One Last thing.

One Last thing.

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Steal This Book

More than 40 years ago, an iconic emblem of the 60s radical counterculture was published as a field manual for militants to defeat big government and big business. Abbie Hoffman’s Steal This Book provided step-by-step formulas, mostly illegal, to defeat the establishment – even to the extent of stealing his own book. Once it got into print it became popular enough that Hoffman lamented, “It’s embarrassing to try to overthrow the government and wind up on the best seller list.” Hoffman must have envisioned a proliferation of anti-government soldiers marching in step to the drumbeat of his messages to steal, fight and liberate – a viral campaign trudging toward a new world order. If Hoffman had today’s communications tools available to him in 1970, he would have had to come up with another title for his book like, Tweet This Concept, Forward This Chapter, or Link This Blog. Today, we love the idea of any reputable entity linking to our content. It makes us more credible, maybe not to anyone real, but the robots that judge our worthiness – the Web crawlers. These days it’s all about the content and the links that attach to it. It’s not necessarily important how good it is but how wide it’s distributed. If you ever have occasion to thumb through a copy of Steal This Book you’ll see the content hasn’t withstood the test of time, and it’s not very well written, but it was never intended to be a Great American Novel. It was designed to sell the philosophy of its self-appointed guru and bring down the big machine known as the government. As much as Hoffman had to depend on The System to sell his book – the very one he intended to bring down – he would today have to depend on the big Internet machines to make his message appealing to his target audiences. How does a radical ever win?


David Gray and Diane Erbstoesser at the BMA Lantern Awards.

David Gray and Diane Erbstoesser with TAM International at the BMA Lantern Awards. Their fractional ads, produced by Barrett Proctor, ran on the front cover of the OTC show daily and won the BMA Lantern award for best in show.Fracking might be the hottest thing in the oilfield these days, but present an agency with the challenge of producing an ad that’s just a fraction of the whole page and let the moans and whimpers begin. But, fractional ads are an art form all their own, and with the right space buy and crisp messaging they can propel the brand and leave a stronger impression better than the canvas of a full page.Joined by clients Diane Erbstoesser and David Gray with TAM International, Creative Director Anthony Hoang and Jim Proctor accepted the best-in-show trophy at the BMA Lantern Awards during the gala at the Hotel Intercontinental in December.“Most people don’t know that da Vinci ‘s Mona Lisa is only 2′ 6″ x 1′ 9″ which is relatively small compared with other well know portraits of the time,” said Hoang. “It’s not the space, but what you do with it,” he said.The best of category award for fractional ads is the latest of dozens won over the years for Barrett Proctor in categories ranging from digital to traditional marketing.


