Alphabet Postcard Campaign Notches Fourth Award of 2016

Pictured above: Dave Hawkins, Kelsey Wuertz, Traci Basden, Nancy Crum and Art Kerckhoff

Gabriel Group is proud to announce that its acclaimed Alphabet Postcard Campaign was named the winner of the Campaign: Two or More Pieces category at the ME Show Awards on October 6, 2016. The ME (Marketing Excellence) Show is presented by the St. Louis Chapter of the Business Marketing Association and is the only awards showcase in St. Louis solely dedicated to the recognition and celebration of top-notch business-to-business marketing and advertising.

The Alphabet Postcard Campaign continues an impressive streak of award-winning accomplishments throughout 2016. The Gabriel Group alphabet series was recognized as the winner of both the PCC Pony Award presented at the 2016 Printers & Mailers Conference in June and two Awards of Excellence at the 2016 IABC St. Louis Quill Awards in September in the Marketing Communication and Graphic Design categories. As a marketing effort, the campaign has brought in a total of twenty-two highly qualified leads and six new accounts to Gabriel Group. The newly acquired clients are expected to bill a combined $770,000 in their first year, which accounts for a return on investment of over 4,600%.

 

A Place for “Thanks” in Business

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The business world is one filled with high stress, bureaucratic decision-making and impersonal interactions, not to mention one that operates on the ruthless phrase “dog eat dog.” It’s easy to forget we’re all human in the midst of the latest crisis or the monotony of day-to-day tasks. But the fact of the matter is that each of us run on – no matter how hard we try to suppress or ignore them – emotions. Although the stigma to leave our feelings out of the office rages on, they do directly connect to a universal willingness to build meaningful relationships and an eagerness to be appreciated. Thanksgiving brings to light this reminder once a year, but by making it a part of your everyday routine, you will notice not only a difference in your relationships, but also in your overall experience and quality of life while at work. Clients, donors, co-workers – they are all worthy of sincere thanks not only around the holidays, but throughout the year. The importance of acknowledgement and recognition to the many people we interact with at the office can make a major impact on the lives of those who surround us, as well as our own. So are you ready to buy in?

Clients

The individuals and organizations that both B2B and B2C companies provide services for are on the top of this list for many reasons. Not only do partnerships aid in keeping both parties in business, but the amount of trust that is put in each other’s hands is undoubtedly humbling. The act of acknowledging your clients’ choice to step away from their own marketing efforts, or whatever it may be, is huge. This decision is not only scary for them but also extremely difficult. This concept is what drives businesses forward to provide exceptional customer service and develop a relationship fundamentally built on gratitude. Whether tasked with organizing sensitive customer information, handling creative direction or sending even one piece of mail, for that matter – the relationships that are fostered should not only be a priority, but a passion. Thanking clients on a regular basis with surprise treats on a holiday, customized birthday cards or a short and sweet quarterly appreciation email are among multiple outreach efforts that speak volumes when it comes to showing that you’re especially thankful when it comes to your customers.

Donors

Donating to a cause that is close to someone’s heart is one of the most sensitive and generous acts of kindness a person can perform. Why shouldn’t your thankfulness be communicated the same way? Larger nonprofits can quickly get bogged down by thousands, if not millions, of donors every single year. It is so easy to get overwhelmed while trying to stay focused on the next donation that hasn’t even come in yet. But creating and following through on a donor thank-you program is incredibly important when it comes to retention and establishing a lifelong bond. Maybe your CEO carves out an hour each week to get on the phone with your top donors, or your strategy includes a sentimental and personalized thank-you card to every single person who contributes to your organization. Whatever it is, showing your donors you love them back is a fundamental part of the nonprofit world where donors openly give their time, money and heart to supporting your mission to better the world.

Co-workers

This one might seem like the most obvious, but it is oftentimes the most difficult. We all know the statistics on the number of hours we spend at the office versus our own home; the reminder of thanking our second family while at work can often slide down our to-do list as quickly as it landed there. Having thank-you notes handy whenever something big or small happens around the office can be an encouraging kickstart to turn a small mission into a regular habit. But more than anything, real and genuine conversations – whether with a manager or with your work BFF – undeniably makes the most impact. The next time you sit down to craft yet another quick reply “Thank you!” email, try making the effort to walk down to your co-workers desk in order to create a more personal and meaningful experience instead. Taking for granted where you work is one thing, but taking for granted the people who make your life easier on a daily basis is another thing entirely. Make sure to reach out, connect, and share your appreciation with your teammates on a regular basis.

