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

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