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Exciting new services. Awards and recognitions. New clients, business partners and employees. You'll find details on those topics and many others here on our News page. To access our press releases, just click on the links below.
The MarCom Awards recognizes excellence in the world of marketing and communication. In fact, the industry's largest, most prestigious creative firms compete for MarCom recognition.
That's why our MarCom wins and other honors are such an important clue when you're looking for the right marketing agency: those awards reinforce that our work stands up to the best in the marketing world.
In October 2018, we earned a Platinum MarCom Award for one of the humorous On Hold Marketing productions we created for Lakeland Auto and Marine. It features the copywriting and voiceover of Scott Greggory. Chris Zaharias served as Recording Engineer.
The MarCom Awards is administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, an international organization whose members include thousands of marketing, communication, advertising, public relations, digital and web professionals.
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.
MadAveGroup has earned a 2018 Silver Telly Award in the category of Branded Content / General - Promotional.
Since 1979, The Telly Awards has recognized creativity and effectiveness in video content and production. The competition attracts more than 12,000 entries annually from all 50 states and five continents.
Our winning video (below) is a darker but humorous self-promotional piece that stresses the importance of providing a great customer experience at every touchpoint.
Jason Crockett - Videographer / Editor
Terry Lesniewicz - Director of Photography
Chris Zaharias - Audio Post-Production
Greg Stawicki - Graphics
April Cochran - Production Assistant
Scott Greggory - Writer / Director
Our humorous, five-spot radio campaign for Ray’s Trash was recognized again – this time as the only Award of Excellence winner in the 24th Annual Communicator Awards’ audio commercial campaign category.
We also received an Award of Distinction for our “Paul Revere” TV and online video campaign that we created for Revere, a business communications provider. Watch the compilation video below.
The Communicator Awards is an international competition that recognizes big ideas in marketing and communications - work that makes an impact. It attracts more than 6,000 entries annually. It's sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, a group whose members include top-tier professionals from acclaimed media, communications, advertising, creative and marketing firms.
BusinessVoice, our Caller Experience Marketing agency, continued its winning tradition at the 2018 MARCE Awards, presented by the Experience Marketing Association, formerly the On Hold Messaging Association.
The judges presented us with the trophy for Most Effective On Hold Marketing, acknowledging our work for Behler-Young, a provider of HVAC products and services that works with customers from its 17 locations in Michigan and Ohio.
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.
Only one radio campaign won a 2017 Platinum MarCom Award. Ours.
The humorous five-spot series we created for Ray’s Trash in Indianapolis took one of the top prizes in the international competition, which receives about 6,000 entries annually.
“Ray’s asked us to produce a radio spot to run during the Indianapolis Indians radio broadcasts this past summer,” said MadAveGroup CCO Scott Greggory. “We considered the five-month season and the four-spot-per-game frequency, and then suggested creating five spots instead. We knew that hearing the same spot over and over could lead to listener burnout, which would result in frustration with the brand. A greater variety of spots would prevent that problem.”
Platinum Award - Ray’s Trash Radio Campaign
Writer: Scott Greggory
Voices: Amy Scott and Scott Greggory
Recording Engineer: Chris Zaharias
BusinessVoice, our Caller Experience Agency, won two Gold MarCom Awards and an Honorable Mention, all for On Hold Marketing we created.
Gold Award - SYSTEMseven On Hold Marketing
Writers: Shaun Turner and Scott Greggory
Voices: Amy Scott and Scott Greggory
Recording Engineer: Chris Zaharias
Gold Award - International Translating Company On Hold Marketing
Writer: Scott Greggory
Voices: Amy Scott and Scott Greggory
Recording Engineer: Don Binkley
Honorable Mention - Notre Dame Academy On Hold Marketing
Writer: Andrea Poteet
Voices: Amy Jeffries
Recording Engineer: Don Binkley
If you want to improve the impression that your company leaves on callers, you may want to consider this: BusinessVoice, our Caller Experience Marketing agency, won the highest honor in the On Hold Marketing industry for the second time in three years at the 2017 MARCE Awards.
The MARCEs are presented each year to acknowledge marketing and creative excellence in On Hold Marketing entries from around the world.
“The Girls at Notre Dame” earned two awards: Best Branding and Best of Show. We crafted the production for our client Notre Dame Academy, a Catholic girls school in our hometown of Toledo, Ohio.
“We're always thinking about how to elevate the caller experience,” said Chief Creative Officer Scott Greggory. “The Notre Dame production is a great example of introducing first-person stories and sincere emotion to paint a vivid picture in callers' minds.”
Andrea Poteet wrote the voiceover copy, Don Binkley was the recording engineer, and Amy Jeffries provided the voiceover. Hanson Inc. provided the students' voiceovers.
