Remember when marketing was a lot simpler? There were about half of the advertising channels, seemingly half of the competition, and “www” stood for the World Wide Web. For those of us in charge of marketing these days, a simple “www” has transformed into Wild Wild West. Planning, executing, and just keeping up with every latest and greatest strategy has gotten so complex and so fast paced, it can be downright maddening! The stories here, based on real life clients, show how a few of the Baltimore-Washington metro region’s most respected marketing managers tamed a big piece of this laborious lion, making life a lot easier.
Meet Brendan. With an urgent deadline approaching and his in-house designer on leave, Brendan, the local marketing director of a nationally known non-profit company, found himself in a desperate situation. In need of a reliable, cost-effective substitute to fill the gap, he wasn’t sure who to turn to. Brendan had some relationships with freelancers, but many of his campaigns required highly creative ideas, “above the norm” design skills and some copy writing. It so happened Brendan was exhibiting at a nearby trade show and the owner of a boutique marketing company introduced him to the idea of an on-call graphic and digital design service. It was the freelancer relationship re-invented, and the one he’d been looking for, for years. Over time, Brendan was able to offload multiple online and offline projects to either gain some relief for his full time designer or to bring a new perspective to the department. Brendan learned that, at the push of a button, he could access the right skills, at the right time, at the right budget and have a personal relationship with a resource that understands his business. More than 5 years later, Brendan’s still relying on them as an major anchor in his advertising and design arsenal.
Which leads us to Jennifer. Realizing her deadline was two days away for a series of online ads she had ordered with a major publication months ago, Jennifer wasn’t exactly sure how she’d pull off a start-to-finish medical campaign concept and the design within 48 hours. As head of marketing for one of the largest medical practices in Virginia, employing more than 40 physicians, she was already overwhelmed and in no mood to waste time handholding someone with mediocre experience. Her colleague, Susan, had been using the same on-call graphic design and creative writing resource for 11 years and suggested that Jennifer give them a try. It’s been nearly two years and Jennifer has been breathing easier ever since. Meeting last minute deadlines and taking on new initiatives she’s not worrying whether she’s going to overspend or underperform given her company’s high expectations.
And lastly, meet longtime client, Susan. Employing hundreds of staff across 20 locations, her company, based in Maryland, knows a thing or two about outsourcing the right talent. But being one of the best in the industry comes with high costs, firm budgets and heavy responsibility for marketing directors. For more than a decade Susan has enjoyed the freedom to work with her full-time “go-to” design and campaign development expert. Over time, it has become clear that the trusted relationship built between her department and her on-call graphic designer, offers her the best of both worlds. A flexible, first-rate design and writing team available at a moment’s notice and an end-to-end creative solution that shaves expenses by 58% compared to the average “lead” design employee. With the money she’s saved the company over all these years, it’s a classic story of “zero to hero.”