There were no fancy dresses or expensive cocktails, but the celebration surrounding the 2019 Marketer of the Year Awards was just as exciting for team Big Sea as all three of our submissions were selected as finalists. In the end, we took home two wins — for Market Research and Content Marketing.
Marketer of the Year (MOY) is a results-based marketing competition that evaluates nominees in the categories of objectives, strategy, tactics, and results. The entries are judged by other American Marketing Association chapter officers (this year, by the Birmingham chapter). The competition was fierce, including entries from most of the top area agencies and organizations.
Marketer of the Year in Market Research
One thing Big Sea does really, really well is research prior to developing our marketing strategies. We dig into existing brand positioning; conduct messaging, SEO and website performance audits, evaluate competitors and review all current marketing efforts. We work closely with our clients to identify target markets and produce ideal buyer personas.
This year, we submitted the in-depth research and discovery brief that we completed for the University of Evansville in Indiana. During our initial discovery calls, the team at UE had a difficult time explaining why students chose the University, and finding differentiators we could leverage for our campaigns. We had to find out what made UE special, which of those things resonated with prospective students, and how we could break through the clutter to deliver that message to prospects.
To do so, we went directly to the source. We flew a team into Evansville to tour campus and meet with key stakeholders for an in-depth workshop. We surveyed hundreds of current students, incoming prospects, and alumni. This work led to the creation of some unique student personas that helped us create messaging and narrative strategy for our campaigns. Once we nailed down the messaging, we utilized third party research, competitive analysis, keyword research, and a thorough content audit to establish a baseline for how and where to distribute our marketing messages.
The results are an intense and comprehensive research brief provided to the client to support our marketing strategy and tactical plans for spring 2020. Our programmatic ads (display, OTV and CCTV) and email campaigns speak to highly targeted audiences based on our research, giving us lower CPM and higher conversions because of our specific and relevant messaging.
Most importantly, the client expressed that they had never had access to so much quantitative and qualitative data about themselves or their competitors. Now, when asked what makes them special and unique, they’re prepared to answer that question.
Marketer of the Year in Content Marketing
Content marketing, done well, isn’t always pretty. Painstaking SEO research and competitive positioning, combined with thoughtful and informative copywriting, are the hallmarks of successful campaigns. But they don’t always show well in awards ceremonies. Luckily, the Marketer of the Year ceremony is one that truly focuses on the ideas behind and results of the execution — and not just the pretty pictures. This was fortuitous as we were competing in this category against high-budget videos and integrated campaigns produced by Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Visit Tampa Bay, MONIN Syrups, and Farmore Marketing for TECO People’s Gas.
Our Content Marketing award was won for our long-standing client at Herman and Wells, a law firm devoted to representing clients in claims related to personal injury or homeowner’s insurance. We developed a keyword-driven content marketing strategy that resulted in explosive organic traffic growth, keyword rankings, and organic leads for the practice. In a highly competitive market, content marketing gave this local law firm a leg up against massive firms that — while more visible online — don’t have the ability to provide the personalized attention Herman and Wells gives each one of their clients.
Through highly-structured long-form content, niche service pages, blog articles, premium content pieces, FAQs, videos and more, we have loaded the Herman & Wells website with useful information and a narrative that converts.
The results include amazing year-over-year growth from 2018 to 2019. Website traffic grew 181%, leads coming from their organic search efforts increased 278%. Total keywords ranked in top 10 rose 210% and total keywords ranked grew 34.6%.
Award-Winning Marketing Strategies
We are thrilled to see our hard work recognized by the judges and by our clients. The work we do isn’t always the flashy, drool-worthy brand work that wins design competitions, but it is always work that gets results. We’re immensely proud of that, and of this recognition by the American Marketing Association Tampa Bay chapter.
If you’d like to work with an award-winning marketing team, we’d love to chat. Reach out.