what we think

We don’t think of ourselves as know-it-alls, but we do like sharing our thoughts, experiences and POV from time-to-time. We are in continual learning mode and here is what we think, when we think it.
George Rafeedie Story on Bootstrapping

Tell Your Story Founder George Rafeedie Shares His Story on Bootstrapping in America

As a marketing agency that focuses on developing compelling and valuable stories for its clients, it’s not everyday that we get an opportunity to share our own story.   Tell Your Story’s Founder, George Rafeedie, was a recent guest on Bootstrapping in America, a live online segment produced by the Tastytrade network that highlights entrepreneurs and their paths to success.   George discussed why effective story telling is crucial for an organization’s marketing efforts, in addition to a primary factor in overall business success and growth.   Hear how he’s applied his experience as a corporate marketer to build a small business that’s rooted in creating and sharing great stories through social PR.   ...

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Tell Your Story Talks Brand Purpose on Cranium Studio Blog

Tell Your Story Founder George Rafeedie shares his thoughts on how identifying and communicating a brand's purpose is essential for marketing success on the Cranium Studio blog, Brand Musings.   Read what George had to say and see examples of purpose-driven branding here: Brand Purpose, Key to Content Marketing Success...

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Top 5 Themes at #BMA15

Be More: Top 5 Themes from #BMA15

“Be More.” Two words, countless nuances, depending on whom you’re talking to. For the hundreds of B2B marketers that attended BMA15, this slogan invariably implies how we must continually adapt and evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of a world guided by technology and innovation. B2B’s potential is overwhelming, yet promising, as we continue to strive for improvement in all areas. After attending dozens of sessions and combing thousands of posts on Twitter over the past few days, these 5 themes seemed to rise time and again for marketers looking to Be More. Customer experience and satisfaction is the catalyst for all marketing initiatives, but great customer service isn’t enough anymore. Experiential marketing is becoming the norm and successful brands are learning how to deliver exceptional experiences to their customers. Employees are the foundation and support system for customer loyalty, acquisition and retention. Every brand, regardless of industry, should make employee...

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Top 10 Takeaways from Day 2 of #BMA15

[caption id="attachment_3187" align="aligncenter" width="675"] The #BMA15 tweet wall on Day 2[/caption] There were some really strong presentations at BMA15 Thursday. I like the cadence of this conference, with most sessions half an hour or 45 minutes long—enough time to delve into a topic without getting slow. There were many remarkable speakers today; heavy hitters from companies like Forrester Research, Pinterest, Dow and Daimler Trucks. Here are some of my favorites and some of the memorable sound bites from the day.   1. Joe Pulizzi. Just the guy to jump-start our brains after a night of staying out way too late. He talked about some of the characteristics of great content marketers, and gave examples of companies that do it right. Those who succeed document and write down their content strategy. It’s not enough to think about it, or have it in your head. And, they work to build an audience, a key component...

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Top 10 Takeaways from Day 1 of #BMA15

[caption id="attachment_3175" align="aligncenter" width="400"] Google's Jim Lecinski presents at #BMA15 Photo Credit: DejaViewsUSA.com[/caption] The Tell Your Story team proudly joined more than 950 fellow b2b marketers for Day 1 of the world’s biggest and best b2b marketing event, BMA15. In addition to staffing the press room and managing press for the conference, our team soaked up a plethora of valuable ideas, insights and takeaways that we can apply to our b2b marketing programs and careers. The conference has our entire team inspired and energized to “Be More.” Here are our top 10 takeaways from Day 1 of BMA15: [caption id="attachment_3177" align="alignright" width="325"] The number of B2B searches has tripled in the past two years. Photo credit: DejaViewsUSA.com[/caption] Millennials now make up almost half (46%) of b2b buyers. Reach them via mobile and video, or get left behind. Data, data, data! We don't need more dashboards, we need insights to guide decisions. There’s...

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Top 10 Takeaways from BMA15 Chapter Leader Day

[caption id="attachment_3162" align="aligncenter" width="500"] #BMA15 kicked off today with the Chapter Leader pre-session[/caption] No long blog posts here this week! The 2015 edition of the National Business Marketing Association National Conference, BMA15 / Be More, kicked off today with a pre-session of Chapter Leaders. Chapter Leaders are those who serve in leadership positions at the 20+ local chapters that make up the BMA.   As promised, no long blog posts from Tell Your Story this week. So here are my take-aways from today. Watch for our other lists from my colleagues at the end of each day.   10. Chapter Leaders are passionate. We have all built great communities. That needs to continue – local B2B community building.   9. The merger with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) could potentially be a good thing in terms of promoting the profession of B2B Marketing, but the beauty of BMA is that we are not too corporate. ANA is...

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B2B Marketers Can Learn a Thing or Two from the LMA

I recently had the opportunity to attend the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) Annual Conference on behalf of client One North Interactive, a digital marketing and technology agency that has historically worked with some of the world’s largest and most prominent law firms.   [caption id="attachment_3110" align="alignleft" width="383"] One North Interactive's booth[/caption] Maybe it was due to the event backdrop, which was set on the glorious San Diego Bay, or maybe it was the stellar lineup of keynote speakers and session leaders (including One North!), but more than 1,300 legal marketers attended the trade show, setting a record for the international conference.   Although this event was specific to the legal industry, many of the insights and conversations shared apply to all business marketers and professional services organizations. Here are a handful of the ones I noted during my time there.     Relationships don’t build themselves   [caption id="attachment_3109" align="alignright" width="403"] LMA Welcome Session[/caption] Even though building and maintaining business...

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All the Feels: 14 Reasons Why Marketers Are in Love with B2B

The closer we get to February 14, the harder it becomes to avoid the Valentine’s Day restaurant guides, Tinder-themed events and Red Velvet Oreos (although nobody really wants to avoid Oreos). While B2C marketing steals so much of the spotlight, all this attention only reaffirms my love for one thing: the B2B industry.   I know I’m not alone in this thinking. All the B2B marketers I know are filled with passion, admiration and respect for the work we do. You may not know it, but B2B is hot. Here are 14 reasons why B2B marketing is the ONE for so many of us.   1)  “It’s where the business is! And because we can.” – Jeffrey W. Hayzlett, Primetime TV & Radio Host, Chairman of the C-Suite Network   2) 3)  Understanding B2B is to understand the world around you; how businesses operate, how purchase decisions are made, how the global and digital economy works.   4)  B2B purchases...

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Give Back the Love

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”  – Winston S. Churchill   The team at Tell Your Story prides itself on making a living by doing what we love: working with some of B2B’s brightest innovators and marketers, creating award-winning marketing and social media campaigns, and getting impactful results for our clients.   But outside of the 9 to 5, our team members are more than just marketers: we’re volunteers, fundraisers, and community supporters. Giving back is an important part of our culture and we do so in many ways. Two highlights of the past year are our involvement with non-profits Barbells for Boobs and Tutoring Chicago. Barbells for Boobs Fundraiser  [caption id="attachment_3058" align="alignleft" width="175"] George raising the barbell.[/caption] Tell Your Story, through CrossFit Wilmette, participated in a fundraiser for Barbells for Boobs, a non-profit organization dedicated to the early detection of breast cancer, with an emphasis on women under 40...

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