How do you jump-start a general session for 3500 sales and service professionals from all over North America? Here’s how we got the Philips Healthcare Mega Meeting started this year, with a little help from our friends the Beelzebubs, the national award-winning a cappella group from Tufts University, and over 80 Philips employees.
In these uncertain economic times, many ad agencies, as well as other types of companies, have supplemented their FTE workforce with contract employees. Freelancers give companies the flexibility of having adequate staff when the work is there, and less overhead when it’s not. The ebb and flow of freelancers ensures morale is not jeopardized by rounds of layoffs in leaner times.
But how does a company create a culture that includes a bunch of people who are not actually employees? When we started VOX, it was our vision to build a company with few employees and lots of freelancers. But we didn’t want to be seen as a placement service, or worse, a revolving door. Could we create an environment where freelancers would make us their priority, we wondered? It turns out the secret to creating freelance loyalty is in creating a productive freelance culture.
Last week, Brad and I attended the spring conference of the New England Financial Marketing Association (aka NEFMA). VOX recently joined NEFMA as part of our ongoing business development efforts in the banking category, and this was our first event. It was a bit of a commitment, as the one-day conference was held in Stowe, VT. Normally, I would never drive 4 hours on Thursday only to drive 4 hours back on Friday – but I was pleasantly surprised by how worth the drive this event proved to be.
Can we agree from the outset that’s it better to be authentic—than not? Whether it’s in our relationships with our family, our friends, acquaintances, and even those we’ll never meet personally, but who might hold an opinion about us or might influence the opinions of others. The same is true about companies, institutions, and organizations right? Seems like a no-brainer. Authenticity equals trustworthiness. It doesn’t matter whether it’s advice on lawn care products at the hardware store, tax preparation by an accountant, brake work done by a mechanic, or your doctor’s referral to a medical specialist—the choice of using and reusing one service provider over another ultimately boils down to trust.
Did any of you watch “The Pitch” on AMC last Sunday? Like passing a bad car accident, I couldn’t keep myself from watching. And what I found was as disturbing as the car wreck.
Pitching is painful. It’s humiliating. And it was uncomfortable to watch someone else’s pain and humiliation. The show started with the briefing session, in which BOTH agencies were brought into a room together to be briefed. My friend Court Crandall, whose agency WDCW was one of the featured contenders, comments upon entering the room, “Well, this is awkward.” And yes it was. Clients, please don’t do that! Yes, I know it’s convenient for you to only have one briefing session. But agencies deserve some level of respect. We are highly talented, emotionally fragile, strategic experts that you are going to hold responsible for the success or failure of your business. We’re not door-to-door salesmen selling office supplies.
The process of making TV spots, radio spots, video for the web, and event video is pretty much the same: developing the strategy, working up the ideas, presenting to the clients, refining, representing—then production planning, pre-production, production, and post-production. After many weeks (often months) of toil—after the final cut is agreed on, after the final presentation is made, after all the final approvals are given, hands are shaken, and backs are patted, the spots are trafficked to the stations or the file is handed to the web master—it’s done (except of course for the results analysis).
Unfortunately, the subject of business development has been on my mind quite a bit lately. I say unfortunately because a) it’s my least favorite part of the business, and b) I’m not very good at it. What makes a good business development specialist? Here are my top 10 – and if I followed my own suggestions, I would probably be more successful.
Thanks to everyone who voted in our Vox Gives Cheer holiday donation competition. We had a fabulous response, with most of our holiday card recipients visiting the site and voting. You chose The Home for Little Wanderers, based here in Boston, as th
While most of our clients are anxious to hop on the social media band wagon, there is a common (and erroneous) belief that social media is a “free” way to connect with customers and prospects. In part this is true – there is no media cost for participating. But clients need to be willing to invest upfront in developing a social media strategy. A poorly thought out, or worse, not thought out at all, effort to dabble in social media can in fact turn off prospects and do more harm to your brand than good.
But if there is cost to participating in social media, there needs to be a return on that investment. And therein lies the problem. We live in an era of marketing quantification, and social media sites like Facebook, cannot yet provide exact ROI data.
Since finishing this video case study about the popular Rockland Trust Freeness Campaign, the advertising continues to generate great results. In the last week of June, Rockland Trust opened more than 400 new checking accounts – breaking the bank’s record for most checking accounts opened in a single week. Check out this “behind the scenes” peek at Freeness.
See the work here.