Velocity wins Content Marketing Agency of the Year 2016!

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Doug Kessler

12. 09. 2016 | 5 min read

Velocity wins Content Marketing Agency of the Year 2016!

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Okay, that’s not our most creative headline.

And it kind of spoils the big news instead of teasing it.

But… Woo-hoo!

Of all the awards from all the gin joints in the world, this is the one we most wanted to stumble into.

The Content Marketing Institute is the Vatican of our discipline. And I always love Content Marketing World, as I hope my mid-event, stream-of-consciousness snapshot shows. But this year was special.

To win the Content Marketing Agency of the Year (for agencies with fewer than 100 employees), is a big, big deal for us.

And to be the first B2B agency to win it feels like we shattered the smoke-stained, asbestos ceiling (B2B doesn’t get glass ones).

So… Woo-hoo!

I’d like to tell you that the whole V team went up on stage to bask in the glory. But, actually, it was just me.

Me without a prepared speech and with no real track record of grace under pressure.

Reader, I blew it.

I did make it on to the stage and I did take the award from Joe Pulizzi’s hands and I think I thanked the kind sponsor (Ken Wincko from Cision).

But then I apparently kissed Joe. I don’t remember it but the evidence is incontrovertible:

Velocity wins Content Marketing Agency of the Year





(I’ll be honest, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do but never found the right moment.  This seemed about as right a moment as I could expect to come along. Carpe Diem or what?)

And my speech turned out to be a single awkward sentence about being rendered speechless (which, if not exactly erudite, was at least both literally and figuratively correct). So much for the quick-witted, urbane copywriter thing.

No way to hide it: I did a goddam Paltrow.

Then the moment was over and I was whisked (okay frog-marched) off-stage to do a video interview (Me: “Um, Yeah! Woo! Cool or what?! You betcha!”) and dumped in the dark wings to kind of compose myself and call Stan and then re-compose myself (we’ve been through a lot together. So yes, there were tears. Sue us.)

Why winning Content Marketing Agency of the Year matters

The email to the V team was a long, gushy, sweary thing that I won’t share with you here (or, let’s face it, anywhere else).

But this little chunk of it will give you a sense of why we’re so happy about this thing (warning: may — probably will — contain language of an adult-if-not-exactly-mature nature):

“As you guys know, Stan and I go back and forth about the value of these things. (Today, we’re a lot more forth than back).

But a few things can’t be denied:

Awards like this do reflect real peer recognition – validation that we’re doing exceptional work, from people who see a lot of content marketing.

They’re great for our business. Clients look at this stuff.

But most important to us, an award like this is a reminder that we’re doing something special — even when it often doesn’t feel like we’re doing something special.

A reminder that we’re doing something hard. That many, many fellow agencies and clients struggle to do well.

A reminder that we’re actually bloody good at this.

And a huge reminder that we’re lucky.

Lucky to work in an industry that rewards creativity and craft and intelligence.

Lucky to work with great clients who value what we value – who come to us for what we do well.

Lucky to have a healthy business that gives us a level of freedom that is rare in any service industry.

Lucky to have Stan running the show instead of some asshole.

And really, really, immeasurably, unforgettably lucky to be doing this as part of this amazing team of smart, funny, talented, cranky, quirky, committed and so-fucking-nice people.”

[The ‘f-word’ (fucking) may not be in every company’s cultural warp and weft but, I confess, it has found its way into ours. Trying to unpick it now would be near-f*cking impossible.] [Are you starting to suspect that I’m more part of the problem than part of the solution? Guilty.]

But… Woo-hoo!

We’re walking around thanking anything that moves. You’re reading this, so we hereby thank you too.

How to get Content Marketing Agency of the Year into another subhead.

We now have 360-ish days to milk every last drop of glory (and SEO juice) out of this sucker. If you’re looking for humility and subtlety and good sportsmanship and all that… you’re in the wrong place. We’re moving to one of the Trump-branded buildings in Gloat City and we plan to ENJOY it. (Except for the insufferable tackiness of the décor… goes with the brand).

Actually, maybe a bit of Federer-ness wouldn’t be such a bad idea here:  we only knew two of our fellow shortlisted agencies and they’re both really, really impressive:

256Media in Dublin – run by the delightful, super-smart Karen Hesse. Check out their Friday Freebie blog series– and everything else on their excellent content marketing website.

