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posted by Michael Powelson Jan 30,2014 @ 06:41AM

The Gospel According To Luke

Smart people say modern advertising is about sustaining a dialogue with the consumer. Fair enough. So, over the airwaves and through the pages, to a data-driven, inbound Utopia we go?

I'm not so sure.

I’ll happily grant that it would be foolish to assume your brand's voice is inherently the MOST interesting in this new, multi-tracked conversation. But isn’t it downright lazy to think you can get away with being the LEAST? An audience is still fundamentally that: human beings to be charmed, entertained, provoked, flirted with, and yes—absolutely—listened to. But before all that "connecting," don't you still have to give them something to talk about?

Obviously, I have some opinions on the matter. And when I saw my name on today’s square of the blog calendar, I decided to use it to comprehensively unburden myself at your expense. Lucky for both of us, someone older and much wiser beat me to it[1]. Though it was re-tweeted on our feed last week, there’s a post by business hall-of-famer Luke Sullivan that deserves an encore spotlight.

So let’s make a deal. I spare you umpteen more self-preserving paragraphs on the subject, and, in return, you click on this drum-tight, insight-laden, pretense-free summation of all that's true in modern marketing. Trust me, no one will ever argue that you didn't get the better end of the arrangement.

Besides, all I can offer in response to Sullivan’s homily is an "Amen" and personal benediction. Namely, that during my own twelve years in this industry, everything and nothing has changed. That story matters more than ever. And that telling a good one is all I've ever wanted to do.


[1] Yes, I could have scrambled to write on a different topic when I found this ground had already been tilled. But yesterday there was snow, and a fire, and Wendell Berry to be in awe of. I was, as Sullivan says, Being a vegetable, not Selling them.

posted by Julie Turner Apr 24,2013 @ 09:51AM


I’d never heard of Stefan Mumaw before last week, but in the span of about an hour he crystallized what marketing has become and what it has the potential to be.

An ad agency creative director, Stefan is the author of a book called, Chasing the Monster Idea. His presentation focused on the seven characteristics of monster ideas. So just exactly what is a monster idea? Here’s his definition:

“The truly monster idea is more than just good; it transcends the boundaries of the problem to solve it so simply and so powerfully that it almost sells itself. It’s the campaign idea that grows on its own, powered by those evangelists who first discover its true value, and it forces everyone else to catch up with it—if they can.”

I’m not going to share his seven characteristics — he shares them in his book. You can download the first chapter free here or get the whole schmere here. Instead, I’ll share my biggest takeaway from his presentation.

In the past, marketers have tended to throw everything inside the kitchen sink and then throw it at a consumer hoping something — anything — might stick. Now we weren’t always quite that ham-fisted. Sometimes we presented them with one unique selling proposition in the form of a creative execution or campaign. Regardless, we told them what we wanted them to know. The goal was to sell them on something.

While we were busy deciding what we wanted them to know, consumers were being rewired. The Product no longer holds weight with them. What does is the other stuff: how that product makes someone feel or the problems it solves. They are not being sold to; they are buyers. Most important of all is the acknowledgement that the marketing universe has shifted into new territory: consumers recognize and often filter out push-style messages.

Stefan’s answer to reach this new breed of consumers is to pique their curiosity and then reward their effort with a good experience.

Marketing with the goal of making people curious? That itself is a monster idea.

posted by Cathy Monetti Mar 19,2013 @ 10:44AM

RP Welcomes Inbound Marketing Specialist Catherine Doyle

How pleased we are to (officially) welcome Catherine Doyle to Riggs Partners! A protege of RP Inbound Marketing Director Keely Saye, Catherine is an Inbound Marketing Specialist who will work with RP clients on Cross Channel and Inbound programs.

A native of Tulsa, Catherine is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she served on the executive boards of Zeta Tau Alpha, Mortar Board and Dance Marathon. She also wrote for Garnet & Black, Discover Carolina, InterCom, and served as writer and publisher for The Odyssey.

Bonus? Catherine is working toward certification as a yoga instructor. Needless to say her Zen demeanor graces the WECO in a most elegant—and calming—way.

