The list of the 2019 MarCom Award winners includes national brands like Nationwide, AARP, Cisco, Dell, Fender and Morgan Stanley. And once again, MadAveGroup is on that list, too.
Platinum Award: Lakeland Auto & Marine - “Previously”
Platinum Award: Binkelman - “Time Stands Still”
Gold Award: Binkelman - “All Roads”
Honorable Mention: Med-Line - HIPPA-tastic”
On its website, the MarCom Awards is described as “an international creative competition that recognizes outstanding achievement by marketing and communication professionals. Entries come from corporate marketing and communication departments, advertising agencies, public relations firms, design shops, production companies and freelancers.”
Entrants range from individual communicators to media conglomerates and Fortune 500 companies, and come from throughout the United States, Canada and dozens of other countries.
MarCom Award judges reward those entries that “exceed a high standard of excellence and serve as a benchmark for the industry.”
In August 2018, BBC.com published an article called "The Art and Science of Being On Hold." Written by Damian Fowler, the piece featured input from members of our BusinessVoice team - Jerry Brown, Steve Evert and Scott Greggory. BusinessVoice is our Caller Experience Marketing agency.
Here is an abridged version of the article.
Hold Music as a Branding Tool
Nowadays, hold music isn’t left to chance. There are companies like BusinessVoice, which specializes in On Hold Marketing for mid-to large-size companies. They see the On Hold experience as an expression of brand identity, mixing music with a verbal message - which sounds closer to a radio advertisement than, say, an easy-listening jazz number.
When creating an On Hold Marketing plan for a new client, BusinessVoice initiates a “caller experience” audit. They will determine things like how frequently the same person calls and the longest time a person will be put on hold. If the average hold time is five minutes, for example, a caller doesn’t want to hear a three-minute loop. The company also determines the caller demographic and from there creates its plan to make the call experience better. “You really want to use the time that people wait on hold to make them feel good about your company,” says Jerry Brown, the founder and CEO of BusinessVoice.
What this means is that on hold music and messaging is necessarily curated according to the needs of the client and the customer. The music and the message are tailored to ensure a positive On Hold experience.
According to Brown, it gets quite scientific. For a company that has a queue for sales and a queue for services, BusinessVoice would create two completely different messages and formats [for] those separate call experiences. “A lot of time we pick out music based on beats per minute of a song. So, if you’re a customer service line where people are holding for 10 minutes, we don’t want to have high beats per minute. If it’s a sales queue and you’re trying to move people to action, we want to increase their heart rate a little bit,” explains Brown.
The company also pays attention to whether hold music should be in a major or a minor key, offering subtle emotional cues to the caller on hold.
The Grammys of Hold Music
The world of on hold music and messaging even has its own awards. The MARCE Awards is an annual competition held by the Experience Marketing Association. This year, the “Most Effective On Hold Marketing” prize went to Behler-Young, a distributor of heating and cooling products based in the U.S. Midwest, for its hold message tagged “I’m Sworn to Secrecy.” Created by BusinessVoice - which has scooped up many MARCE awards over the years - it’s a highly produced sequence featuring spoof spy music, and a humourous voiceover that channels Mission Impossible.
Humor On Hold is another important concept for engaging callers. “If somebody can make me laugh in that space where there’s usually an ad, I feel more of an affection for that company,” says Scott Greggory, the Chief Creative Officer of BusinessVoice. With a background in radio, Greggory pioneered the idea of making On Hold Marketing palatable with what he calls the “spoonful of sugar” approach.
During the 2018 ADDY Awards ceremony, our BusinessVoice team was recognized once again for their humorous approach to marketing.
Take a listen to the winning work in the videos below.
If you have anything to say about how your brand sounds, you'll want to check out these blog posts. They're from BusinessVoice, our Caller Experience Marketing agency. The team also creates radio commercials, audio logos, and other forms of audio marketing.
1) In “One Way to Tell Your Story to Callers On Hold,” we profile a very special On Hold Marketing production we created for a local school. It’s won several awards, primarily by winning the audience’s collective heart. We also suggest a way you can capture the same type of emotion in your OHM and other marketing channels.
2) Does your company advertise on radio? If so, there’s a very good reason to let someone other than the local air talent or production director write and record your spots. See what it is in the post “Don’t Let the Radio Station Produce Your Commercials.” (Listen to our MarCom Platinum Award-winning radio campaign for Ray's Trash.)
3) Yes, your callers on hold are out of sight, but have you put them out of your mind as well? If so, that’s a problem. In this post, you’ll hear an example of how one company is clearly not thinking about their callers. We break down their approach to help you avoid wasting your callers’ time on hold. Read and listen to “Are You Subjecting Your Callers to This?”
4) And because every one of your company’s touchpoints can make or break a customer relationship, don’t miss the post “Are Poor Phone Skills Costing You Money?”
Our branding and design team, d2i, earned a Silver award at the 2017 ADDY Awards ceremony.
“The Collective’s logo inspired the posters,” said Stawicki. “We used elements from the logo to create strong, simple graphic messages that would engage viewers.”
“We took a contemporary minimalist approach with this project; very simple, very little copy,” said Lesniewicz. “It’s an attitude, and the response so far has been ‘WOW!’ especially from a lot of younger people who have responded to the work. It was fun to be the first agency in this area to adopt this style.”
