This month’s Employee Spotlight turns on one of our newer team additions, Nicole Cendrowski. When not engaging new and prospective clients at A-LINE, Nicole teams up with her husband Brian to brew beer and run operations at their on-the-rise brewery in Greenville, Fireforge. Today, Nicole writes about business trends, client relationships and why personal relationships matter most.
What trends do you see in marketing that clients need to know about?
I have a three-part answer for this!
- Video Content. Statistics show that video is what people pay attention to. More and more and more. Brands and companies that don't incorporate video and visuals into their marketing efforts, as well as in formats that honor the constraints and creativity of each digital platform (like Snapchat, Instagram, and You Tube) will be left behind.
- Effective Measurement. We've done this with our clients for a while now. I'm glad to see it's becoming a more natural conversation among colleagues and clients alike. Effective marketing measurement and evaluation with objectives tied back to the company's key metrics and performance indicators will help you make more informed marketing strategy, staffing and budgetary decisions.
- The Internet of Things. This trend may just seem downright scary. Stay with me here for just a moment. Discern how your company can play in this space. Are there opportunities to add value and use data to evolve beyond your competitors? Also make sure you've got an exceptional cyber security insurance plan in place.
If there was something you'd like to see change in the web/digital industry, what would it be?
I'd like our clients and prospective clients to expect more than usability in a website. The hand-me-down car we might have been lucky enough to drive at 16 had "usability." But is that how you want to represent your company to the world? Like mobile-responsive design, let's make usability a given.
Remember, we're designing for people—not page views. People make decisions to engage. Page views don't. I think we can raise expectations by designing for pleasurable, memorable experiences that spur action.
What can our B2B clients learn from our B2C clients? And vice versa?
B2B clients can learn from B2C companies who truly personalize experiences. First, pay attention to B2C brands that are truly getting personal with their clientele. Your next step may include ending the watering down of marketing messages to cover all audiences, and instead closely hone in on target audiences, prioritizing and tailoring strategy to each audience. Huge leaps are made when "B2B" companies realize they're not selling to a "business." Ultimately, their customer is a real person, or team of real people.
If you believe your one shot a year to get personal with a prospect is at one tradeshow, you're not doing your homework. Find out how to create more at-bats for getting to where your prospect is the other 364 days of the year. One shot is a lot of pressure and money.
B2C clients can also learn a lot from B2B companies. Let's assume they're evaluating B2B companies that have exceptional client retention. Develop strategies to move beyond a one-time transaction. As emotional as that decision was, the feeling fades. B2B clients that build membership-driven organizations or long-term consultative relationships are the ones to watch. They aren't on auto-pilot. They're always re-closing the deal, creating new value, and nurturing momentum.
If you were to equip a client with only one marketing tool, what would it be?
Your passion. Your passion for what you do and how your company can change the world fuels every marketing effort. Match that passion with a team who can help you communicate it, and you'll truly make an impact.
What's one business- or industry-related book you're reading right now that you'd recommend?
I fully recommend Designing for Emotion, by Aarron Walter.
What are the ingredients of a successful client relationship?
- Humankind. Be both.
- Striving for crystal clear communication. Get off email. Get on the phone, or better yet, get together in person.
- Investing the time for each client or prospective client to be heard and understood. If these needs aren't met, even solving problem after problem for them won't yield the love.
What are the ingredients of a strong creative team?