar. It can be as simple as a monthly calendar that shows what you plan to post every day throughout the month. You'll want to leave room for spur-of-the-moment posts, of course, but having a plan will keep you organized and focused on the big picture. Don’t forget to designate who will be in charge of writing and/or posting them.

2. How to Increase Reach
The ultimate goal of being on social media is to increase your reach—i.e. the number of people who have the opportunity to be exposed to your company and message—and to increase engagement. There are multiple ways people can engage with you on social media, from someone answering a question, sharing your post or your tweet, or commenting on a post, to liking your Facebook post or Facebook page.

How do you encourage engagement? You can:

- Ask questions

- Share blog posts, events, company news, industry news, videos, and photos

- Thank your customers on their Facebook profiles or send them a tweet for mentioning your company or sharing your content (people love to be acknowledged!)

- Include calls to action with your content

- Use contests and giveaways to incentivize your followers

- Send solo email campaigns encouraging a follow or like (be sure to offer a bonus offer or flash discount)

Just remember: Your posts don’t have to be all about business, and they definitely shouldn’t just be about you. Tap in to your audience’s interests. You can share content about topics that are currently in the news, or a worthy cause, or just something fun. The goal is to catch your readers’ attention and get them to take an action.

3. Get it all to Work Together
Recent research by my marketing technology company VerticalResponse found that businesses that use both email and social media get a 28% higher open rate on their emails than those that don’t use both channels. Here are some easy ways to integrate email, blog content, and social media that will get more people to pay attention:

Blog:

- Add an email opt-in form to your blog.

- Repurpose blog posts as content for your email newsletters.

- Use email to help build a strong following for your blog.

Get that email address!

- Ask Facebook followers for their email address.

- Have a welcome tab on your Facebook page with a form asking for their email address.

- Tweet “sign up to receive email-only” offers, then link to an opt-in form.

Email and Social Media:

- Post your email to your Facebook page and Twitter feed.

- Include “like us on Facebook” and “follow us on Twitter” buttons in your emails. Most email service providers offer the option to include these.

- Send a solo email asking recipients to follow you on your social networks.

4. Keeping Track
Like any business plan or strategy, when it comes to social media it’s important to see what’s working, what isn’t, and to learn from what you’re doing. Fortunately there are a lot of free or low-cost tools out there. Google Analytics is a great, free tool that tells you how many people visit your website and what they like to click on. Facebook Insights is another free, easy-to-use tool that lets you see which posts are popular, how many people they reach, and other metrics. For Twitter, check out Twitter Counter or TweetDeck.

Social media should not take you away from running your business. Instead, put these timesaving ideas in to action and watch your business grow!

For the full American Means Business Days presentation, download it for free here.

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.

About VerticalResponse:
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

Tags: Social Media, Email Marketing, Janine Popick, VeritcalResponse, America Means Business, American business awards, stevie awards for women in business, stevie awards

9 Marketing Awards in the 2012 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Aug 08, 2012 @ 12:23 PM

The entry deadline for the 2012 Stevie® Awards for Women in Business is August 29, and we thought it would be helpful for communications professionals if we highlighted the many marketing awards categories available. (Don't fret if you can't make the entry deadline, entries for the 2012 Stevie Awards for Women in Business, the world's premier business awards for women executives, entrepreneurs, and the organizations they run, can still be submitted through the final entry deadline of September 28 with a late fee of $35.00; request your entry kit today.)

Stevie Awards for Women in BusinessOur marketing award categories for Marketing Campaign of the Year which recognizes excellence in marketing by or for women since July 1, 2011 include:

  1. Business-to-Business Advertising Campaign of the Year
  2. Business-to-Business Marketing Campaign of the Year
  3. Consumer Advertising Campaign of the Year
  4. Consumer Marketing Campaign of the Year
  5. Mobile Marketing Campaign of the Year
  6. Online Marketing Campaign of the Year
  7. Retail/Merchandising Marketing Campaign of the Year
  8. Small-Budget Marketing Campaign of the Year (<$3 million/€2 million)
  9. Viral Marketing Campaign of the Year

Entries in these categories require an essay of up to 500 words describing the nominated campaign: its genesis, development, planning, commission, and performance to date, a biography of the leader of the team that developed the campaign (up to 100 words), and optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges.

Other website awards, blog awards, app awards, and video awards that may be of interest include:

  • Website of the Year:
    Recognizing excellence in web sites created and maintained by or for women. There is no eligibility period requirement for this category - it doesn't matter when the site was first published.

  • Blog of the Year:
    Recognizing excellence in individual or company blogs created by or for women. There is no eligibility period requirement for this category - it doesn't matter when the blog was first published.

  • Smartphone or Tablet App of the Year:
    Recognizing excellence in smartphone and tablet apps produced by or for women. There is no eligibility period requirement for this category - it doesn't matter when the app was first published.

  • Video of the Year:
    Recognizing excellence in videos produced by or for women since July 1, 2011.

These categories only require an essay of up to 100 words describing the nominated work: its purpose and results to date, the nominated work itself, which you should upload to our server via the new uploading tool on our online entry form, and optionally, you can provide creative and production credits for the work, such as writers, creative directors, and programmers.

Not sure where to start? All entries are submitted directly online through your account. You can begin by registering here.

