Marketing Awards Blog

3 Tips for Winning Marketing Awards in The 2012 IBAs

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, May 09, 2012 @ 03:57 PM

16 May is the entry deadline for The 2012 International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition. If you haven't yet done so, you can request your entry kit here and you will receive it right away.  

To help make the most out of your marketing awards entries, we suggest the following tips:

1. Review the business awards categories.
There are several marketing award categories being celebrated at the 2012 IBAs including:

  • Marketing Department of the Year The Stevie Awards
  • Marketing Team of the Year
  • Marketing Executive of the Year
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year - Industry Categories
  • Marketing Campaign of the Year - Specialty Categories

There are a number of other IBA categories that should be of interest to marketing professionals, including many of the annual report awards and other literature categories, website awards categories, app awards categories, video awards categories, and live event awards categories.

2. Review the entry submission criteria.
Information to be submitted online for entries in these categories include:

  • An essay of up to 500 words describing the nominee's accomplishments since 1 January 2011
  • A biography of the nominee or the leader of the nominated company, department, or team of up to 100 words, and
  • Optional (but highly recommended), a collection of supporting files, work samples, and web addresses that you may upload to our server to support your entry and provide more background information to the judges.

3. Contact us.
If you have any questions about the 2012 IBAs, email us at help@stevieawards.com or call us at + 1 703-547-8389.

Entries submitted after 16 May, through the final entry deadline of 27 June, will be assessed a late fee in addition to any entry fee. Finalists will be announced in late July and 2012 honorees will be celebrated at the 9th annual awards banquet on Monday, 15 October in Seoul, South Korea.

Leave us a comment and let us know how our corporate awards categories will help you to highlight your organization's successes.

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

Top 4 Reasons to Submit Marketing Awards Entries in The 2012 ABAs

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Apr 25, 2012 @ 06:10 PM

Today is the final entry deadline for The 2012 (10th Annual) American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A. All ABA entries are submitted directly online through your account and the web site will be open all night to accept your entries. You can begin by registering here.The American Business Awards

We thought it would be helpful for marketing professionals if we highlighted the top four reasons to submit entries to the 2012 ABA marketing awards categories.  

  1. Impress potential clients.
    Your work will not only be reviewed and honored by peers and competitors, but also by potential clients.  Show off your organization's achievements in the 2012 ABAs.
  2. Global recognition and free publicity.   
    Gold Stevie® Award winners will have the opportunity to make a 30-second acceptance speech before an audience of 600+ executives from across the country during a nationally-broadcast awards ceremony that will also be streamed worldwide over the Internet.
  3. Earn industry status.
    Submitting ABA entries is a great way to benchmark your achievements against competitors in your industry.
  4. Low entry fees. 
    The publicity that comes with winning a Stevie Award is well worth the low entry fees.

Marketing award entries should include the following information:

  • An essay of up to 500 words describing the nominee's achievements since January 1 2011
  • A biography of the nominee or the leader of the nominated company, department or team of up to 100 words
  • 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

If you have questions regarding the submission process, we have several resources including a step-by-step video on how to submit entries, past winners' entries for your review, and  7 tips on submitting winning entries to help you make the most out of your entries. Don't hesitate to contact us with your questions about how to participate in The 2012 American Business Awards, email us at help@stevieawards.com or call us at + 1 703-547-8389.

2012 ABA Finalists will be announced mid-May and the 10th Annual award winners will be announced at our traditional banquet on June 18th at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. Click here to see the ABA calendar.

Looking for more communication awards? Our corporate literature awards, annual report awards, website awards, video awards, and live event awards categories have several opportunities that would be of interest to communications professionals.

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

4 Ways Marketing Awards Winner Successfully Launched New App Campaign

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Apr 16, 2012 @ 10:55 AM

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Durham, NC, USA won a Stevie® Award for Marketing Campaign of the Year in the marketing awards categories of The 2011 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A. (The final entry deadline for the 2012 ABAs is April 25, you can request an entry kit here and you will receive it right away.) Here we look at how Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) used emerging technology to help the lives of their customers.

