industryinsights

Mixing Up Your Marketing Playbook
February 15, 2021

Someone makes a move, then the opposing side responds and makes a change. It's the way the sports world has worked for centuries. It's also how business functions.

Football teams played the Single Wing and...

Changing with the Times
January 13, 2021

While I can’t remember every single detail, I do clearly recall that years ago, a friend of mine – Brett Winter Lemon, was showing me his iPhone on Kirk Avenue in Downtown Roanoke. It was spring. We were outside. He excitedly started...

Cutting Through the Clutter
December 11, 2020

Every market has one of these types. Here in the Roanoke-Lynchburg television market, where our marketing firm is based, we are lucky enough to have two.

I’m talking about car dealers with terrible commercial campaigns.

No, it isn’t limited to just automotive marketing, but these guys are the...

Filling the Gap
November 16, 2020

For the past decade, I’ve noticed something that seemed kind of odd to me initially. Over time, I continued seeing this pattern and I figured it was time I identified it.

Some of the smartest people I know own companies, invent products, or find a better way to accomplish a goal. They are brilliant at what they do and have built a product or service based on some sort of genius technological solution. The work they do takes...

New Challenges Call for New Solutions
October 6, 2020

Years ago, I wrote about the value of “going where the eyeballs are” when it comes to advertising. It’s an age-old axiom, but as you evaluate your place in the business community, it’s one that deserves a little closer examination. If you have...

Frontline Listening
September 17, 2020

Many of you know that before starting this marketing firm eleven years ago, I was in the television industry. Like a lot of sales organizations and similarly structured companies, there is a...

Observe and Improve
August 26, 2020

Over the years people have asked me how I decide what to write about in our monthly columns. Often it is noticing something basic and then pondering how it fits into marketing or business operations.

I have a teenager, which means I have to deal with the constant cycle of updating, repairing, and replacing of mobile phones. My normally sure-handed young man occasionally drops his...

Creating a Connection
July 24, 2020

My friend Bill from Toledo told me a story once and it has stayed with me for more than twenty years.

At the time, he was in broadcast television commercial production and, as a Black man living in America, he had a very different perspective than I did. He recalled being a kid in the early 70’s watching television and seeing...

Tonality, Timing, and Value
June 8, 2020

Before I became a business owner eleven years ago, I was a sales manager. Before I was a sales manager, I was a seller out in the field. Early on I decided I didn’t ever want to be...

Keyboard Communication
May 18, 2020

Some of us have thrived for years in the environment of the face-to-face meeting. It’s meant we’ve been able to read a room, notice body language, and maybe build rapport with someone based on the photos in their office or by identifying with...

Soaked in Truth
April 16, 2020

“Misery loves company.”

“It is what it is.”

“This too shall pass.”

“Take it a day at a time.”

“The sun will come up tomorrow.”

When the Time is Right
March 20, 2020

Yesterday, in the midst of all the new ways of conducting business, I was on my seventh conference call of the week and a significant client of ours told us what had been happening in their world. Major work was being put off by a large cross section of their clients. He tongue-in-cheek said...

Location, Location, Location
February 26, 2020

In real estate there’s an old saying: only three things matter – location, location, location. It’s funny how that same adage has an application in the...

Say Goodbye2the 1990's
January 23, 2020

Twice in a matter of days I asked a “youngin” about learning something and both times they took the same tack. Suddenly, I realized how old I was.

You see, back in the day we’d have asked a friend for information, or gone to the library, or found an expert, or gotten a hold of an owner’s manual. Heck, back then we’d even grab a...

Filling the Field
December 19, 2019

Football teams have evolved their rosters through the years – just like baseball teams did years before. You have short yardage runners, nickel backs, receivers who only play on third downs, and kickers who are especially talented at...

Adding Value with Consistent Messaging
November 12, 2019

I’ve said it so many times lately – mostly as a sort of a preparation for what is to come for our prospective new clients. The more marketing you do, the more there is...

Quantifying Your Marketing Activity
October 17, 2019

It’s an observation and it isn’t the case in every circumstance. For more than two decades I managed sales departments in the...

Invisible Ads and You
September 17, 2019

I’m convinced some ads are invisible. Well, they certainly take up space or air, but they get skipped or ignored more than...

