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.

Tripling Down at #BMA14

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago    [caption id="attachment_1998" align="alignright" width="168"] Gary Vaynerchuk[/caption] Gary Vaynerchuk is a crazy F@&K.  But he speaks the truth. If you’ve seen him speak, you know what I mean.   I love one of his messages about tripling down on your strengths. Don’t waste time doing things you are not good at or not passionate about. If you concentrate on your strengths and passions, you will be fulfilled and probably be successful.   I guess I’ve tripled down on a few things, but listening to Gary made me think that I could do a whole lot more and will be.  In between all of his insults and F-Bombs, Gary’s message really hit home with me. Thanks. I will be tripling down more often now, starting tonight at our #bma14 happy hour.    ...

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Taking Marketing From a Cost Center to a Revenue Center

Dispatches from BMA14: a Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago   More and more marketers are being asked to prove the impact marketing has on both the top and bottom lines. At BMA14 today, one of the 15-minute “Firestarter” sessions addressed the challenge of transforming marketing from a cost center to a revenue center.   [caption id="attachment_1987" align="alignleft" width="162"] Debbie Qaqish[/caption] Debbie Qaqish is principal and chief strategy officer of the Pedowitz Group and author of “The Rise of the Revenue Marketer.” She told the audience of 900+ b2b marketers what it takes to lead this kind of transformation. There are specific behaviors to address in order to affect this change, said Debbie, and she likened the transition to her own personal transformation through her passion for Crossfit and health and fitness habits.   The behaviors to transform marketing from a cost to a revenue center fall into five areas:   1)  Change management: Debbie...

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The Art of Social Selling #BMA14

[caption id="attachment_1976" align="alignleft" width="233"] #SocialSelling expert Jill Rowley[/caption] Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago   Social selling expert Jill Rowley rocked the #BMA14 crowd this morning and discussed how we can do a better job communicating with prospects using social media. Her presentation was excellent as she kept emphasizing,  “It isn’t always about closing, it is about always being connected.”   The biggest change in the market is using social media channels to engage with your audience.  Stop trying to be a “quota crusher,” she implored sales professionals. Rather, connect with your audience in a meaningful way.  She supported this with a great stat: 78 percent of sales professionals who use social media to build connections outsell their peers.   She also reviewed a bit of research that shows that it takes approximately 8 cold calls to reach a prospect, and of those people reached, only 2%...

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Business to Business is not Boring to Boring #BMA14

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago   When I was in college, all of the advertising classes were focused on the sex appeal of consumer marketing.  There wasn’t a focus on business-to-business marketing; I didn’t even know it existed.  Fast forward a certain number of years, and here I sit, attending a global business-marketing event – BMA14. BMA14 kicked off today with a huge statement – there are almost 1,000 attendees, making this the largest Business-to-Business marketing conference in the globe!   The presenters have been fantastic.  I’ve seen a variety of companies present, from USG to Airbus to Facebook.  I have learned so much, and one of the biggest things that I was reminded of was summarized by a quote from Beth Comstock, CMO of GE: “BtoB does not stand for Boring to Boring.” How right she is.   A few highlights that piqued my...

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Mobile Marketing Lessons from Facebook at #BMA14

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago If there’s any company to take mobile marketing advice from, it’s Facebook. As of last month, Facebook surpassed 1 billion active users on mobile— way more than their desktop version will ever get. CMO of Facebook Gary Briggs gave an awesome presentation at BMA14 demonstrating just how important mobile should be in our overall marketing strategy.   When Facebook first launched its mobile app it was fraught with problems. It was too slow, had poor quality (and low ratings and reviews) and it was unprofitable. Then they completely changed the way they did business.   Here are a few of the lessons Gary shared with us:   Make it Fast First, Facebook completely re-built their apps. Gary said speed was the most important thing to think of when building an app. Now the Facebook app is updated every four weeks, if...

