Posted on

A 10 Year Lesson In Humility

10 years ago today we started Fetch and I embarked on my entrepreneurial journey. There is so much I want to say about the last decade. However, the one constant, through all of the ups and downs, has been me being humbled on a regular occurrence. 

Humility is not complicated, it is multifaceted. There are so many intricacies between being humble, being humbled and having humility, that the result of each is often confused as a positive or negative thing. Over the past 10 years I have experienced all of the above. The reality is, if you are lucky, humility is a gift that keeps on giving. The key is to have the right perspective. Here are a few humbling lessons I have identified as I reflect on my journey over the past 10 years. 

I Have an Awesome Responsibility

I am blown away by the amount of people who have entrusted me with their livelihood. From my co-founder to employees to clients, each one of them trusted me to live up to my end of the bargain. In the times when the answer was not always clear, the collective power of your confidence provided fuel to find the correct path. I am truly humbled by the responsibility you have given me to contribute to your vision, lead your careers and grow your businesses. 

My Network is My Net Worth

I have accumulated some dope people over the past 10 years. While I definitely have not lacked confidence during this journey, there is nothing more powerful than the people that you admire and look up to holding you in the same regard. For me, it always starts with my family. While I can write a whole blog series on how amazing they are, I will just say they represent the standard of which all other things are measured and leave it at that. Lucky for me, in addition to having said family, I have met equally impressive professionals who have rounded out my circle. While knowing these phenomenal people is great, they have also dedicated countless hours of listening, advising and contributing to my journey. My growth as an individual and professional is a direct result of time spent with them. I am humbled that you have found me worthy of your time. 

It is Bigger Than Me

Let’s be real, I was 25 when I started this company. I am sure it comes as no surprise that the perceived earning potential, bravado and autonomy played a small role in me pursuing entrepreneurship. However, as the years progressed and as I matured, my mission became more clear. I am a husband and father now. While all of the points made throughout this blog definitely apply to my wife and daughter, there is more to be said to them. My wife has been with me through almost the entirety of this journey. Through all of the ups and downs, never once has she faltered or doubted the vision. As we proceed together in this, our daughter will also be looking to us as examples of how to manage success, persevere through failure and handle it all with humility. I don’t even know how to begin to quantify that. While I don’t expect it to be perfect, I do expect it to be humbling along the way. Quite frankly, I’m cool with that. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Stay humble. -EC

Posted on

The Basics on Thought Leadership

The Basics on Thought Leadership

There are always buzzwords floating around the business world: productivity, transparency, ROI (just to name a few). And while thought leadership might be a topic you’ve seen, it’s so much more than just a buzzword. It’s essential for the growth of your business. So let’s dive into the basics. Thought leadership is being an expert on a specific topic or in a specific industry that people and publications can rely on to learn the newest trends. It’s a simple way for your business to reinforce your expertise on a given topic or industry.

So what’s the big deal? Well, other than the obvious fact that every business wants to be an expert in their field, it’s crucial to position yourself as an expert in front of your target audience.

How does one become a thought leader? By creating timely, knowledgeable and expert insight on a subject through branded content. Here’s how:

Long-Form Written Content

Blogs are a major player in helping your brand become a thought leader. They engage your audience and they offer up an easy way to get across expert information. After reading your posts, your audience should leave knowing how to do something new or with valuable knowledge they can apply to their life, business etc. By integrating a robust, knowledgeable blog presence on your website, you’ll not only reinforce your authority to website visitors, but you’ll also increase searchability and have the functionality to share across digital channels such as social media and newsletters.

Visual Content

As we mentioned above, relevant content is key to a successful thought leadership campaign, but it isn’t just enough to write blogs. You need visual elements to capture your audience’s attention and relay key points of information. Not everyone has the time or attention span to read blogs, so utilizing visual content like infographics makes your expert information easily consumed by social media scrollers. According to Facebook, on average, most audiences spend about 1.7 seconds on a piece of content. In order to get the most out of this very short amount of time and hopefully capture someone’s attention, a strong visual presence is key.

 Publicity

Another great way to increase brand authority is through publicity. Once your business has scored a media hit due to your excellent thought leadership content, you can not only expect a wider reach to your target audience via the media publication you’ve landed, but also increased credibility. When the media is relying on you as a source of expert information, this will solidify your status as a thought leader among your target audiences as well.