Welcome, Catherine!

posted by Cathy Monetti Feb 26,2013 @ 03:20AM

Welcome, Keely Saye!

Keely Saye, Inbound Marketing Director at Riggs Partners

I remember the first time I met Keely Saye. It was CreateAthon 2007. At the time she served as chair of Columbia Opportunity Resource, an energetic group committed to making Columbia a better place to live through the engagement of its young professionals in community and civic service. That year, COR was a CreateAthon client, and Keely and I spent a good bit of time talking about ways to make the organization more relevant and visible in the Midlands.

This girl has it going on, I thought in our very first meeting. By our second and third, I knew she was One to Watch. Keely was one of a handful of people I'd met in 30 years with superstar potential— strategic, smart as a whip, willing to think deeply enough to ask the right questions. And even as a CreateAthon client, she pushed. (I do love that.)

In time Keely became an entrepreneur, founding, a company devoted to Inbound Marketing. It was the new frontier of digital communications, a real Wild West of our industry. Keely knew her stuff. A certified Inbound Marketing specialist, she launched with passion, intelligence, and credentials.

The company grew quickly as she and her team provided strategy, development, training and management of cross channel digital programs to clients across the Southeast. She also served as our Strategic Partner in the arena of Inbound Marketing, working with Riggs Partners clients and, serendipitously, during CreateAthon.

Keely loved us; we loved her. (That much was certain.) The combination of her inbound smarts with our focus on brand development and management seemed to us a match made in heaven. And so we asked.

We're so thrilled she said yes.

With Keely Saye as our Director of Inbound Marketing, we're expanding the services we provide in-house to include:

Social Media Strategy
Social Network Development, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and more
Blogroll Development
Microblog Scheduling
Live Engagement Practices
Online Influencer Engagement
Social Media Campaigns

Content Marketing
Lead Nurturing
Email Marketing
Conversion Campaigns
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Marketing
Analytics Reporting

as well as

Brand Consulting
Brand Strategy Development
Marketing Programs
Website Development

With Keely now on board, there is much more in the works. In fact, we can hardly wait until tomorrow!

posted by Teresa Coles Feb 19,2013 @ 02:10PM

RP Goes Gold, Silver and Camo at 2013 ADDYs

It’s well known that no one loves a good dress-up party more than the Riggs Partners clan. So when the Columbia AAF folks announced a Reality TV theme for the 2013 ADDY® awards gala, we harnessed our love of country and camo and showed up to the soiree on Saturday, February 17 as none other than DUCK DYNASTY.

After a quick Sears Family Portrait session, we traveled en masse to 701 Whaley to join our comrades in the communicating arts for an evening to celebrate the best creative marketing in the Midlands. As pleased as we already were with our fashion sense, we were more than a little giddy with the lineup of awards that came our way in recognition of our work in 2012.

Riggs Partners received a total of 11 awards during the evening:

Special Judges Award for Excellence in Annual Report – Palmetto GBA Annual Report

Special Judges Award for Excellence in Radio – Express Oil Change Radio Campaign

Gold ADDY – Palmetto GBA Annual Report

Gold ADDY – Express Oil Change Radio Campaign

Gold ADDY – Lukas, Nace Gutierrez & Sachs Website

Gold ADDY – Bug Outfitters* Logo

Silver ADDY – Central Carolina Community Foundation Annual Report

Silver ADDY – Goodwill Industries of Midlands/Upstate SC Annual Report

Silver ADDY – Goodwill Industries of Midlands/Upstate SC Outdoor Campaign

Silver ADDY – Pulliam Morris 50th Anniversary Announcement

Silver ADDY – 52 Windows Event Poster

*official camo outfitter to the RP stars

We were thrilled to be recognized for our work across such a broad array of disciplines, and especially pleased to have Joy Skinner and Bartley Boswell from Palmetto GBA on hand to accept top honors for the Palmetto GBA annual report. Our sincere thanks go to them — and all RP clients — for allowing us to be part of such great work.

Twenty-five years after C.C. Rigg’s received Best In Show at our very first appearance at the ADDYs, the 2013 ADDYs were one for the record books and the photo album.

(Did we mention we were the Best In Show Costume Contest Winners? Well, we do have a standard to uphold.)







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