PepperMill June 2018

Tim’s Using His Time Wisely

Sometimes the summer can be a slow time for sales activity—if you let it be. It’s true that everyone is trying to juggle vacations, and so having meetings with all necessary parties can be hard to schedule. But when you live and die by commissions, you have to persevere.

I was reading some interesting statistics lately and would like to share them with you. It’s my hope that you’ll share them with your favorite sales gal or guy.

Buyers find only 42% of their meetings with sellers valuable. Well, whose fault is that? Usually it’s whoever is least prepared (and that is sometimes the buyers themselves). If you’re the sales pro, don’t be the one without answers or valuable insight. And be sure to bring a little something extra. It could be any educational piece or interesting nugget—but that additional takeaway could mean everything if the rest of the meeting goes south.

You already have solid clients who will make time for you, even in summer. Would you believe that only 38% of companies agree they are effective at growing their existing accounts? And 76% of companies believe they should be generating at least 25% more revenue from their existing accounts?

Have you noticed how many “buying committees” are now involved in decisions? Would you believe that 90% of the time sellers only need to convince ONE person in a buying committee: The Dominant Influencer? Identify the “Domino,” inspire them with your solution, and the rest will follow.

Time is the Tyrant! In fact, 71% of companies do not believe their sellers manage their time effectively. If you bother to track your time (if only for a week or two), you’ll likely agree that you could be more strategic and disciplined. You can usually break time down into four types.

Treasured—time that you hold dear

Investment—time spent focusing on achievement

Mundane—time spent performing tasks you feel like you have to do

Empty—time wasted

So, it might take a little extra sweat—it is summer, after all! The true pros will take advantage of the TIME they have.

Tim Padgett

Lost time is never found again.
—Benjamin Franklin

We have so much time and so little to do. Strike that, reverse it.
—Roald Dahl

Client Spotlight: Gerber Collision and Glass Recruiting Campaign

At Pepper Group, a lot of what we do is centered around helping our clients attract the right customers.

But it’s just as important—and just as fun, for us marketing geeks—to help our clients attract and retain the right employees. (We know great employees often lead to great customers, of course.) That’s why we were so excited for the opportunity to work with Gerber Collision & Glass—one of North America’s leading auto collision and glass repair companies—to help them find and recruit top talent.

The challenge: the auto collision repair industry is suffering from a talent shortage—there just aren’t enough experienced and new technicians, estimators and other professionals to go around. They’re truly in a talent war, where companies are competing fiercely for great employees, and having to “sell themselves” more than ever in a crowded industry where employees know they’re in demand.

Gerber understands the importance of a strong talent brand in attracting the best team members, so they smartly started with a Talent Brand Platform. Applying our proven research and strategy development processes, we began with the foundation: identifying what really makes Gerber a special place to work, and helping to communicate that in a way that would stand out to potential team members. We took 50 pages of research and insights and articulated one key thought, or theme, that would guide our campaign: “Our People Drive Us.”

From there, we brought that message to life through a variety of integrated tactics, all designed to inspire potential team members to take the next step in their careers and contact the Gerber HR team. We built a microsite specifically dedicated to conveying Gerber’s distinct difference as an employer. It’s the central hub for other key campaign elements, including a series of powerful videos in which Gerber team members share their perspectives on working for the company, and a unique tool that allows technicians to see their improved earnings potential with Gerber. Pepper Group is currently managing a robust digital advertising campaign leveraging social media and online display ads to drive interested applicants to the site. And to support the campaign outside the digital realm, we created a compelling and concise recruiting brochure for use at career fairs and other events.

Though it’s early in the campaign, initial results are encouraging, as we work to drive potential team members to contact an HR representative or, ideally, apply to join Gerber’s one-of-a-kind team! See it for yourself at

Do you need to rev up your talent brand and accelerate your recruiting efforts, just like Gerber Collision & Glass? Check out our Eight Tactics to Help Attract and Retain the Best Talent—and let’s talk!

