Utah Business SAMY Awards

‘Lifeblood of Every Organization’ Honored at 2017 SAMY Awards

Salt Lake City—Sales and marketing are among the most competitive fields around.

But for Utah Business’ 2017 Sales and Marketer of the Year Award winners, that competition is child’s play.

Utah Business honored 17 individuals, teams and organizations from across the state that have gone above and beyond the call for their companies. Utah Business Publisher Donnie Welch said for a state known for its sales talent, the honorees truly are the best of the best.

“Our state is home to an army of people who are willing to pound the pavement, so to speak, in order to sell the products and services of local companies. Despite that, sales is a very demanding profession. The performance metrics are very black and white—you either meet your objectives, or you don’t,” Welch said. “Marketing has also become increasingly driven by performance metrics. It’s become easier and easier to measure the ROI of marketing campaigns. Now, marketers must stay on top of new technology, master every new social platform and craft messages that will break through the clutter to reach media-saturated consumers.”

“Sales and marketing work hand-in-hand to drive revenue growth. No company can succeed and grow without talented, ambitious sales and marketing professionals,” added Welch.

Honorees included companies like Lucid Software, which took its content marketing to a new level last year by releasing pop culture-themed flowcharts every Friday.

“Flowcharts aren’t easy to make cool, but it’s thanks to a creative group of people to use our product—developing and creating flowcharts—to make funny, clever work,” said Lucid Software Creative Director David Stauffer. “We have over two million views to our site from this campaign alone.”

Thinking outside the box can take courage on the part of both the marketer and the client, said several honorees. The Uintah County tourism campaign encouraging more visitors to Dinosaur National Monument, for example, was the first of its kind to use a pair of animated characters to spread the word.

“When you have a problem to solve, it’s often conventional to do the same thing over and over again,” said Adam Stoker, president and CEO at Relic, the recently renamed Sorenson Advertising that crafted the project. “It takes a lot of courage to do something that’s never been done before.”

Honorees also told of the benefits a good campaign can bring not just to companies, but to whole communities. In the case of the Dixie State University’s re-branding with a new mascot—the Trailblazers, embodied with the image of a bison—the school’s new identity has pulled the community together in a way the past mascot never managed to do, said Dr. Jordan Sharp, chief marketing and communication officer at Dixie State University.

“There’s something very special about a collegiate brand. … There was something missing for a long time, and you could feel it. It was almost suicide for the marketing professionals, but we knew it had to be done,” said Sharp, referring to both the college’s own personnel and the marketers from Love Communications that worked on the project. “This brand has been so healing for the community.”

For individual honorees, the profession was far removed from the image of a greasy salesman—the field is about finding solutions that clients need. Jeffrey Thomas, regional president with Zions Bank, said he views his role as vital for economic growth.

“What I really love about my job is being able to work and build relationships with a lot of people,” he said. “Our job in banking is to help grow businesses, which helps grow Utah, and we’re really proud of that.”

Wade Stevenson, senior vice president of global marketing for BioFire Diagnostics, said he believes in the work his company is doing, and is glad he can help it succeed in its mission.

“What an honor it’s been to be able to tell BioFire’s story,” he said. “It’s the story of an amazing company that has changed the world forever—the way we test for infectious diseases will never be the same.”

You can see a full list of this year’s honorees, and read more about them, here.