Supplier Spotlight: The Deciding Factor

 

Karen Meyers Holzer, President of The Deciding Factor, invited ConnXus into their Mason office to learn the logic behind the “Marketing That Makes up Minds.” The 13- year old women-owned integrated marketing firm, based in Mason, Ohio, is a ConnXus+ and Marketplace member. The company has been a friend and supporter of ConnXus since its launch in 2010.

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Breaking down the strategy-based marketing differentiator of The Deciding Factor, Holzer explains, “What makes us different from other firms is that we always start with a strategy. First we ask clients: What are you trying to achieve? What marketing have you done in the past? What are your business goals, and how are you going to track it? From this initial assessment, we begin to fabricate our strategic marketing efforts in line with those goals.”

In other words, it’s not just creating a brochure and hoping it gains traction. It’s asking who the audience is, where the strategy will be utilized and the ROI the clients will reap. It’s about being a smart marketer. Marketing efforts should align with business goals, whether you are a small, mid-sized or large company.

The integrated marketing firm works in B2B and B2C website development, digital content management, social media and e-marketing as well as traditional marketing, such as billboard advertising, and increasingly more public relations.

Meredith Raffel, Executive Director of The Arts Alliance in Mason remarks on the transformation her company gained from The Deciding Factor marketing, “The slippery slope of pro-bono is a dance. It’s a marriage of giving and receiving. But what The Deciding Factor gave to The Arts Alliance was a voice. Never strong armed into any idea, The Deciding Factor walked us through this process of growth and change. They gave us the chance to realize ‘what speaks to us’ about the future of our organization.”

Creating that emotional connection with a brand is the key to success. Humans make decisions intellectually and emotionally. Whether you are buying a coffee cup or a new car, you do your research and emotionally invest.

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Holzer enlightens us further, stating, “60% of your buying decision is made online before you even call to ask questions or go into the store,” explaining why it is absolutely crucial to have an emotional hook that the competing product/service lacks. Whether you recognize it or not, Product A and Product B are probably very similar in quality and price, so there has to be something else that makes up their mind. And that’s the brand. As humans we experience such things on multiple levels.

Explaining the connection between a brand and emotion, Holzer says, “What I love is watching a company go from being a marketing skeptic and what we can show them is that marketing doesn’t have to be scary, it is a tool for them. We can show them through analytics and metrics that their customers are engaging with their brand.”

As a ConnXus Marketplace partner, The Deciding Factor offers exclusive marketing pricing for ConnXus+ members. The firm is currently working with a ConnXus+ member to revamp their logistics marketing efforts. As a startup, the young company is literally “on the road” expanding its network and services. The Deciding Factor is building up its marketing efforts to strengthen its brand, logo development and webpage design.

The firm has taken full advantage of their ConnXus+ membership, having responded to several RFQ and RFP opportunities and presenting their expertise in the ConnXus Webinar Series, not once but two times. After the first webinar presentation, 15 participants reached out to The Deciding Factor requesting more information about their marketing strategies and services.

In addition to digital marketing and website development, the integrated marketing firm specializes in crisis communication and implementation plans. As the saying goes, smart public relations means planning for the worst and hoping for the best. Crisis communication plans, Holzer explains, “prepare you for an incident that is handled carefully and hopefully diffuses before turning into a drawn-out crisis. In today’s social media arena, crises blow up exponentially faster than they would have even five years ago.”

Especially for manufacturing companies, the idea that something hazardous will happen due to a malfunction of heavy equipment or welding torch accident, means a crisis communication plan is vital for the company’s survival.

Holzer notes that consistent internal communication absolutely must be coherent before being publicly disseminated, whether it’s a response to a crisis or the launch of a new product.

Sensitive to the fact that startup companies are still trying to pave their own road, the firm realizes that marketing efforts are still in the emerging phase, and often times gets put on the back burner. Smaller suppliers also have a rational fear of contracting with big companies and ConnXus bridges that gap for people. The Deciding Factor helps startups and small companies phase in different aspects of marketing materials.

Supplier Spotlight: GFG Asset Management

 

Duane Garth, Chief Investment Officer of GFG Asset Management, a Michigan Minority Supplier Diversity Council (MMSDC) certified minority-owned business, recently spoke with ConnXus.

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Founded in 2008, GFG Asset Management is a ConnXus+ member of two years. The company is based in Southfield, Michigan, a suburb of the reviving city of Detroit. With over 20 years of experience in the investment industry, including 12 years as a Merrill Lynch executive and six years as the founder of wealth management group, Garth Financial Group, Duane Garth brings a longstanding history of financial trust to GFG clients.

The asset management firm specializes in strategically selecting publicly traded small- and medium-sized companies for investor portfolios. These companies typically have a market cap of less than $20 billion in assets.

To ensure enterprise clients that their portfolios are being closely monitored, GFG holds the stocks until one or more of the following events occur, Garth tells ConnXus:

1. The price of the stock reaches the target price, set by the investor and GFG.

2. The price of the stock is overvalued versus what the industry indicates.

3. An extraordinary occurrence that causes the performance of the stock to drop.

Garth also has several recommendations for corporate entities or high net-worth individuals looking to work with an investment advisor. Most importantly, be sure to research the firm’s performance track record, as well the individual that will manage your portfolio. Look for a good fit between the firm’s management style and your own. For example, if you’re looking to invest internationally, find a firm that specializes and has a trusted track record in that specific cap space in order to maximize long-term capital growth.

On a similar note, Garth highly suggests, “Be sure to know the individual portfolio manager’s strength in order to have confidence in what added values they’ll bring to the table when managing your pension plans, bonds and/or real estate.”

Select for May’s Supplier Spotlight: The Deciding Factor