Small Business Leadership in the Age of Goliaths

I came to the out of home industry from a background in finance, drawn to it for the amazing and efficient ways the media could drive small business growth.  It was the late 90s and the tobacco industry had just bowed out of advertising on billboards and new ‘alternative’ forms were coming into vogue.  The industry was buzzing with excitement as brands and categories that had never used OOH were flocking to it in droves: fashion, cosmetics, entertainment and they were using the medium in dazzling ways.

At the time, there were only a handful of agencies dedicated to planning and buying out of home media, though that has changed significantly over the years, with many new ones sprouting up only to be acquired or absorbed within larger organizations. While our business has grown steadily, EMC Outdoor remains small and I like it that way. The buck stops here, the red tape is non-existent and you’re always assured attention by one of our seasoned, senior managers.

Finding the right small business to work with is like any relationship: choosing one who shares your values and priorities.  Here are ours:

  1. We’re agile and swift.

Smaller ships can maneuver through tighter spaces and with empowered decision makers at the helm, the tightest of deadlines can be met.  Especially today, with technology moving at a rapid pace, you need to turn on a dime to achieve results or lose the moment. Our team has trained well for their challenges and can take long leaps in a single bound – AND have the case studies to prove it!

  1. We know markets first hand.

We’ve been at this a long time and our staff loves what they do.  Employees tend to stay for the long haul and their diverse backgrounds and personal passions insure a good balance of right and left-brain sensibilities. They know the markets they manage like the back of their hands and are always searching for new opportunities.  Eyes on. Hands on.  That’s how we roll.

  1. We go (way) beyond the numbers.

Technology has spawned many sophisticated measurement tools and aggregators, each designed to precisely pinpoint the intended prospect.  Feed the software and your outcome will be maximized!  Forgive me, but I don’t think it’s that easy. While numbers are a great starting point, return on investment can’t easily be measured statistically nor is it linear.  It takes time and nurturing to build trust, to stimulate purchase and establish loyalty.

  1. We believe in the power of relationship.

We love technology. It’s the great enabler. It allows us to collect information, statistics and trends quickly and efficiently.  It lets us share results and produce reports in real time.  But what it can’t do is form relationships – which are at the heart of every successful business.  Customers are people, not demographics, with quirks and nuances that defy categorization.  To motivate them, you must speak to the heart and create an emotional connection and that’s an essential part of what we do in every project we take on.

  1. We try harder.

We take nothing for granted. We don’t rest on our laurels.  We approach each project with enthusiasm and humility, and each client is important to us, no matter the size of the project or scope of the work.  We’re a company of intrapreneurs who approach each challenge with fresh eyes and reach farther to identify the most effective solutions, not just those that will garner awards.  And importantly, we play well with others.  Need a plug in to your larger team? We’re here to help.

 

Strategically connected… building results. That’s who we are.  I’d love to hear what you think and can be reached at bjm@emcoutdoor.com or leave your comments here. Thank you!

 

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Betsy McLarney
Betsy's passion is to drive the success of collaboration, for the mutual benefit of all. 1 + 1 can equal 3 when all parties contribute towards a bigger goal. Betsy enjoys good food, good company and a good sense of humor!

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