Closed to Open
August 21, 2019

Way back in the olden days, the proverbial shot of the storekeeper with a broom at his front step, apron tied around his waist, seemed to be...

Capturing the Moment
July 17, 2019

Galaxys, iPhones, Google Pixels, and the sort produce so many great memories. After all, without them, how would...

Market Then Educate
June 11, 2019

My Dad calls them “destructions”. You know – the printed papers that come with most electronic items or things that need to be put together. Detailed explanations of...

Planning for the Future
May 15, 2019

There’s a new brewery in downtown Roanoke. In fact, there are like six new breweries in our hip, small city. We’re the up-and-coming craft brewing mecca of the east coast with...

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
April 26, 2019

Everyone there was in attendance to see Branford Marsalis. The famed musician was the main attraction for...

Appetite for Success
March 14, 2019

For years now, my creative team has been inserting clever images or photographs into...

Small Labels Can Be a Big Deal
February 28, 2019

Little things can make a big difference though – especially in commerce. One of the first questions I ask a new client is...


The Power of the Front Porch
July 14, 2021

Business routines are backwards these days. It used to be I’d build a relationship with someone, then they would become a client. Now, clients decide to trust us to help them and then at some point afterward we begin...

Hurt People Hurt People
January 20, 2018

Sometimes you come across a person who just rubs you the wrong way. It happens to all of us in business (or education or healthcare or not-for-profit foundation work). That’s because those people are everywhere.

Bowling Trophies and Parking Spaces
October 20, 2017

Money is a great motivator. Generally we can all agree on that concept and, as the holidays and the end-of-year bonus season approaches, it’s worth noting that most everyone is motivated by mo’ money, mo’ money, mo’ money. (That’s a 90’s comedy sketch reference for those not as old as I am.)

E-Mail Etiquette
December 20, 2015

If you are a human being in a typical office work space, you're probably one who uses email. More likely than not, Yahoo, Gmail, or even AOL email rules your world. I

The Uncomfortable Question
October 20, 2015

As many of you know, not only do I handle marketing and advertising at B2C Enterprises, I also work as a career firefighter/engineer in Chattanooga, Tennessee. One of the things we do is plan for emergency incidents before they happen, or, in firefighter shorthand, pre-plan.

How's Business
September 20, 2015

Immediately I have to decide….Is this a “not sure what to ask you so I’ll just ask the simple how is business question”, or are they genuinely interested in the affairs of the marketing and advertising agency I run?

Holiday Road
May 20, 2015

They were great trips, but as Mom so rightly pointed out, they came at the very end of the summer. Before the trip there was wiffle ball to play, swimming to dive into, friends to ride bikes with, girls to meet, smaller family trips to take, and movies to watch.

Are you sowing seeds?
January 20, 2015

Except it's not - it's really quite simple. Naturally, I like to write - hopefully you can tell that from the energy that goes into delivering some value to you with these monthly pieces.

Serve and Protect Your Brand
September 20, 2014

A while back I saw the familiar look of a Chicago Police cruiser. It was the same as I'd seen in movies like the Blues Brothers or Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

Let it Flow
April 20, 2014

Like water, your business may flow in a natural direction, picking up speed as you move forward - often faster than you desire. Until you redirect, harness, and capitalize on the power generated, you're likely to watch it race out of control.

Lead by Example
March 20, 2013

For years I have looked for business principles in odd places or at random times.  Usually I file them away for some future use.  While it might have been smarter for me to read all the leadership books I could find, observing what others were doing shaped me as a businessperson and has worked out okay.

Get Everyone On the Same Page
June 20, 2011

This month, I was all set.  Ready to share what was on my mind as usual --- until I saw the following piece in Sports Illustrated.  It was a classic case of two well meaning departments not cross checking the master calendar.

What's New?
November 20, 2010

While doing some research on what other marketing companies are doing with their web sites I happened upon a Roanoke-based firm who had a “What’s New” section on theirs.

Ask Then Listen
September 15, 2021

About twenty years ago, in a city far from where my agency is located, I learned a valuable life lesson.

Gathered with me in an old room with dated furniture on a cloudy fall day were 12 people who I’d never met prior to that week. A few days before, we went through a tryout of sorts, and that was also a strange experience. I always wanted to...

Improving on Improving
September 27, 2018

People want to improve.  Well, most people do anyway. They’ll talk the improvement game.  They’ll go to conferences.  They’ll read those books.  Most will target a...

