The Year of Getting Better
Think of this as an annual report. Or, perhaps, a compilation of accomplishments in 2018.
As an agency, MBB works on a calendar year. In many ways, though, success each year starts when we do annual planning in October. That is where we discuss budgets, make plans and challenge ourselves for the coming twelve months.
In October of 2017, we decided to stop focusing on outcomes and turn our attention toward purpose.
- How do we improve our processes so we can reduce overhead time and increase time to actually work on our crafts?
- How do we make clients love us?
- How do we do better work?
And, deeper questions.
- Why are we here? (Okay, not super esoteric “why are we here?,” but like, “why do we show up to work?”)
- What do we do differently from and better than others?
In that spirit, I wanted to circle back on what we did this year to move us closer to our goal of bettering ourselves internally —and recognize that these are questions we’re constantly asking. We will always try to be incrementally better than we were the day before, but it’s also important to occasionally pull the needle off the record and examine how far we’ve come.
The most notable change in the agency is the addition of Alexis Bossi and the expansion of and changes in the larger paid media team. As an agency, we are constantly trying to identify great talent, and Alexis and her team have really added great depth and breadth to our agency offering.
We also made a strategic decision to grow our video chops by adding Chad McClure and his resources at Burly Studios in Wichita. Chad had successfully run his own operation for many years. However, when we all met on a project, the chemistry was instant. He brings so much to the table for our agency and has been a tremendous addition.
Onboarding and internal communications got a big overhaul. We started from scratch examining and re-writing how we bring on new staff and new accounts. You will begin to see the fruit of that work in 2019. It is important in the first 100 days of any relationship to establish rapport and a mutual understanding of needs and how each party works. Working relationships are no different than personal ones – they require great care and a clear understanding of expectations to remain healthy.
Okay, seriously, the best thing to come out of 2018 is our new weekly internal newsletter. It’s a great way to keep up-to-date on projects, co-workers and the agency at large. And it has just the right amount of snark to make it actually readable. Try to see if you can get somebody in the shop to bootleg you a copy some week soon. It is hilarious. #theSkimmbb
We also overhauled our analytics platform in 2018 to get better and more timely results for clients. And complete inside baseball, we overhauled our agency payroll system to give staff a better tool to manage compensation, benefits and taxes. Again, it was the year of getting better, and as partners, we took this charge seriously for our internal team as well. Let’s face it – the people are the real assets of the agency.
We were fortunate to experience a number of great wins in 2018 with new clients and growth with our existing clients. And, while it is so fun to talk about and experience, we have already done a fair amount of bragging in this channel. Suffice to say this – clients are the reason we are here, and we have enjoyed working with new and existing relationships all year.
However, we have created a new healthcare platform that connects providers and patients through a proprietary research tool. We have successfully launched this platform in Kansas City. Our second installation will be in Nebraska. Keep your eyes peeled for more news in the coming months about our new healthcare tool, MD MatchUp.
- Shortlist in Design Annual, Boiler Room Beer Labels
- Shortlist in Advertising Annual, KC T-Bones Posters
AIGA Design Awards
- Till Vodka Stop Motion Video
- Tour de BBQ Posters
- MBB Taste of Leawood Collateral
- Boiler Room Posters
Read more about our AIGA Design awards here.
Print Regional Design Annual
Social Media Club of Kansas City
- Visual Campaign: The Chinet® Brand’s Instagram and Pinterest Strategy
- Integration with an Offline Campaign: “Inviting Results” 2017 Chinet® Brand Campaign
- MD Anderson Cancer Network Facebook Campaign, Shawnee Mission Health
Read more about our Social Media Club awards here.
- Gold: Kansas City T-Bones Posters
- Silver: Niagara Starch Press On Campaign
Read more about our ADDY awards here.
