Author: George Rafeedie

VW PunchDub – A Super Bowl Winner

I don’t see much chatter about FaceBook application so you can play online and help spread the VW word. Play and you’ll win the chance for a 6 month lease.


Okay, so I do own a 2001 silver Jetta, but that’s besides the point. I regretted buying it since day 1, but it is still a reliable little stick shift 102,341 miles later. So maybe there is a little soft spot in my heart for VW. Not sure. But the spot moved me a bit, and I’m talking about it. Maybe it takes me back to my childhood when my cousins used to punch me everytime they saw a VW bug.


The spot is light-hearted and humorous, and creates an emotional connection on a lot of levels. Stevie Wonder at the end is fantastic, too. A Super Bowl winner.

Creative Offshoring of PDF Conversions

BlueSilver and its creative offshore studio partner Basil Communications recently contracted with a large association to help convert over 2,500 PDFs, some of which are 10 pages in length, into their new web site and content management system. The PDFs make up over 130 issues of the association’s thought leadership publication spanning the past 10 years.


For various reasons such as ease, search engine optimization, look and feel, and overall management, converting these individual article PDFs makes sense. The combination of BlueSilver domestic resources, and capabilities from Basil’s talent pool will help in the ease of this conversion process quickly and cost effectively. The goal is to have all of the content, plus major photos and graphs, from all of the PDFs transferred and proofed and approved within an aggressive period. A big and somewhat tedious job that is needed for overall interactive marketing and content distribution success.


Creative off shoring resources, in combination with domestic talent and collaboration, make going in this direction for certain tasks very appealing to organizations feeling the budget pressures of today’s marketing reality. Over the course of our 2 year partnership with Basil, we have facilitated and helped manage projects and conversations with some of the world’s largest advertising agencies for large consumer brands. We’ve also had direct conversations with heads of marketing, branding and creative for the world’s largest consumer package goods companies.


As a whole, our model is set up to alleviate the economic pressures, without giving up on strategic thinking, quality and effectiveness. And it helps to have a partner such as Basil from the creative business to help us truly deliver on the promises of high level thinking and great execution, with an eye focused on efficiency for today’s age.

Why do you have to be such a 569.42?

Some things are just 569.42’s. You know what I’m talking about. Taking out the trash. Doing laundry. Taxes. Lawn work. Spouses.


Well, one of BlueSilver‘s clients is Daymarck, a leader in the home care coding industry. Within the industry, home care agencies must do proper, accurate and compliant coding in oder to get reimbursed by Medicare. Daymarck uses a combination of software and superior service to easily help home care agencies complete the coding requirements through a simple remote coding process. Making it less of a 569.42.


Using one of our own trusted remote partners, BlueSilver led the creation of this video which will be combined with a search engine marketing campaign and landing page. All with the goal of increasing quality leads for this great client for which we are a true marketing partner. They definitely are not a 569.42. Well, maybe sometimes.


Will it turn viral? We shall see. If viral videos don’t exist yet within the home care coding industry, we are going to try to make it happen with this. Would love your feedback. Plus, comment on your biggest 569.42.


Free BMA National Conference Chance

Business Marketing Assocaition ChicagoIf you haven’t noticed by now, we are big supporters of the Business Marketing Association (BMA) nationally and in Chicago. George serves on the Chicago BMA board and is its membership chair. Speaking of membership, why don’t you join today? Check out this special offer for a chance to go to the national conference for free. It is being held in Chicago in June and will be just as good, if not better, than last year’s conference. See my posts from June 2009 to find out more.


Join, renew or refer someone to join before December 31, 2009 and be registered to win a free registration to the 2010 BMA Annual Conference in Chicago, June 2-4 at the Swissotel ($795 value). Second prize is two free seats at the February 4, 2010 MarketingMasters Luncheon with Kathy Button Bell, Chief Marketing Officer, Emerson. The winners will be drawn at our January 7, 2010 MarketingMasters Luncheon.


Intriguing? Click here to learn more.

Fundamentals Don’t Change; But You Need to Get With It!

Great job by the national Business Marketing Association national conference organizers who pulled this off in Chicago back in June. The iconic “Man in the Chair” ad was acted out and updated for today’s times. Everything the “modern” executive says is incredibly true in today’s social media world. Whether you are a big company, small start up, a non-profit organization or a student, you need to get with it soon. Make it a 2010 new year resolution.

Types of Networkers

Chicago Business Marketing AssociationFrom my Chicago BMA Day intro presentation at Google yesterday. Please feel free to add other types of networkers and put yourself into a category. You can be more than one type, and it can change on a day-to-day basis. Bottom line of presentation – networking is more important than ever. Networker extraordinaire Sima Dahl was the headline speaker. I’ve introduced her twice now and I need to step up my game. She is fabulous and you can find out more about her, her Sway Factor philosophy and her thoughts on “networking in a digital world” here.


My types of networkers. Please feel free to comment, add and join the conversation.