Bench Strength
November 20, 2017

On the first night of November (which did seem weird), the Houston Astros captured their first-ever baseball World Series Championship. Just four years ago they were the laughingstock of the baseball world and had lost over 100 games – a near record for futility.

Pull Over and Take a Big Whiff
September 20, 2017

In the marketing world, we tend to be heavily focused on the next month, quarter, or year.

Kindness Counts
April 20, 2017

I will often judge how much we’ll enjoy an act at The Spot based on one natural interaction: I watch how the artist treats our magical, kind, and helpful sound engineer, Travis. If they care for him and treat him well, their performances are almost always extra enjoyable.

Value Your Value
June 20, 2016

B2C Enterprises invests over a million dollars in media most years, while at the same time, interacting with salespeople from at least seven states. That’s a lot of business transactions and a lot of sales appointments.

Storytime is Worth the Time
April 20, 2016

Use someone else’s informative and entertaining story until you create your own to share. I did this when I was younger and I also did it seven years ago when I started my advertising agency.

You Can’t Fake Sincerity
March 20, 2016

They’ve ruined the process for many. Certainly they’ve made a lot of work for those who genuinely do put their prospects' best interests first. Typically when a salesperson walks through the door, the potential client leans to the position of distrust. It may be unfortunate, but it’s generally the case.

Step it Up
February 20, 2016


You get in and settle into your job and before you know it, the realization hits there are lots of other things that need to get done.

A Little Love Goes a Long Way
January 20, 2016

It's basketball season and I love basketball – more than most anything. So it’s a good time to write about basketball.

Gambling on (or for) Productivity
February 20, 2015

However, March of every year brings one specific activity that breaks this pattern. They are called "Brackets".

Parallel Problem Solving
July 20, 2014

Editor's Note: While this is a genuine example of Bruce's fine parallel parking skills, there was no witness to how many tries it took him to get it right.

Climate Control
February 20, 2013

On two different days last week – Monday and Thursday – the temperatures in the middle of the day here in the Greater Roanoke Valley reached 38 degrees.

"SeaGirls"
May 20, 2012

Can you remember the first time you saw the ocean or the grit of the sand between your toes?

Yearn to Learn
April 20, 2012

Early in my career I worked directly for six different sales managers over a period of about two years. It would have been easy to be distracted by all the various routines, demands, and processes each wanted me to employ as I was getting started in the advertising business.

Effective Advertising: Make The Most Of Your Budget
February 2, 2022

Advertising can seem expensive, but it does not have to be. If you use the right strategies to maximize your budget, you can get the most out of your marketing dollars. Here are some tips to help you reach new customers without draining your budget or cutting into your profit margins.

Mixing Up Your Marketing Playbook
February 15, 2021

Someone makes a move, then the opposing side responds and makes a change. It's the way the sports world has worked for centuries. It's also how business functions.

Football teams played the Single Wing and...

Cutting Through the Clutter
December 11, 2020

Every market has one of these types. Here in the Roanoke-Lynchburg television market, where our marketing firm is based, we are lucky enough to have two.

I’m talking about car dealers with terrible commercial campaigns.

No, it isn’t limited to just automotive marketing, but these guys are the...

Creating a Connection
July 24, 2020

My friend Bill from Toledo told me a story once and it has stayed with me for more than twenty years.

At the time, he was in broadcast television commercial production and, as a Black man living in America, he had a very different perspective than I did. He recalled being a kid in the early 70’s watching television and seeing...

Location, Location, Location
February 26, 2020

In real estate there’s an old saying: only three things matter – location, location, location. It’s funny how that same adage has an application in the...

Filling the Field
December 19, 2019

Football teams have evolved their rosters through the years – just like baseball teams did years before. You have short yardage runners, nickel backs, receivers who only play on third downs, and kickers who are especially talented at...

Adding Value with Consistent Messaging
November 12, 2019

I’ve said it so many times lately – mostly as a sort of a preparation for what is to come for our prospective new clients. The more marketing you do, the more there is...

Quantifying Your Marketing Activity
October 17, 2019

It’s an observation and it isn’t the case in every circumstance. For more than two decades I managed sales departments in the...

Invisible Ads and You
September 17, 2019

I’m convinced some ads are invisible. Well, they certainly take up space or air, but they get skipped or ignored more than...