Seeking innovative ways to reach their constituency, the marketing award winner developed HealthNAV, an application for the iPhone to help customers save time and money. Easily accessible, the app has several features, including:

    • BCBSNCAn Urgent Care Finder that locates the closest in-network urgent care center anywhere you are in North Carolina and then maps the way there, and
    • A Find-A-Drug feature that gives average pricing for formulary drugs, including cheaper generic options, to help users save money on medications.

BCBSNC used best marketing practices to run their HealthNAV campaign which encouraged customers to download the free app. Running between October 1 and December 31, 2010, the campaign focused on advertising that would connect with people on the go. The insurance company:

  1. Placed ads in North Carolina’s three major airports,
  2. Placed posters in a popular sports and entertainment arena,
  3. Aired a radio spot during local broadcasts, and
  4. Used online banner ads.

BCBSNC's use of innovative technology paid off; during the campaign period, the app was:

  • Downloaded 5,504 times,
  • Opened 8,186 times,
  • The Urgent Care function was accessed 6,483 times, and
  • Find-a-Drug was accessed 4,449 times.

Through the development of their HealthNAV app, BCBSNC successfully showed customers that the company is both tech-savvy and looks for ways to make health care less expensive and more convenient for customers.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina delivers innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.7 million members. For 76 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. To learn more, visit www.bcbsnc.com.

Tags: business awards, American business awards, innovative technology, emerging technology marketing awards, best marketing, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina

43 New Marketing Awards Categories in The 2012 International Business Awards

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Apr 05, 2012 @ 11:02 AM

We have added 43 new marketing awards categories to The 2012 International Business Awards to help marketing professionals highlight their successes. (The 2012 IBAs, the world's premiere business awards program, is now open for entries. Showcase your organization's best marketing practices and submit entries by the 11 April early-bird deadline for discounted entry fees. Don't worry if you can't make the 11 April early-bird deadline, the entry deadline is 16 May and we will continue to accept late entries through 27 June; request your entry kit here.)

Our marketing award categories for Marketing Campaign of the Year - Industry include:

  • Accounting
  • Advertising, Marketing, & Public Relations
  • Aerospace & Defense
  • Automotive & Transport Equipment
  • Banking
  • Business Services
  • Chemicals
  • Computer HardwareInternational Business Awards Logo
  • 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:

  • 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
  • Retail/Merchandising Marketing Campaign of the Year
  • Small-Budget Marketing Campaign of the Year (<$3 million / €5 million)
  • Viral Marketing Campaign of the Year

Our communication award categories include:

  • Marketing Department of the Year
  • Marketing Team of the Year
  • Marketing Executive of the Year

Want more communications awards? There are a number of other IBA categories that should be of interest to marketing professionals, including many of the annual report awards and other literature categories, website awards categories, app awards categories, video awards categories, and live event awards categories.

Tags: communications awards, business awards, live event awards, video awards, website awards, corporate literature awards, marketing awards, International business awards, communication award, annual report awards, marketing campaign of the year, best marketing, marketing award

3 Tips for Business-to-Business Marketing Success, From an American Business Awards Judge

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, Apr 05, 2012 @ 10:13 AM

Kirby Wadsworth, Vice President of Global Marketing for F5 Networks, is Chair of the final judging committee for the marketing awards categories of The 2012 American Business Awards. (The final entry deadline for 10th Annual ABAs, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A., is April 25; request your entry kit now.) Here Kirby shares best marketing tips for business-to-business marketing.

What are your top 3 tips on how to make your mark in business-to-business Kirby Wadsworthmarketing?

  1. Align marketing and sales efforts into one holistic effort
    Marketing must start a conversation that sales is ready and willing to carry to conclusion.  Success here requires alignment of targets, content, training, process, and compensation systems. Research proves that companies that focus on sales and marketing alignment outperform those that allow the two functions to operate orthogonally.
  1. Measurement is the basis for alignment
    Marketing operations should be your first investment. Fill this group with experts in data analysis who are fully up to speed on modern marketing automation systems. Don’t be afraid of what you find initially. Measurement allows you to find and fix leaks in the system, and you will find many ugly ones when you first start measuring.
  1. Make sure you have broad cross-functional agreement on key performance indicators (KPIs)
    Make sure everyone understands and agrees with the areas you are measuring and reporting, then stick to it and report transparently on a regular basis. It's important to keep educating internal audiences, especially in finance, sales, and executive offices, on the value marketing is bringing to the business, and to do it without “taking credit.” Uniquely, marketing is both a service organization and a leadership organization, but is rarely appreciated for its contributions to pipeline. 

