One attribute sets us apart from every marketing and communications firm we’ve encountered; we learned our craft doing it for ourselves in real-time, in a real business with an ever-present sense of urgency. We were the marketing department, the logistics manager, accounting director….everything you can think of that comes along with a small business. We sold products to businesses, or in corporate-speak, we were B2B and had several thousand customers.
With thousands of customers receiving multiple marketing messages daily, a lot of people saw our work and asked if we would help them. We didn’t charge them for our work because we were just doing a favor for a customer, for a non-profit we cared about, or a community organization with lots of heart and no budget. Then we got so busy helping that we couldn’t get our “real” work done, and we reluctantly began charging a nominal hourly fee.
Eventually, we realized there was more value in what we were giving away than there was in what we were selling, and the original business was sold to make way for the work we truly enjoy.
Our unique history causes us to identify so strongly with our clients that one of the most common words we use is in meetings about projects is “we.” The work we do for every client feels just as vital and urgent as the work we did for ourselves. We’re nervous the day of an election we’ve worked hard for. We worry that a client’s annual fundraising campaign won’t net more than last year. We dig deep to get a brand right and are on edge as we watch for early signs that it’s resonating with customers.
It takes a team; us and the client we work for, and success comes from great teamwork.