The MARCE Awards judges shared many nice comments about the piece, including these:
“Great concept. The testimonial / word-of-mouth feel is strong and believable. And the spectrum of information shared is tremendous.”
“The music bed was current, the VO delivery was very solid, and the [stories] left a great impression. Well done, guys.”
BusinessVoice has earned 14 MARCE Awards. That's more than any other On Hold Marketing provider in the world. The competition began in 2005.
MadAveGroup has provided marketing services to tire retailers and automotive aftermarket clients for decades. And lately, Tire Review Magazine has been tapping into our experience.
For the third time in 16 months, the trade mag has published an article featuring input from a member of our team. WebArt's Director of Digital Marketing Brad Timofeev is featured again in the abridged piece below. Take a look.
Myth #2: Once in-store shoppers begin looking at their smartphone, the store has lost their attention.
Fact: Stores can grab consumers’ attention through search results and a retailer’s mobile site or app.
Consumers look at competitor sites, but a greater percentage look at search engine results and the retailer’s website/app. Forty-two percent of in-store consumers conduct online research while on location via:
• 64% - search engines
• 46% - retailer’s website/app
• 30% - a different retailer’s website/app
• 26% - another type of website/app (coupon site, review site, etc.)
This means stores should optimize their online presence (including search results, website, app, and mobile ads) to engage consumers while they’re inside the store. According to Brad Timofeev, Director of Digital Marketing for WebArt, a digital marketing agency with locations in Ohio and Virginia, this involves putting together a strategy with a deep understanding of the customer journey and how you can move them through it more smoothly.
“Potential customers look to your website during more stages of the buying cycle than any other touch point,” he says. “They might visit you online during the discovery, evaluation, conviction and action stages, so the website is where you should invest the most dollars and time.”
Timofeev recommends content marketing to attract visitors at the initial stages, as dealers can craft content based on consumers’ specific search intent. (For example, “What’s the best oil for my type of driving?” or “How to know when you need new brakes.”)
“However, before creating content, you should perform a basic search query for your topics to see which types of content show in the search results,” he notes.
“Mobile apps are a great tool for existing customers to use and for you to retain them,” Timofeev adds. “Your app really only needs to provide service reminders and a way to schedule appointments. The app should push those reminders to your customers’ mobile devices, along with information about why certain services are so important.”
Myth #3: Online research has limited what consumers expect from stores; they really just go to stores to complete a transaction.
Fact: Consumers still visit stores for more than just transactions, but they now expect more out of any place they shop; they want informed, customized experiences.
According to the study, 69% of consumers used physical stores for information during different phases of the purchase process:
• 32% found inspiration - the time they realized they wanted or needed a particular product.
• 33% did research - the time they actively looked and researched the purchase.
• 55% bought - the time they purchased the product.
• 14% post-purchase - any behavior they participated in after the purchase
Consumers polled said they would be more likely to shop in stores that offer personalized coupons and exclusive in-store offers (85%) as well as recommendations for specific products to purchase (64%).
Tire dealers can take advantage of these tendencies by delivering customized offers and recommendations right to consumers as they search on their phone or by integrating them into the in-store experience.
“It’s important to realize that not all of your customers are at the same stage in the buying cycle, so they’re going to have different tendencies when shopping in-store,” Timofeev says. “For instance, if a customer comes in for scheduled maintenance or to buy tires, he’s already chosen to do business with you. At that point, it’s your job to retain that customer by providing a great experience and adding any value you can. But there’s also this possibility: A customer comes in for scheduled maintenance and, after inspecting his vehicle, you tell him that his car requires more work than he expected. He might pull out his smartphone and start shopping around for that additional service while he’s in your store.”
He adds that while the in-store experience includes everything from the shop’s appearance, cleanliness and aroma to colors, signage, displays, furniture and the music or TV, so much of customer retention is dependent upon your staff and each customer interaction.
“They should be trained extensively in communication of your brand promise,” Timofeev says. “They also need to drive customers to specific actions: using the mobile app; signing up for your monthly email flyer or social media pages, and taking advantage of the resources on your website, such as coupons and tire selectors. Your waiting areas should reinforce those messages, too, through digital signage, in-store audio, table stands, pull-down banners and geofencing notifications.”
Rather than marginalizing the value of in-store shopping, Google’s research shows that smartphones and online information offer an opportunity for stores to enhance consumers’ shopping experience.
“It’s important to make it easy for customers to find the information they want and need, whether it’s on a well-designed mobile website that’s intuitive and easy to navigate, or an uncluttered store that features helpful POP displays, audio and video,” Timofeev says.
“At every point of contact, make it easy for customers to choose you,” he adds.
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.