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
The evolution in appreciation for Big Data and Business Intelligence—these areas are quickly becoming the hottest topics in a decade. I'm particularly fascinated by the potential for virtually every enterprise to leverage the power of Big Data to improve customer experience, create customized offers, and differentiate themselves.  In a lot of ways, Big Data feels like the Internet did back in the late 1990s: Lots of hype, but also massive underlying substance.

What is your favorite sport or hobby?
I use my time in airplanes and hotels to write. I'm 100,000 words into a paranormal novel that takes place in 1850s Nantucket.  It’s a lot of fun.

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
Bestselling author…

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
Honesty and a sense of humor.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
I get my motivation helping others learn and grow in our profession.  Teaching and coaching others forces me to really know my stuff—or at least stay one step ahead of my employees and students.  They push pretty hard, and keep me on my toes. My best day is the day I can help someone overcome a problem, learn something new, or take on a new responsibility.

About Kirby Wadsworth:
Kirby Wadsworth is Vice President of Global Marketing for F5 Networks and leads all marketing-demand generation and branding functions worldwide. Kirby has played a key role in many projects including the installation F5's global marketing function which delivers outbound communication, branding, PR/AR, marketing services, web experience, and global demand campaigns, introducing F5’s first marketing automation system, and creating a global revenue campaign model to align marketing with sales objectives. Prior to F5, Kirby served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for several startups including Acopia Networks, Revivio, and Storability. Kirby has been named a Stevie® Award Finalist twice, and F5 received the Stevie Award for Best Marketing Campaign in The 2011 American Business Awards.

About F5 Networks:
F5 Networks, Inc., a global leader in Application Delivery Networking (ADN), helps some of the world’s largest enterprises and service providers to realize the full value of virtualization, cloud computing, and on-demand IT. F5® solutions help integrate disparate technologies to provide greater control of the infrastructure, improve application delivery and data management, and give users seamless, secure, and accelerated access to applications from their corporate desktops and smart devices. F5 products give customers the agility they need to align IT with changing business conditions, deploy scalable solutions on demand, and manage mobile access to data and services. Enterprises, service and cloud providers, and leading online companies worldwide rely on F5 to optimize their IT investments and drive business forward. For more information, go to www.f5.com.

Tags: business awards, marketing awards, American business awards, stevie awards, Kirby Wadsworth, F5 Networks, marketing campaign of the year, best marketing

54 Marketing Awards Categories in The 2012 American Business Awards

Posted by Liz Dean on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 @ 04:50 PM

The entry deadline for The 2012 American Business Awards is this Wednesday, March 28 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 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A., can still be submitted through the final entry deadline of April 25 with a late fee of $35.00; download your entry kit here.)

Our marketing award categories for Marketing Campaign of the Year - Industry include:

  • AccountingThe Stevie 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
  • Metals & Mining
  • Non-Profit Organizations
  • Real Estate
  • Retail
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Telecommunications 
  • Transportation
  • Utilities

Our Marketing Campaign of the Year - Specialty Categories include:

  • 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
  • Retail/Merchandising Marketing Campaign of the Year
  • Small-Budget Marketing Campaign of the Year (<$3 million)
  • Viral Marketing Campaign of the Year

Our communication award categories for professionals include:

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

Looking for more communication awards? Our corporate literature awards, annual report awards, website awards, video awards, and live event awards categories have several opportunities that would be of interest to communications professionals.

