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It stopped my multi-touch gesturing fingers in their trackpad tracks. One of those rare occasions when social media pushes your pause button and makes you think. A tweet caught my eye long enough for me to physically write it down on a piece of honest-to-goodness, gen-u-ine paper (well, a sticky note counts). @hunterwalk tweeted, “Your brand is not your logo, name or tagline. It’s the promise you make to your community.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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I was out of the office last week attending the funeral of my grandmother.  In her mid-eighties, this woman had survived the Great Depression, raised 5 children and lived long enough to dote on and enjoy 13 great-grandchildren.  Over the years, she hosted countless parties and holiday gatherings for huge numbers of people.  Her door was always open, and there was never a better hostess.  However, what many of us remember most about my grandmother are Sunday dinners, where it was “just us.”

Even during these simple Sunday meals, Grandma insisted on setting the table with the “good” dishes.  When her kids or grandkids would ask why or complain about having to do the prep and clean-up that went with that task, she always had the same answer: “We do this because your family is the most important company you will ever have.” Read the rest of this entry »

With all the great debate swirling around primaries and parties this season, I have become oddly intrigued by a rather unusual issue, one that has absolutely nothing to do with my politics.  Read the rest of this entry »

I had the privilege of attending a recent client event in Charlotte that reminded me of the importance of corporate social responsibility and serving broader industry needs in branding and reputation management. Read the rest of this entry »

Life is cyclical for marketing professionals.  Each February, I am filled with excitement and pride in my profession as new Super Bowl ads are rolled out, and, conversely, each December I cringe as I watch and listen to the parade of commercials aimed at informing people about all the things they simply cannot live without, or must give to loved ones if they truly want to demonstrate their yuletide affection. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s that time of year again when our thoughts turn to home, hearth, family, and for me, one of the single greatest PR tactics ever invented — the Butterball Turkey Talk Line. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the lifeline millions of Americans have used to save their holiday feasts. Read the rest of this entry »

While the buzz over Google+ has certainly dropped dramatically in the months since Google launched the service, one of the more eagerly-anticipated features has been Google+ pages for business. Yesterday, Google formally launched Google+ Brand Pages.

Although the service suffered a few hiccups yesterday and wasn’t completely available for all users, by late afternoon it was up and running for everyone. We set up a VantagePoint page (please add us to your circles!), and captured the step-by-step process it took us to do so.

Here’s how to set up a Google+ brand page for your company:

1. Log in to your Google account, presumably one that you already have a Google+ account for. (It appears you cannot, at present, use an existing Google profile you may have created for your brand or company.) IMPORTANT: for the near term, you will be the “owner” of this profile, and it will be linked to your Google account. Others will not be able to edit this profile until Google opens up brand pages for multiple editing. Keep this in mind as you proceed.

2. Visit http://plus.google.com/pages/create.

3. You will now see the “Create a page” screen. Now it’s time to get started.

4. On the left side, choose the category that you wish your company to belong to. For now, we’re going to assume you will be a “company, institution or organization.”  Unless you have a major brand or a local walk-in store, this is probably the most appropriate category to choose. (If you roll over the category types, you’ll get a brief explanation to help you decide.)

5. When you choose your category, the right side of your screen will populate with several fields for you to fill in, including company name, website, business type, and page visibility. Fill in the appropriate blanks.

6. After a few seconds, you will see the beginning of your company’s Google+ page.

7. Enter your tagline. You can enter as many words as you want, but only the first 10 words will be displayed on your profile.

8. Add a profile photo — or a logo. Clicking on the “change profile photo” will bring you to a screen where you can import and crop an image.

9. When you’ve updated the tagline and the profile photo, click “continue.” You’ll next have the option to tell your circles about your new page from your personal Google+ account. Go ahead — or you can wait until later as well — and click “Finish” when you’re done.

10. You’ll now be taken to your official Google+ brand page. There are a number of options here to get you started in sharing, promoting, and linking to your new page. One of the nice things that Google has done is make it easy to switch between using the page as “you” or as “your company” by clicking on the little arrow next to your profile photo/logo.

11. You’ll also notice your stream changes appropriately — instead of friends, family, and following, you’ll see links for customers, VIPs, and team members.

Spend a few minutes exploring Google+ brand pages. Your first instinct will be to start adding folks to your circles. However, it appears you currently can’t — that is, until they add you first. (All the more reason to add VantagePoint to your Google+ circle!) We’re not sure if this is temporary, or if it’s Google’s way of making sure brands don’t overwhelm the general public.

Time will tell whether Google+ will replace or merely supplement Facebook and Twitter (or disappear entirely, as several other Google properties have). But for now, we think it’s important to take advantage of a social media service directly connected to the world’s largest search engine.

Just a few of our 2011 BMA Carolinas ProAd awards

VantagePoint Marketing was honored last night in Charlotte by the Business Marketing Association of the Carolinas with its 3rd straight Agency of the Year award, as well as 38 other awards in total. These awards were given for outstanding creative, strategy and results for projects created over the last year for business-to-business marketing clients across the country.

In addition to the Agency of the Year award, we also received 5 Gold awards, 17 Silver awards, and 16 Bronze awards. Work for a total of 11 different clients was awarded, including Estes Express Lines, T&S Brass, Milliken, Nucor Building Systems, SEW Eurodrive, S&D Coffee, Polydeck, BMA Carolinas, Thrace-LINQ, and VantagePoint.

This is the 5th time in the last 6 years that we have won the Agency of the Year award for B2B marketing in both North and South Carolina. We were thrilled to be honored against tough competition, including very strong showings by Jackson Marketing Group and PhaseTwo.biz.

Thanks to an amazing team at VantagePoint that made this year’s success possible!

Dave, Joe, Angie and Ryan after the ceremony

Every PR person has one: The ultimate war story, the craziest thing they’ve ever worked on.  Mine happened 8 years ago this week, when an unsuspecting Cubs fan reached out for a ball and, in the opinion of many Chicagoans, stole the Cubs’ chances of finally getting to the World Series in the process.  Sports fans the world over remember a name that I will never forget: Steve Bartman. Read the rest of this entry »

Last week, LinkedIn made it possible for LinkedIn users to be able to post status updates for their companies on LinkedIn. The process is relatively simple for users who are company page administrators. But, if you haven’t heard about it, here’s a quick overview of the new LinkedIn status update for company pages.
Read the rest of this entry »

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About VantagePoint

VantagePoint's integrated approach to b-to-b marketing combines keen insight with bright ideas to strengthen your brand's market impact, no matter what the economy. Let us help you get a fresh perspective.

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