When Andy Boyden and Jerry Youngblutt decided to form an agency in 1990, they felt holding themselves accountable for the success of their work was paramount. The industry at the time was not. The company was founded on impassioned thoughts of getting their clients to continue working with them. Boyden & Youngblutt were determined to create value for their clients’ brands while ensuring positive returns on investment.
“We asked ourselves why clients would continue to work with us if we couldn’t prove to them we were creating value for their brand as well as a positive ROI,” said Jerry Youngblutt. “We weren’t looking for clients. We were looking for long-term relationships where we could grow together,” he added.
What B&Y soon learned was that they needed to invest themselves beyond the marketing function within their clients’ businesses. This was their aha moment and it would set their agency on a course for 30 years of success and long-term client relationships. They realized everyone within the agency had to learn to think like a CEO. This was a much different business than they had started out to build but knew it was the right path.
B&Y would go into a company and work closely with the marketing director to develop successful brand material. However, it’s expected that marketing directors typically have their plates full of critical issues to handle and because of that, they value the cumulative CEO-type of thinking as a way to round out their team.
B&Y realized that in order to successfully deliver significant ROI, they should not solely focus on marketing, but had to broaden their scope to the dynamics of the company as a whole.
It is not uncommon for employees to be so fixated on doing their jobs, that nobody is tasked with understanding how all of these jobs intersect. B&Y found they were able to best help their clients when they connected employees previously siloed into a specific function. Soon, they realized they were looking at their clients’ businesses like they were the CEOs, and they began training their employees to mirror the same mindset.
“So what does a CEO think about? Do all CEOs think the same? Are there different types of successful CEOs? Which type would we mesh with the best?” Andy Boyden asked.
“We soon learned we worked well with what we called the passionate, active CEO. Someone that was hands-on, open-minded, passionately driven, and valued the heavy lifting a brand could do to achieve stockholder success,” he said.
This was a revelation in their process, and they went with it. They began tackling every project by asking themselves what a CEO would think about in this situation and how they can tailor their services to do more for their clients than simply improving their marketing and branding.
With these thoughts in mind, Boyden & Youngblutt learned that they needed to embrace innovation both internally and externally to meet their standards of client success.
Empowering Employees to Think Like CEOs Through Internal Innovation
After realizing they needed to concern themselves with every aspect of their client’s business, B&Y leadership began implementing a team-wide CEO mentality that developed their employees to constantly keep the client’s company goals in mind.
Senior Strategists at B&Y also started integrating CEO-like thinking processes in their strategy documents as well as creative briefs. What this accomplishes is an understanding of where the project lives within the larger entities that make up the organization.
Employees are also encouraged to read the books the CEOs of their client companies are reading. Through this practice, they can often anticipate the needs of the client’s CEO even before those needs are expressed to the marketing director Boyden & Youngblutt are working with.
The team at B&Y holds regular Agency Wall Meetings where they address the material going out to clients, and ensure it acts in service of the client goals. As a result, the B&Y team has learned to lock in client satisfaction and secure ROI by paying attention to minute details, while also understanding how those details serve the greater vision.
Another notable practice they implemented for their employees to think like CEOs is by being transparent in communicating company challenges and needs. Being aware of how B&Y is doing financially and what current obstacles they are facing made employees value their role in clients’ projects as more than a simple day-to-day duty, but as a pursuit of a long-term steadfast goal.
Innovating Client Fulfillment Process to Go Beyond Mere Marketing
B&Y has taken their spirit of innovation into how they approach their marketing and advertising services.
They conscientiously ask themselves how communication can be consolidated within the client company, and familiarize themselves with every aspect of the company’s business. They hold themselves answerable to company stakeholders and work to develop a thorough understanding of any legal or financial regulations present in the industry, as an assurance to clients that all the bases are covered.
By dedicating the time to master every facet of their client’s business, B&Y has designed a process where they can bridge their client’s culture, company objectives, branding and marketing, and advertising to a cohesive and sustainable unit that stays relevant and fulfills company objectives. B&Y thrived with this formula for genuine connection, and a meticulous understanding of their clients’ brands to help them leverage upon their principles.
If you would like to learn more about the unique strategies Boyden & Youngblutt have and continue to forge, or if you would like to learn more about their advertising and strategic marketing services to achieve your dream ROI, you can visit their website here.
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