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

Two Tips for Increasing Sales Impact, From a Marketing Award Winner

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Mar 21, 2012 @ 03:54 PM

BDS Marketing, Inc. of Irvine, California, USA won the Stevie® Award for Best Marketing Team in the marketing awards categories of the very first American Business Awards, back in 2003. As part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the start of the Stevie Awards movement, we've been talking with past Stevie winners to learn about how their win has positively impacted their businesses.  Here we interview BDS Marketing's CEO Mark Dean. He explains how winning a Stevie Award has helped BDS, and shares some sales tips he's learned along the way. (The 2012 ABA entry deadline is March 28. Get your entry kit here and begin submitting entries today.)

BDSmktg considers itself a specialist in marketing other companies’ brands, so how has being the first company to win a Stevie Award for Best Marketing Team in The 2003 American Business Awards helped BDS to enhance its own brand?Mark Dean
Since winning the first Stevie Award for Best Marketing Team in 2003, we have found that current and prospective clients are excited to work with us as an award-winning company. There’s a stronger confidence, enthusiasm, and pride in our brand, and we make sure to feature our Stevie Award wins in our marketing materials.

As an industry-recognized honor, the Stevie Awards give greater credibility to our marketing campaigns. Winning the award in 2003 set the standard high for us. Since then, we continually strive to deliver award-worthy programs to each of our clients. Over the past nine years we’ve submitted our most outstanding programs for Stevie Awards, and we’re proud to have won four Stevie Awards and been Finalists in five categories. Right now, we are working on our 2012 submissions and are hoping for another win! 

What events have had the most impact on your business over the past ten years?
As with most businesses, the recession definitely affected BDS. We’ve seen our Fortune 500 clients holding on to their budgets tighter, and waiting longer to make decisions to spend money on marketing services. We’ve also seen big changes in speed-to-market and the speed of connectivity, both of which have greatly impacted our business. Information is more accessible to consumers than ever before, making consumers more educated than ever before. This has caused us to evolve how we train our representatives as well as how they train sales associates. It has made us more nimble, resourceful, and creative with our training solutions.

What are your top tips for increasing sales impact?

  1. Don’t buy any lists. For BDS, it’s always been about the personal relationship we have with our clients.
  2. Our partnerships with our clients are built on trust, honesty, and integrity. BDS is built on long-term relationships: We have client partnerships that go back as far as 15 years. We’ve found that the most successful kind of business relationships come from the recommendations of our clients. We never want to be just a vendor to our clients, but their trusted partner.

What are your company’s plans for the future?
We are looking to become a larger player in the marketing industry over the next few years and are working to achieve that goal by diversifying the industries that we represent. We are also expanding our service offerings by building out our proprietary platforms in business intelligence and training, and developing innovative out-of-store concepts as we see a shift in retail formats.

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
I value the long-term team of people here at BDS. Each year our group of 5-year and 10-year employees continues to grow. We have a great culture of people here. I appreciate employees who have a passion for our clients’ business and who demonstrate their integrity and honesty on a daily basis. Our people are the heart of BDS, and without dedicated employees, the business wouldn’t have lasted 27 years

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?

  1. The people I work with—we have a great family here at BDS.
  2. Great clients—we get to work with amazing products from our top brand clients.
  3. The combination of our people, our clients, and representing great products, makes me excited to come to the office each day.

About Mark Dean:
As founder and CEO of BDSmktg, Mark Dean is the heart and soul of BDS. Drawing on more than 30 years of marketing and business management experience, he channels this knowledge into an organization that prizes innovation and teamwork to achieve its clients' marketing goals. Noted as an inspirational leader, Mark has an innate talent for bringing out the best in people and accepts nothing less. Mark is responsible for ensuring that BDS is a well-managed, profitable agency that is an "employer of choice" in Orange County. His responsibilities also include providing senior-level strategy and consultation services to the agency's vast client base. Mark studied public relations, journalism, and business at the University of Illinois and Northern Illinois University. He resides in Aliso Viejo, California with his wife and sons.

About BDS Marketing, Inc.:
BDSmktg is a marketing agency that delivers sales by offering customized solutions that work for its clients and are personalized to each client’s brand. The company is driven by the power of its people. Its high-performance teams generate sell-through and its client service specialists offer expertise to enhance marketing strategy. With retail as its specialty, BDS is an innovator in the areas of marketing analytics, training and learning incentives, market development, performance selling, brand advocacy, and merchandising. Clients include Canon, Dell, FedEx, Jawbone, Motorola, Sam’s Club, Toshiba, and Walmart. BDS is based in Irvine, California, and has been operating with excellence since 1984.  For more information, visit www.BDSmktg.com.

