Madison+Main’s Weekly Report – Friday, March 6th 2015


Hey folks,

This week I tried to remind people that “awareness drives response”. Things may come and go in the marketing biz. Technologies may disrupt business. But through it all, one adage remains…Awareness Drives Response. I made a video about it here.

But it becomes harder and harder each year to make people aware of things. TV’s have 500 channels now instead of 3. People aren’t reading newspapers and magazines as much as they used to. And everyone I know under the age of 50 has his or her nose glued to a smartphone. How do you make people aware of your product when most people aren’t even aware of their surroundings? The answer lies in one word: boldness. Bold Brands Win, and we proved it again this week.

Monday, March 2nd – Our client Silverback Distillery in Nelson County has been getting a lot of attention lately. Maybe it’s because the product is so tasty. Maybe it’s because their product really stands out in a crowd. CaseyJessica and I traveled to Afton on Monday to visit Denver and Christine, our crazy cool clients who make Beringei Vodka and Strange Monkey Gin. We presented our brand and marketing report, and talked about our plans for world domination. Do me a favor, drop by a Virginia ABC store and pick up a bottle. It’s easy to find, it’s the one with the monkey on it. #awareness

On Monday afternoon, we worked on some other creative concepts for our client, The Dragas Companies. They are opening up sales at Crofton at Spence Crossing and these amazing villas start from the low $200s. If you’re in the market for a new home in Virginia Beach you have to clickhere and see the amazing floor plans. #madeyoulook

“Your brand is your public identity, what you’re trusted for. And for your brand to endure it has to be tested, redefined, managed and expanded as markets evolve. Brands either learn or disappear.” – Lisa Gansky, Best Selling Author.

Tuesday, March 3rd – On Tuesday at Rotary, I bragged about my son Jack’s team, the Alberta Smith Sharks winning their division championship and racking up an impressive 13-0 run. But I also wanted to make my fellow Rotarians aware of the plight of a very nice lady from Amelia. Mrs. Jackson is the custodian at Winterpock Elementary School and 5 years ago she lost her home to fire. Her modest 800+ foot square home was burned to the ground. Without insurance she has worked diligently to rebuild and now friends (with the assistance of Parkway Baptist Church) are helping her get back on her feet. I know readers of the Weekly Report have big hearts, and I want you to help me, help Mrs. Jackson. Click here  to make a donation on GoFundMe or visit www.GoFundMe.com/glsmy0.

Tuesday afternoon we presented another Brand and Marketing report, this time to our friends at the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival. The 52nd Annual Festival starts July 17th so be sure to check out their website at www.MusicFest.org for the star studded line-up and to get your tickets online.


On Tuesday night, the Sharks muscled their way back from a 15-5 deficit to beat Clover Hill 37-32 in the CBL Championship Semi Final.  This means the Sharks will take on Chalkley tomorrow for the Championship…weather permitting. March Madness has already started for me. I was so amped by the game Tuesday night, I didn’t get to sleep until 1 am.

Wednesday, March 4th – Kara was in town this week…yay! She was working with Kaity on putting the finishing touches on First Bank’s Welcome Guide, a big, beautiful 46 page print project that we are sending to 25,000 new customers. The front cover simply says “welcome.”  Do you think that will grab people’s attention?

We made a website for them, too, which is now live. Check it out!  WelcometoFirstBank.com

On Wednesday, I got a really nice piece of direct mail that caught my attention. Graphic Designer, Kaity Byrum sent us a Save the Date postcard for her wedding in September.  #toocute

Thursday, March 5th – On Thursday, most folks worked from home because there was a threat of snow. And then sleet. And then snow. This meant that we were not able to officially celebrate Madalyn Parr’s birthday, but don’t worry we do have a bar downstairs and our clients include the Virginia Winery Association and Silverback Distillery. #letsparty


Despite the snow, I was still able to speak before the Brandermill Region Mens Club (BRMC) and talk with members about social media, the interactive web and robots. I speak to business and civic groups all over the area, so if you want me to speak to your group, call Madalyn at 521-4141 and I’ll bring my crazy, mad Powerpoint skills to you. 

Madalyn sent out a media advisory yesterday on behalf of Commonwealth Autism, which was designed to make members of the media aware of the 2015 Annual Autism Conference being held March 11th & 12th in Richmond. Info on the conference is available atwww.autismva.org/2015conference.

Friday, March 6th – We are half staffed today because of the ice and snow, but managed to finish up a 40 page RFP response that took dozens of hours to complete. We will bind it up and send it off overnight. Between printing, and postage, and the hours it cost us to put it together we will have spent $3,000 to compete on a government contract that will probably be given to another agency whose best friend is the Marketing Director. Virginia’s Procurement System is broken.

Marketing tip of the week: “Keep an eye on your competitors.” 

Identify a competitor you admire and one that you don’t. Conduct a SWOT analysis on each (Strengths, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats). Ask the tough question; What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong? Then review the results with your team. It’s a very good strategy to produce a competitive marketing plan. 

Have a great weekend and I will leave you with this quote…
” A brand is a voice and a product is a souvenir.”  – Lisa Gansky, best selling author of “The Mesh”

– Dave