How a viral music video helped this non-profit raise $55k

On May 4, 2017, ACC Senior Services took part in Sacramento's Big Day of Giving and raised $55k, more than doubling last year's take. Marketing Valet's Marielle Fong was in charge of the fundraising strategy for this event. Her big insight was this: Even though ACC bills itself as an institution that promotes "life-long learning," it's really a big social club. It attracts seniors [...]

By |May 24th, 2017|

This customer video shows the power of brand storytelling

Daniel Leal is a former laborer who lives in an abandoned home in rural California. Due to chronic health issues, his right leg was amputated. He accepted this, but then faced a more debilitating problem - depression. During my stint at Peach Tree Health, I produced a series of videos to market our heath center. We served more than 14,000 low-income patients including the homeless. Obamacare introduced fierce competition [...]

By |July 25th, 2016|

Ritz Crackers branding video gets it right in 30 seconds

I saw a commercial this morning for Ritz Crackers on Good Morning America. It was a great example of brand storytelling. It shows a little girl who is bummed out because she just got glasses. As her story unfolds, we feel empathy. We experience concern, love, and then surprise. All this in just 30 seconds! The Ritz product gets revealed in the punchline, but it doesn't draw attention to [...]

By |July 21st, 2016|

Running the marketing department like a newsroom

Look where corporate budgets have been shifting, and it's easy to see that "content marketing" is the new marketing, advertising, and PR. And, surprisingly, it feels like a newsroom operation. A closer look reveals that content marketers and journalists have a lot in common. They produce stories about people and issues that are relevant, authentic, and engaging to readers. They spend a lot of time researching [...]

By |April 27th, 2016|

A business is the sum of its content

The value of a business can be tied to some form or expression of its content.  For starters, a business is comprised of intellectual property, policies and procedures, inventory, financial information, customer lists, contracts, and goodwill. To create business value, someone had to communicate something to someone. Someone has to create the content that someone else values and can act [...]

By |April 25th, 2016|

Feeding the brutal sales funnel

I confess, I've worked for several B2B companies where sale teams were not always happy with marketing's deliverables. Until inbound marketing and web analytics came along, marketing teams functioned as glorified ad agencies. We adopted the voice of the company and spoke to our customer through advertising, direct mail, brochures, and telemarketing. We called our work "branding" which provided "air cover" [...]

By |April 20th, 2016|

Adaptec and Max IQ save the day for this VAR

We presented Adaptec with several creative directions for this video introducing their storage controller, Max IQ SSD Caching Solutions. They chose an animated treatment. Aside from the video being fun to watch, it was important that it resonated with IT and sales teams of system integration companies. We created a character called Max the Integrator, a smart and unassuming geek that everyone in IT could relate [...]

By |January 16th, 2016|

Loc-Aid CEO goes low-tech to connect with customers

We produced a series of campy whiteboard videos or "chalk talks" for Loc-Aid, featuring their CEO Rip Gerber. This idea has been used before, most notably by UPS. Technically it's very easy and inexpensive to produce, and can be done at your office. It works best if your presenter is one of your executives, and he or she can deliver a relaxed [...]

By |October 26th, 2015|

Explaining Agilent’s complex product to left and right brain buyers

Agilent eArray is a specialized research platform used by genetic scientists. Writing the script for this demo was very challenging.  I spent hours reading about this product and interviewing subject matter experts. This video was one component of a larger marketing campaign we produced. We also developed a microsite, a CD-ROM, and print collateral. Although Agilent is well established in this field, they wanted a video [...]

By |September 13th, 2015|

3D modeling helps Sunrise Telecom market new testing instrument

Sunrise Telecom's flagship product, MTT, is a ruggedized hand-held instrument used by technicians to test data, video, and voice connections, or what industry calls "triple-play service verification." Our client at Sunrise Telecom was an engineer who wanted not only to bring out MTTs software features, but also its physical design. He shipped us a unit and immediately we could see why. Everything was thought [...]

By |September 5th, 2015|