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?
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?
- Don’t buy any lists. For BDS, it’s always been about the personal relationship we have with our clients.
- 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?
- The people I work with—we have a great family here at BDS.
- Great clients—we get to work with amazing products from our top brand clients.
- 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.