Tags: business awards, app awards, video awards, website awards, marketing awards, stevie awards for women in business, blog awards, marketing award

7 Tips on Building a Global Brand, From a Stevie Awards Judge

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Jun 28, 2012 @ 11:49 AM

Allyson Stewart-Allen is the Founder & Director of International Marketing Partners in London, United Kingdom, and a member of the committee for final judging of the management awards categories in The 2012 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition. (The final entry deadline for the 2012 IBAs has been extended to July 18. Get your entry kit today.) Here Allyson shares advice on ensuring brand success in the international arena.

Allyson Stewart-Allen Internationalization in a recession can be done—it just takes thorough planning and confidence. Instead of listening to the constant stream of headlines about brands that have failed overseas, let’s replace those with some success stories about the companies that have done it right, that have been methodical, that have adapted and made great profits.

Plan for Success
Research the structure of your target international markets and your competitors.  It is critically important that you know the potential challenges ahead.  Through your research, identify key editorial and press opportunities that can help you become known in your growth markets. 

Consider a tradeshow and arrange meetings in advance with potential buyers. 

Identify cities for growth that will attract your target clients/customers and focus on saturating those.  Focus is the name of the game.

Measure the Market:
If the USA is your target market for expansion, even if the “English” used seems to be the same language as that used in the U.K., it’s important to understand cultural differences.  Try our quiz: Are you ready to work with Americans?

Your expansion will be more likely to succeed if you’ve recognized which aspects of your brand travels well—we call it BrandTravel™—and can adapt to local markets when necessary.  You might want to consider hiring local marketing experts with on-the-ground knowledge.

Here are my top 7 tips to help ensure your brand will succeed in the international arena:

1. Manage “local” and “global”: Managing this dilemma well separates the winners from the mediocre. It is possible to obtain economies of scale while delivering local services or products, as global food and drink brands have learned so well. Zara is one of the few companies in the fashion world to have created ranges specifically for their southern hemisphere markets rather than just selling them past season’s wares from its northern stores.

2. Transfer knowledge: To ensure innovation and profit when opening stores in a new market it is important to transfer what’s been learned from the culture, consumer behaviors, and preferences in each market. Tesco’s Fresh & Easy small-store format in the United States had some costly merchandising hiccups at the start because of the company’s failure to apply the localization lessons gathered from similar expansions into Asian markets.

3. Be resilient: The ability to change processes and manage costs in turbulent economic climates is an essential skill for operations teams and retail business leaders. Some setbacks are to be expected as part of the process of aligning a business to local cultures and tastes.

4. Assume difference: Making assumptions about a target culture is a mistake, as Best Buy, Starbucks, Disneyland Paris, and many others have learned at great cost. Starbucks recently attempted to market its Trenta size (30 oz) drink in the UK—larger than a full bottle of wine­—and this was seen as an overly indulgent American “super-sized” product not fit for European tastes. Coach, however, brought only the US leather goods ranges it knew would appeal to customers at its recently opened Bond Street, London store, while leaving behind the “wristlet” (a small zip wallet with a carrying strap for the wrist) that is so successful in the U.S. market.

5. Innovate through insight: Involve consumers and supply-chain partners in identifying which new technologies, materials, designs, and services can change the business model. Crowdsourcing not only lowers the R&D costs, but also engages your target markets with the knock-on benefit that they will use social media to promote your foresight and engagement.

6. Build the brand: Most consumers are unfamiliar with soon-to-land-here trans-Atlantic brands. Seize this opportunity to (re) position the retailer in a new geography, as Abercrombie & Fitch has so successfully done in the UK. A blank canvas gives a retailer permission to seize a space it might not have been able to in its domestic market. Victoria’s Secret, the mass-market lingerie brand, will soon be launching in the UK and will have a great opportunity to position itself with new customer segments.

7. Assume success: Approach new markets intentionally, not just by licensing or franchising, but also by incorporating this approach as part of the long-term corporate strategy. Too often, expanding businesses treat international growth as a project rather than as a core part of their long-term evolution, choking the initiative of critically important capital and leadership resources. Confidence in an international foray—based, of course, on the thorough research and evidence that supports it—means it will be properly funded and given the management attention it deserves.

About Allyson Stewart-Allen:
Allyson Stewart-Allen, founder of International Marketing Partners, is an internationally recognized marketing advisor, author, speaker, and broadcaster who helps companies grow internationally by guiding them on localizing their brands, behavior, and businesses. An accomplished speaker, broadcaster, and author, Allyson is a frequent guest expert on CNN, CNBC, BBC, and Bloomberg, and Sky News hosted her four-year slot as “The Muse of Marketing.”  Allyson is a regular keynote speaker at business conferences and is a judge for The Stevie® Awards in the U.S. and the U.K.’s Women in Marketing Awards. Originally from Los Angeles, where she earned her MBA under the direct tutelage of Dr. Peter Drucker, Allyson has been based in Europe for more than 25 years and is the co-author of bestselling book Working With Americans.  She remains involved in the academic world via her work as an Associate Fellow at Said Business School, University of Oxford.

About International Marketing Partners:
Founded in 1991 by Allyson Stewart-Allen, International Marketing Partners Ltd. was born on the back of clients asking not only for general advice on how to grow the quality and number of customers in their home and international markets, but also specifically how to localize their products and services so they would be relevant and viable in those markets. Finding clients who were most interested in the know-how of its consulting team members meant the company could, in its early days, draw on the experience of recognized experts in Allyson’s network. International Marketing Partners today still uses this successful model: hand-selecting the right mix of consulting experience to match the goals, strategies, and culture of its clients’ businesses. For more information, visit www.intermarketingonline.com.

Tags: business awards, International business awards, stevie awards, management awards, Allyson Stewart-Allen, International Marketing Partners