Balancing a sense of reality and productivity in the workplace is a challenge we all struggle with. Many times it is hard to step out of our latest mindset to gauge a broader sense of not only if we feel appreciated, but if others are receiving the appreciation they deserve as well. It’s a tough concept to keep in mind with the craziness of life always getting in the way, but it is so incredibly important in the broader scheme of things. Living a life and working a job where thanking others for their contribution to your own personal cause – no matter how small – tends to keep the chaos at bay and gratefulness at the forefront of your mind. This Thanksgiving, make it a point to continue the pattern of recognition and thanks everywhere you go – particularly where you do business and with the people you work with. All in a day’s work, right?

On that note, thank you so much for reading our blog! You are one of the many things we are grateful for here at Gabriel Group. We hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family this Holiday season.

Your Friends at GG

3 Major Benefits of Outsourcing Your Strategy Development

When it comes to knowing your business inside and out – you’ve got it covered. Knowing exactly how to implement the right strategy to reach your goals…that’s where we come in.

We all know the saying “he who yells the loudest gets heard.” But the fact of the matter is most of us are guilty of diving into the day-to-day chaos and channeling too much energy into tackling the most pressing business challenges at hand, even though 9 times out of 10, these matters simply aren’t the most important issues we’re facing. Seems about time to reevaluate, doesn’t it? Your marketing efforts are undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of your business operations. While you take ownership over your organization’s branding, vision and end objectives, why not solicit some extra help to handle all of the details on your way to success? Here are three reasons why:

  1. Expertise

The B2B industry is booming with thought leaders, seasoned professionals and true experts. These people are the real deal. The bigger picture of B2B service offerings can usually be understood pretty easily, but the details – the creation, development and implementation processes – aren’t quite so easy to grasp or understand, nor do they necessarily need to be. We all have our niches of expertise. Why take time away from your priorities when you can call upon some of the best minds in the business – whatever your needs may be?

  1. Full-service partnership

Strategy is just the beginning. At Gabriel Group, we help you develop the perfect idea, and then we put it into action. Print on demand, fulfillment, fundraising, or even a combination – from start to finish, we walk though every step with you in order to assist in creating the best end product, and most importantly, the best experience that you could have imagined. We’re more than a vendor when it comes to your business needs…we’re a true partner that you can rely on, day or night.

  1. Get back to doing what you do best

There are always going to be bigger crises that you and your team should be attending to. You can rest assured knowing that everything is taken care of regarding your marketing support when stress runs high. Deadline change? No problem. Last minute project? Bring it on. We believe that no matter the situation, keeping perspective on what’s really important is what makes us a difference maker: serving you throughout every challenge, opportunity and circumstance.

Working hand-in-hand with you to achieve results is what Gabriel Group does best. Our strategy is a simple one: to make you happy and foster a growing relationship that is based on trust, respect and success. Hear from some of our biggest fans here to get a taste of what it’s really like to work with us. After all, our customers really do know best.

Gabriel Group Takes Home Two IABC St. Louis Quill Awards

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Pictured above: Elsie Listrom, Arthur Kerckhoff and Traci Basden of Gabriel Group; Susan Klein-Shelton of Klein-Shelton Creative; and Anna McNulty, Kelsey Wuertz and Steve Koch of Gabriel Group

Gabriel Group is happy to announce that it has been named the winner of two 2016 IABC St. Louis Quill Awards for its already award-winning Alphabet Postcard Campaign. The St. Louis Quill Awards took place on September 22 and recognized the best communication efforts in the region. Judged by other IABC chapters around the nation, a St. Louis Quill is one of the most prestigious awards a communicator, designer or marketing strategist can earn. IABC St. Louis celebrates those professionals who executed marketing, communications or public relations projects that help drive excellence.

The Gabriel Group team was presented with Awards of Excellence in both the Marketing Communication category and the Graphic Design category. The Alphabet Postcard Campaign was previously recognized as the Most Irresistible Mailpiece by the attendees of the 2016 Printers & Mailers Conference earlier this June. The marketing effort has continued to grow and gain traction since then – increasing the acquisition of five new accounts to six current clients that are expected to bill a combined $770,000 in their first year, which accounts for a return on investment of over 4,600%.

