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Spotlight: The 2017 MVP Awards Winners

Last year, we hosted the 2017 MVP Awards across three of our sites: B2B Marketing Zone, eLearning Learning, and Human Resources Today. In order to get ready for this year’s coming awards across even more of our sites, our site editors decided to catch up with a few of our awards winners.

Want to nominate an article for this year’s awards? Email the article, and the site you’d like to nominate it for, to More details at the bottom. Enjoy!

Name: Clark Quinn
Website: Learnlets
Winning article: Why AR
Content community: eLearning Learning

Clark Quinn, author at Learnlets, won 1st Place in the New and Emerging Technologies Category of eLearning Learning’s 2017 MVP Awards. Why AR, his article on expanding the limits and uses of Augmented Reality, stood out among over 100 other articles to our readers and judges at eLL. Warren Wu, editor at eLearning Learning, has a few follow up questions for him.

How long have you been blogging? 
Over 10 years. Started in 2006.

What do you like best about blogging? 
The pressure to continue to find new things to think (and then write) about.  It really pushes me to be exploratory and reflective.

Your winning article is about why augmented reality. Can you give a brief summary of your take on the subject? 
My take on AR is that it’s a really powerful cognitive adjunct. Annotating the world with information to make us more successful and informed (whether it’s performance support or learning), is a really powerful opportunity.  Having it customized to both our interests and our current context means that we’re minimizing the information required so it’s a very minimalist approach. It’s really what I would want ‘microlearning’ to mean.

What’s one of your top tips for augmented reality that you don’t get to in the article?
I suppose it would be to take a broad view of AR.  In responding to your questions, I realized I think of it as the visual augments via glasses or smartphone camera/screen, but it can be auditory or even textual as well.  In fact, you’ve just prompted another post!

In your opinion, what’s the best article you’ve written in 2018 so far and why?
‘Best’ is a very laden term: best what?  Most accessible? Most important?  Most relevant?  However, (in the only 1.5 months so far this year) I think my post on Chief Cognitive Officer ( is something I’m thinking is really important.  Of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also point to:

Wildcard question: What’s your favorite joke?
Favorite joke…hmm.  Usually I pun in the moment, rather than have canned jokes. Or Father Goose jokes, but they’re too long.  And it’s got to be one suitable for publication (I’m not sharing the one about the monkey and the cork ;).  I’m always a fan of the silly: “How deep is the water in a frog pond?  Knee-deep.  Knee-deep.” It’s an auditory one, if that helps.

How do you apply augmented reality in your work as a elearning professional?
Taking a broad view of AR (see above), I augment my world with notes and reminders.  I set alarms to make sure to do things as preparation for other things that will happen, like remembering to put presentations on flash drives, pack something specific. It’s not cool visual AR, but it’s very effective.

As Clark mentioned, augmented reality has all sorts of applications to improve our lives beyond the visual augments from our phone or glasses that we traditionally think of as AR. Keep thinking outside the box and challenging definitions, Clark! And thanks for answering our questions. Hope to see your articles in our nominations for the 2018 eLL MVP Awards!


Name: Howard Sewell
Website: Spear Marketing
Winning article: 22 Potential Touchpoints for your Next ABM Sales Play
Content community: B2B Marketing Zone

Howard Sewell, President at Spear Marketing and author at their blog The Point, won 2nd Place in B2B Marketing Zone’s 2017 MVP Awards in the Account-Based Marketing Category. And his article, 22 Potential Touchpoints for your Next ABM Sales Play, really stood out for its strong suggestions about unique touchpoints. Hannah Flynn, editor at B2B Marketing Zone, asks him a few follow-up questions.

How long have you been blogging?
As long as there have been blogs. And before blogs (I’m that old), we were sending a monthly newsletter to our agency clients. When social media took off and I realized I could publish articles at any time without regard for a monthly deadline, we converted the newsletter to a blog.

What do you like best about blogging?
As a business owner, I’m a firm believer in publishing and sharing knowledge, experience, and business philosophy, and from a business development standpoint, blogs are an incredibly effective platform for finding and engaging people who might have a need for your expertise or services. At Spear, our blog generates something like 80 percent of our inbound sales leads.  Blogging is a central part of both how we generate new business and also how we maintain mindshare with customers and existing leads.

