If you’ve read the Weekly Report for some time now, you may be familiar with the 5 A’s of Marketing. More than a decade ago, I essentially categorized five different ways that companies should communicate brand messaging to their customers. I called it the 5 A’s; Attention, Access, Authority, Affinity, and Acclaim.

5 A's of Marketing


Attention is all the ways marketing can grab attention — TV, radio, billboards, etc. Access is direct access to your target market, i.e. direct mail, email, PPC ads, etc. Authority is essentially PR and reviews — having a third party endorse your company’s products or services or some offer differentiator. Affinity is about establishing partnerships with other organizations, especially non-profits, so you can leverage each other’s audiences and show that your company “plays well with others.” Lastly, there is Acclaim, getting recognition for your company’s products, services, culture, or some other wonderful thing.


Most companies can get a few of the 5 A’s working for them, but only a few manage to get them all — and most don’t get Acclaim. They don’t seek the limelight and they won’t apply for awards and recognition. “We don’t want to be seen as bragging,” one CEO told me.


And that’s exactly the point. You get Acclaim from others — you can’t give it to yourself. Doing something great and then not telling anyone about it is not the smart thing to do when marketing your company. Bold brands win. Arrogant brands don’t. There is a fine line between the two.


Madison+Main has had lots of recognition through the years, and you can check out the big list here. Companies wouldn’t want to hire us if we’d never won awards for our TV ads, design work, PR work, or culture, would they?
And speaking of great companies who do great things, we’re proud to tell you about some stories of Acclaim for several of the brands we represent:


Monday, January 11 — Student of The Year

A good friend of mine and fellow Virginia Council of CEOs member, Stephen Jacobs, shared a very important cause to support this week — The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Student of the Year campaign. It’s an effort from high school students to raise awareness about the research, programs, and advocacy of LLS and help secure funds to cure blood cancers.


Four years ago, Stephen’s sonPatrick was diagnosed with T-cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He’s been fighting the good fight, so let’s show Patrick some love and help support his efforts! He definitely deserves some Acclaim.



Tuesday, January 12 — Virginia Is For Winners


Ok, folks, we need your help in getting some Acclaim for some of Madison+Main’s great clients. Virginia Living Magazine’s Best of Virginia voting has begun! Vote for our clients below who have been nominated — or if you’re feeling special, write some in! Voting ends on January 31st.


Central Region
Best Summer Camp: Camp Hanover
Veterinary Clinic: Sycamore Vet
Family Entertainment: COMPASS Entertainment Complex (write-in)
Best Distillery: A. Smith Bowman Distillery 
Best Law Firm: CowanGates (write-in)
Best Fine Jewelry Store: Vera’s Fine Jewelers
Best Burger Joint: Texas Inn (write-in)
Eastern Region
Best Golf Course: Two Rivers Country Club (write-in)
Best Wedding or Special Event Venue: Two Rivers Country Club (write-in)
Shenandoah Valley Region 
Best Wedding or Special Event Venue: CrossKeys Barn
For Best Retirement Communities throughout the state of Virginia, vote for Williamsburg LandingLucy CorrBirmingham Green, and the five locations of Pinnacle Living!


Virginia Living Best Of Magazine

Wednesday, January 13 — Disco(very) Fever!

This week, I got to meet with Birmingham Green to review our Discovery & Marketing Strategy Report. Over the past couple of weeks, we analyzed, interviewed, and conducted a comprehensive analysis of their brand and communications presence. The rockstar account duo, including Director of Account Services, Kaitlin Thomas and Account Executive, Andrew Simpson, helped me present our report of brand and marketing strategies (based on our research) to the BG team. Thanks for all your hard work, Madison+Main-iacs!


Thursday, January 14 — Shot Takers

After receiving some great media coverage of their Vaccination Day celebration at Hermitage Richmond last week, Pinnacle Living held equally exciting vaccination day events at more of their Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) facilities across Virginia on Thursday morning, including Hermitage Northern VirginiaHermitage Roanokeand Cedarfield.


Friday, January 15 — Ex-site-ing Stuff


Over the past couple of months, we were fortunate enough to partner with our clients at The Parker Avery Group for a pretty fun project! Check out their newly designed website we created for them. Give it a glance today and learn more about the retail and consumer goods consulting firm! We think this sleek site will help them get even more Acclaim. #BoldBrandsWin

A Few of Our Favorite Events


CowanGates Memorial Blood Drive

13620 W Salisbury Rd. | Midlothian, VA 23113

February 16 | 2 – 6 p.m.


CowanGates, in partnership with Village Bank, is sponsoring a blood drive at Salisbury Country Club. Bring your mask and donate — giving blood will help save a life. Sign up today!

Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!


“Respect cannot be inherited, respect is the result of right actions.” — Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words