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by Randy Mitchell, Creative Director Creative awards season is looming. You know what that means. Agencies and clients alike will compile a shortlist of their finest work, compose “can’t-miss” entries, and fantasize about winning more shiny trophies than their competitors. The whole pageant might seem silly to outsiders, but the marketing world loves its awards more than ever. In fact, a recent Google search for “marketing awards 2019” produced 577,000,000 results.  This year you can enter competitions for interactive marketing, digital marketing, content marketing, event marketing, influencer marketing and countless other disciplines. At first, the endless list of awards shows seemed a little overwhelming, but as I scrolled through them all a wild

by Randy Mitchell, Creative Director “RFP stands for really frustrating process.” That’s an opinion voiced by clients and agencies alike, and their vexation is understandable. The marketing RFP process, particularly the on the B2B side, is an inexact science. It’s a complex, time-consuming, high profile assignment that is initiated out of necessity. In many cases, it’s also an uncertain path with loosely defined parameters. However, it is critical to get every aspect of the process right, because an ineffective B2B marketing RFP can lead to the wrong marketing agency, wasted time and lost revenue. Here’s a radical notion: Let’s eliminate the guesswork from your B2B marketing RFP and choose your agency right now. Simply

by Pat McAuley, President/Chief Strategy Officer We all were so much younger in 1998. Busting “The Running Man” moves in our Zubaz, the future sure seemed bright. Turns out, we were right … and not only because Zubaz aren’t a thing anymore.* Boomm B2B Marketing turns 20 this summer and we feel we’re better than ever. Today, our work benefits from an ever-expanding marketing toolbox filled with new and improved tools. Let’s take a quick look at a few of these B2B marketing advancements. Design That was then (1998): Most agency art directors and designers found themselves saddled with QuarkXPress desktop publishing systems, which dominated the market. Design software was about 10 years old

by Jeff Andrews, VP Client Services Introductions have been made, business cards have been passed, drinks offered…all of the first-time-meeting rituals have passed. You even brought the right dongle to connect with the prospect’s monitor. Your sales presentation is going smoothly, no glitches and right on schedule. You and your team are starting to feel good about the meeting and your opportunity with this prospect. But wait, there’s no checkered flag just yet. Be in the ‘No’: You have a great organization and every confidence that your team is a perfect fit for this prospect. Okay, then why do you feel the meeting going south? Any chance that you failed to think about

by Jeff Andrews, VP Client Services We all know that there’s no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all sales presentation that will have prospects stuffing your inbox or signing on the dotted line before you leave the meeting. But there are things you can do to engage your audience during your limited time together. Cliché, yes, but it holds true that you only have one chance to make a great first impression. One other thought before outlining some ideas about the sales presentation. Just like job hunting in today’s market, most prospects are looking to see if your organization is a group they can work with; i.e. do they like you? There are many,

By Randy Mitchell | Creative Director The headline of this blog does not contain a typo. I have officially given up on New Year’s resolutions in favor of revolutions, and I suggest you follow suit. Here’s my thinking. Traditional resolutions are heartbreakers. The good intentions that drive them are admirable. People sincerely want to lose weight, volunteer at a local charity or update their LinkedIn photo to one taken during this decade. Unfortunately, those virtuous ambitions rarely seem to last until February. Now, let’s talk revolutions. Unlike resolutions, which generally involve personal sacrifice, New Year’s revolutions are all about the moment—or possibly the movement. That’s particularly true in the world of marketing. To provide

A foodservice operator has ten precious minutes between shifts. In this fleeting “down time,” she has a big decision on her mind. Her kitchen counter space is limited and an undercounter refrigerator sounds like the perfect solution. But her expertise is in stir frying, not restaurant equipment. Where does our busy operator turn now? After all, this is the foodservice information age. Operators have more media formats than ever to guide their purchase decisions. Will she page through food industry publications, text an industry colleague for advice or turn to online user reviews? Will she contact a sales rep, or is it too soon for that? To truly understand which media formats guide the

Did you feel that? It wasn’t a tremor or a Sysco truck rumbling by. The foodservice industry just shifted a little, and there are more groundbreaking moments to come. That’s because a new force is emerging and it’s definitely shaking things up. After decades of established preferences, the rules are changing for reaching and influencing foodservice decision makers. This dynamic shift is being driven by Millennial operators, the rising leaders of the future. These younger decision makers were raised in the information age. Unlike previous generations of foodservice operators, their connections, relationships and communities have been established and nurtured online. The effect this “millennial mindset” has on the world of foodservice is considerable

by Randy Mitchell, Creative Director A restaurant owner in San Antonio just changed her menu. Whose advice did she follow? A university cafeteria director in Pennsylvania just bought a new electric steamer. What influenced his decision? A millennial operator in Florida just upgraded his supply inventory tracking system. Where did he research his technology options? If you could follow those foodservice professionals from the first moment of consideration all the way up to the moment of decision, it would be a fascinating experience. Then you could see first-hand what truly influenced their actions at every stage of their purchase decision journeys. You would also find some surprising insights along the way. That dynamic decision-making journey

How long is your sales cycle? What does it look like? Has your marketing team used the answers to these questions to realize smarter, more successful outcomes? As business-to-business marketers, we tend to devote considerable energy to executing programs that accomplish a single, discrete strategic goal, such as building brand awareness, launching a new product, promoting sales and so on. Care is taken to create rich, integrated marketing initiatives to effectively achieve these objectives. However, we are less likely to schedule these programs to work as a cohesive whole within the context of the external marketplace and the dynamics of the sales decision-making process. If a marketing organization fails to target decision-maker behavior