Tags: business awards, marketing awards, American business awards, stevie award, BDS Marketing, Mark Dean, marketing award, best marketing team

Marketing Award Winner's Outreach Overcomes Shoestring Budget

Posted by Liz Dean on Wed, Mar 14, 2012 @ 05:05 PM

Marketing 24/7, Inc., of Birmingham, Alabama, USA, received the Stevie® Award for Small Budget Marketing Campaign of the Year in the marketing awards categories of The 2011 American Business Awards, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A. (The 2012 ABAs are now accepting entries. Download your entry kit here and submit entries by the March 28 deadline.) Here we look at how Marketing 24/7's outreach catapulted their campaign.

About the Campaign
The Business Makeover Birmingham® (BMB®) project is an annual joint program that was started in 2008 with seven Project Partners including a bank, a sales coach, an accounting firm, an insurance company, a law firm, and the business school of a university. In 2009 and 2010, these businesses and professional service providers contributed services worth more than $30,000 each year.  As part of their services, one company (nominated by Birmingham, Alabama-based companies) received a strategic business makeover.

Promoting the BMB® Contest
The communications awards winner was charged with developing and implementing a marketing campaign for both the 2009 and 2010 BMB® contests. Marketing 24/7's campaign components consisted of announcing the makeover and its services, encouraging the business community to apply, announcing the five finalists and the ultimate winner, branding the Project Partners, and providing updates regarding the winners’ makeover progress. 

Shoestring Budget
The overall budget for promoting BMB® was very much “on a shoestring.” Only one-third of the initial investment by the Project Partners was devoted to advertising in the first year. In the second, the advertising component was increased to two-thirds of the total marketing budget.

Marketing 24/7 secured a free website template and hosting while leveraging social media to promote the business makeover contest.

Despite the small budget, media coverage was beyond expectation with coverage in newspapers, magazines, TV, and the Internet.  The BMB® winners received extensive publicity obtained by Marketing 24/7. 

Campaign Outreach
The Stevie Award winner was responsible for a number of events and activities, some of which included:

  • Planning a winner’s event hosted by BMB® Project Partners where 100 businesspeople heard the lessons learned from the winner’s strategic business makeover
  • Working with a city-wide business newspaper to publish frequent update articles in print and online regarding the competition’s progress and winners
  • Statewide coverage of the inaugural BMB® winner in a business magazine
  • The designing and placing of print ads soliciting BMB® entries and announcing the finalists and winner
  • Providing media training for all Project Partners and winners in order to generate more awareness and coverage of the contest
  • Creating an online feature placement blog through a major lifestyle magazine
  • Providing bi-weekly updates to the BMB® website and to social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Distributing monthly e-newsletters and “best practices” articles
  • Creating numerous promotional fliers
  • Developing an internal e-newsletter for the second annual BMB® winner
  • Writing and distributing news releases to announce the finalists and winners for publication in major publications, online, and in the BMB® e-newsletter
  • Planning a press reception for BMB® finalists
  • Pitching articles for the contest winners’ business and charitable activities
  • Securing numerous feature articles in two different, glossy lifestyle magazines in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Landing a feature article in the Sunday Business section of Alabama’s largest newspaper for the 2010 BMB® winner

Overall Results
With more than 25 articles published over two years, this business award winning campaign has attained exceptional results for BMB® with positive media coverage for all participants.  Other benefits have included:

  • increased awareness from the business community;
  • an up-tick in clients for Project Partners;
  • substantial savings and/or increased revenues for the winners; and
  • a strong following by the general public.

The winners of the contest have been delighted by the results, and many other businesses and individuals are interested in being nominated for future BMB® contests.