Care and Share Food Bank Names Gabriel Group as Fundraising Partner

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Gabriel Group, a full-service fundraising company based in Earth City, MO, has been named the Agency of Record for Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado, a 501(c)3 charity, with annual revenues in excess of $32 million.

The appointment underscores Gabriel Group’s continuing growth in the food bank industry, inroads made possible by its proven successes implementing comprehensive fundraising programs that maximize existing donor potential, easing the need for traditional “churn and burn” acquisition-based initiatives.

“By focusing direct mail efforts on donor retention, upgrading mid-level donors, and uncovering major gift and planned giving leads,” Gabriel Group Senior Vice President of Fundraising Services Elsie Listrom notes, “we’re helping food banks go beyond traditional models that demand a huge volume of expensive prospect mailings — most of which fail to reflect the organization’s branding standards and cannot incorporate elements unique to that organization.”

Listrom points outs, for example, that most of the food banks served by Gabriel Group tell stories that name area pantries, schools, churches, and locations where beneficiaries are served. “When a donor or prospect realizes that a food pantry around the block relies on this food bank, they feel a much greater connection when making a donation. You just can’t get to that level of specificity when your mailings are part of a cookie-cutter national prospecting effort. People want to see real results in their own neighborhood, and with Gabriel Group’s ability to tell location-specific stories, that’s a game-changer.”

Operation Food Search and Gabriel Group Forge Local Partnership

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Gabriel Group, a full-service fundraising company based in Earth City, MO, has been named the Agency of Record for Operation Food Search (OFS), a St. Louis-based hunger relief organization whose mission is to nourish and educate neighbors.

The local partnership highlights Gabriel Group’s commitment to expand its nonprofit fundraising services to organizations with a humanitarian focus—including a growing number of clients within the food distribution market.

Founded in 1981, Operation Food Search is a leader in hunger relief, nutrition education, and advocacy, serving the greater St. Louis region and feeding more than 200,000 people each month through a network of 330 community partners.

“With Gabriel Group, we’ve found more than an agency. They’re like an extension of our own team,” commented Sunny Schaefer, OFS Executive Director. “It’s nice to have a partner who not only understands, but believes in your mission.”

While still in the beginning stages of implementation, integrated spring and summer fundraising efforts have already shown signs of success. In the coming months, Gabriel Group will continue to craft a sound fundraising strategy through comprehensive data analysis while also leveraging OFS’s highly-regarded reputation in the St. Louis community.

“They’ve made the transition seamless, and we’re very pleased with their high-quality work,” noted Derek May, Development Manager at OFS. “Messaging, printed materials and data analytics are all on point.”

“The goal at the end of our day is to connect hungry neighbors to nutritious food,” adds Schaefer. “Gabriel Group is helping us do that.”

New Age B2B Customer Experience: What It Looks Like and How to Provide It

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Over the past few years, B2B organizations around the world have been fighting to keep up with the changing trends of customer service. Somewhere along the line, it even stopped being called customer service altogether. We now know it as customer experience, or CX. It makes sense, after-all. Gone are the days when B2Bs were only expected to provide one singular service to their clients. Now – our jobs have morphed into providing an all-encompassing experience to those we choose to serve. But what exactly does that mean?

It means an enormous amount of opportunity. While client expectations have increased and turnaround times have shortened, the chance to accommodate, fulfill and wow has never been higher. This business isn’t for the faint of heart, of course. But in between the pressure of tight deadlines, daily emergencies and rising blood pressure also comes the satisfaction of working for the right clients and the fostering of successful and mutually beneficial working relationships. Creating a true partnership has never been more important as needs across all industries are changing almost daily. The ability to not only provide solutions for clients, but also to be on the lookout for additional ways to improve how you do business for them is key for both parties to find success.

Mutually-earned respect, trust and confidence across both sides is what partnership is all about. However, keep in mind that developing relationships that turn into partnerships doesn’t just happen overnight. It can take years to get to the point of being seen as a value-added partner to your client’s business goals. You may win the initial business by cost or unique solutions, but partnerships are earned over time. Being a low-cost supplier isn’t the most important thing when it comes to providing a service to your clients – it’s keeping the promise of doing everything you can, and sometimes more, to support their business goals. As a B2B provider, you must showcase an understanding of your customers’ needs and goals. Providing a true understanding of the needs of your client on a continual basis while always being transparent on issues, both good and bad, will strengthen your relationship moving forward. So push back, speak your mind and always be upfront about your intentions to help your client in achieving their goals.

