Ervin | Ad “Meet Me” campaign a MarCom 2008 Platinum winner

Posted on October 31st, 2008 by | Filed under: Ervin | Ad Press Releases

IRVINE, Calif.—October 31, 2008—Ervin | Ad won Platinum and Gold Winner designation at MarCom Awards 2008, an international competition recognizing outstanding achievement by marketing and communication professionals. Winners were announced in October.

The “Meet Me” campaign, a series of ads for Cox Business highlighting their community activism, earned Ervin | Ad Platinum Winner honors in the Television/Campaign category. Additionally, the agency earned Gold Winner accolades in the Design/Annual Report and Annual Report/Corporation categories for the Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc. submission, “Home. Away From Home.”

The MarCom Awards are administered and judged annually by the Association of Marketing & Communication Professionals. According to the association, the competition is one of the largest of its kind in the world, with entrants ranging from individual communicators to media conglomerates and Fortune 500 companies.

“To know that our campaign was selected from among the finest entries on the international stage is incredibly rewarding,” said Michael Ervin, president of Ervin | Ad. “As with all our clients, we approached the Cox campaign with the same determination to exceed expectations. We’re proud to have been successful and advance the Cox message in such a fashion.”

Ervin | Ad is a full-service communications and advertising agency headquartered in Irvine, California. Established in 1981, the agency’s broad range of clients includes Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., The First American Corporation, Fleetwood Enterprises, Cox Communications, Mars–Nutro Pet Food Division, and others.

B-to-B marketers still taking advantage of pre-Web 2.0 tactics

Posted on October 24th, 2008 by | Filed under: Marketing News

Social media, or ‘Web 2.0′ is not quickly catching on in practice. B-to-B marketers see those tactics as less measurable than more conventional digital lead generation, BtoB magazine reports. With all the talk about social media, however, there are still many small and not-so-small companies out there who still need to embrace the digital lead generation tactics that pre-date the Social Media rage.

read original story from BtoB | digg story

Email marketing has grown up as the novelty has worn off

Posted on October 13th, 2008 by | Filed under: Soap Box
Email is an excellent medium for distributor/agent audiences, because they are most willing to be plugged into the brand.

Email is an excellent medium for the agent or dealer audience. They are willing 'brand participants.'

The blogger’s opinion in the shared post below is consistent with our own observations concerning the role of email marketing in today’s media mix. It is true that email has increasingly become an effective retention tool, while it has declined as an acquisition tool.

There are ways, however, to leverage email as a medium in your customer acquisition efforts. In particular, sponsored ads within existing email newsletters can bring relevant content to an audience already loyal to the sender, thereby providing reach to new potential  subscribers. Publishers who sell ad space in their email newsletters are on to this, and that can be a good alternative.

Meanwhile, the in-house email list has emerged as one of the most valuable assets of the corporate marketing department. That’s because it can’t be bought – the only effective email list is the one that’s earned. When speaking of companies’ in-house email initiatives, this blogger from E-consultancy puts it well:
clipped from
The use of email marketing to drive customer acquisition is in significant, and terminal, decline.
email is not a customer acquisition tool. In fact it never has been, but in the early years of the media, the novelty of receiving email meant that acquisition and lead generation emails were opened and clicked on.
Any email marketer who thinks that consumers expect and deserve regular, mass email marketing will find their reputation and results flowing rapidly down the toilet.

Email marketing is a retention tool, and used cleverly it is the ‘killer app’.

Cold emailing as a core business proposition just doesn’t work because the need to flog as much data as possible is totally contrary to email marketing’s core requirements – targeting, relevance and quality.
blog it

Poll: financial institutions doing poor job communicating

Posted on October 8th, 2008 by | Filed under: Marketing News

The survey shows these are critical times for banks and financial institutions to to have a sound, effective and positive communications plan from marketing to PR to CRM.

read more | digg story

Corporate branding should improve the bottom line, not dent it

Posted on October 1st, 2008 by | Filed under: Soap Box

(By Michael Ervin, published in Orange County Business Journal)

Throughout the past decade, the focus on corporate branding has led to a heightened awareness of the critical role a branding campaign plays in the communications mix. We know that effective promotion of a brand helps customers, employees and shareholders better understand a company and its offerings. It enhances the confidence that stakeholders have in that business and its activities. It differentiates the company from its competition. And, we now see that all of these attributes can have a positive effect on a company’s fiscal health.

Unfortunately, the last decade also found those who believed that companies could “out brand” their competition simply by outspending them. Often, corporate branding campaigns offered high hopes at a hefty price. There were those who thought that the more money spent to “invent” a company’s brand, the more powerful it would become. But now, more than ever, we know that smart—not necessarily costly—branding is effective and essential. And smart branding is based on a company’s current, definable practices, activities, philosophies and personality.

Brand is an asset that affects your bottom line
Branding Is Everything: A strong brand provides the power of premium pricing.

A truly effective marketing communications program will uncover the strongest brand identity for a company when it is based on reality. By showcasing a company’s greatest strengths—hopefully those that also differentiate it in the marketplace—a company can build valuable credibility that resonates with its customers, employees and shareholders. Since a corporate brand is a reflection of what is true about a company, no amount of money thrown at “inventing” a brand will be successful—the company must walk the talk of the brand image it promotes. A well-researched, efficiently crafted, reality-based branding communications effort, therefore, need not be a multi-million-dollar proposition.

Not only is branding based on facts essential for enhancing a company’s goodwill, it has also become a necessary business practice to fortify balance sheets. Recent studies show that a brand’s power accounts for a whopping five percent of those things that contribute to whether the stock price will go up or down. When you consider the fact that a company’s “financial strength” factored in at only six percent—a mere percentage point difference—you can see how much power a brand wields.

Of course, stock price or shareholder confidence is one thing. A strong brand can also impact a company’s bottom line by affecting its ability to retain employees, attract customers and, ultimately, reduce costs by building momentum on its marketing dollars.

Gone are the days when branding efforts were optional. In today’s competitive marketplace, building corporate brand identity is critical to gaining ground on competitors. And while it shouldn’t place a heavy financial burden on a company, branding is simply something we can’t afford not to do.