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#BMA14 From Afar

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago   Since the Tell Your Story team is staffing the 2014 Global BMA Conference media room, my colleagues are front and center for BMA14. As a remote team member, I’m taking part from hundreds of miles away. It really says something when your eyes simply cannot keep up with your Twitter feed. Follow #BMA14, the official event hashtag, and watch your feed explode with quotes, observations, photos and real-time session takeaways. There is always much anticipation and excitement surrounding the annual BMA conference, the largest b2b marketing conference in the entire world, and this year is no different. The buzz is palpable, even if you aren’t there in person. ...

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Tell Your Story Wins Business Marketing Association B2 Award of Excellence

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago       The Tell Your Story team is delighted and honored to win a 2014 Business Marketing Association B2 Award.  Last night we received an Award of Excellence in Content Marketing for our social media work for client USG Corporation.  Our nomination told the story how we planned and carried out a content marketing campaign to communicate USG Corp.’s emergence from the recession to audiences that matter: Contractors. Builders. DIY-ers. Specifiers. Architects. Designers. Building products dealers and distributors. Employees. We worked to develop and share quality content to the USG community in locations across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.   [caption id="attachment_1927" align="aligncenter" width="300"] One example of social media activity surrounding USG's new brand identity and sponsorship.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1936" align="aligncenter" width="188"] #USGBuildIt activity on Twitter[/caption] The B2 Awards is the Business Marketing Association’s premier, international b2b marketing awards program honoring creative excellence and the best in...

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You Should Be Proud of Your BMA Chapter Leaders

Dispatches from BMA14: Series of Short Reports from the Tell Your Story Team at #BMA14 in Chicago     On the eve of #BMA14, we had the opportunity to attend BMA Chapter Leader Day in Chicago as a pre-conference event. There must have been nearly 75 chapter leaders in attendance from cities across North America. Some were there to figure out how to start a BMA chapter in their city. Others were there to share their knowledge on what has worked and what hasn’t. Everyone was there to learn to make their chapter better and more valuable for their members.   Bottom line is that we should all be proud of our chapter leaders. Long time national board members Elton Mayfield (Kansas City) and Greg Olson (Colorado) stressed time and time again throughout the day (and at previous chapter leader days) that the chapter is the heart beat of BMA. Without strong chapters, the national...

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Seen and Heard at Digital Megaphone’s 6th Annual Social Media Masters Summit

#ICYMI #smms14 was a trending topic yesterday on Twitter. Not surprising when 150 social media masters conglomerate in one room, but it certainly speaks to the power of sharing engaging content.       I was able to attend the 6th Annual Social Media Masters Summit hosted by Digital Megaphone in Chicago on May 15. The event hosted some of the best and brightest talent in the social world, with CMOs and social directors from brands like @Clorox, @BuzzFeed, @Threadless, @United, @ConAgraFoods, @Arbys, and @VanityFair, to name a few.   If you want a marketing career that keeps you on your toes, social media is the route to go. The always-changing, never-static socialsphere is ripe with learning opportunities and challenges. It can be hard to keep up at times, but nothing beats the feeling that comes from seeing your social media campaign take flight.   Speaking of learning opportunities, here are my key takeaways from the summit.   1. “Content...

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April 27 is National “Tell a Story Day”

[caption id="attachment_633" align="alignright" width="114"] George and Amanda at a trade show doing what they do best - telling the client story.[/caption] April 27 is National Tell a Story Day, which to us ranks above National Take Your Dog to Work Day and maybe even National Coffee Day in terms of magnitude. It’s a day to celebrate the art of storytelling and is designed to get people telling, sharing, and listening to stories. We develop and tell our great stories through fun and compelling marketing communications and what we call Social PR.   We celebrate “Tell a Story Day” every day. We know that storytelling is a powerful way to motivate, involve and connect with others. Everybody, and every business, has a great story, and by uncovering and telling those stories, we can connect with people, motivate and persuade people, and ultimately change behavior.   The story is what’s memorable. The story is what resonates with...

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