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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.
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 November 10, 2016, MadAveGroup CEO Jerry Brown was inducted into the Entrepreneurial and Business Excellence Hall of Fame.
The hall honors those who have successfully grown their ideas and businesses in northwest Ohio and/or southeast Michigan.
Since founding his first marketing agency in 1989, Brown has led the development of a family of specialized marketing agencies, all of which fall under the MadAveGroup umbrella.
“Making money is certainly important for any business,“ Brown said, “but what I really love is building something of value, whether it’s our agency and all the different things we can do, or helping our clients grow their businesses. That’s the challenge. That’s the thrill.”
The MadAveGroup leadership team was in the audience to watch the award presentation, including VP of Account Management and Fulfillment Valerie Likens. “Jerry is passionate about his work,” she said “and he’s able to communicate that passion and pass it along to his team.”
“There are tremendous challenges that come with starting and growing a business, AND trying to maintain a culture that’s both fun and focused,” said Scott Greggory, MadAveGroup’s Chief Creative Officer. “Jerry has done both wonderfully well, and managed to keep a great enthusiasm for life, for people and for the work we do here. He’s a very special guy, and completely deserving of this award.”
Watch Jerry's acceptance speech in the video above.
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.
“Very funny!” wrote Andy Hedberg.
Andy was a judge at the 2016 MARCE Awards, the On Hold Messaging Association’s annual celebration of the industry’s best work.
He was describing “Interviews,” a humorous On Hold Marketing production our BusinessVoice team created for Binkelman Corp.
“Really well written, and the voice actors were spot on,” his notes continued. “I laughed several times.”
That’s not the type of reaction most callers expect to have after they’ve been placed on hold.
“More than two decades ago, we started using the on hold channel to present our clients’ messages in a way that would encourage the audience to listen actively,” said Greggory, MadAveGroup’s Chief Creative Officer.
“Humor On Hold represents a choice we made to turn the ‘nothing moment’ of holding into a fun and memorable experience. It usually includes working the client’s marketing messages into the mix in a very palatable way.”
The experience BusinessVoice created in “Interviews” was fun enough to earn the Judge’s Choice trophy. It’s the sixth time BusinessVoice has received that particular honor over the MARCE Award's 12-year history.
Listen to the winning production in the video above.
Judge Rachel McGrath noted that the work featured "great voice acting by the men, creative writing, and great use of sound effects."
"I really had to put some thought into finding something to criticize," wrote judge Emmett Andrews. "There's nothing perfect and there's always something that could be better, but in this case, it's a challenge to find."
Of the more than 6,000 entries submitted to the 22nd annual Communicator Awards, only 16 were chosen as Gold award winners in the Audio category.
Ours was one of them.
BusinessVoice - our On Hold Marketing agency - received a Gold Award of Excellence for a piece called "Interviews," an OHM production we created for Binkelman Corp. Listen to the humorous piece in the video below.
"Interviews" also earned a 2015 MarCom Award, as well as our internal On Hold Marketing of the Month award for August 2015. Read about the inspiration for the piece and some of the production elements here.
"The work entered in the Communicator Awards serves as a benchmark in gauging the innovative ideas and capabilities of communications and marketing professionals around the world," wrote Linda Day, executive director of the Academy Interactive and Visual Arts, the organization that presents The Communicator Awards.
BusinessVoice has earned more awards for creative and marketing excellence than any other On Hold Marketing agency in the United States.
MadAveGroup agencies won two bronze awards at the 2016 ADDY Awards, presented February 25th by AAF / Toledo.
Our advertising and design agency, d2i, won in the Brochure category for work they created for Reichle Klein Group. Terry Lesniewicz and Jack Bollinger teamed up to produce the winning entry, seen at left.
Can you imagine another company within your industry sending new business your way?
That's what happened to our On Hold Marketing agency BusinessVoice in late January 2016.
Arrowwood Lodge is a vacation destination in central Minnesota. Carolyn Bare is the location's General Manager.