Lesniewicz is a nationally known designer who’s been elevating brands for more than five decades. His work has been featured in magazines, award shows, even a museum, and has been seen by countless millions of people.
The d2i crew also designed the collateral for the ADDY Awards, including the call-for-entries poster, invitation and winners' booklet (above right).
BusinessVoice has won more awards for its work than any other OHM provider in the industry. The creative team specializes in developing Humor On Hold™. Listen to their winning entry in the video below.
In the world of marketing and advertising, there aren't many agencies that have served a client for a quarter of a century or more.
But we're a bit different. Ten of our clients have been with us for 25 years or longer.
And they represent a wide variety of industries, from automotive sales, HVAC, building materials and contractors, to non-profits, healthcare, senior care and rehabilitation.
So, to thank our longest-term clients, we went on a little tour. We visited each company to present the management with a personalized, locally made, hand-blown glass memento like the one on the right.
The inscription acknowledges “our 25-year relationship and [our client's] dedication to delivering exceptional customer experiences.”
What a privilege to have the loyalty and trust of so many people. We never take our responsibilities to them or any of our clients lightly. And we are truly thankful for their support throughout these many years.
By the way, the numbers are even nicer for our 20-year clients: We've been serving 83 businesses for two decades or longer.
We're looking forward to giving out many more of these beautiful thank you gifts in the coming years.
On Hold Marketing - Notre Dame Academy
When we heard the student testimonials on a new NDA video, we knew right away that we wanted to incorporate them into the school's next On Hold Marketing production. Thankfully, our friends at cross-town agency Hanson Inc. allowed us to use their audio for our piece. We were moved by the young women's expressions of pride in and gratitude for NDA. We hope you will be, too.
The MadAveGroup creative team took away a nice haul from this year’s MarCom Awards: four awards total, including two platinum trophies and a gold. Take a look at the work and a few details below.
Platinum Award - SensoryMax Website
Designer: Greg Stawicki
Copywriter: Scott Greggory
Developer: Charley Hobbs
Platinum Award - Binkelman On Hold Marketing / “That’s Pretty Hot”
Writer: Scott Greggory
Voices: Scott Greggory and Amy Scott
Recording Engineer: Don Binkley
Gold Award - International Translating Company On Hold Marketing / “Talented Tongues”
Writers: Cody McCloskey and Scott Greggory
Voices: Scott Greggory and Bob Seybold
Recording Engineers: Don Binkley
Honorable Mention - Arrowwood Lodge On Hold Marketing / “Flippin’ TV”
Writers: Andrea Poteet, Cody McCloskey and Scott Greggory
Main Voices: Scott Greggory, Bob Seybold, Amy Scott, Ed Hunter and Steve Lovvorn
Recording Engineer: Chris Zaharias
The MarCom Awards honor “outstanding achievement by creative professionals involved in the concept, direction, design and production of marketing and communication materials and programs.”
MarCom judges review about 6,000 entries from 34 countries and 300 categories related to print, web, video and strategic communications.
Can you recall the last time you overheard a member of your sales or telemarketing team calling a prospective customer?
Or the last time you dialed into your main number and navigated your Interactive Voice Response system?
Or the last time you mystery called one of your locations to see how well the front-line phone staff cares for callers?
Once you have systems and employees in place it's easy to take for granted that everything is running smoothly. And everything might be running smoothly. But is your team providing the type of caller experience that converts cold calls into customers?
Are your incoming callers treated so wonderfully and efficiently that they tell others about your company and look forward to calling back themselves?
Are your automated systems making it very easy for customers to get what they called for?
If you didn't answer 'yes' very quickly and confidently to all three of those questions, there are a few blog posts you might want to check out.
“Is Your Calling Style Costing You?” recounts a few bad phone calls I've received recently, and how similar approaches to outbound calling can hurt your top line.
“Why Telephone Etiquette Training is Worth the Investment” reinforces the idea that you have an opportunity to build customer loyalty with every phone call.
“IVR: Interactive Voice Response and The Human Touch” is a reminder that, as amazing as digital technology can be, it still requires thoughtful input to make it effective.
For all things related to caller experience, please call our BusinessVoice team at 800/473-9005.
MadAveGroup has been recognized once again for "outstanding achievement" in the field of marketing and communications by the 2013 MarCom Awards, an international creative competition that includes entries by media conglomerates and Fortune 500 companies.
BusinessVoice, our On Hold Marketing division, received the highest honor - a Platinum MarCom Award - for "Binkelmania," a humorous On Hold Marketing production we created for Binkelman Corporation. (Listen in the video below.)
We also earned a Gold MarCom Award for a series of three radio spots we created for Spirit Services. (Listen to them in the video below.)
"The radio spots we produce for Spirit are not only designed to encourage a specific response," said VP of Creative Services Scott Greggory, "they support the company's brand identity. We want that audio to sound like what their website and social media channels look like. That way, there's a stronger connection with the brand as people move from the radio to Spirit's online world."
"That's one of the advantages of working with an agency like ours. Radio and TV stations are in the business of production and distribution, not necessarily great content creation. We focus on each client's message, supporting their brand identity, and strengthening the audience's perception of their company in a creative way," said Greggory. "Ours is a consistent and long-term approach."