Stay tuned to receive additional blog posts as we take a deeper dive into the elements that lead to a successful thought leadership campaign. 

Posted on

F.A.T. Stacks 101: Putting It All Together

Your website backend is properly configured. Your contacts are listed and tagged. You have digital ads running to drive new traffic and engage with existing users. What’s next? It’s time to tie it all up and put everything together utilizing what you’ve set up.

First, you’ll want to design a specific content series on a topic your audience is interested in. Say, for example, you’re a marketing company that focuses on small businesses. Perhaps you could create a blog series on the topic of small business marketing covering the specific topics of branding, digital marketing and thought leadership. Your contacts would be tagged according to actions they have taken on your site or completed in your newsletter – maybe they read a branding blog or clicked through to an article about digital ads. So you know this is a topic they care about.

Then, you’ll want to create some sort of lead capture to draw people in to the series. This could be something like a downloadable resource or guide – something that people find valuable and will input their information to receive. Once someone submits their information to download your guide, they will automatically be entered into the content series and tagged appropriately.

Your digital ads now serve two purposes. You can use a retargeting ad to engage with users who have submitted their information and shown they are interested in your topic (creating custom audiences based on their site activity may prove useful here). You can also run ads to drive new traffic to your site and push your content series out to a broader audience who might be interested.

So a user’s journey might go something like this: I’m a small business owner looking to grow my brand. I’m wondering about custom audiences and doing some online research when I see a digital ad directing me to an online resource guide for small business marketing tips. I see one of the topics it covers is – aha – custom audiences! I click the ad and am taken to your lead capture page where I enter my information in order to receive my downloadable guide. From there, I am automatically entered into your content series where I also receive emails about other topics I may find interesting (branding and automation, perhaps). Based on my tagging, I also often see retargeting ads. This leads me to click through to your website, decide I like what I see, and reach out asking for more information. Ta-da!

If this still seems like a bit too much, or you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t despair, contact us for a free assessment or to inquire about our simple stack install package.

Posted on

All About Our Summer Interns


Gianna Scheuneman is a senior at North Central College majoring in Broadcast Communication. After she graduates with her Bachelor’s degree, Gianna aspires to branch out in the Chicago Marketing/PR Industry as an Account Executive and hopes to eventually work her way up to a managerial role.

One thing Gianna Didn’t Know Before Starting This Internship
One major lesson that I learned throughout my time interning at Fetch is that it is critical to expand your mindset in this industry. Brainstorm, create and execute as many goals and ideas as you can to ensure that you, your brand and business are constantly evolving.

My favorite thing about interning at Fetch is working around diverse content for clients. I was never doing the same work for just one client each day; there was always something to take on within 3-5 clients and you are able to learn about so many different industries within a role in the Marketing and PR industry.

Gianna’s Favorite Thing About Interning at a Small Business
I especially value working at a small business because this challenges you and your team to work towards as many goals as possible for each client with a limited amount of time each day. You are essentially building a brand from scratch and this ensures that new ideas, digital trial and error experiments and further strategies to consider are constantly flowing in the workplace, and also puts your time management skills to the ultimate test.

All About Gianna
Even though I was born and raised in Chicago, I am always looking for the best places to eat, see or limited events to experience throughout the city. If I was not pursuing a passion for Marketing/PR, my dream job would be a Chicago food and lifestyle blogger. I would love to write, take photos and share my experiences with the world every day, on top of traveling.

David Flores is a born and raised Chicagoan who currently will be enrolled in his junior year at Northwestern University. He is studying Communication Studies with a minor in Entrepreneurship and a certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications. David is passionate about his community, music and elevating the people he is around.

One thing David Didn’t Know Before Starting This Internship: I personally did not know how much collaboration there is between small businesses throughout the city of Chicago.

David’s Favorite Thing About Interning at a Small Business: I enjoy the community and close collaboration that a small team provides. It allows for work to share a multitude of different perspectives rather than pertaining to a certain department of a business.

All About David
I enjoy spending my free time learning more about hip hop culture, ultimately hoping to hone my skills in hip hop production and dj’ing.

Posted on

F.A.T. Stacks 101: Digital Ads

After you’ve properly set up the backend of your website and carefully curated your contacts, you can utilize what you’ve set up to really get in front of people using digital ads. Read on for the basics in beginning to use digital ads to both drive new traffic to your site, as well as engage with existing users.