When Carolyn began looking for an On Hold Marketing provider, she was searching for a company that could deliver an "out-of-the-box On Hold experience. Our [previous] on hold messaging was very ordinary; not at all what we wanted," she wrote. "We wanted something that would help guests remember us."
The first company Carolyn contacted produced a custom demo for Arrowwood, but it left her wanting more. That's when the company realized that they might have trouble fulfilling Arrowwood's desire for unique and creative On Hold Marketing.
So, they graciously suggested to Carolyn that she call BusinessVoice.
Within days, Arrowwood was a BusinessVoice client and our Creative team was on the job.
"We developed a concept that allows callers to hear someone flipping through TV channels," said Andrea Poteet, lead writer on the project. "The quick clips of the shows include humorous references to Arrowwood Lodge."
(Listen to the finished production in the video above.)
"This production absolutely fulfilled what we were looking for," wrote Carolyn. "We asked for something original, and you went above and beyond."
What did Carolyn like most about the work? "It was something that we had not heard before. We gave you free reign to do something unusual and fun, and you hit the nail on the head!"
"This is a great example of how BusinessVoice is different from others in the On Hold Marketing world," said BusinessVoice Director Steve Evert. "We believe your On Hold Marketing should receive the same type of attention and consideration that your digital and broadcast marketing do. In fact, we think that the impressions you make on hold are more important than those you may make with many forms of outbound marketing."
Visit the Humor On Hold page at BusinessVoice.com.
For her February 2016 article in Tire Review Magazine, Senior Contributing Editor Denise Koeth looked to Website Marketing expert Brad Timofeev for his insight on digital advertising.
While the piece is directed at America's tire dealers, Brad's thoughts can be applied to many types of companies. Read an abridged version of the Tire Review article below.
Brad Timofeev, Director of Website Marketing for WebArt, an agency of MadAveGroup, [says] that a tire dealership's website needs to clearly communicate what sets the shop apart from others in the same market.
"What sets you apart is not the tire brands you carry or the size of your inventory, or the words 'quality' and 'service,'" he explains. "Consumers have lots of choices, so why should they pull into your shop? What do you offer that's better, different, more valuable?"
Set your shop's website up for success by including strong calls to action, Timofeev says, adding, "If you're going to buy advertising that directs people to your site, make it simple for those people to become customers. The best way to do that is to give them easy access to free estimates, special offers and online appointments."
"Once you have a strong website, the most effective type of digital marketing for tire dealers is low funnel," says Timofeev. "That means marketing in order to see quick results: search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising and local directory profiles / advertising."
Timofeev [recommends creating] different messages for different audiences, referring to a low-funnel, mid-funnel and high-funnel model. Consumers generally move from high-funnel, in which they are unaware of your products or services or do not have a need yet, to low-funnel, in which they have a need and a desire to make a purchase. While high-funnel marketing (think general branding) often includes TV, radio or online display advertising, low-funnel methods include search engines and local directory websites – Yelp, tire manufacturer dealer locator sites and yellowpages.com, he notes.
"A majority of tire dealers start at the low-funnel channels online because it returns the most, and as they get more customers in the door, they then begin to feed their online advertising budget to support more of the higher level forms of online advertising," Timofeev says. "We've found that low-funnel customers want to know how they can save money with you and that you've been in business a long time, so your ads should address those needs."
"If you haven't dominated the organic search engine results for keywords related to service or tires, use Google AdWords until you can start ranking naturally in the search engines," Timofeev says.
For limited budgets, Timofeev recommends skipping social media advertising and display advertising, as well as hiring an agency for social media management.
For larger budgets, he suggests a comprehensive strategy that includes creating strategic messages for all levels of the marketing funnel: low, middle and high. "That means you'll be reaching potential customers at every stage of the buying cycle, from those who might need tires in a year to those who are ready to pull the trigger today," he notes.
"Online advertising is not cheap, but it doesn't have to be an additional investment," Timofeev adds. "Many of the tire dealers we work with have completely eliminated their Yellow Pages spend and invested all of that money online. None of our clients lost any business doing that; in fact, they all increased business by up to 300%."
