We are almost out of Q1 of 2021 and the year is going as fast as I hoped it would. History may judge me for asking my colleagues to come into the office since summer of 2020, but I don’t believe we would have made it any other way (and there were opportunity costs). Starting a company is hard enough minus a pandemic (technically one year later) and scaling it is largely uncharted territory for me. My decision was rooted in two beliefs that directly relate to the company:
1) I have a duty to get my colleagues to their full potential. Yes – they have to do the actual work, but I need to present them with opportunities, challenges, direction, feedback and assistance (among other things).
2) We have to perform for our clients sake, otherwise this whole experiment goes belly up. I speak for myself, but I can’t do that on-line in any capacity. I need to be in a room (the trenches) with everyone to keep us collectively moving forward.
I’m excited. We have a long way to go, but in trying to enjoy each step of the journey, we are starting to sample the fruits of our labor. As we roll into Q2, here are some things I’m paying close attention to:
The LeadGen efforts we created during the pandemic are paying off.
About six months ago, we launched a new website and what we called, “The Dinner Campaign” that encouraged people to sign up for our Digital Marketing Insights and follow our pages on social media. The goal was simply brand awareness that would eventually lead to coffee dates or inquiries. As the weather continues to warm up, that is exactly what is happening. No, they don’t close on their own and they aren’t always good fits, but they are getting us in a room with people. Per usual, we’re incredibly up front as to whether or not we can help you, but it feels great being back in person with people and talking marketing.
Want to see? Check it out for yourself: https://pellizziandcompany.com/getupdates/
We have made creating a strong creative team a priority.
It’s well known in the marketing industry that you are either really good at branding & advertising … or the individual components of digital marketing & technology (platforms, SEO/PPC, E-mail, etc.). I’m determined (and I think we’re succeeding) at being one of the first to truly fuse those two together. Pellizzi & Co. has always been adamant that there is no point in embarking on a digital marketing plan if you have a bad story or brand.
We upped our game big time by hiring Nick Pipitone as our Creative Director. Truth be told, he’s part time right now, but the agreement we have is that he’ll be fully baked in and on board by the end of the year. I’m happy about this because I strongly believe in “slow, but sure” for any kind of relationship. Also, he’s just a great guy and super talented. Having him in the office and working with the team has made us instantly better. Six months in, it seems to be a natural fit.
Social Media is changing (again).
I’m taking a break from Facebook. It’s a bunch of people I have no business looking at and kids I don’t know. Not to mention the irrelevant political posts and advertisements. I don’t want to waste anymore of my time on things that aren’t in front of me. If you’re not willing to be in a room with me or respond to simple message inquiries or at least a “I have no use for your product/service,” then it’s all just a tease. It’s mental abuse and I’m not going to spend my time that way anymore. I think the whole world feels this way about it.
That said, I’m convinced it can still be used for good. I’ve met wonderful people on social media. I’ve gotten business opportunities from it. I’ve learned about interesting people, companies & things that have translated into real world interactions. How cool is that?
Pellizzi & Co is working hard to make our client’s social media platforms a relevant place for interaction. Yeah, competitors across the board will be gathering info, but so be it. We’re sharing good information, we’re encouraging you to pick up the phone if you like what you see, and we’re promoting safe places on-line.
It’s less about technology right now.
It goes back to branding, but seeing Nick do his work has me really excited. He’s polite, but direct. He’s quirky, but brilliant. He’s been on a few sales calls with us and clients are (at times) more interested in the story aspect than my leadgen pitch. That’s exactly what I want happening. Every. Single. Time.
It’s an open secret around the office that I don’t get along with technology providers. I’ve been duped and burned enough times that my trust is completely broken for any platform. All of them are the best. All of them are magical and can do anything you want! All of them are changing the industry. Every salesperson is the most empathetic being you’ve ever come across. Meh. It’s all bullshit and I want to shield my clients from it all. The recurring theme of this blog is that if you’re not going to spend time in the trenches with us, stay out of our way, because the reality is you can create a leadgen program with a basic wordpress subscription and mailchimp if you really wanted to (not necessarily our recommendation, either).
What’s exciting, though, is that people seem ready for a good story. They want to feel good and they don’t need to be educated on the importance of it (or what it is for that matter). They also want the same for their customers and they want their product to stand out. That translates into careful consideration of their audience and a message that is going to make them feel something. It’s absolutely not anything new, but actually being able to couple it with the technology/digital marketing components is…and we’re so happy to be at that intersection right now. We’re not just talking about it; we’re making it a reality.
Events are (slowly) starting to come back.
I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I’m an introvert or an extrovert. Now, I just don’t care. Creating a business and scaling it through a pandemic taught me a lot about myself and one thing is for certain. I do not enjoy being at home from 8 am – 5 pm. I like having something to do. I like having a purpose. I like checking things off my list. I enjoy going somewhere, completing my goal and then coming back home to reflect on it. I am gravely concerned for the souls out there that are struggling with mental health as a result of this pandemic. Introverted or not, not everyone has a family or companions at home with them and anyone who is forced to spend too much time alone is bound to struggle.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. I write all of this with a smile on my face. I’m not looking to set up the victory flag, but it seems like there is light at the end of the tunnel and people are ready to be out. It’s going to be like the roaring twenties all over again simply because people are going to want to take new chances and won’t turn down social activities so easily. I want to harness it from a marketing perspective. We’re looking for as many coffee dates around town as possible. Whether we work together or not is cool with us. We just want to hear about whatever it is you’re trying to do. Chances are we’re going to be really excited about it.
As always, I like talking about this stuff. Send me a message at James@pellizziandcompany.com if you’d like to chat about any of it.
… and stay tuned. We’ve got more than a few tricks up our sleeves that we’ll be unveiling in Quarter Two! Thank you for reading!