We knew we had a great place to work, and a lot to offer new team members. Pepper Group helped us pull it all together with a cohesive message, and tools and tactics that allow us to communicate that message effectively. I’m a satisfied customer!

–R.J. Gerber, Marketing Communications Manager

Jessie Atchison

The Secret Behind Doing Award-Winning Work

How do we keep winning awards? The secret behind doing award-winning work is having great clients that make it possible. So far in 2018, we've won 10 design awards from two competitions. Here’s a detailed look:

American Web Design Awards

Now in its 55th year, Graphic Design USA has long sponsored design competitions that spotlight areas of excellence and opportunity for creative professionals. The American Web Design Awards showcase the power of design to enhance online communications and experiences. Pepper Group is proud to have had three clients included in that 15 percent.

Challenger LightingCompany Website
Best Home Healthcare NetworkCompany Website
TmaxSoftCompany Website

Hermes Creative Awards

Having grown to one of the largest creative competitions in the world, the Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing and design of traditional materials, marketing and communication programs, and emerging technologies. The following seven pieces of client work have been honored:

Platinum Award
Edlong“The Science Of” Ad Campaign
Probat“Metropolis Case Study” Video
RedMane TechnologyCompany Website

Gold Award
Challenger LightingCompany Website
RedMane Technology“We Roar” Company Overview Video

Honorable Mention Award
Envista Forensics“Even More” Ad Campaign
TmaxSoftCompany Website

Thank you to these and all our clients for allowing us to do work that stands out.

Go ahead. Insult This Article.

As a copywriter, sometimes my writing flies off my fingers, and is awarded enthusiastic head nods in our agency, from our clients and even their customers or clients.

But copy, like art, is subjective. Sometimes the copy flies off my fingers and is met with stone-cold stares, or head scratching, or both. Or, most commonly, nods from one person, head-scratches from another.

I’m sometimes asked, “What’s the most important part of writing copy?” Is it a grasp of grammar? Is it a keen insight into the psychology of the target audience? Is it being armed with research and keywords—the science that ensures copy can be logically dissected and searched?

I nod. Yes. Those are all vital tools. But the most important part of being a writer? Having a thick skin.

Anyone who has a subjective and creative job likely shares this skill … and advertising copy is as much creativity and preference as it is science. Science can be proven. Argued. But tonality, sentence structure, the choice of verb, or even the “big idea” may resonate with one person and leave someone else cold. I remember my first agency job, years and years ago. I was called into my boss’s boss’s boss’s office, the head Creative Director of our $500 million agency. He held a radio script in his hands.

“Did you write this?” he asked, his voice dripping with distaste. I nodded. “This is trite and banal.” He dropped the script into his trash can. Then, he waved me out.

That was, maybe, the only thing our ECD said to me in a year. But I knew not to take his comment personally. He didn't think I was “trite and banal,” or at least I don’t think he did. I took it as a challenge to write something better. And I did. The client loved my final spot.

It’s those victories that keep us “creatives” going. Every Pepper Group project has likely faced a head shake or two before it leaves our doors. But our skins are plenty thick. We’ve learned those head shakes just make our successes that much sweeter.

Allan Woodrow

YouTubin’: Space Myths

Canadian Commander Chris Clarifies Confusion.

One of my favorite books from the past few years is an autobiography by Chris Hadfield called “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.” You may be familiar with Chris from his musical performance of David Bowie's Space Oddity while onboard the International Space Station five years ago. Chris is a very inspirational guy and his book meant a lot to me in terms of personal growth. He’s also a very entertaining guy with endless stories from his multiple extraterrestrial trips.

This recently released video from WIRED allows Commander Hadfield to share some of the common myths he’s heard about space and give you the real lowdown from someone who’s been there and done that. Enjoy!

Got some YouTube videos of your own you’d like to share? Just send them my way!

Todd Underwood