He recommends dealers evaluate all forms of marketing, stop the ineffective methods, and put that money toward more advanced strategies of online advertising.
In the digital age, does print advertising still work?
That's the question that writer Denise Koeth put to MadAveGroup's Chief Creative Officer Scott Greggory.
Koeth's article appears in November's special Purchasing Guide supplement to Tire Review magazine. (Scroll down to read the plain text.)
Building a Media Plan
By Denise Koeth, Senior Contributing Editor
When it comes to advertising, strategies are endless, mediums are constantly changing and advice is often conflicting.
Doing something is better than nothing – results are results, even if they are lackluster – but funneling a shop's dollars into an ineffective ad campaign is a mistake no one wants to repeat.
To take some of the guesswork out of planning your media buy, we talked to several marketing experts and tire dealers to boil down the basics of four popular advertising mediums.
Some Print Still Works
Print advertising still holds an effective place in the majority of tire dealers' markets – but the right channels and strategies must be used. For example, phone books like Yellow Pages are a thing of the past.
"Display ads in telephone books are so expensive; because they're not targeted to your specific audience in your part of town, they can be very wasteful, too," says Scott Greggory, chief creative officer of Madison Avenue Marketing Group. "We work with tire dealers who have good luck with ValPak direct mail coupons. We've also used sponsored maps, postcards and a few other direct mail pieces to target families with multiple vehicles."
Because he says phone books are closed 99.9% of the time (or more), Bruce Bryan, president of B2C Enterprises, an agency in Roanoke, Va., advises that print ads in publications that have solid circulation, are priced right, and are timely are a much better choice.
"Gone are the days when dealers had to list every single tire size and price in the sports section," Bryan says. "A display ad that interrupts and gets the attention of the reader will accomplish the same results or better. Then, provide the address to a responsive website where shoppers can find all the information they need on a smartphone."
"To find out if newspaper or direct mail works for you, test it, measure the results, and then repeat, changing one aspect of the ad (the offer, the price, the image, etc.)," Greggory advises. "That will help you see which version of your ad performs best. Be prepared to commit to the channel, though. Running just an ad or two is not likely to produce great results."
To gauge the effectiveness of a print campaign, always include a coupon with your ad to spur sales, then track the coupon's redemption, according to Rod Frysinger, brand consultant for Madison Avenue Marketing Group.
Stand out from the print crowd by presenting readers with a simple, clear and compelling idea or offer that lets them know why they should do business with you, Greggory notes.
"That typically means using a lot of white space. Most of the time, newspapers and coupon circulars are so jammed with ad copy and images that nothing really stands out to readers," he says.
Conserve your ad dollars by looking into co-op opportunities with the brands your shop sells, says Greggory, adding it may help to hire pros to design and write ads that are more effective.
"A lousy ad will waste your money, but a great ad campaign can generate revenue for months or years to come."
Bryan says there is almost no need to buy a full-page ad in a newspaper. "A 3/4- or 1/2-page ad has a similar recognition value and will cost much, much less. Run ads early in the week; they're often less expensive than those that run late in the week."
The MarCom Awards are presented each year to recognize excellence in the concept, writing and design of print, visual, audio and online marketing and communication materials.
Here's the breakdown:
• Gold Award - NAPA Auto Parts / Real Deal On Hold Marketing
• Gold Award - Binkelman On Hold Marketing / Stream of Consciousness
• Honorable Mention - Binkelman On Hold Marketing / Interviews
• Honorable Mention - The Spirit Services Blog
We developed humorous content for all four winning entries.
MadAveGroup Creative Consultant Andrea Poteet conceived and wrote the copy for the NAPA On Hold Marketing.
Chief Creative Officer Scott Greggory wrote the Binkelman OHM copy and created the copy and images for the Spirit Services blog.
Listen to our winning On Hold Marketing in the videos below.
NAPA Auto Parts - Real Deal
Binkelman Corp. - Interviews
Binkelman Corp. - Stream of Consciousness