Driving New Traffic

Digital ads can be used to drive new users and increase overall traffic to your website. One way to do this is by creating a general ad to get in front of new audiences that do not already exist for you. Not sure who to target for your first ad campaign? Start with the data you already have. A great strategy for targeting new users is to create a look-alike audience based on the data of people who have already been on your site. This will allow you to cast a wide net, but with parameters by targeting people with similar features or attributes as those who have already interacted with your brand. 

Also important to note – you should exclude from this particular ad the audience that has already been on your site. The message to people who haven’t engaged with your brand will be different than the messaging you want in front of people who have previously interacted with your brand

Engaging With Existing Users

Digital ads can also be used to engage and re-engage with people who have already been on your site. You can create these ads to be more specific based on users’ activity while on your website. Remember those pixeles we talked about setting up? That’s how certain ad platforms track activity. You can now use that data to create an ad to specifically target people who have viewed a particular product or read a certain blog on your site.

An important step to keep in mind here is that these two types of ads (driving and engaging) should be run concurrently. This is important because it will allow you to get initial engagement, and also to send those new contacts through your retargeting systems. Now when someone in your new audience clicks through to your site, the brand will be reinforced in front of them as they convert over to an existing user.

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t despair, contact us for a free assessment or to inquire about our simple stack install package.

Interested in the digital aspect of marketing? Read here to learn about contact curation, the other side of marketing.

Posted on

F.A.T. Stacks 101: Contact Curation

Now that you’ve properly set up the backend of your website, you are ready to begin your marketing efforts by really diving in to your contacts. For our purposes, let’s assume you already have a functional CRM up and running. The next step is then to both nurture and engage with your current contacts, as well as to capture new contacts or leads.

Think of your ultimate end goal – maybe you want people to sign up for your newsletter, download something or complete an action. How will you get them to do this? It’s as easy as simply listing and tagging your contacts. Read on for the basic steps to get you started!

  1. Create specific lists and tags for your contacts. Generally speaking, a contact will enter a list when they sign up for something (like your newsletter list), and a tag will be assigned to a contact based upon their activity (like a tag for contacts who have clicked a certain button on your website). This will then allow you to treat or target contacts differently based on their particular list or tag.
  2. Build forms that point back to those specific lists and tags within your CRM. These forms will be embedded as calls to action within your website, newsletter, etc. The corresponding lists and tags should be associated with the content in which the call to action is embedded.
  3. Design automations or drip campaigns specific to each list and tag. Remember that pixel you set up with tag manager? Now you can see the activity of anyone in your list on your website. By creating a tag in your CRM for certain actions, you can automatically enter these contacts into a drip campaign.
  4. Set up a tagging automation for newsletter and site activity for current contacts already in your list. You can set up alerts to be notified if they complete a valuable action on your site or through your newsletter. You can also send contacts information that is valuable to them based on their actions.

Your new, enhanced CRM is now ready for you to double down on your marketing efforts. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t despair, contact us for a free assessment or to inquire about our simple stack install package.

Interested in the content aspect of marketing? Read here to learn more digital ads, the other side of marketing.

Posted on

F.A.T. Stacks 101: Backend Basics

While some marketing technology does require industry and tech knowledge, there are several easily accessible, user-friendly marketing tools that any entrepreneur can implement on their own. In order to do so, you’ll first want to ensure the backend of your website is properly set up. This will lay the foundation for everything that is to come, as your website is homebase and all of your future marketing endeavors should point back to content on your site.

Properly setting up the backend of your website enables you to identify high-performing content as well as to track visitors to your site and then target those visitors based on their activity while on the site. Sounds pretty great, right? It must be complicated. Not really – read on for the basic steps to get you started!

  1. Install google tag manager on your website. Tag manager is essentially a hack cheat code which allows you to insert tracking codes and pixels on your own without the help of a web developer.
  2. Sign up for google analytics and add tracking code. This will enable you to identify where traffic on your website is coming from.
  3. Connect google search console with your google account. Search console helps you see your high performing webpages, search terms and content. This will allow you to optimize your site for search engines.
  4. Insert facebook pixel. Adding the facebook pixel to your site will allow you to create custom audiences and then target those audiences with ads based on their specific site activity.
  5. Add google ad pixel. This will enable you to tell which of your ad clicks lead to customer activity on your website – such as purchases, sign-ups, and form submissions.
  6. Insert ActiveCampaign pixel to each page of your website. Installing this code will let you see the website activity of all contacts in your CRM and the follow-up with targeted email campaigns.