Stay tuned to Barrett Proctor on facebook

Back when advertising had method and order as part of its process, television was king of the hill simply by being able to be in every living room every night reaching into the minds of moms and dads, sisters and brothers. It did something radio could not – it showed you how wonderful something was. It was the big differentiator. So when the big three auto makers rolled out their new models every fall, the big three television networks did likewise and rolled out the fall lineup of new shows. The ones that brought in the biggest audiences brought in the biggest revenues for the networks, and that still holds true today. Just a few weeks back, when most of us in the oil-soaked Houston B2B market were consumed with OTC, New York was hosting Upfront Week, an extravaganza in which networks entertain advertisers at lavish parties, ply them with excessive amounts of booze and caviar, just to get the next Big Bang Theory in front of them. Evidently it worked 50 years ago, and it’s still working today. Now digital wants a piece of the action. Digital has become a major part of the television world, and just like the industrial B2B space they are trying to figure out what to do with it. Everything is a TV, your phone, your tablet, even that antiquated thing that sits on your desk that looks like a typewriter. New York Times’ Tanzina Vega has written a series of articles about how the longtime conventions of traditional media were sold during UpFront Week and are now being coopted by digital channels creating content they think can compete with broadcast – and they’re names you’ve heard of. While CBS and Fox roll out what is considered typical broadcast fare, Vega writes that companies like Microsoft, Yahoo and the Wall Street Journal are trying to draw the attention of the exact same advertisers during NewFront Week, hoping they will see mixing media platforms will prove strategically sound. Big names that operate in the digital space are making hefty investments in video content, something TV ad buyers understand whether they’re selling cars, perfumes or anything else. Technology is driving capability and ad buyers see it coming even if they don’t quite know how to channel it yet. For the target marketer, digital ads are a way to connect just the right message with just the right audience who is most apt to buy. For the big brand marketer, digital is a medium which is always on. And, we’re not just talking video ads. This is new content from the likes of the Weather Channel for the storm junkies who can get their destruction fix 24/7. Companies like Condé Nast are making travel films, more than 30 in all, one in which their editor goes on a shopping spree. So, why not try to usurp the power of the tube during UpFront Week and put digital right in the ad buyer’s face? I get it, but I’m trying to figure out what this means for B2B, and even more interesting, industrial B2B. Yeah, we’re fine making sure our Facebook page is up to date; we get a few Tweets out each week; our organic page rankings are respectable; we have a PPC program in place. It’s all good – until someone asks the million dollar question, which is, “What happened to my million dollars?” We have our own traditional sources to cling to like offline publishing and tradeshows. But when does it make sense to tip the scales decidedly toward digital where it counts, and it can be counted? If the great and powerful boob tube is wrestling with this one, you can be sure B2B will wrestle with it, too – and will be watching.

Last Words


It’s a Brave New World for B2B Sales and Marketing

As the economy improves, lessons learned during the recession promise to impact business-to-business sales, product development, finance and marketing groups for the next five years, according to a study by McKinsey. Interviews with senior sales executives and buyers at leading global companies revealed three emerging trends “rapidly dominating the B2B landscape.”First, more than ever before, customers want it all. Their needs are becoming more diverse and shift from day-to-day. Customers are also more demanding, “insisting on both off-the-shelf products and more complex, customized solutions — all with different levels of sales support.”Second, customers are becoming more comfortable getting information over the telephone, and via web and video conferencing, as well as interfacing with “virtual support specialists.” This shift has not only increased the time sales reps spend with customers (by 40%), improved reps productivity and home-life balance, but also reduced travel costs by 50%. Thirdly, frontline sellers and managers are quickly becoming adept at mining granular customer data and using predictive analytics to drive sales and deepen relationships, reducing dependence on gut-instinct.

Source: McKinsey Quarterly


QR Codes at Trade Shows

Roger Lewis of Alliance Tech, an event technology solutions provider focused on marketing metrics for tradeshows, recently posted comments about how exhibitors are benefiting from QR codes at shows and industry events. He wrote that exhibitors, like other advertisers, made early mistakes but have learned from them.Aside from check-in and badge scanning, Lewis sees great benefit in distributing relevant digital data immediately when it makes the most impact on booth visitors. Instant access to videos, white papers, collateral material and press releases help customers connect the dots to product/service benefits more quickly leaving a better impression and memorability. Content linked to QR codes can sometimes do a better job of explaining detailed specs relating to key features than some booth workers unfamiliar with a specific product.Lewis goes on to say that QR codes don’t have to be all business either and smart exhibitors have fun with them. They can be integrated into games or voting in your booth. Scavenger hunts and other contests can entertain prospects while they focus on your brand versus your competitors. QR codes can also be used to indicate preferences by your customers and it becomes an easy anonymous way for them to show you how they feel while you collect important data. Scanning a QR code can also be a quick and easy way to sign up for newsletters.For Lewis, the QR codes he’s seen used effectively at shows is just the tip of the iceberg, one that smart exhibiters warming to and learning about. He predicts that as the acceptance of QR codes increases in grocery stores and other retail environments, and people download readers, B2B acceptance will follow.


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