Last week, we were honored to be recognized among Chicago’s top PR agencies at the PRSA Chicago Skyline Awards. PRSA nominated Walker Sands for three campaigns from 2017, which included our work for CloudCraze, Strike Social and Hyperwallet, and we were thrilled to take away the highest achievement at the awards, a Skyline, for all three!
The Skyline Awards is an event we look forward to attending every year as they recognize and celebrate the admirable work of our clients and teams. We are so proud of our team members for all their hard work and dedication to these projects, and we continue to be grateful for the opportunities we have to work with these industry-leading companies.
Here’s a recap of the campaigns we were recognized for last week:
CloudCraze Content and Demand Gen
Our demand generation program for CloudCraze, a B2B commerce platform, took home the Marketing Business to Business Skyline Award. Built on Salesforce, CloudCraze powers enterprises like AB InBev, Coca-Cola, GE and Kellogg’s, but they struggled to reach their target audience through traditional sales methods and keep prospects engaged. Walker Sands strategized and implemented a multifaceted plan with a goal of increasing demand for CloudCraze.
The integrated strategy consisted of web, SEO, content marketing and PPC to drive qualified leads. This involved the creation of an ROI calculator, dozens of new pieces of content and a robust strategy for promotion. The program was highly successful, resulting in a 51 percent increase in web traffic, a 100 percent increase in form submissions and $2+ million in new business in H2 2017. View the case study here for more info.
Giving Thought to the Artificial Intelligence Conversation for Strike Social
The Executive Communications Skyline Award went to the Strike Social team for their thought-leadership program. Strike Social uses artificial intelligence to help brands optimize ad placements. Because their innovative use of AI was so new to the market, they needed help educating prospects on the use and technology itself. The Walker Sands team formulated a bold thought leadership-driven program, highlighting the founder’s belief that AI would upend the advertising industry and eliminate the need for human media buyers in the near future.
The program resulted in a 3x increase in media coverage volume when compared to years prior (99 placements, including Digiday, Adweek and the Huffington Post). During the 11-month period, web traffic increased by 105 percent and domain authority increased by five points. Best yet, share of voice increased in rank from six out of 11 competitors to four. Strike’s marketing director shared: “I am very proud of these results, and we have you to thank for helping get us here. Your team has always been proactive, patient and, quite simply, a pleasure to work with.”
The Hyperwallet Marketplace Expansion Index Report
The final award of the night went to the Hyperwallet team, winning the New Digital Platform Skyline Award. Fueled by successes like Uber, millions are joining the marketplace economy as “gig” workers. Enter Hyperwallet, who provides a way to pay those workers anywhere in the world. Hyperwallet needed Walker Sands’ help to showcase their technology and position themselves as a leading authority on payouts and the gig economy. The result was the Marketplace Expansion Index, a comprehensive guide to the best countries for expansion.
The 2018 Marketplace Expansion Index was developed to assist digital marketplace platforms operating in the collaborative, gig, and sharing economies gauge the expansion readiness of 36 countries. The first report of its kind, the index aims to provide a data-driven approach to global expansion by accounting for factors that are unique to this newly evolved business model.
In just one month, Walker Sands secured 30 placements in top technology (betakit) and finance (PYMNTS) publications around the world, totaling more than 1 million impressions. LinkedIn ad impressions exceeded 500 million. Most importantly, the report was downloaded more than 200 times by some of Hyperwallet’s top prospects, including Amazon, eBay and Rakuten.
Overall, it was a great night for Walker Sands. We want to congratulate all our team members, and we are looking forward to the PRSA Chicago Skyline Awards next year!
We’re excited to announce our recent achievement on Clutch.co, a B2B ratings and reviews site. In 2018, Clutch has recognized Walker Sands as a leading company in not one, but four different categories in their Top Chicago Advertising and Marketing press release! These include: Digital Marketing, Inbound Marketing, SEO and PPC.
There doesn’t seem to be an end point to the growth of digital marketing. It continues to evolve in unpredictable ways. As such, our team is always thinking about how to reinvent our strategies to keep up with customer trends and technologies. Our team of strategists and original thinkers at Walker Sands thrive on rising to these challenges, and we’re grateful to have client reviews on Clutch to prove it.
Since joining the ratings and reviews platform, we’ve had a number of our clients take the time to provide their feedback, which we are so thankful for. The reviews not only help with our online reputation management, but show prospective buyers that we can be trusted with their business challenges and deliver important returns on their investment.
To say the least, we’re thrilled to have 5-star ratings on Clutch!
We’re honored that our clients have provided feedback that allows us to be amongst the best of the best in Chicago digital marketing. We will constantly strive to create work that is impactful and leads to results that matter for our B2B brands.
We are honored to announce that Walker Sands has been included on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing companies! This is the fifth year we’ve earned this honor, ranking #3043 in 2017. We’re one of 320 companies nationally that have made the list for five consecutive years and part of a small group of only six companies and one of two marketing agencies that can tote this accolade in Chicago.
When we first received this honor back in 2013 we felt like we were really humming along. Since then we’ve continued that impressive growth by expanding into new geographies and new service areas. We’ve added new faces to the team and a new office space to accommodate that growth. And we’ve done tremendous work for our clients – helping to bring awareness, credibility, and new leads to a number of growing B2B companies.
