Last Thursday the KCDMA, Kansas City’s Data-Driven Marketing Association, celebrated its 2017 AMBIT Awards at the Stand-Up Comedy themed Gala, held at the Lenexa Hyatt Place.  With comedian and emcee Devin Henderson keeping the room lively, we talked ROI, SEO and LOLs while celebrating results-driven campaigns from 16 Kansas City companies in 23 categories.

emfluence, winning 19 total awards, captured “Most Bang for the Buck” for their work for Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que “Send Joe’s KC” campaign.  The “Most Bang for the Buck” award is a Judge’s Choice award given to the entrant whose work provides the best return on investment.


“Send Joe’s KC” was a multi-pronged approach to launching a new eCommerce website, acquiring new subscribers, and driving engagement; winning them 4 Golds in Response Driven Web, eCommerce Email, Acquisition Campaign, and Search Engine Marketing.

REACTOR Design Studio, another big winner of the evening with 11 total awards, won “Most Innovative” for their work with printer Henry Wurst on their “Perfect Partnership Sales Kit.”  This Judge’s Choice award is given to the entrant who displays creativity and outside of the box thinking.

Henry Wurst Perfect Partnerships

The “Perfect Partnership” won Gold for both Print and for Business Direct Mail Over $2,000/M Dimensional

The “Perfect Partnership” Campaign was created by KCDMA Board colleagues Clifton (REACTOR) and Tim (Henry Wurst) to showcase the company’s abilities and philosophy in a fun way.    The lunchbox themed kit was the perfect way to say “perfect partnerships” and included fresh chips and salsa, wrapped in a highly textured potato based paper, which was a great way to tell the story of a printing company that values it’s relationships.  Tim reports that the campaign already won them a $60,000 order, more than paying for the campaign with a positive ROI on only one deal.

The board relationship between Clifton and Tim are only one example of how Relationships are a big part of what it means to be a part of the KCDMA community.  Each year the KCDMA awards an annual “Bob Stone Direct Marketer of the Year” award, for bringing positive attention to our field and to the Kansas City Market.  This year’s award winner, Jessica Best, of Barkley, was nominated for her enthusiasm, expertise, and evangelism about email, mobile, and other data-driven marketing channels, and for her passion in teaching and connecting others in the community.   She is the ultimate educator, and her enthusiasm for savvy marketing and smart people, means she’s always seeking to expand her network – and in the process, she generously promotes, educates, and connects others.

© Aaron Lindberg PhotographyAaron Lindberg Photography is an experienced Kansas City-based commercial photography studio.

Jessica Best, accepting the 2017 Bob Stone Direct Marketer of the Year award: “What we do helps our companies not just stay in business but thrive. And I’m so proud that the KCDMA has lead the way for data-driven marketing in the region!” Photo Credit: Aaron Lindberg

Jessica says of the award, “I’m so honored to receive this award from the very mentors and way-showers I joined this club to work with. The KCDMA is where I want to be recognized: Where results and return on investment are king and where great creative is informed by — and can even be variable based on — data.”

REACTOR Design Studio also was honored with the Best of Show award for their KVC Gala Invitation – “Gala on Fire” campaign.  The winners of our three Judges Choice awards will have their entry fees paid for by the KCDMA into the national DMA ECHO awards, where their entries will be automatically progressed to Round 2 of ECHO judging.  All of our AMBIT award winners are qualified and encouraged to participate in the ECHO awards and get national honors and recognition for their results-driven work.

Other big winners of the evening were The frank Agency, with 12 awards, ER Marketing with 16 awards and Summit Marketing with 10.  Sara Theurer, of VML, was awarded the 2017 Young Direct Marketer of the Year because she’s a natural teacher, spreading her enthusiasm for email on stage, in the classroom, and online, helping shape the growth and advancement of successful direct, data-driven marketing in the city.


The frank Agency takes home 12 awards. Photo credit: The frank Agency


ER Marketing cleans up with 16 awards, Photo credit: ER Marketing

© Aaron Lindberg Photography Aaron Lindberg Photography is an experienced Kansas City-based commercial photography studio.

Sara Theurer, VML, wins 2017 Young Direct Marketer of the Year Photo Credit: Aaron Lindberg

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For a full list of winners, link here: