As president of Element212, Tammy Rimer wears enough hats that she might look like Carmen Miranda if she wore them all at the same time. But with the confidence and talent attributed to the best business owners, she has grown Element212 into the powerful marketing and branding company it is today.
She smiles genuinely, but I can tell she is ready to get to the business of this interview.
After a refill of strong, black coffee.
Her calendar looks like my nephew took several highlighters to it, and Tammy has blocked out this time for questions. Let’s start.
Q: You co-founded Element212 in 2008. What were your greatest challenges when getting started?
A: I would say our greatest challenges were proving ourselves as a quality option as a marketing firm—being able to offer enough services for our clients to add enough value.
Q: What are your greatest challenges now?
A: I think being ahead of hiring for positions that can better support our clients. Marketing and the digital world are constantly evolving, and it’s important to be ahead of those changes to utilize the best resources and strategies for our clients.
Q: What do you enjoy most about the company and what it has become?
A: Definitely the culture and the team environment. In terms of what it has become, we have continued to grow departments. We have a well-rounded team, so we can provide truly integrated marketing services for our clients.
The work ethic of our team, the care that they provide for our clients, and the creativity that they bring to each project allows us to serve each client uniquely.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?
A: My passion is the research side of marketing. I love uncovering the unknown and using that information to grow businesses. Being able to take what we learn from the research we conduct and create clear strategies that highlight our client’s differentiator and really show what makes them unique is my favorite part of what I do.
Research is your shtick.
Q: What types of research do you generally do for most companies?
A: We conduct external and internal research, gaining insight from the company team members and their customers to bridge gaps in their marketing and sales process so we can develop strategies to properly position them in their market place.
Q: How do you apply the research?
A: The research aids in creating a customer buyer’s journey, which helps us understand what their customers want and need as well as to uncover where they are seeking information. This allows us to create a targeted marketing approach that does not waste our customers’ time and money. This also helps us learn the culture of the company and uncover new opportunities for marketing that they may not otherwise have considered.
Q: What do you love about doing research?
A: The research provides many different pieces of information that work together to create a great brand story. I love putting together those pieces to develop their story and solid strategies to help grow their businesses.
Q: If you had more resources for research, what would you do?
I think there is a lot of value in focus groups. If I could do more in research I would do more focus groups for our clients.
Many companies believe the marketing tools will get the job done. Just because you have a blog, doesn’t mean your ideal audience is reading it. You may set up an enews but you may be saying all the wrong things. You may have a website, but it may not have the right areas of engagement to really move your customer where they need to go. My advice is to not let your tools dictate your marketing and message, but rather let your research dictate the tools you use, and how you use them.
In the end, this will save you time and money in your marketing efforts.