By Alaina Shearer, President and Founder
In Cement’s first few weeks and months, I would sign off on emails to colleagues with this phrase, “Big things… ”
I knew Cement would be a success, just knew it with every fiber of my being. The opportunity was everywhere– big agencies were missing very obvious, yet critical, details to digital performance. But, there was a reason. One I didn’t fully appreciate until now.
No one had a process for digital. No one. And open source collaboration would be the key to our survival and to our success.
Back in 2009 and 2010, my first team and I were on the same playing field as large, established agencies. Why? Because, as an industry, we were all scrambling to figure out the process, the greatest riddle of all – how do you design a website, or launch a digital campaign on time and on budget? And of course, make sure it delivered an ROI.
Needless to say, there were a few bumps in the road. Some agencies survived, others didn’t. Others are still trying to figure it all out. But those succeeding, like Cement, are able to change and do change their process, adapting to the client’s needs and best practices without bureaucracy standing in the way.
For example, Cement’s distinct advantage over the competition is our ability to learn from one project to the next, applying newfound knowledge in a matter of hours or days, not months or years. Our team of 13 is flexible and will remain so, even as we grow. That’s thanks to our culture of collaboration and every one of us, from intern to CEO, having a seat at the table and a say on where we go from here.
Our deepest, darkest secret? Listening to and learning from each other.
And by “each other” I don’t just mean the Cement team. I mean the industry as a whole. You, your friends and colleagues, strangers on LinkedIn, bloggers and thought leaders. In order to succeed in this venture of digital marketing we all – each and every one of us – must admit that we know only so much, contribute what little piece we do know and then learn from everyone else.
Turns out, that’s what we’ve been doing – as a matter of business – since day one… collaborating, learning, modifying the process and moving onwards and upwards. And, finally, I am incredibly excited to say: big things are happening.
I’ll let the work speak for itself. Here’s what we’ve been up to:
- The “Health Out Loud” campaign has launched: We played a small role in what will hopefully become a regional movement to start an open and honest conversation between the LGBTQ community and healthcare providers. The goal, ultimately, is to improve health outcomes (and save lives) within the LGBTQ community by inspiring members of that community to be “out” to their healthcare providers and, in turn, raise awareness within the healthcare community. Cement developed the strategy, named the campaign, wrote the copy, directed the videos, and designed and developed this microsite: http://healthoutloud.us/.
- Patient story microsite for Nationwide Children’s Hospital: Flutter is a microsite for patients and their families to share their stories and for new patients and parents to have access to accurate stories and information when it matters most. See it live.
- Social Case Study: Every week the Cement content team is publishing and creating social posts and/or campaigns. We thought it would be cool to start sharing the best posts of the week. See this week’s here.
- The New WOSU.org: This one was such an incredible honor. A fleet of Cementers are former radio folk. And who doesn’t love WOSU? Aside from the fun, we had to organize decades worth of content, preserve most of it and present it in an easy to digest manner. Read the case study here.
- Simonton and Vantage Point performance numbers are in: When we redesign websites they launch ready to perform. I recapped our initial numbers on two national retail B2C websites in a recent LinkedIn post. Prepare to have your digital mind blown.
To bring this spirit of open source collaboration to life, join us at our next event:
- Drinks and knowledge on us: join Cement for our Digital Marketing Mixer on April 14th. Whether you’re on the agency or client side, bring yourself, your mind and your ideas. Ultimately, in Patrick’s words, “you’ll learn cool shit and meet cool people.” Make Patrick happy and RSVP on Facebook.
I can say more big things are coming, but I’m sure you already know that by now. Be true to your dreams and never stop believing in yourself, because if you don’t – who will?