Our integrated approach to public relations has afforded us the privilege of making the Inc. 5000 list for five years in a row. By combining digital marketing and traditional PR strategies, teams come together to tackle business challenges and execute comprehensive campaigns that gain top tier placements, create digital narratives and move a wide range of audiences, all of which is illustrated in our #MakeTechHerStory campaign.
In addition to our integrated approach, our people are what power the award winning work and growth that enables us to stand out among others and make industry strides. We consistently aim to create an environment where our employees are able to do the best work of their careers at Walker Sands. Through company bonding at anticipated annual events, friendly office competitions and special interest groups, we believe we’ve been best able to cultivate an agency that works together to achieve growth and one that strives to approach each road bump and milestone with our three pillars, learn, support and do.
Another year on the list is a true testament to the vision we created for our company over 16 years ago. From day one, we’ve been a team, and we’ve all worked together to make this running recognition and continuous growth possible.
Congratulations to all of our friends and clients, CallRail, Strike Social, PointSource and Billtrust, who made the list this year. To learn more about our listing and those before check out our agency profile on Inc. here and the press release here.
We were honored to be recognized among Chicago’s best and brightest PR professionals at the PRSA Skyline Awards last night. PRSA nominated four Walker Sands campaigns from 2016, which included a mix of media relations, data driven content and integrated marketing. We were honored to take home four awards — two Skyline Awards and two Awards of Excellence.
We are so proud of our teams for working hard to gain recognition for some of our most exciting projects this year. At Walker Sands we are continuosly humbled by the opportunities we get to produce work for some of the smartest companies at the top of their industries.
Here’s a recap of some of the work we were recognized for last night:
CompTIA: Skyline Award
Our #MakeTechHerStory campaign for CompTIA, a nonprofit trade association for the IT industry, took home a Skyline Award. In 2016, Walker Sands approached CompTIA with an idea for an integrated awareness campaign that would unpack a nagging issue within the technology industry: why so few girls are pursuing careers in IT.
The campaign consisted of a complete rebrand of Rosie the Riveter, social awareness video, strategic media outreach and an interactive socially driven microsite. The campaign resulted in 130 media placements, including 25+ feature stories. The video was viewed a total of 35,000 times, with the Facebook Live! announcement of the campaign reaching 17,000+ viewers.
Label Insight: Skyline Award
The second Skyline Award of the night went to the Label Insight team for their work creating and promoting tandem data studies. Label Insight transforms product data into smart attributes for CPG brands and retailers.
The results of the campaign were remarkable, with more than 130 pieces of media coverage. Additionally, Label Insight brought a new concept to the market, “Transparency ROI,” that changed the industry conversation.
Grubhub: Award of Excellence
The Grubhub team was recognized with an Award of Excellence for their work developing comprehensive content, consisting of blog posts, whitepapers, SEO pages and downloadable resources to help bolster the B2B side of their business.
Through our content marketing program, Grubhub was able to achieve desired results and position themselves as a thought leader in the B2B side of the restaurant delivery space.
Manta: Award of Excellence
An Award of Excellence went to the manta team. Manta is an online resource dedicated to small business, offering educational courses, proprietary research and content, and personalized marketing services. Manta regularly surveys its small business members via on-site flash polls. During the 2016 election season, our teams identified an opportunity to turn these flash polls into a window into the minds of small business owners on topics related to the election.
Using the data derived from the poles, the manta team leveraged existing reporter relationships to ensure questions asked would garner coverage, despite the saturated nature of political news. The program resulted in 232 unique media placements and a twitter mention from then presidential candidate, Donald Trump.
We strive to bring the best of media and digital marketing under one integrated agency. Our curious and driven teams continuously think of how to leverage the ever-changing digital world, and every day, discover new ways to help businesses grow.
In an age of “alternative facts” and general distrust, the average consumer is more proactive and critical about their consumption, and so businesses must also think more deeply about how to ensure their trust and confidence. Particularly in the communications and digital marketing fields, where the emotional and personal are so central, a company cannot be vetted simply on the basis of their analytical prowess, but also on how they understand, relate to, and treat their clients.
In this environment, the importance of online reviews to the consumer’s buying decisions is steadily increasing. With the emergence of platforms like TripAdvisor, Glassdoor, and Yelp, ratings and reviews touches almost every aspect of life—from travels plans to college and job applications.
Clutch empowers businesses to holistically judge and ultimately select an ideal provider based on case studies, their market presence, the types of clients they’ve worked with and what they have to say about us.
To gain a top spot on the leaders matrix and list, clients were asked questions about the scope of projects, communication and our abilities to generate results.Here’s some of the diverse and useful insights our clients graciously shared on their experiences working with us:
“Their SEO expertise stands out. Their approach for the content you want to optimize on your site is very good.” – Vice President, Private Equity Firm
“They are always delivering on time or even earlier, which makes my job easy.” – Marketing Manager, Loyalty Program Company
“As soon as we give them a project…the end product is always really well done.” – Senior Digital Marketing Manager, Magnetic
While Walker Sands has been the recipient of many industry awards, Clutch reminds us that positive consumer feedback is the true testament to our success. We are incredibly grateful to be able to work with great clients who are so willing to make supportive claims of our agency. In addition to that, we must extend a huge thank you to our teams who go above and beyond to provide great services to bring positive reviews to fruition.