May 17, 2016

Greater Dallas Business Ethics Award Recognition

Team

We are thrilled to announce our parent company, Imprimis Group (Freeman+Leonard, Imprimis Staffing and BravoTECH) was recently honored by the North Texas business community at the 16h Annual Greater Dallas Business Ethics Award (GDBEA) program. The program was held on Tuesday, May 17 at 11:30 a.m. at the Westin Galleria Hotel, presented by Akin Gump, the Better Business Bureau serving Dallas and Northeast Texas, and D CEO Magazine.

The Greater Dallas Business Ethics Award recognized our companies for our commitment to ethical business practices and demonstration of these practices in daily operations, management philosophies, and responses to business challenges.

30 companies were nominated this year and four companies were selected to receive the award.

The honorees were selected after a comprehensive evaluation process: A panel of judges representing academia, business and previous award winners reviewed the 30 nominees’ ethics policies, programming, communications, and review practices. The Posey Leadership Institute at Austin College sent a team of students to conduct site visits and interviews with the entrants. Each entrant was then screened for Better Business Bureau reviews and qualifying ratings of B+ or above. Finally, the panel determined the four honorees who demonstrated the highest standards of ethics in action.

“These companies are great examples of ethics at work,” said Michael Webb, chairman of the award program. “They exemplify businesses operating under ethical principles and doing the right thing for their company and related stakeholders. Their work reinforces the positive, ethical values of our local business community.”

The 2016 award program will feature a keynote address by Richard Bowen, identified by the Wall Street Journal and 60 Minutes as the Citigroup whistleblower who repeatedly warned of the impending subprime mortgage crisis in 2007.

Read the full release here

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February 12, 2016

5 Digital Marketing Trends Determine the Survival of the Fittest in 2016

Lith_Buld_Sale_16 [Converted] copyThe Darwinian digital world has its own form of natural selection to thin the herd of businesses that don’t cater to consumers. More than ever, the emerging leaders in every sector of the economy will be businesses that continually adapt to rapid changes in technology-driven consumer behavior.

In just a decade, your agency or business may have transitioned from focusing on mass-target advertising, to using data to deliver segmented communications, to socially engaging with consumers on their terms. You’ve gone from talking at, to speaking with, to having a relationship with customers.

Think they’re satisfied yet? Of course not! It’s 2016 and digitally enabled consumers’ expectations are ramping up. Here’s what’s expected of us:

 

  1. Marketing Automation

As the consumer buying process becomes more complex, a marketing automation platform is necessary to manage all marketing content, track customer lifecycles, segment contacts, match content to sales opportunities, and schedule synchronized communications through many channels. As you develop a more robust automation strategy, Freeman Leonard can provide the talent you need to address the gaps in your system.

 

  1. Mobile Marketing

A combination of trends comprise what we are categorizing as mobile marketing, including mobile site optimization, location-based technology, digital assistant marketing, and even wearables (smartwatches) and the internet of things (loT). Mobile devices now account for 51% of time spent with digital media. Google has responded by releasing the “Mobilegeddon” algorithm in 2015 to phase out sites that aren’t optimized for mobile. If they’re putting their chips on mobile over desktop traffic, you should be too.

 

  1. Content Development

The Content Marketing Institute reports that 86% of B2B organizations have a content marketing strategy. 80% of business decision-makers prefer information in a series of communications, and 90% of consumers find customized content useful. Consumers are increasingly information-enabled, with a buying process that involves more inputs into each purchasing decision. Their loyalty depends on relationship building and education. Good thing you have a marketing automation system in place; now develop the content to make it work.

 

  1. SEO

As you optimize your site for mobile and fill it with content, you will achieve the fourth most important objective in this list. SEO depends on several factors in addition to content. These factors include increasing site “dwell time” and activity, as well as having the right alt tags, keywords, and relevance to match the increasingly complex search queries of your best prospects. Succeeding in your SEO objective can provide you with the highest ROI of any of your marketing efforts.

 

  1. Social Media

Social media continues to dominate in 2016, with a focus on engagement over self-promotion. Google is finally offering embedded videos in search, rather than just text-based ads, providing advertisers another incentive to develop sticky video content, and another way to engage consumers at the point of interest. Facebook is increasingly becoming relied upon as a platform for customer problem resolution and for transparency when issues arise. Interest and trust can be won or lost on social media, with immediate and drastic consequences.

 

Now is an excellent time to determine if you have the human resources to meet the digital challenges of the year ahead. Talk with Freeman Leonard about your needs, and learn about how our cutting edge talent solutions, like the Modeled On-Demand Agency (MODA) can meet your staffing needs.

