How Walker Sands Gives Back During the Holidays

Last week, we wrapped up our fourth annual toy drive to benefit La Rabida Children’s Hospital by lending some hands at the organization’s holiday party. While at the holiday party, we were able to get to know the families behind La Rabida’s Child and Connections Program, which caters to infants and toddlers who have developmental delays or who can be at risk for such delays.

A group of volunteers from Walker Sands recently ventured over to Harris Park to help out with the annual holiday party. Our responsibilities ranged from setting up tables and serving lunch to doing holiday-themed crafts with the kids and their families. We had a great time giving back and celebrating the holidays with the families who came out to the party!

Volunteering 1As  a part of our One Step Forward philanthropy program, we also collected and donated toys to to La Rabida’s Child and Family Connections Program. Throughout the holiday season, our employees generously brought in a variety of toys to ensure the kids from La Rabida have something new to enjoy over the holidays.

ToysWe look forward to working with La Rabida again in the future to continue giving back to our community during the holidays. Check out more photos from our volunteer day here!

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Walker Sands Holiday Party 2016 Recap

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Several weeks ago, the Walker Sands team began the countdown to the annual holiday party. Last Friday the long awaited event finally arrived! Every year we look forward to celebrating all we accomplished in the preceding months.

The holiday party denotes time spet aside each year to take a break from working hard and to have a little fun together.

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This year’s celebration was different than those of year’s past. Last Friday, our co-workers braved the cold, dressed in their holiday best and gathered at the Peggy Notebart Nature Museum for an evening of Karaoke filled entertainment and museum exploration.

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Good times were had by all and memories made by many. Take a look at more of the evening’s festivities here!

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Team Spotlight: Sarah Hale

I recently sat down with Sarah Hale, an account director for the Marketing Technology team, to learn more about her experience at Walker Sands and her goals for the practice area. During her three and a half years at Walker Sands, Sarah has played a key role in leading the agency’s efforts to deliver strong, measurable results for our clients. She has witnessed Walker Sands double in size and expand our services to provide an integrated approach to PR and digital marketing. She’s excited to see how our agency will continue to grow and to do her part in finding new, innovative ways to help future clients achieve their goals and objectives.Sarah-Hale

Here’s what Sarah had to say during our Q&A:

1. What is your role at Walker Sands? What does your day-to-day look like?

My role is serving as an Account Director for the marketing technology team. My day-to-day schedule consists of collaborating with account executives and other teams, such as the digital or social teams, to develop and implement high level strategies that help our clients reach their goals and objectives. 

2. How has Walker Sands changed since you first started at the company?

We’ve matured and grown a lot in just three and a half years. Formerly, our digital offerings (web design, SEO, PPC, etc.) were fully distinct from our PR offerings. As we evaluated the journeys that B2B buyers take in evaluating tools and options, we realized that didn’t make sense. As our research has shown, multiple decision-makers and dozens of touchpoints are involved in a single B2B buying decision- and you can bet they are neither all media placements nor all digital touchpoints. We now offer an integrated offering that responds to where buyers are, but my sense is that we’re slightly ahead of the marketplace in doing so. Most importantly, an integrated approach is the best way to help our clients meet their marketing, sales and overall business goals.

3. What do you like most about working at Walker Sands?

The level of freedom Walker Sands gives its employees is definitely my favorite thing about working here. This freedom is what allows me to strategize and think in innovative ways that help me make a client’s campaign or account as successful as possible!  

4. What sets Walker Sands apart?

I think one of the things that sets Walker Sands apart from other agencies is our versatility. Many agencies tend to stick to what they’re comfortable and familiar with, while we’re ready to accept a challenge and work in areas we haven’t necessarily worked in before. I also think Walker Sands is a bit more responsive than other agencies, that is, we pay careful attention to a client’s unique needs and do our best to satisfy them and help them reach their goals and objectives.

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Everybody Writes, So Learn From the Pros: Part 3

Our content team wrapped up Ann Handley’s critically acclaimed book, “Everybody Writes,” just before Thanksgiving. The first two sections of the book offer plenty of tips to be thankful for, from advice on how to write more effectively to a deep dive on grammar and word usage.

Handley goes on to talk about a whole host of topics in the remaining pages, including rules on publishing, writing for social media and tools that can take your writing to the next level.

Here are some of the lessons the content team found particularly helpful:

1. Cite as you write

It has never been easier to research a topic you want to write about. With just a few clicks, you can gain instant access to millions of online sources that cover almost everything under the sun. But with convenience comes the responsibility to credit others for their work. Handley recommends citing any source that helps you along the creative process.

Expert tip: Be sure to find primary, not secondary sources. Writers too often link to a secondary source instead of the original. As Handley puts it, “The credibility you gain is worth the extra click or two to track down the primary source.”

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Why Best-of-Breed MarTech Solutions Aren’t the End of the Road

One of the most striking findings from our most recent study on the State of Marketing Technology was that the vast majority of marketers are embracing best-of-breed solutions in their roles. Nearly half (48 percent) of those surveyed have embraced best-of-breed solutions, compared to 21 percent who were using a single-vendor suite and another 21 percent who had embraced limited piecemeal solutions.

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Viewed at face value, implementing martech seems like an end game. Sure, companies may face implementation challenges or ultimately change solutions, but adoption is what the industry and individual companies have been focused on for at least a decade.

Yet the popularity of highly designed, descriptive slides of a company’s martech stack and a corresponding award indicates another problem. The average marketer uses 12 distinct tools – a number that’s struck me as low after seeing countless “typical” stacks of 20+ solutions.

In our study, 21 percent of marketers said that they were using best-of-breed solutions – but those solutions are fragmented. Coupled with the number of marketers using piecemeal solutions, this indicates that in 2017, marketers will be looking for data infrastructure and addressable marketing solutions, for example – showing that organizations will need to bridge the gap between their existing solutions and show they can coexist.

Here’s how B2B marketers can anticipate what marketers will be looking for in 2017:

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Visit the Walker Sands website. We specialize in PR and marketing services for technology solution providers and B2B companies. Walker Sands Digital offers a wide array of digital marketing solutions and helps firms to get the most from their online presence.
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