Rachel Schulties
Chief Operating Officer, Marketsmith Inc.

At the start of 2021 we were quickly approaching a year of seconds.

Our second New Year’s Eve from home, our second school year with masks, and our second year of unknown when it comes to marketing plans and spend. This would impact Marketsmith, our clients, and our partners in different ways, yet we all were fighting similar battles. I asked myself, how can we, as an agency, keep our employees positive, our partners fulfilled, and our clients’ business and marketing strong. We focused on three core areas, which has resulted in one of our strongest years yet as an agency.

  1. Brands must have a purpose. This goes for our clients and ourselves. This past year was a marketing journey for Marketsmith. We refined our position within the market, hyper-focused on clients that we could make a difference for, and supported our state of New Jersey in new and exciting ways.
  2. Share the vision. In 2021 we launched a new tagline, Performance Marketing Perfected. The journey to this started with a vision building session and word cloud creation across the agency. Together we determined that performance marketing implies action, and there is always more that we can do for our clients. As your partner, we go well beyond branding to create active marketing strategies with indisputable ROI, driven by a seamless combination of artificial intelligence and human intelligence.
  3. Take chances. Embracing an agile model to pricing, testing, and learning has been core to our success this year. We have brought on clients with short-term/project-based scopes, tested dozens of new tools to enhance our capabilities, and embraced new skill sets like influencer marketing and website user experience optimization.

 

So where does this leave 2022? How do we continue to grow as an agency and as individuals? For me, 2022 will be my year of joy. To begin this journey I revisit a book that I read several years ago, Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less by Tiffany Dufu.

“[These] powerful women understood that success is imperfect. What would happen if we all started speaking honestly and openly about our priorities and the choices we make about how we spend our time? How inspiring would it be to the young women in our offices if they saw female executives who don’t pretend to do it all, but are open and honest about the balls they have dropped to get where they are today? Women need to support one another by being honest about the compromises we make and by speaking openly about the help we require from our partners and other support systems.”

So take a minute and identify what brings you joy, embrace it, and figure out a way to make it happen. In 2022, my commitment to Marketsmith, my teammates, clients, and my family includes:

  1. I will eat dinner with my children at least four of the five workdays in a week. Growing up in a tightknit family, the dinner was a formative space. It was where we discussed our days, vacations we wanted to go on, and our troubles. I remember when I was younger my mom would let us eat early if my dad wouldn’t be home until after 7pm, but when he walked in that door, we all sat at the table together while he ate to discuss our days. It’s a ritual I have committed to for my own family.
  2. I will solicit feedback for myself and my team. Early in my career I learned that “perception is reality.” This has continued to be a mantra of mine as I mentor and advise the teams I have managed. The only way to be stronger and grow professionally is to understand where you are and how you can get to where you want to be. For this, feedback is critical. I will continue to foster an environment where people can openly share without fear and consequences.
  3. I will find a voice teacher and return to my first passion of singing. Before I started along my journey to COO of Marketsmith I was a voice student at the University of Delaware. I had a teacher who tapped into a piece of me I didn’t even know was there. That led to confidence, passion, and, most of all, discipline. While in college I would practice up to six hours a day. I sang scales, arias, and choral complexities. Without a doubt this training prepared me for the leadership role I have today. I have not taken a voice lesson in over 15 years. I still sing, but I often become frustrated with my tone and stamina. I will be selfish in 2022; I will find a teacher and I will devote some of my time to my first passion, the one that taught me to be who I am today.

I would love to hear more about your goals for 2022 and how Marketsmith can support you in those. Please don’t hesitate to reach out so we can get to know each other better, my email is [email protected].

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2022,

 

 

Chief Operating Officer, Marketsmith Inc.