Posts Tagged: Speak Out for Kids

Allison Development Group Receives MarCom Awards

MarCom AwardsIt’s pretty exciting around here – ADG was honored with Platinum, Gold, and Honorable Mention MarCom awards for our marketing and design work in 2014! The International MarCom Awards is a creative competition for the writing, concept, and design of print, visual, audio, and web material and programs. This year the MarCom awards received 6,000 entries from all 50 states in the United States, along with 34 countries. We were presented with awards for our work in special events, logo design, and video production in 2014.

ADG received top honors in the “Special Events” category for our work with Children and Family Resource Center’s “Speak Out for Kids 2014,” a community engagement campaign focused on involving local residents in bettering the lives of Henderson County youths. To refresh your memory throughout February and March of 2014, virtual and live conferences were held, designed to engage youth and the larger community in addressing gaps in services, understanding community priority areas, and providing opportunities for everyone to plug in and do more to help children in Henderson County. The campaign culminated in a live event on March 1, 2014 where ideas promoting these objectives were given cash awards towards implementation.

We were also honored with a Gold Award in the “Pro Bono” category for our recent re-design of the logo for Only Hope WNC, a non-profit dedicated to ending youth homelessness, and was given an Honorable Mention in the “Video / Nonprofit” category for their video production on the importance of farmers’ markets across the region, for their clients at MountainWise. 




How To Make Stress Your Friend

This video couldn’t have come into my life at a better time. ADG is still recovering from our biggest event to date – the Speak Out live & virtual conference that culminated in a live event this past Saturday. For the past few months it seemed like this was the event that would never end, or at least the one that would do me in. When you’re in the midst of stress and deadlines, it’s easy to succumb to the desire for it all to end, to crave those times of peace and ease.

This video gave me a new thought –  what if, instead of looking at stress like a disease that needs to cured, we embraced it as a tool for making ourselves, stronger, sharper and better? Given that our schedule at ADG shows no signs of slowing down, I’m going to choose the latter outlook.

This post was written by Caroline Livengood, Digital Accounts Manager here at ADG. She can be found on Twitter @carolivengood.


Big Growth, Wearable Tech, and Customer-Centric Marketing

2013 has been a big year for Allison Development Group! With January 1st just days away, we asked Erica to reflect and comment on the big moments from this past year, and what she expects to see in 2014.

What were the biggest changes for ADG this year?

Growth!! We experienced tremendous growth this year at ADG: in accounts, revenue, and staff. That’s a lot to handle for any small business; it was even more of a big deal when it was condensed into a six month span.

Thankfully, I had been hard at work on business planning for six months prior and had started to put systems into place and clarify roles. Understanding how to forecast flow was critical to keeping our heads above water. We use Basecamp for our project management tool. I can’t imagine working without it now.

What was the #1 lesson you learned in 2013?

The perfect storm of under staffing and a lack of systems hit me mid-year and reminded me that in order to grow this business to a sustainable level, I was going to need to put the right people in positions that encouraged personal and professional development. Together, we would have to start the arduous task of creating processes to make the business run more smoothly.

As a business owner, you simply can’t do it all. Find the best and the brightest, stretch yourself to make it work, and then get out of the way. Oh, and stop being so fluid; systems and processes really are your friend.

Is there any one campaign that you are particularly proud of?

We are blessed to have had so many wonderful clients to work with this year. It’s hard to pinpoint one over another, but I can point to moments when I just knew that the outcome was going to be outstanding.

  • The branding process for MountainWise
  • The first note I heard from Mac Arnold + Plate Full ‘O Blues at Thrive’s annual Bids & Blues event
  • The moment that the entire ADG team knew that Speak Out for Kids  could be more than just a one day event and instead become something truly innovative and special for an entire community.

I’m lucky to have had lot of those types of moments and they never cease to inspire and amaze me, always reaffirming that I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing at this point in my life. That feels pretty awesome.

Any insights on marketing trends for 2014?

ff_wearables2_largeI have two trends that I’ll be paying attention to this year. The first is wearable technology. It’s seriously everywhere and will become a huge part of how all of us interpret our personal outputs: how much we sleep and eat or how much energy we expend. I’m not talking Google Glass here, I’m talking about functional technology that people are already using or wearing.

For marketers like me, I’ve long been in love with data and how to use it to produce measurable outcomes. Now, we’re all mining data; only this time, it’s from our bodies. If I eat peanut butter 10 minutes before my run, can I go longer? Faster? If I eat a banana instead, what does that do to my pace? If do none of the above and get more sleep, what can I expect then? The options for exploration are endless.

So goes the marketing ramifications. Privacy issues notwithstanding, the actual mindset or physical status of a person could now be available. Going beyond mere psychographics to actual personal profiles, marketers will be challenged to forgo the push notification and broad brush approach and instead recognize context.

That brings me to my second trend: contextual, customer-centric marketing. Read: not the lazy path marketing. Even though wearable technology may be WAY out there for a lot of folks, it represents that once more, the customer is in charge in this relationship. Until we truly understand what they want, how they want it, and when they want it, our marketing will not be as effective as it could be.

The shift in Google to secure search this year really did a number on a lot of us who relied on their Google Analytics to show keyword search. It shouldn’t have. The same goes for this month’s latest change at Facebook: a new Algorithm that made many a news feed take a deep swan dive in reach. Again, not a call to panic, but rather a call to marketers and businesses to constantly evaluate goals, understand their customers, and adjust accordingly. We have to be in tune and responsive to whims, trends, and human behavior, and adjust our marketing accordingly. Today’s marketing isn’t for the faint of heart or those looking for the easy way out. Marketing in 2014 is active, focused marketing. You better charge up that Fitbit now.

Is there a trend from 2013 that you’re ready to be over and done with?

Selfies. Stop the madness, people.

Do you have any resolutions for 2014?

To stop taking selfies.
To practice being in the moment.

What do you hope to see for ADG in 2014?

Continued growth, but not so much that we overextend or drop the ball on client projects. I hope to see my fairly new staff feel like they’ve been here forever and take on more and more leadership roles as we grow this business together.


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