Walker Sands Wins Big with Second Annual Marketing Madness

IMG_1On Tuesday this week we gathered at Highline with Chicago’s top marketers for our second annual Marketing Madness event. Last year we tested this event as a new concept, blending networking and speed-dating, and it was so well received we had to bring it back for another round!

We tipped off the evening with our marketing MVPs to share in discussion on hot marketing topics and trends. The format ran much the same as last year: four tables, three topics, three rounds of 15 minute conversation.


Host, Adam Beason, leads conversations on current trends.

Our five knowledgable hosts made up an all star team:

Before our hosts could throw their first passes, we reached out to our event attendees to crowdsource speaking topics for the night. Over bites and sips our guests and hosts discussed the following topics and industry questions:

  • Current Trends: Are you currently doing any Account Based Marketing? If so, what are your tips to success? If not, do you plan on implementing any ABM strategies this year?
  • Demand Generation: What are a few creative strategies and tactics you’ve used to drive leads to your website?
  • Social Media: How do you measure the success of your social media campaigns? Which social media tactics are generating the best results? What are tips for maintaining brand personality across different social media platforms?

IMG_6 Through open dialogue style discussions, our guests and speakers left with great takeaways and new connections! For more pictures from the event, take a look at the Facebook album we put together.

Thank you so much to everyone who attended and our hosts for facilitating an evening of smart conversations. If you’d like to join us at our next Walker Sands event, leave a comment below and we’ll add you to the list!

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Digital Tactics for Improving Short-term Lead Gen: Part 2

In his 1996 essay, Bill Gates famously declared, “Content is King,” Decades later, the phrase still rings true. Rich content – such as vendor selection guides, whitepapers and research reports – can help set your business apart from the competition. Not buying it? Take, for example, an e-book Walker Sands developed for Dotcom Distribution, a leading e-commerce logistics and fulfillment provider. In just six months, the e-book generated more than 2,360 pageviews along with 547 downloads, many of which represented new leads for the business.

The secret behind such results is putting the right piece of content in front of the right audience at the right time. That’s where an integrated digital marketing approach can make all the difference. From segmented keyword analysis to optimized landing pages, part 1 of our series highlighted a couple of digital tactics we use to help our clients target audiences at specific points in the sales cycle – and ultimately improve short-term revenue. Here are two additional tactics that can accomplish more of the same.


Have you ever visited a website only to see an ad from that particular brand pop up while browsing the internet later on in the day? That’s the beauty of remarketing. While you may wish to believe otherwise, not everyone who visits your website will convert. And that’s ok. Remarketing is all about reconnecting with mid-funnel prospects that have interacted with your brand at least once before. They know what your business does and how it can help them, so no need for introductions.

Leverage the power of remarketing to bring potential customers back into the fold and push them toward rich content that leads to a quick conversion. Since these prospects are in the middle of the sales cycle, you’ll want to provide information that leads to a purchase decision rather than focusing on pain points that are more relevant during the awareness phase.

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Team Spotlight: Lauren Gilyard

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Lauren Gilyard, Walker Sands’ sales manager, to learn more about her role and get her perspective on what she enjoys about working here (and to figure out if she’s a cat or dog person).

As part of the sales team, Lauren is responsible for building out the traditional and digital presence across the full sales cycle. She works across teams to execute projects and has been focusing a lot on the digital side of Walker Sands in the past several months.

Lauren is excited to see the company continue to grow and develop over the next several years! Here’s what she had to say:


1. What is your role at Walker Sands? What is your day to day?

I am the sales manager, so I’m responsible for supporting all things sales-related.

I’ve been focusing a lot on digital lately, specifically with outbound reach. We’re focusing on building awareness for companies that do not know about us, as well as others that might have needs in the future. It is all about getting in front of people so when they do have a need we are included in the conversation. One of my main tasks is to push our digital offerings, especially to prospects who might think of us more along the lines of PR.

2. What is your day-to-day?

It’s very different. Today, I’ve been in a pitch meeting, sent a bunch of prospect emails and looked at prospects. Sometimes it’s prospecting all day or participating in internal meetings or calls.