Closed to Open
August 21, 2019

Way back in the olden days, the proverbial shot of the storekeeper with a broom at his front step, apron tied around his waist, seemed to be...

Capturing the Moment
July 17, 2019

Galaxys, iPhones, Google Pixels, and the sort produce so many great memories. After all, without them, how would...

Collateral Marketing
May 23, 2018

Unless you are one of a few devout underground music fans, the group Portugal The Man probably hadn’t passed by your ears prior to...

Market-izing
December 20, 2017

What exactly is marketing and how is it different than advertising? The answer is often like the reference to the oldest, biggest, revenue-generating internet business, “you know it when you see it”.

Strawberry-Lemonade Distractions
July 20, 2017

Have you determined the core drivers in your marketing plan? Most of you have or, if pressed, could likely list them. Yet, I’m guessing that newest gadget, social media channel, or fad is distracting you from improving your core strengths. Facebook is a prime example.

No Overnight Experts
May 20, 2017

Nothing against the communications and marketing programs at colleges and universities…I’ve had the opportunity to address many students and have met with many interesting professors and teachers.

5 Ways Content Marketing Helps Convert Leads
December 14, 2021

What’s Content Marketing? Simply put, Content Marketing is the foundation for an entire marketing and communication strategy. Content Marketing can help your website rank on search engines, position you as a subject matter expert, build your stakeholder list and engagement level, and nurture...

 

12 Bad Marketing Tips (by the Marketing Monsters)
December 1, 2021

When it comes to marketing for your business, monsters aren't the best advice-givers. In fact, their insights are quite terrible! When our monster-handling team at 5Points Creative heard about the Marketing Monster's "12 Holiday Marketing Mayhem Tips", we had to...

Solutions for Specific Audiences
November 15, 2021

Kitchens in the ’70s and ’80s had this appliance. It was a hit in suburban households for decades and an omnipresent part of the home back in the olden days.

How do most of us get along without the Trash Compactor now? It’s hard to say, but it’s been decades since the average home has been built with one of these contraptions – at least as far as I know anyway. Back then, the homeowner would...

Zoom Fatigue
August 26, 2021

From all accounts, Zoom calls are going to remain a part of the business day.

For years companies ran WebEx, Teams, and other video conference meetings, but it wasn’t until 2020 that we all started playing in that arena on a regular (read: daily, or even hourly) basis. That shift was startling to many...

Walking the Walk
April 13, 2021

It’s fascinating when a client says something to me that I’ve already thought or said myself many times. As if hearing the idea for the first time, their comment hits my head (or my heart) and drives home a concept chock full of value. That’s exactly what happened to me during a recent Zoom call with a client.

We were talking about their media plans and how they suggested we approach their strategy for the coming season. We were working through their goals, their budget, previous success, and some new ideas to...

Room to Grow
March 19, 2021

This fall, out on a walk, I noticed a house in my neighborhood that provided the perfect picture for what we tell our clients. It was so appropriate I decided to snap a picture. Hopefully it isn’t your home. I’m hoping it can illustrate an important point about your business. Think ahead.

Thinking ahead is good advice for...

Filling the Gap
November 16, 2020

For the past decade, I’ve noticed something that seemed kind of odd to me initially. Over time, I continued seeing this pattern and I figured it was time I identified it.

Some of the smartest people I know own companies, invent products, or find a better way to accomplish a goal. They are brilliant at what they do and have built a product or service based on some sort of genius technological solution. The work they do takes...

New Challenges Call for New Solutions
October 6, 2020

Years ago, I wrote about the value of “going where the eyeballs are” when it comes to advertising. It’s an age-old axiom, but as you evaluate your place in the business community, it’s one that deserves a little closer examination. If you have...

Frontline Listening
September 17, 2020

Many of you know that before starting this marketing firm eleven years ago, I was in the television industry. Like a lot of sales organizations and similarly structured companies, there is a...

Observe and Improve
August 26, 2020

Over the years people have asked me how I decide what to write about in our monthly columns. Often it is noticing something basic and then pondering how it fits into marketing or business operations.

I have a teenager, which means I have to deal with the constant cycle of updating, repairing, and replacing of mobile phones. My normally sure-handed young man occasionally drops his...

