It Takes a Village to “Raise” a Business: Celebrating 18 Years of Marketri

by Debra Andrews | August 5, 2022

Recently, I stumbled on one of my greatest treasures wedged in a box of other important documents—a small piece of paper dated August 5th, 2004.  

In a way, this was Marketri’s “birth” certificate, and I was filled with pride for how the company has grown since I formed Marketri, LLC 18 years ago. 

But as I thought through Marketri’s journey to “adulthood,” I realized that this accomplishment is truly thanks to its “village”—the support of a community that confirmed an essential truth: that people are the lifeblood of any business.

From the birth of a business

The first members of the “village” that “raised” Marketri were the people who took a chance on me and the company in its earliest years.

In the beginning, I was the business. Every review of Marketri from its first several years praises “Deb’s expertise,” not the company—but I knew I didn’t want this forever.

As a marketer, I have many skills. I’m a solid writer, a strategic thinker, a smart budgeter, and a people person. But I can’t do graphic design or develop a website. I may need help with interpreting complex data sets. And project management—while essential—is not what I’m destined for.

I realized where my strengths were: in working with clients, identifying key strategies, and allocating marketing dollars. I could help companies go to market with a compelling message and strategy, but that’s just one spoke of a functional wheel.

The people who took a chance on me, the ones who left reviews that helped establish Marketri’s reputation as a business and as an employer—this is the “village” that helped take the company to its next stage, and I will always be grateful for those times.

To its adolescence

Unlike in other professions—let’s say accounting or the sciences—there’s no recognized certification or even a defined skillset that covers marketing. Different people come into the business with a diverse knowledge set, so it’s always safer to have a village around.

As Marketri grew, so did its credibility, and I was able to work with brilliant outside contractors and in-house hires who helped build Marketri’s expertise in its adolescent stages. 

This was still a time of experimentation. In my past life as a financial analyst for EY and PWC and an in-house marketer for KPMG and a private equity firm, I worked in environments where giving all your time to a company was tied to your “value” as an employee, however unfairly. Professionals, especially those who were up and coming,  were expected to grind day in and day out, and I did carry that mentality to Marketri’s with some of our earliest clients. I took on too much work for our capacity at times and aimed to please with quick turnaround times.I was focused 100% on clients and that occasionally took a toll on my colleagues.

I recognized the signs of exhaustion, but I knew my village had gotten Marketri to its adolescent years. So I thought long and hard about whether its current state was what I wanted. The vision for Marketri was always to gather a community around me, and the best part of that community was seeing people thrive in their roles.

So, I decided to put more attention on building a strong work culture where anyone could be their best self. It was teamwork, care, and kindness that got Marketri to its next stages and into a time of meaningful growth and progress.

To the teenage years

With the foundations in place, a growing pool of supportive clients, and a strong work culture centered on putting people first, Marketri was primed for a growth spurt. 

In its teenage years, the village that had grown along with Marketri taught me and my team the lessons we’ll appreciate for many years to come.

  • Thanks to the expertise of both traditional and digital marketers, we’ve learned that “digital” doesn’t mean “formulaic” and modern marketing can and should spring from innovation.
  • With the help of our clients (and their clients), we’ve discovered the importance of honing in on your niche audience and perfecting your messaging, instead of trying to be everything to everyone.
  • We’ve gotten to know the people behind our clients’ businesses, so switching to remote work has not harmed our ability to connect with our clients (even if we can’t see them as much as we’d like).

To Marketri’s adulthood

Now, in Marketri’s adulthood, our village of in-house experts, outsourced fractional marketers, freelancers, and a host of incredible clients continue to help us find our place in the world of outsourced marketing.

  • We’re finding our niche in the fractional marketing world as a team of experts in strategic planning, tactical execution, and data-driven insights.
  • We’re constantly considering the role between marketing and sales and writing about the relationship between the revenue funnel and the sales funnel–and who should be leading a company’s growth.
  • We’re trying new tools, growing our thought leadership, building our team, expanding our niche expertise, and developing best practices.

And it’s all thanks to anyone who’s ever worked with us, trusted us with their business, or even liked a social media post.

So here’s to Marketri’s adulthood. I hope everyone who’s been part of our “village” will raise a glass on our behalf tonight. (After all, Marketri’s not old enough to drink yet.)

Contact Marketri to talk about how your B2B company can sustain 18 years of growth with strategic marketing.