Marketing 24/7's Success
Ruwena HealyOn being presented with a marketing award, Ruwena Healy, President of Marketing 24/7, said: “I’m honored to be a Project Partner of Business ‎Makeover Birmingham® and to have had the opportunity to work with top leaders in the business community. ‎This award was made possible by the efforts of a great team of marketing professionals including several from the Project Partners’ companies.” ‎

The communications award winner added: "Winning in The American Business Awards has definitely catapulted my business into a whole different sphere. My company is now working with much bigger clients while providing the same attention to detail that allowed Marketing 24/7 to win this award.”

About Ruwena Healy:
Ruwena Healy founded Marketing 24/7 in 2005 after 18 years of experience working in banking and marketing professional services firms. Healy’s business awards for the two-year campaign of Business Makeover Birmingham include the 2010 PR News PR Platinum Award, a Clarion Award from The Association of Women in Communications, a Platinum Award from Hermes Creative Awards, and she has been a three-time Finalist in The Stevie Awards for Women In Business. Healy holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and a master’s degree from Florida State University. She is a member of numerous professional organizations.

About Marketing 24/7:
In 2012, Marketing 24/7, Inc. celebrates its 7th anniversary of providing professionals with marketing and business ‎development solutions. Chief Executive Officer Ruwena Healy founded the firm with the mission of providing ‎high-level marketing and business development consulting, marketing plan development and execution, ‎and strategic planning services to companies, entrepreneurs, and professionals. Marketing 24/7 offers ‎expertise in personal branding and company branding, and in improving marketing and business ‎development effectiveness for the purpose of increasing revenues and profits. For more information, visit www.marketing247.net.

Tags: business awards, marketing awards, American business awards, stevie award, business award communications awards, Marketing 24/7, Ruwena Healy, marketing award, communications award

Top 3 Market Research Tips: Q&A with John Kearon of BrainJuicer Group

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Thu, Nov 03, 2011 @ 11:16 AM

BrainJuicer Group PLC was named Company of the Year in Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations in The 2011 International Business Awards. (The IBAs are the world's top business awards program, open to all organizations and individuals worldwide. The 2012 IBAs open for entries in January - get the entry kit.)

We asked BrainJuicer founder John Kearon for some insight on what's new in marketing research.

John KearonWhat are your top 3 tips for new marketing research methods?

OK, here’s a thought experiment for you: If you had shares in every market research approach and were prepared to create a portfolio to hold for the next decade, which market research methods would you be buying and selling?

I’d start by shedding my entire portfolio of classic research approaches that rely on people’s post-rationalized beliefs about why they do things and what they say they like, asked in environments unrelated to the behavior in question. I’m not saying they won’t continue to be important in MR, but I am saying I believe they will be declining rather than growing.  So my top 3 “sells” would be:

1. All current pre-testing and concept testing approaches.  They have a notoriously bad record for predicting failure for some of the best-known and commercially successful adverts and new product launches. Adverts such as the Cadbury Gorilla and Stella Artois’ Jean de Florette—both reassuringly expensive campaigns—were punished in classic pre-testing; and new product launches including Bailey’s Irish Cream, cash point machines, and the Sony Walkman also fared badly in classic-concept testing research.

2. Perhaps controversially, I would also be selling Focus Groups. Yes, they can reveal powerful insights in the hands of a great researcher, but all too often they are just the lazy default of unquestioning research buyers and produce little or no insight on the subject at hand.

3. My final sell would be Brand and Advertising Tracking. As far as I can see, this is dead from the neck up, offering little or no insight, direction, or positive contribution beyond the comfort blanket of a monthly number. If this sort of research were banned, businesses would suffer withdrawal symptoms for a couple of months, after which they’d never go back.   Instead, they’d spend the money on the sort of research techniques outlined below that can actually help companies grow.

Now to what to buy. I’m interested in those research approaches most closely tied to Behavioural Economics. BE is finally explaining how people really make decisions and showing it to be quite different from what current market research believes. My top 3 “buys” would therefore be:

Any “We Research” techniques, such as prediction markets.  These techniques are increasing the accuracy of concept testing by tapping our ability as social animals to predict the behavior of other people, yet doing it better than we can predict our own.

I would also be buying shares in Ethnography and Netnography, as anything based on observation of what people really do is massively more accurate than what people say they do—or the reasons they give for saying it.

