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Blog Posts by Chris Ames


Branding Is the Heart of Demand Generation

Branding Is the Heart of Demand Generation

Demand Generation for B2B Marketers In the dark old days of 2012, the process of tracking a lead through a sales cycle was a slow, manual process. With the rise of automation platforms and integrated CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot, our pipelines are now routinely filled with promising leads. The only problem? Everyone else has access to the same toolkit. What might have been considered a competitive advantage is now table stakes. Demand generation might fill the barrel with fish, but it’s the strength of a brand that hooks the lead.  Refresh Your Brand According to Forrester Research, 68...
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The Balancing Act of Creative Direction

The Balancing Act of Creative Direction

The Journey Is the Destination When I was studying fiction at San Francisco State University, I had a professor that used to say, “If you know exactly what you want to write about, then why are you writing it?” It was a soft-ball criticism aimed at a particular kind of writer. Those that came in overconfident, inflexible, and usually with their entire story already mapped out beat for beat. In their rigid defense of what they thought the story should be, they missed the opportunity to truly discover what it is or what it could be. If there’s no journey of discovery, no unanswered questions...
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Educate, Activate, Accelerate: Three Tips for Bringing Design to Life

Educate, Activate, Accelerate: Three Tips for Bringing Design to Life

Working on a brand project can feel a lot like being back in school. You do your homework, you research, you drink coffee late into the evening. And just like graduating, there comes a crucial moment at the end of the journey where the agency hands off the assets. This hard-earned diploma might be a new visual identity, a new website, or even just a new logo. As far as the SOW is concerned, the “work” is over — but of course, this is where the real work begins: activation. Sure, you may have a framed degree on the wall, but if you’re not taking active steps to bring those lessons to life,...
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Storytelling Is the Best Bridge Between Customers and Solutions

Storytelling Is the Best Bridge Between Customers and Solutions

Once Upon a Sales Deck Salespeople want to sell. This much we know. Often, in our conversations with clients or in our perusing of sales decks, we hear a similar refrain. How do we cut to the chase and get to the meat? We don’t blame them. In today’s millennial-influenced age of purpose, you could sit through a narrative, a manifesto, a history lesson, a personal testimony, and a video on corporate social responsibility all before learning what someone is actually selling you. That’s the balancing act. You’re only as strong as your story — but if your story goes on too long, meanders, or...
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Enduring Brand Lessons from the Worlds of Retail, Restaurants, and Other First Jobs

Enduring Brand Lessons from the Worlds of Retail, Restaurants, and Other First Jobs

Is there anything as formative as our first jobs? It’s a magical time when the newfound autonomy of getting a paycheck is immediately countered by an ugly truth: making money is hard work. For many of us, first jobs start in the worlds of retail, restaurants, and other seemingly unglamorous customer service gigs. There are, by definition, entry-level positions, but don’t let that fool you. Any job that puts you in front of people — people with highly-specific desires, big expectations, and virtually no patience — requires a herculean amount of smarts and emotional intelligence. There is a...
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