February 9, 2016

3 Predictions for Advertisers in 2016

2016 will be a watershed year in advertising. Trends that have been developing in silos will mature and spill over from one compartment to another, finally sinking some long-held convictions about what works in advertising. The first to call for a life preserver will be TV commercials…

  1. Digital Ad Spending Will Surpass TV

TV ad spending has been flat for several years, with generally declining ROI, while digital advertising spending has steadily risen. According to a new forecast from Magna Global, digital ad spending in the U.S. will finally surpass TV as the biggest media category in 2016—a year earlier than many expected. The forecast is for $66 billion in revenue. Those shifting dollars will now be spent heavily on social and video formats, as well as search ads.all connected

  1. Advertising Will Focus More on Storytelling

Social media has been the primary catalyst for changing how people discover and engage with brands. As Gen Y and Millennial buying power increases, advertising strategy will evolve from selling to connecting. Social platforms will be an increasing part of the media mix, but storytelling will have an expanding role in traditional tv, radio, and print advertising.

Instead of asking why consumers should buy their products, advertisers will ask what story will intrigue and charm more consumers to engage with their brands. Once successful, the next phase will be about encouraging fandom and internet evangelism. The storytelling won’t be all about words either; Instagram and Pinterest, as well as products designed by companies like Ikea and Apple have cultivated a greater appreciation for the visual aspects of advertising.

 

  1. Outdoor Will Be One of the Most Cost-Effective Forms of Advertising

In 2016, consumers will become more vigilant about what they perceive as invasive forms of advertising. Online, new applications to prevent and block annoying digital ads will become increasingly popular for mobile and desktop use. Worse yet, as advertisers battle back against these challenges, consumers can have the final say with a backlash through social media.

There’s one form of advertising that remains unzappable (though the sun visor industry may be working on a solution), and that is outdoor advertising. Billboards will remain well-received, as long as the copy and design captivates drivers’ attention without causing rubbernecking.

Is your agency or business staffing plan agile enough to keep pace with rapid developments in our industry? Talk with Freeman Leonard about how our flexible talent solutions, like the Modeled On-Demand Agency (MODA™) and Imagine Nation™ can prepare you for the wild ride ahead.

February 5, 2016

A Prediction for 2016’s Big Game

that has nothing to do with football and everything to do with advertising.

On February 7, the NFL’s two most valuable living brands will compete in the 50th installment of the Big Game for the right to influence consumer preferences for everything from pizza to online brokerages for the remainder of 2016.

Oh, and they’ll be playing a football game, but I digress…

The traditional pocket passer, Peyton Manning, with his appeal to aging Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers, will represent fading values: a single-minded focus on football (for this, he sacrificed knowing how to order Chinese food), leadership, sportsmanship and winning with class. He’s a Buick kind of guy.

The spectacularly athletic and strong physical specimen, Cam Newton, with his showmanship and swagger will represent the flash that always seems to appeal to a younger generation. It’s not a generational hallmark, but a symbol of youth. He seemingly orchestrates his in-gaFootballme dances to generate the kind of anger we saw from John Lithgow’s reverend character in Footloose. He’s a Pepsi kind of guy.

So while Manning will be “working so hard” and “punching his card,” Cam Newton’s “gotta cut loose” and “kick off his Sunday shoes.” Here’s where we see this year’s engagement with advertising in the televised icon of sports.

We won’t be watching as intently as the young phenom “hits the ceiling” and “tears up this town” following an intercepted wobbly pass from an aging hero. And we’ll only be passive spectators to the TV ads, in spite of the cumulative billions spent trying to pry our attention from our smartphones and tablets.

It’s quite possible we’ll remember this year’s 50th event as the game changer in advertising, the year nobody turned up their TVs during the commercial breaks. Instead, they pulled up Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to talk about the game and to share selfies-gone-viral from the corporate attendees who paid more attention to their phones than the field.

In this year’s Big Game, the best way to gain exposure won’t be through a wildly creative 30-second spot, but through a microbrewed beer bottle held up in an Instagram photo. If you’re looking for the next big thing during the Big Game, that’s how you’ll find it.

The Big Game this year will be the ultimate Snapchat of where advertising is, and where it’s going.

On the other hand, you might suggest this is quite likely the only TV programming where people DO watch the ads. And, given all the coverage those same ads get across the networks in the two weeks prior, advertisers arguably get as much or more exposure for their spots in unpaid coverage (before and after the game) than for paid positions in the game itself. So, perhaps ad placement in Sunday’s game is an advertiser’s game changer.

Yeah, maybe. But we’re putting our money on Instagram and Snapchat.