Keep in mind that, despite its name, customer experience shouldn’t be looked at as one singular experience at all – customer experience is built piece-by-piece and day-by-day through an accumulation of outstanding moments of service provided to your clients. Being a low-cost supplier to clients might be easier in this fast-paced and demanding world, but working to become a trusted partner will always pay off in the long run. In this ever-evolving industry, if you become the partner you would want in your corner – you won’t fail.

At Gabriel Group, we’ve dedicated countless hours to making our process perfect with an eye toward a singular outcome: results that matter. When clients succeed, we do, too. That goes beyond customer experience. It’s a partnership. For a full list of Gabriel Group’s service offerings, click here.

Gabriel Group Partners with the Missouri History Museum

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The Missouri History Museum of St. Louis, Missouri has appointed Gabriel Group to handle the launch of their new giving level campaign as well as their membership renewal efforts to celebrate the Museum’s 150th anniversary throughout 2016.

The Missouri History Museum aims to foster community engagement, lead education and exploration, commit to stewardship and sustainability and honor inclusivity and collaboration within the St. Louis area. The Museum serves as the confluence of historical perspectives and contemporary issues to inspire and engage audiences.

The Missouri History Museum account will be managed by Traci Basden, Associate Vice President, Fundraising Services.

Gabriel Group Partners with 7 Clans Casinos

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7 Clans Casinos has appointed St. Louis-based Gabriel Group to handle all printing and mailing for their five casinos: Paradise Casino, First Council Casino Hotel, Gasino Chilocco, Gasino Red Rock and Casino Perry.

7 Clans Casinos are owned and operated by the Otoe-Missouria Development Authority (OMDA), the official and economic branch of the Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians. The OMDA was developed in 2006 with a goal of serving members by developing revenue sources. All five of their casinos are located in Northwest Oklahoma, just south of the Kansas border. Gabriel Group is working directly with the tribe headquarters in Newkirk, Oklahoma as well as their advertising agency.

The 7 Clans Casinos account will be managed by James Poneta, Vice President of Sales.

Gabriel Group Named Winner of PCC PONY Award

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Pictured above: (Top Row) Anna Metzger, PCC Industry Co-Chair; Tim Suraud of Print Media Association; Younetter Hopgood, Kevin Brennan, Linda Potzman, Paul Hawkins, Nancy Crum, Steve Koch and Bruce Cannon of  Gabriel Group; Jeromy Fritz, former PCC Co-Chair; and Cathy Vaughn, PCC Postal Co-Chair and Postmaster of St. Louis (Bottom row) Jodi Beaman, Joyce Berra and Michelle Monroe of Gabriel Group

Gabriel Group is proud to announce that its Alphabet Postcard Campaign was voted as the Most Irresistible Mailpiece by the attendees of the 2016 Printers & Mailers Conference.  The event was hosted by the Greater St. Louis Postal Customer Council (PCC) on June 16, 2016.

The PONY Award was presented by the United States Postal Service to a mailing distinguished by clear messaging, an attention-grabbing call to action, exciting design and the tie-in of a creative promotion. Five finalists were selected after the submission process and were then judged throughout the day of the conference.

The Alphabet Postcard Campaign was rooted in a previous series that Gabriel Group had executed nearly 20 years prior that was also extremely successful. Gabriel Group’s marketing team and fundraising sales group, together with copywriter Mary Lou Frank and graphic designer Susan Klein-Shelton, created the alphabet postcards as a targeted marketing campaign in an effort to generate leads. Each postcard featured a letter of the alphabet along with one correlating word as well as copy and imagery with the goal to share with recipients who Gabriel Group is, what Gabriel Group does and how Gabriel Group can help them.

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The series was sent to approximately 850 nonprofit prospects, the majority being food banks. The twenty-seven total postcards were sent out weekly over a six-month period, and to date, have produced 20 highly qualified leads that have resulted in the acquisition of five new clients. The newly acquired business is expected to bill a combined $650,000 in the first year, which accounts for a return on investment of over 3,500%.