Managing the Business Runway
December 21, 2018

Around 15 years ago I spent a day in Northern New Jersey making sales calls with a consultant. I like new places and, while I had driven through the region, I had never really spent any time there.

Meet People4Good
November 21, 2018

One of the things wise people encouraged me to do was to meet with people to help me see what possibilities existed out there and to better understand what made me special, valuable, and unique.

S.O.S : Secure Other Support
September 18, 2018

As sellers and account managers we are a reflection.....When they’re doing great work it shows naturally through our demeanor and plays out...

Building Relationships with Words
July 27, 2018

My Dad is probably the biggest fan of my writing – and sometimes my biggest critic.  I’ve seen the statistics for this monthly piece and most of you who receive it actually read it. Some of you may muddle through it while others...

Accoutability + Consistency = Coffee
March 6, 2018

About a year and a half ago we hired a business development person at our marketing and advertising firm. It was a big step for me since prior to that time...

Improvements4Your Website Today
January 19, 2022

Over the past five years we’ve built nearly 70 websites. Some have been from scratch, but many are conversions of sites that needed updating, a more modern look and feel, or to better reflect the shifting work our client is now doing.

 I remember one in particular where our client insisted over and over that the information on their current (dated) website would simply transfer over to the new design we were doing. No matter how often we asked, we got the same answer. They would not need new copy. When we showed them...

Carved in Stone
October 15, 2021

A budget is a plan.

That’s all it should be.

Let’s be honest at the start of 2020 people were not calculating how to incorporate the adjustment that would come from a worldwide pandemic. No matter what type of industry in which you operate, there were far-reaching ramifications and everyone had to adjust. The budget situates you for success, growth, and should allow you to figure...

Feet on the Ground, Head in the Clouds
June 16, 2021

Late last year something happened in my business’ sales cycle and it got me thinking.

To support another organization, I placed a call to a friend of mine whom I had known for about a dozen years.  In the course of the conversation about this other topic, he asked me about marketing and advertising.  He wondered how we help clients...

When the Time is Right
March 20, 2020

Yesterday, in the midst of all the new ways of conducting business, I was on my seventh conference call of the week and a significant client of ours told us what had been happening in their world. Major work was being put off by a large cross section of their clients. He tongue-in-cheek said...

Creating Space to Create
October 25, 2018

When you run a small business, manage a few dozen accounts, shepherd a travel basketball playing teenager, and work behind the scenes on two non-profit leadership teams it’s easy to...

Branding for Busy Brains
July 5, 2018

There is a commonly seen logo that I simply love.I love everything about it.  I love how different divisions have the same...

No Such Thing as Multitasking
April 25, 2018

Multitasking?  Nah.  Sometimes we can do multiple things in a really fast sequence, but when we try to do two jobs at one time...

Jack of... a Few Trades, Master of Some
February 20, 2018

Things seem to happen so fast these days.Of course that’s what people have been saying for generations so...

This Message was Just Right
August 20, 2017

Like many of you, I grew up hearing nursery rhymes and, while I may not know why the itsy-bitsy spider crawled up the water spout, I can tell you one thing: Most anything that is universally familiar can become fodder for successful advertising.

Laughter is the Best (Advertising) Medicine
March 20, 2017

Humor is a wonderful way to break into someone’s space or to capture their interest. When it’s appropriate, we use humor in our client’s marketing.

Favorite Flavor
September 20, 2016

I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream.” That might have been the first food marketing campaign in the history of America (or not).

License to Create
July 20, 2016

One of the best meals I’ve ever had was in D.C. at a tapas restaurant. It was late in the evening and the kitchen was about to close.

Eyes on the Outside
May 20, 2016

It seems the closer we get to something, the more we accept it and just move into a routine. Some routines can be good; they can produce fruit that helps us grow and develop. Others trap us into a false sense of comfort. How do you know the difference?

Operation: Get Comfy
August 20, 2015

Most of us are more likely to be uncomfortable. Yet, almost everyone still finds themselves in situations where they have to mingle, network, communicate, or break into a crowd of people. It's not easy, especially if you're not wired for that setting.

Look Out for the Breakthrough
June 20, 2015

In late 2009, I wrote my first B2Seed. Since then I've written over 60 columns and even in the months (like last month) when I wonder if I'll have anything to share, something strikes me.

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