Posted Nov. 1 2018, 10:06:32 am

Melissa Lackey

President & CEO

Late October marked Standing’s 27th anniversary. This time of year, I always find myself reflecting on our journey, taking pause to celebrate our successes, consider the challenges ahead, and evaluate how we’ll continue to bring value in an ever-changing world. And every year, I am proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team and the progress we’ve helped our clients achieve in their businesses.

Twenty years ago, our firm was primarily known for PR. But for as long as I’ve been here, we’ve known that we needed to continuously broaden our scope. We thrive on driving impact and results – and you can’t do that from within a silo.

Today, we’re marketing consultants who develop comprehensive business growth strategies that help our clients reach their greatest potential.

Our years in PR, crisis and reputation management set us up well to mitigate the risks that get in the way of growth. And, our decades of experience leading strategy sessions, conducting research and building robust plans now help us identify business growth strategies for revenue generation.

Along the way, the world has changed, so we’ve evolved, investing in understanding technology and the changing business climate.

Growth Marketing

It became clear to us early on that marketers needed to prove greater value and deliver results in terms the C-suite understands. As Mastercard’s CMO puts it, marketing is facing an existential crisis.

The fact is, most marketers simply weren’t speaking the same language as their CEO. Most CEOs don’t care about impressions and awareness anymore – they want to know how marketing is contributing to growth.

Technology and disruptors continue to challenge traditional business growth strategies, creating new risks and opportunities. We saw this shift coming, so we doubled down on strategic consulting in growth marketing.

Essentially, growth marketing is about helping organizations identify their growth drivers and aligning marketing and sales efforts to more effectively drive the business. Today, CMOs are increasingly being held accountable for revenue growth. Our clients are looking for measurable impact—and a return on their investment.

You don’t have to be in sales or a sales-focused organization to think about growth. You do, however, have to be willing to break down the silos between the sales and marketing functions in order to align around KPIs and drivers. Then, it’s simply a matter of developing a lead gen strategic road map that ladders up to organizational goals. Some of our clients who have made the greatest strides are in manufacturing, education and health care.

Evolution

Evolution is not without its challenges. Standing Partnership is fortunate to have a great reputation—but many still think of us just as a PR firm. Today, we’re so much more than that. We help senior leaders think about areas of vulnerability that might impede growth as well as delivering marketing strategy that aligns with sales to drive revenue.

Over the years, we’ve spent a lot of time helping clients understand and plan for what’s on the horizon, and why they need to change how they think and what they deliver. We work in tandem with them to build the business case for marketing transformation, thinking through people, processes and technology.

For years, we’ve seen sales and marketing departments work separately, and point fingers at each other when they are not successful. We’ve had to take that process in baby steps, showing each function how marketing can play a more significant role. Seeing these marketing and sales teams truly transform has been some of our most rewarding work – and further reinforces that we’re on the right path with our clients.

What’s Next

Change is constant. We’ll continue to evolve, bring value, be relevant. Artificial intelligence (AI), voice and other technologies will be shaping our industry, impacting our clients, and changing the customer experience. What I know for certain is this – our team’s appetite for learning and innovation will help clients stay a few steps ahead.

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