My final pick would be Game-Based Research. This can help put people into the context, mood, or hot state they would actually be in when choosing a response, so it elicits far more accurate research results than the vast majority of current, non-contextual research.

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?

In the UK, the quality newspapers’ reaction to Steve Job’s passing was sadly revealing of our liberal intelligentsia’s dismissal of the significance of anything they see as commercial. Some of the commentaries bordered on the Pythonesque in their “What have the Romans ever done for us?” tone.  Sure, Jobs invented the computer interfaces we take for granted; sure, he shaped the devices we use to play our music and changed the way we buy music and media; it’s true he redefined what a mobile phone is for and generated a global lust for beautiful and functional technology … but what did he ever do for us? The journalists urged us to get a little perspective. Jobs was hardly Nelson Mandela or Desmond Tutu, he was really just a good marketer and surely not deserving of the eulogies erupting around the world. I am saddened by the anti-commercial attitude that still survives in Britain towards the entrepreneurs and inventors who through creativity, boldness, and perseverance bring great products to a grateful public. I sincerely hope attitudes change and that we start to finally appreciate people like our own Jonathan Ive (selected by Jobs as his design guru, now SVP of Industrial Design at Apple Inc. and the conceptual mind behind everything from the iMac to the iPhone and iPad) and the engineer James Dyson, who has reinvented the way we clean our homes.

Do you have a favorite business app?

I love technology … but the wonderfully friendly, long suffering, Wayne Nightingale—who meets me off transatlantic flights with a cup of tea and drives me home to the kids—has to be my best business app. Thanks, Wayne!

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?

I’d be busy blowing up current approaches to education and setting up highly alternative schools whose motto might have to be: “You’d be mad to send your child here.”  Education must be the only field of life where a Victorian child transported in time to the present day would essentially recognize the experience. Now, that means either that our education system was perfected long ago, or—more likely—that there hasn’t been nearly enough progress since. You just have to compare it to the advances in medicine over the same time period to wonder how our education system could have looked. I hope I’ll get a chance to make a contribution to the system before I pop my clogs.

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?

The passion and perseverance to be really good at the thing they do best; the integrity to be true to themselves; the tolerance to know what it takes to work well with others; and the playfulness to enjoy their work.

What do you think is the worst bad habit to have at work?

To think work is just the dull chore we’re forced to do before we retire. Don’t be boring, don’t be too serious, make sure you enjoy what you do, take some risks, have some fun … and see what you can achieve!

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?

Caffeine and alcohol help … as well as a contrarian spirit that enjoys change for change’s sake.  I like to question market research dogma and to invent exciting new ways to better understand and predict human behavior. 

About John Kearon
John Kearon, dubbed "the Steve Jobs of Market Research", is Chief Juicer and Founder of BrainJuicer Group PLC. John has been recognized by Ernst & Young twice for his entrepreneurship: Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005 and the London region’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009. BrainJuicer has been a two-time winner of the ESOMAR Award for Best Methodology (in 2005 and 2007), and John was awarded the Advertising Research Foundation’s Gold Award for Great Mind/Research Innovator in 2008.

John’s recipe for success is: creativity, resilience, determination, perseverance, stamina, drive, imagination, resourcefulness, courage, commitment, ability to go without sleep, and a touch of madness.

About Brainjuicer
BrainJuicer Group PLC, a thriving international marketing consultancy founded in 1999, provides fresh, validated, consumer-driven insight to 11 of the world’s top 20 consumer companies, their creative agencies, and many others. BrainJuicer specializes in helping clients with innovation, focusing on ideas, insights, concepts, communications, and the measurement of customer and employee satisfaction.  Learn more at BrainJuicer.com.  

 

Tags: business awards, marketing awards, stevie awards, best company, company of the year

How Efes Beer in Turkey Used Social Media to Overcome Marketing Obstacles

Posted by Michael Gallagher on Tue, Apr 05, 2011 @ 05:01 PM

  

With the early-bird deadline for The 2011 International Business Awards coming up on April 12, we thought we'd look back at Efes Beer Group of Istanbul, Turkey, which won a Stevie Award for Marketing Campaign of the Year for a Product in the marketing awards categories of The 2010 International Business Awards.  Here we look at how Efes successfully launched their new beer brand, Gusta, without the use of advertising.