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Friday Five: 2/27-3/3


TGIF! Before you kick off your weekend, check out some of the top tech stories from this week.

Uber to Play by the Rules in California for Self-Driving Cars – Bloomberg

In December, Uber’s autonomous vehicles were pulled off California streets after being test driven without proper registration with California’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Uber expanded the program and operated in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Tempe, Arizona. But now the ride-hailing giant is looking to go back to its hometown in California and is applying for DMV testing permits.

Complicated. Weird. Beautiful! The secret Google Project to put an aquarium of tiny, wiggle water bears inside your phone – Venture Beat

Project Ara, Google’s modular smartphone project, is a phone concept like no other. The Project Ara phone is designed to be used for several years with continuous upgrading and swappable component modules. One of the component modules included a tiny aquarium filled with algae and tardigrades, which is also known as water bears, and will be visible on the home screen via app. They are essentially live Tamagotchis in a smartphone.

Say hi to Snapchat and Specs, your secret AR ‘gateway drug – TechCrunch

Snapchat parent, Snap, launched sunglass-camera hybrid,Spectacles. The glasses are designed to be used for on-the-job tasks, but feature some entertainment apps like email, movies and Internet. They can also be used to take pictures and 10 second videos, which can be viewed later in Snapchat. Specs is a steppingstone for VR and AR wearables. The glasses are retailed at $130.

You rang? I Called Hotel Room Service–And Got A Robot – Fast Company

Since 2014, Aloft Hotel in Cupertino, California has taken full advantage of hospitality technology by integrating full-service hotel robotic butler, Botlr. Botlr is like hiring another employee — it uses laser sensors, depth cameras and sonar that put together a map of the hotel for accurate navigation as well as identifying people and objects in its path. Botlr is primarily used to deliver requested items like towels and toothbrushes to hotel guests. Hotel attendees place requested items in Botlr, enter the room number and Botlr delivers them.

Apple Gets Patent Approval For Biometrics Reader – PYMNTS

There are rumors that Apple will revamp the entire design of its tenth anniversary phone — it’s said this smartphone will not resemble any of the previous iPhones. One design feature that iPhone users can look forward to is biometric reader using fingerprints on the screen itself. Apple wants to eliminate the separate Touch ID sensors. The future design feature was recently approved by U.S. Patent and Trademark Offices.

Did you come across any interesting tech news this week? Tweet us your favorite story @WalkerSands!

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Digital Tactics for Improving Short-term Lead Gen: Part 1

Leads are the lifeblood of business. Trying to close sales without them is like trying to catch fish with your bare hands. Sure, you may have success from time to time, but chances are you’ll come up empty more often than not. Wondering how to consistently generate leads? Content development is a good place to start.

From case studies to tip sheets, rich content pieces can provide prospects with the information needed to make a purchase decision later down the line. But just because you’ve churned out content doesn’t mean it’s time to kick up your feet and watch the leads come rolling in. Whether you’re looking to boost business ahead of an important board meeting or quarterly earnings report, integrated digital marketing is key to improving short-term revenue.

With years of experience in digital marketing, Walker Sands knows what it takes to get you leads sooner rather than later. In fact, our clients see an average 70 percent growth in leads in the first 90 days. Here’s a look at a few of the digital tactics we use to get results.

Segmented Keyword Analysis

When it comes to targeting specific audiences, few tactics are more effective than segmented keyword analysis. Not only can it help your business grab the attention of mid-cycle prospects, but it also opens the door for more focused landing pages and media campaigns. To begin reaping these rewards, browse your website’s product pages and service offerings for a few minutes. While you’ll probably notice a few key themes, there may be other areas where you’re missing keywords that are relevant to your audience. That’s where segmented keyword analysis can help.

Tools like Google Keyword Planner are designed to help you identify potential opportunity keywords that can make content more visible to your target audience. Better yet, you’ll get in front of those audiences at the right time in the sales cycle, thereby increasing your chances of a conversion.

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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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