The “Feel Good” Networker – Gets fulfillment out of networking, both professionally and personally


The “Obnoxious” Networker – Has a networking agenda and it shows


The “I Have To Network” Networker – Need to network out of necessity (biz dev, job search, talent hunting)


The “I Hate Networking” Networker – I’m around marketing all day, I want to hang out with my family/friends


The “Uncomfortable” Networker – I don’t know one soul in this room


The “You Should Go Network” Networker – Pressures from others to network who don’t necessarily network themselves

Media and Agencies are Adjusting

B2B Agency ChicagoAgencies and media companies need to adjust, this article states, to the ever-growing ability of marketers to communicate directly to customers and prospects. Kind of surprising this article is being written in this day and age, and not 10 years ago. We started BlueSilver because things have changed and are ever-evolving. Marketers need resources, both agencies and media outlets, to change with the times.


The article has more implications for media companies. Most marketers still need agencies to help them communicate creatively and effectively, even if it is directly with the customers. But they need them to be more efficient and creative on how to deliver both top thinking and execution resources.


Here’s a link to the article. BlueSilver is quoted.

Thought Leadership YouTube Channel

One of BlueSilver‘s trusted client partnerships is with home healthcare coding company, Daymarck, a leader in remote home health medical coding and software. We play a vital role on Daymarck’s leadership team and initiated an aggressive social media and thought leadership program to spread the word on Daymarck’s and its’ leader’s expertise in the important world of medical coding for the home care industry.


One tactic employed was the creation of DaymarckTV on YouTube. In this video, we interviewed a home care leader at the Daymarck booth (major home care trade show – Decision Health Coding Summit) and conducted interviews to get feedback on issues facing the industry and on Daymarck’s offerings.


BMA: Day One Recap

BMA Social Media ConferenceThe fine volunteers and staff of the Business Marketing Association are doing a great job recapping the event so far. Here is the link to the official BMA Social Media site at for links to twitter updates (#bma09), blog postings and official recaps.


Here are my quick thoughts.


Someone said it best when commenting on the amount of people in attendance (300+) – “This isn’t a marketing recession, this is a marketing resurgence.” There was great buzz all day starting with the staging of the “man in the chair” McGraw Hill ad, to announcing the GD Crain Award winner Jeffrey Hayzlett, that night.


Don’t be afraid. That was a theme that was heard loud and clear throughout the day. Don’t be afraid to lose control and try new things as social media tools and tactics become more prevalent in today’s business world.


Character counts was something else that popped out loud and clear, especially from IBM. The speaker from IBM quoted Lincoln and said, “Character is the tree, and reputation is the shadow. Concentrate on the tree.” Or something like that.


LinkedIn and the growth they’ve achieved still amazes me and their VP of Marketing did a great job ending the day before giving way to cocktails, a great comedian and an awards show.


Be sure to visit the link above for more insight and recaps of the day, and follow BlueSilver on twitter at

BMA Chapter Leaders Day

What is the value of the national infrastructure? What value do people get from being members rather than just attending events? How do we attract new corporate marketing members and leaders? Should there be a focused effort at attracting “millennials” to BMA and b-to-b marketing.


Those were some of the main topics discussed at this year’s Business Marketing Association Chapter Leader Day at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. This session preceded the national conference which kicks-off today, June 10, at noon. (Agenda highlights in previous posts.) Attendees included more than 50 local BMA chapter officers from across the country.


I didn’t say much during the sessions yesterday. Was too busy thinking about my next tweet! But here are my quick thoughts and opinions based on my history with the BMA and what I heard yesterday during the sessions and subsequent conversations with leaders.


A strong national infrastructure and centralized management makes local chapters stronger. If done properly, and BMA is well on its way to improving its core, a national infrastructure can provide chapters – especially smaller chapters in smaller markets – resources and opportunities for growth that could not be attained alone. A strong national presence also gives local members a sense of belonging to a bigger cause than what they do at work on a daily basis or locally as part of a standalone chapter.


Membership has his benefits and national is doing its best to formalize and communicate the great benefits that individuals get by becoming members. Of course there are financial benefits through discounts to events and members-only opportunities. But at the end of the day, membership means that you support a movement and cause that is business-to-business marketing. If you are in the profession and you want to see it grow and thrive and be more respected, then joining and getting involved is a way to support it. That may not be as tangible to some people, but in the long run a strong organization that supports, leads, advocates and helps grow what we do, it becomes tangible over time.


A big theme of the incoming national leadership is to attract more corporate marketers to the national board, as well as help local chapters attract more marketers to their boards. On the national level, it is not only recruiting corporate marketers. Rather, it is recruiting board members who have a history and ties to local chapters. And most importantly, are willing to work to help advance the goals of the organization. As was the case in Chicago, you get big time corporate marketing speakers. You get them to join your boards. You get them and their teams active. The rest (agencies, suppliers, academics, students) will follow.


Lastly, I love the fact that many chapters are reaching out to youngsters in the profession or still in school and spreading the word about b-to-b marketing and BMA. It should be more of an education/awareness initiative rather than communicating the great things b-to-b has to offer. I have no stats on this, but I would think the majority of marketing and communications jobs out there are b-to-b in some way. But youngsters in undergrad and grad schools are totally focused on reaching consumers. Which is not a bad thing to get into, but and education of the fact that there are differences and there are a group of people and an organization that promotes b-to-b would be valuable in of itself.