Your winning article is about designing sales plays as part of an ABM strategy. Can you give a brief summary of your take on the subject?
Like many of our blog posts, that article came about as a direct result of the work we do for our clients as a demand generation agency. We design and execute ABM strategies, and as part of that process, are often crafting a sequence of touchpoints for salespeople to execute as part of the overall ABM campaign. The blog post was derived from a conversation about how sales plays aren’t just emails or even phone calls, but can incorporate a myriad of different types of outreach.

In your opinion, what’s the best article you’ve written in 2018 so far and why?
One article that generated very strong engagement on social media was “I Need Hot Leads, and I Need Them Now.” (  Again, this was a result of real-world conversations – we get approached constantly by prospective clients looking to find red hot leads and to find them very quickly.  Unfortunately, I think the hype around marketing technology such as predictive analytics, and now AI, has led a lot of marketers to think that lead generation is just a matter of identifying the people who are ready to buy.  When, of course, it’s not that simple. This was my way of making the argument that demand generation, done right, is a much more long-term process.

Wildcard question: Describe your ideal sandwich.
I grew up in England and my ideal sandwich growing up was cheese and pickle. Only other Brits will understand that!

How do you apply ABM in your work as a B2B Marketing professional?
ABM is a huge part of our work as a B2B agency. Companies have been very quick to sign on to ABM as a marketing approach, but very few have the understanding of where to start and especially how to design and execute an effective ABM campaign.  We help companies develop that overall strategy, find the right companies to target, develop content, and then build and execute the campaigns.

Howard has really refined the art of account-based marketing, and it’s paid off. Lead and demand generation are never as simple as companies want them to be, but he not only gets the job done for clients, but uncovers valuable nuggets of wisdom as he goes. Thank you for answering our questions, Howard! Hope to see your articles in our nominations for the 2018 BMZ MVP Awards!


Name: Joanne McDonagh
Website: Rezoomo
Winning article: 2018 Trends in Candidate Experience – What You Need To Know
Content community: Human Resources Today

Joanne McDonagh, blogger at Rezoomo, won 1st Place in the Talent Acquisition Category of Human Resources Today’s 2017 MVP Awards. Her article on the changing landscape of candidate experience, 2018 Trends in Candidate Experience – What You Need To Know, caught the attention of the judges and readers at HRT. Now that it’s been a few months since the conclusion of the awards, Shelley Trout, editor at Human Resources Today, has some questions for her.

How long have you been blogging?
I have been blogging for Rezoomo just coming up to 2 years now.

What do you like best about blogging?
To be able to Provide HR professionals with knowledge content that will assist them in their roles. I love to research topics and gather key information that will allow me to provide statics and insights to help HR professionals solve any challenges that they may face in their day to day recruitment tasks. I like to think of the Rezoomo blog as a go to educational resource for anybody in the recruitment industry.

Your winning article is about predicting HR Trends in 2018. Can you give a brief summary of your take on the subject? Have you seen any of your predictions come true yet?
It’s hard to deny, that for the past few years traditional recruitment practices have been rewritten. Every year new recruitment trends begin to surface, changing the way companies hire.
Toward the end of last year, I wrote an article on candidate experience and how we would see it becoming a huge trend in recruitment. I certainly have seen this prediction come true, with more and more HR professionals valuing the candidates experience in the war to win talent and aligning that with employer branding, it is a trend that you simply cannot afford to ignore, if you want to succeed in recruiting quality candidates.

What’s one of the most important trends you’ve seen, that you didn’t mention in the article?
Workplace wellbeing. This was another trend that I also wrote about towards the end of last year. It is becoming such an important practice for employers to take notice when it comes to their employees wellbeing. So many more companies are introducing workplace wellbeing programmes into their culture and creating awareness about mental and physical health. Many companies want their employees to feel engaged, appreciated and cared for.

In your opinion, what’s the best article you’ve written in 2018 so far and why?
Candidate Experience: The Facts – I wanted to follow up on my winning article and provide HR Professionals with a deeper insight to the candidate experience. I really want this trend to be noticed and for companies to make sure that they value their candidates experience. I don’t think a lot of people realise the impact something as small as, not sending a regret email can have on their company and their employer brand. So I just wanted to write about the facts, the important ones and to back that up with statics to show the real significance of this trend.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
A singer. I idolised Tina Turner, but let’s leave the singing to her and the blogging to me 🙂

As you can see, Joanne really takes an experiential approach to HR – both on the applicant and employee side. Employees and candidates everywhere can breathe a collective sigh of relief when that kind of attitude is applied to the workplace. Keep pushing for companies to value their employees and candidates, Joanne! And thanks for answering our questions. Hope to see your articles in our nominations for the 2018 HRT MVP Awards!


