During the summer of 2001, while sitting on a faraway beach sipping a cold beer, Chris Bannon plotted his return to Pittsburgh to start a new company. The question was, "what kind of company?" In the 18 months since he sold his web business the world had changed. But even as a recession fully set in, he knew we hadn't scratched the surface of this new world of marketing. The possibilities still excited him. 16 years and a lot of gray hair later, he still sees marketing as the difference maker.
Ok, you’ve figured out by now we’re not like most marketing firms. For one thing, we won’t bore you with the tiresome platitudes about the future of marketing. You can get that from any well-meaning, but wet-behind-the-ears agency startup. There’s a lot of BS being spewed and many promises being made. We stand behind our views because we actually see what works each and every day.
We won’t try to steer you down the path of some of the HOTTEST and GREATEST of marketing’s shiny new objects. We might be the only digital-born firm that isn’t slobbering over social media as the most AWESOME thing to happen in marketing since, well, the QR Code. Man, that was AWESOME.
We see marketing’s role as helping companies sell their stuff to people who want to buy their stuff. Pretty simple, huh? Well, it may be simple but I can assure you it’s not easy.
Popular marketing “thought leaders” point to evidence that “interruptive advertising is dead.”
Hmmmm, where have we heard this argument before?
Print is dead.
Radio is dead.
Network TV is dead.
Cable TV is dead.
Outdoor is dead.
Email is dead.
Dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead.
Man, that’s a lot of death in our industry. It’d be horrifying if any of it were true.
Pundits cite the fact that people record their TV shows and might skip the commercials. OMG, people no longer like advertising!
Well, let me tell you a little secret.
A little more…
Just a bit more…
People NEVER liked advertising.
People put up with advertising. They politely sit through commercials and flip through magazines, barely noticing most ads in the process. Consumers may not like advertising, but when they have a buying itch and see something interesting and relevant, BOOM. Ads scratch the itch. People are consumers, after all:)
Industry media like to point to facts that consumers today (especially millennials!!!) are more prone to persuasion by their friends than by advertising. Fair enough. But where did their friends learn about the product they now covet? This wonderful knowledge had to begin somewhere.
A recent study conducted by a social media platform (of course) found that 99% of millennials declared they were not influenced by advertising. What is more remarkable to me is that 1% admitted they get sold by those dirty, evil, capitalist “ADS!”
So what the hell is going on in the world of marketing?
Glad you asked… hehe.
First of all, marketing is indeed more complex and more technical than ever.
Not a day goes by I don’t get a pitch from the latest and greatest new marketing platform. How much room is in this space? How many “platforms” do I need to learn anyway?
Second, it is getting more confusing to senior executives who just want to know what this stuff means to the bottom line.
It is no wonder CEO trust in CMOs has hit an all-time low. Don’t believe me, google it…
So why is that?
Because we have forgotten that our job is to sell stuff. Lots of stuff.
Somewhere along the line, we began to think we were too good for the business of selling. Selling was for those neanderthals down the hall. We had analytics to analyze and feel-good, vanity metrics to pump up.
“Don’t they realize we have literally dozens of people to ENGAGE with on Facebook?”
Which bring us to the point of this page… what about Buzzhoney?
Thanks for sticking around. Hopefully, this isn’t anticlimactic.
You see, it’s actually quite simple. Buzzhoney applies a collective creative talent to make the cash register ring. That’s why we focus on big ideas that help your company stand out. It’s why we measure what works and what doesn’t. We may have a pedigree in digital, but we also know that much of what passes for strategic reasoning today is pure bullshit.
We’re not the biggest marketing firm.
We’re not the best, I’m pretty sure.
We’re not the smartest or best looking. We don’t have the most followers or drive the fastest cars. Heck, we don’t even listen to the coolest music and haven’t been to SXSW since ’13.
OK, where was I going with this?
Oh yeah… Buzzhoney. Why Buzzhoney?
We give a shit about your marketing. We take it personally if you and your department don’t succeed. We obsess and kick over desks if our plans don’t yield results. If our biggest ideas don’t make you jump out of your chair we will fall into a deep funk for weeks and lose weight over it.
If you don’t get promoted within a year we will drive to your place of business and hold a sit-in in your boss’ office until the injustice is made right!
We think about your problems at night, on the weekend, when we are out to dinner with our spouses. We come up with ideas for you in our sleep while we dream, waking and fumbling around for our phone to capture it before it’s gone.
A little weird? Maybe.
We will help you navigate the politics in your company to make things happen. We’ll help you put together the most important PowerPoint decks of your life.
We’re scrappy, dedicated and still hungry after many years of making the cash register ring.
We’re old enough to know what a Brand Manager is supposed to do, but young enough to know which emoji works best.
We’re the kind of company you need when the chips are down. Or up. Either way, we make stuff happen.
Cuz that’s where it’s at, my friend. It’s all about the experience these days. And there’s a ton that marketing can do to win this battle. A great customer experience can be the difference in the commoditization of everything. A great digital experience creates that “A-ha” moment whether through a story, an app or personalization. We’ll help you apply proven methods to uncover the wow factor in the design of your customers’ online experience.
It’s hard enough to get noticed by today’s busy customer. Even the largest brands fight for relevance in an increasingly commoditized world. What do you stand for? What story do you tell? Are you zigging along with everyone else, or do you actually zag? Your brand in the digital age has little to do with your logo or a tagline and everything to do with the compelling and consistent value you offer across all touchpoints. Standing out is easier said than done, but your success depends on it.
Listen, we’ve all been on the receiving end of the sales team’s complaints. “These leads suck.” Well, let’s consider for a minute that maybe the folks down the hall may have a point. Random people who download our whitepaper may not actually be prospects. Hell, they may not even qualify as humans. Let’s walk the fine line between keeping the lead count up and giving sales something they can work with. We’ll help you design a system that produces qualified leads consistently and predictably.
So you spent a bunch of your budget on all those leads. You’ve stuffed the top of your funnel with all kinds of inquiries. Let’s not leave it to chance that these customers will convert. Let’s show them some marketing love throughout the cycle. Let’s make it easy to do business with us. Let’s remove any hurdles. Let’s squeeze every drop of effort out of the middle of our funnel. It’s where the real difference is made.
Listen, I know your team is sharp. They work hard, they keep up to speed on the latest. They cover a lot of ground. But the truth is, they can’t keep pace with all that is changing. They can’t stay current with all the skills needed for today’s marketing program. And you don’t have an unlimited headcount to fill in all the gaps. That’s where we fit in, bridging the gap with specialized skills and decades of experience.
Yeah, I said it. Process. I know, I know. You’d rather eat broken glass but hear me out for a minute. The difference between nightmares and dreams is the difference between ad hoc and defined process. Every organization is different, but we all enjoy that feeling when things just seem to run more smoothly. Well-oiled machine and all, right?
Connect the dots between the research, the data, and gut instinct. It’s not enough to be clever. Or creative. Or smart. Or good looking. You need to be right. You need to be able to read the tea leaves for clues to your company’s next big step. Good marketers know how to do more than win the game. They know how to change the game.
Now there’s a fancy way to say “stop wasting money.” This is the key to long-term success. Know where to invest your marketing dollars. So important, but easier said than done. So while the creative brains write funny headlines and photoshop memes, the analysts (or as we like to call them, number geeks) use their big left brains to keep us honest.
There’s no glory in projects that go on forever. Let’s lock that shit down so you don’t have to explain it for the 23rd time at the status meeting. We’ve been doing this for a long time, in the biggest of big and the smallest of small companies. Someone dead, but famous once said, “well done is better than well said.”