- Gold: Hosting Help: The Chinet® Brand’s Holiday Quantity Guide Infographic Series, MBB Agency with the Chinet® brand
- Silver: Chinet® Comfort Cup® Insulated Hot Cup Redesign Launch, MBB Agency with the Chinet® brand
- Gold: The 2017 Chinet® Brand Campaign, MBB Agency with the Chinet® brand
- Silver: Press On Niagara Campaign, MBB Agency with Niagara Starch
- Silver: Firefly Launch, MBB Agency with Winco Fireworks
- Gold: Shawnee Mission Cancer Center Announces MD Anderson Affiliation, Shawnee Mission Health, Parris Communications, Dobies Healthcare Group, hippo, The Collaboration
Read more about our PRSA PRISM awards here.
- Award of Excellence: The Chinet Brand’s 2017 Integrated Communications Campaign
- Award of Excellence: Niagara Spray Starch’s 2017 #PressOnNiagara Influencer Campaign
Read more about our Silver Anvil awards here.
- MyHealthKC website
Philly Nonprofit Connect
- Ronald McDonald House Red Shoe Shindig
Of course, a huge part of getting better is not only a group pursuit but an individual one as well. We were able to continue our relationships with some large-scale training platforms like the 4A’s while also adding more discreet opportunities based on employee job responsibilities.
- SHSMD: Training for team on emerging trends in healthcare
- 4A’s: Broad-based training for all elements of marketing and advertising
- EO: Executive coaching
- PRSA: Training on trends in public relations and social media
- Advantage: Enhancing our utilization of project management and billing software for greater agency efficiency
- Hero Conf: Pay per click industry best practices conference
- Ragan PR: Training on trends in public relations and social media
- Michael Smart: Training on trends in public relations and social media
- Connect to Convert: Sales funnel management
- Made in the Middle Conference: Local creative workshops
- Adobe Max Conference: Creative inspiration conference
- KCDMA: Training on latest in direct marketing
- Tableau: New analytics and visualization tools
Pro-Bono Work and Agency Volunteering
Kansas City is our home. Frankly speaking, we love it. So we do what we can to make it a better place. Some of that comes in the form of direct volunteer hours. Some of that comes in the form of helping smaller and not for profit organizations expand their mission through our professional work. Here are the organizations we worked with 2018.
Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas
For the 5th year in a row, MBB helped to create theme of the evening, marketing materials and invitations for one of the top 3 events in the Kansas City metro area. Raising over $2 million dollars a year, Snow Ball helps to fund refugee programs and services throughout northeast Kansas for low income families regardless of their faith affiliation.
Next Step Kansas City
Next Step is a unique physical therapy organization that pushes the envelope on techniques that bring para and quadriplegic individuals back to mobility. MBB helped Next Step with production of a video for their fundraising gala.
Red Shoe Shindig
Like Snow Ball, the Red Shoe Shinding resides as one of the largest events on Kansas City’s philanthropy calendar. The event raises money for Ronald McDonald House charities here in Kansas City. The agency donated design and production services for all elements of the event from invitation to at gala environmental assets. Check out the work.
Warriors’ Ascent is a Kansas City based not for profit that helps returning veterans cope with the burdens of post traumatic stress. MBB has helped create video and marketing materials in their effort to reach veterans and raise dollars.
Project Homeless Connect
One day a year, the agency picks a charity to visit and help staff needs at as a group. It is a great bonding experience for all of us and gives us the chance to serve our neighbor hand to hand. This year, we all volunteered as guides to the area homeless community as they accessed resources throughout our region. Read more about our day at Project Homeless Connect.
So, what is ahead in 2019? As a group we decided that if 2018 was a year of getting better, then 2019 could be the year of getting bigger. Not bigger in body count necessarily but bigger in thoughts. Bigger concepts. Bigger efforts and bigger enjoyment. We want to bring more to our clients. The best way to grow our firm is through our clients. If we serve you well, there is nothing but success ahead for everyone. Happy holiday season. Enjoy your loved ones, and let’s come back in January ready to make 2019 the most fulfilling year of your life! Blessings.