Name: Carlos Hidalgo
Website: VisumCx
Winning article: A Deeper Look into B2B Demand Generation
Content community: B2B Marketing Zone

Carlos Hidalgo is the Founder and CEO at VisumCx and contributing author at Modern Marketing. He won 3rd Place in the Lead Generation Category of B2B Marketing Zone’s 2017 MVP Awards. His article on the universal struggles of demand generation, A Deeper Look into B2B Demand Generation, truly stood out. Hannah Flynn, editor at B2B Marketing Zone, catches up with him.

How long have you been blogging?
I have blogged for well over a decade and started with my previous agency which I co-founded in 2005. I have also been a frequent guest blogger on multiple B2B sights over the years and contributed to several vendor blogs in the same span.

What do you like best about blogging?
I have always enjoyed being able to share my thoughts in writing. For me it is a bit therapeutic to put words on paper (or a computer screen) and in doing so, be able to think through some of my own processes, ideas and concepts. The “pay back” if you will is when you share these thoughts, some of which may go against the consensus thinking, and then it leads to a conversation with someone who read it and it helped stoke their thoughts on a topic. So truly, the best thought about blogging is being able to share ideas and learn together with the readers.

Your winning article is about how most B2B companies aren’t meeting their lead generation goals. Can you give a brief summary of your take on the subject? A brief summary is that most companies are unfortunately most companies are indeed failing with demand generation. I know this comes across as negative, but do not want to sugar coat it and have to be realistic. The reality is that demand generation is not easy and it requires that organizations align to and get a granular view of their buyer(s). While this is the need, many organizations are taking short cuts and simply doing different things rather than doing things differently.  We have to change as marketers as those we are marketing to are rapidly changing.

Do you have any top tips for B2B lead gen that you didn’t mention in the article?
If I were writing today I would add in the component of AI to demand generation which I wrote about last year at the VisumCx site (my new agency) and discussed how this could help marketers improved if used the right way.

What’s your favorite article that you’ve written in 2018 so far and why?
So far the blog I have enjoyed the most is 3 Things CMOs Can Do To Make The Most of 2018. I enjoyed this because I believe CMOs have so much coming at them so fast they are trying to make heads or tails out of what they need to prioritize and I have already had several people tell me this blog was very helpful to them. The reality is, for marketing departments to be successful, they need to have some foundational elements of data, analytics and strategy (not technology).

Wildcard question: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I was just speaking about this today and I never dreamed I would be an entrepreneur who had started two agencies.  My initial intent was to be an FBI agent and to this day still think about what might have been. Back in the late 90’s I applied, and made it through 2 rounds until there was a realizations I did not speak Spanish, despite my name, and that was the end of the road for me and that career in the FBI.

How do you apply your ability to prioritize for lead generation in your work?
For me it is about the business model you have. Within VisumCx, I am not looking to build another medium to large agency, I am looking to service a select group of clients that have specific needs and fit an ideal profile. So in terms of prioritizing, I apply this to who comes to my site, who calls in, what kind of work they need and what level of engagement they require.

It’s clear that Carlos has a really well-informed view of the lead and demand generation struggles that businesses can go through, especially when they try a more broad-strokes approach. Whether it’s generating B2B leads, or working with customer experience, a fine-tuned approach is key. Good on you Carlos, for striving for that level of detail! And thanks for answering our questions. Hope to see your articles in our nominations for the 2018 BMZ MVP Awards!


Thanks for reading!

Have a nomination for this year’s awards? We’re accepting nominations for the following sites:

  • B2B Marketing Zone
  • Customer Contact Central
  • Customer Experience Update
  • eLearning Learning
  • Human Resources Today
  • Product Management Today
  • Project Management Update
  • Recruiting Brief
  • Sales Pro Central
  • Supply Chain Brief

Email a link to the article you’d like to nominate, plus the site for which you’d like to nominate it, to Please nominate as many articles as you’d like, as long as you feel they are quality pieces of thought leadership that provide value or actionable insight.