Efes BeerAy Ay Ay, Me Gusta!
That’s what they’re saying in Turkey about Efes Beer Group’s Gusta brand after
an innovative marketing campaign spurred a major boost in awareness and sales.

Obstacles: Market and Societal Forces
Turkey’s beer sector is relatively young, and is dominated by Efes Beer Group, a subsidiary of the Turkish conglomerate, Andolu Group.

Efes had a major challenge to grow sales of its Gusta brand in 2009.  There is a ban on advertising alcoholic beverages in Turkey, and the increasing influence of the country’s religious right added social pressures.  At the same time, with the global economic downturn, unemployment in Turkey was increasing and consumers were tightening their belts.

Two-step Marketing Strategy
The Gusta brand managers at Efes responded by devising an innovative marketing campaign targeting young urban consumers and aimed at getting them involved with the product. The highlights of the campaign were:
• Gusta Map: a web-based involvement program
• Gusta Expert: an on-site sampling program

Objectives
The overall aim of the Gusta marketing strategy was to increase sales by winning customers in a social way through brand experience and product sampling. Further objectives were to increase brand awareness, to strengthen the brand image, and to reach new consumers for the Gusta and Gusta Dark beers.

There was some risk to this marketing strategy in a society that discourages young people from mingling in bars. To overcome this, the two-step marketing program first involved people via their computers, and then in person, facilitated by wholesome, young—but not too young—women who were the hosts of the program, delivering the brand promise: Gusta!

Gusta Map
First, Efes created Gusta Map, an online social networking platform designed
to appeal to web-savvy young people. As its name implies, Gusta Map was a site to share experiences, music, recommendations—and to find real-time locations where Gusta was served and rated by other Gusta Map users.

Gusta Expert
To make the experience real, the Gusta Expert program recruited and trained Gusta girls who were placed in selected restaurant and bar outlets. They worked as servers and invited customers to try Gusta. They also recommended menu items that were compatible with Gusta. To reinforce the fun of Gusta, consumers were offered branded gifts, including beer mugs (33cl), coasters, trays, ice buckets, and bottle openers.

Outcome
Even Efes exclaimed “Gusta!” when the brand’s daily sales average increased by 38%.
In the first three months, Gusta Map attracted a whopping 61,000 page views, plus 300 Facebook fans and followers. The popularity of the site motivated more restaurants and bars to apply for inclusion. The launch of the Gusta Expert marketing program was so successful that it was expanded to include the Gusta Dark brand. For Gusta Expert, the initial three locations quickly mushroomed to one dozen. The program has been so popular that there are now five permanent Gusta Expert locations.

Gusta is the talk of the town in big cities across Turkey where “Ay ay ay, me
Gusta!” can be heard in the wee hours of the morning…

About Meric Aksoy
Meric Aksoy has risen through the ranks at Efes Beer Group to become Product Manager for Gusta.  He started out working on the popular Efes Pilsen brand in 1999. At that time, he served as a sales representative, advancing to sales supervisor until his promotion to his current position in 2004. He earned his B.A. in business administration from Dogu Akdeniz University in Turkey.

About Efes Beer Group
Efes Beer Group was founded in Turkey in 1969, and today consists of sixteen breweries in Turkey, Russia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Georgia, and Serbia, with headquarters in Istanbul. As the 8th most popular European brand by sales volume and the 5th largest European brewer on combined production basis, the group is ranked 12th in the world beer market.

About Anadolu Efes
Anadolu Efes Biracilik ve Malt Sanayii A.S. undertakes the beverage operations of Anadolu Endüstri Holding A.S., one of Turkey's leading conglomerates. Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2009, Anadolu Efes, together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, is a system of companies that produces and markets beer, malt, and soft drinks across a wide geographic area including Turkey, Russia, the CIS countries, South Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Want to win marketing awards like Efes did? Read our tipsheet, 10 Tips for Winning Marketing Awards in the Stevies.

Tags: business awards, marketing awards, stevie awards, marketing award, efes, gusta