I was lucky enough to attend the AZIMA TIM Interactive Marketing Awards last Thursday at the Phoenix Art Museum. Vertical Measures walked away with two awards: Interactive Person of the Year and Best Online Video. If you haven’t heard of it, AZIMA (stands for Arizona Interactive Marketing Association) is a great organization who regularly brings in top-notch speakers on a variety of marketing topics. This was the 2nd Annual TIM awards, aptly named for Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, the renowned father of the Internet, and was created to highlight the efforts of companies & individuals in the digital marketing industry of Arizona.
Hear the Sales Lion Roar
The night began with a great presentation by Marcus Sheridan of Sales Lion fame. What made Marcus’ presentation so compelling was a) his endless energy and obvious passion for content marketing and b) the fact he geared the content of his presentation directly to the digital marketers in the audience, leaving us all with something new to think about. He mentioned but didn’t share his complete (and now infamous) sales success story from selling fiberglass pools through content, but instead turned our attention to the greater compelling forces behind content marketing, and marketing in general as a whole.
Marcus posed this important question to the audience “When prospects visit our websites, do we help solve their problems better than anyone else in the world?” There are two important lessons stemming from this one question:
- As a content provider — be it a brand or an agency working for clients – we must ask this question of ourselves.
- If we can’t truthfully answer “yes,” we must work with our clients or our internal team to accomplish this.
We all went a step further with Marcus, when he asked us to think about never using the terms ‘content marketing,’ ‘blogging’, ‘social media marketing,’ among others again. What would we call what we do if we never used these words to describe it? We all had to think about how to distill our marketing efforts into more global, and human-terms. What the audience ended up throwing out as answers were words like “listening,” “communicating,” “teaching,” and “helping.” These are the things that make us successful as marketers – not the fancy terms and complicated campaigns. Those things matter too, but only in service to the broader ideals of helping people, communicating with them and listening intently in order to find the lesson we need to teach.
Vertical Measures Wins Big
Probably the most exciting part of the night was the awards presentation. We got to hear our industry peers take away awards for their outstanding work in categories like Best Website, Best Display Ad, and Best Brand of the Year. We were all very excited when Todd Hartley and his team at WireBuzz won Best Social Media Campaign for their initiative BreastCancerAnswers.com. This project works to bring the leading breast cancer experts directly to the computer screen of the people looking for answers; those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or their concerned families.
Our team at Vertical Measures took a sigh when finally our categories of Best Online Video and Interactive Person were the last two to be announced. We are thrilled and proud to say that our video, “Why Visual Content is So Important,” an advanced motion graphics video created by Dan Dannenberg and narrated by Ardala Evans, won top honors. In our industry–and really any industry for that matter–visual content is extremely important, appealing to people in a way written words just can’t. This video illustrates this point through the well-known story framework of “The Old Man and the Sea.” If you haven’t watched it yet, see the video embedded below.
Last but not least, the award for Interactive Person of the Year was announced. It ended up being a huge standing O for our very own CEO, Arnie Kuenn. Arnie was a bit speechless, but was able to thank the ‘academy’ and offer a big thank you to AZIMA for always working to promote the digital marketing industry in Arizona. Arnie is a tireless leader, always moving both our internal team onward and upward, and the whole internet marketing industry as a whole. He is content marketing’s biggest fan, continuing his national tour to evangelize its benefits to small and large businesses. He has already spoken at quite a few conferences and put on content marketing workshops around the nation this year at places like SMX & Conversion Conference, with another more than 10 engagements still to go in 2014.
All in all, the AZIMA Awards was a great night to learn a little, connect with likeminded industry peers, and gather around to highlight the great work that took place in the past year. We already are looking forward to 2015!