PM, poslovni mediji in Slovenia  – You know, the guys who wrote that inimitable (and, I confess, unpronounceable) headline, “Kdo smo?”.  Primoz Inkret and Nenad Senic are smart, smart guys and their English is so much better than my Slovenian will ever be, so the language teasing is actually deep admiration in disguise. They run Pomp Forum in Ljubljana, one of the best content marketing events in Europe (hope to go next year).

Next year, I fully expect to unclench my fist from the award trophy long enough to let one of these guys clutch it for a while. (Tip to Primoz or Karen: bring WD-40).

And, while we’re still in gracious mode, big kudos to King Content, who beat us to the award last year. Only now can we admit that they really deserved it. (Craig, Todd… well done).

Okay, enough with the Jimmy Stewart schtick, back to bragging.

We also won Best Client Agency Relationship for our work with Xerox!

After Agency of the Year, this is definitely the one we’re proudest to win. This is a collaborative business. You ONLY do great work for great clients. And Xerox is an AWESOME client.

There are way too many Xeroxians to thank for this, but we might as well name-check John Kennedy, Josh Golden, Duane Schultz, Jeannine Rossignol, Randy Golden, Barbara Basney, Tracy Yelencsics, Ben Rand, Greg Pings and… uh-oh, I’ve started but there’s no way I can thank everyone. Y’all know who you are. THANK YOU.

TLDR: Woo-hoo!

Man, I could get used to this.


Photo credit: Wetzler’s Studios & Content Marketing Institute

Published in:

  • B2B marketing awards

  • CMA Agency of the Year

  • Content Marketing Agency of the Year

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  1. Mike Myers


    September 14th, 2016

    I love how you were so gracious, immediately after you said you wouldn’t be. Very Doug-wardian. So happy for you and the team. You should be very proud!

    1. Doug Kessler

      September 14th, 2016

      Thanks Mike — the old false humility trick!

  2. Lydia Cockerham


    September 15th, 2016

    Congrats guys! Very very well deserved. Now you milk that glory.

    1. Doug Kessler

      September 20th, 2016

      Thanks Lydia — we’re milking as hard as we can!

  3. Carolee-Ann Falconer-Barfield


    September 16th, 2016

    Just love the humour that this is written in … It just 100% amazingly authentic Doug speaking style. Makes me smile. Congratulations team 🙂 Milk It! Work It! & Own It!

    1. Doug Kessler

      September 20th, 2016

      Thanks Carolee-Ann! Much appreciated.

  4. Sanchez

    Not at the moment

    September 16th, 2016

    I nominated you Content Marketing Fellows of the year long before you guys even knew about these kind of events. And i can testify you’ve been deserving this since 2009, and that’s not, only, because Stan had a M3. That’s because you had one too, in your mind.
    Here’s the category you guys should be organizing events about. “The fucking good client of the year”. Didn’t you just say you only do great things for good clients? We’ll take you on this. Congrats folks.

    1. Doug Kessler

      September 20th, 2016

      Thanks! What a great idea….

  5. Paul Hewerdine


    September 16th, 2016

    Big congrats Doug. Just don’t do the double at the B2B awards 😉

    1. Doug Kessler

      September 20th, 2016

      We’ll try… (And thanks!).

  6. Stephanie Tilton

    Ten Ton Marketing

    September 16th, 2016

    Doug, hats off to you and the Velocity Partners troupe! You’re like the Viagra of B2B Content Marketing — don’t know how you do it, but keep it up! I now nominate you and Tim Washer to launch the B2B Content Marketing stand-up comedy tour. Or perhaps your own Make-a-Wish foundation, bringing a smile to the faces of those in need: B2B orgs that still don’t “get it” and are about to pull the plug on their failing content marketing programs. Speaking of nominations…please hightail it back across the pond with your Velocity Partners to take over the Clinton campaign and save us all from the biggest, scariest clown of all. You’ve got what it takes to win over Trump’s adoring fans: you are anything but business as usual, drop the f-bomb with abandon, and — as far as I’m aware — have yet to share your full medical records or develop a well-considered foreign policy.

    1. Doug Kessler

      September 20th, 2016

      Thanks Stephanie!
      My medical records are a matter of public record as are my tax returns. Both show signs of flatlining.

  7. Rayna

    Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

    September 16th, 2016

    FUCK YEAH. I dig, Doug. And I dig Doug. Kisses for all.

    1. Doug Kessler

      September 20th, 2016

      Thanks Rayna!
      Hugs back.

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