Your new, enhanced website will now be ready for you to dive in and double down on your marketing efforts. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, don’t despair, contact us for a free assessment or to inquire about our simple stack install package.

Learn more about digital ads or contact curation, the two biggest parts of marketing.

Posted on

Meet the New Faces of Fetch IMC

We’re pleased to welcome two new members to the Fetch IMC team! 


Name: Matt Watson
Role: Account Executive
Alma Mater: Columbia College Chicago

Q: What is your favorite part about working with SMB clients?

A: My dad and grandfather were small business owners, so it’s always been in my DNA. I love working with other small businesses, learning about their pain points and helping to solve them through the creative process. You can really appreciate the impact our work has on these types of clients.

Q: What TV show are you currently addicted to?

A: Right now, it’s a tie between American Horror Story: Apocalypse, and re-watching Game of Thrones for the third time as I count down the days until season 8 premiers.

Q: What’s your favorite place in the world?

A: Obviously Chicago. I moved to San Francisco for four years after college, but missed the deep dish pizza too much – so I’m back! Hawaii would be a close second.

 


Name: Spencer Hopkins
Role: Digital Specialist
Alma Mater: DeVry University

Q: What is your favorite part about working with SMB clients?

A: When I think about a strong community, I envision small- and medium-sized businesses contributing to the community and feeding the economy. That can be measured on a small scale all the way to a global scale. There is also a lot to learn from watching the life cycle of a business and seeing it grow.

Q: What TV show are you currently addicted to?

A: Honestly, I am addicted to a few TV shows. I recently started watching TV again and I can’t get enough! Some of the shows I’m currently watching are Shameless, which is shot in Chicago; Insecure, with Issa Rae; Atlanta, directed by Donald Glover; and a few animated series.

Q: What’s your favorite place in the world?

A: My favorite place in the world is anywhere I haven’t had the chance to visit! There is much to experience in the world, rather than being comfortable in places I’ve been already. Some of my favorite places that I’ve had the chance to travel to are Montreal, New York and Japan. I plan to grow that list.

Posted on

Fetch IMC Gives Back to the Community

This holiday season, Fetch has been active in supporting the artistic and non-profit communities that benefit our great city of Chicago. From youth programs to interdisciplinary creative foundations, Fetch is always looking to back up-and-coming movers and shakers in our hometown. Here are a few of the organizations that Fetch is currently involved with.

3Arts

This year, Fetch was proud to sponsor the 11th annual 3Arts awards ceremony, hosted at the beautiful Museum of Contemporary Art. As a 3Arts board member, Fetch CEO Erryn Cobb was honored to co-host the event with fellow board members Remberto Del Real and 2016 awardee Jess Godwin. The awards featured an amazing set of artists that spanned all disciplines, from dance and the visual arts to music and costume design. Click here to see this year’s awardees.

inSTEM

Fetch is also proud to support inSTEM, a program that provides middle school girls in low-income Chicago Public Schools with unique opportunities to engage in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities. Located at Depaul University, the non-profit offers programs such as the Solar Panel Car and Robotics workshop, as well as classes in coding and app development. Most recently, Fetch helped inSTEM raise money to purchase additional computers in order to create smaller, more efficient working groups.

We’re proud to be a part of philanthropic efforts across the Chicago area. Our team is always on the lookout for new opportunities to help our community, and with the holiday season upon us, it’s more important than ever give back.

Posted on

F.A.T. Stacks 101: What is a MarTech Stack?

Over the past decade the tools and techniques we use to increase brand exposure have evolved. While some marketing technology requires industry and tech knowledge, there are several easily accessible, user friendly marketing tools that any entrepreneur can implement on their own. However, not all of these tools are created equally. In addition to that, most small- to mid-sized business owners are lacking the time to figure out how to properly use this technology and implement them on a consistent basis. We created the F.A.T. (Financially Accessible Technology) Stacks series for SMBs who know enough to be dangerous, but don’t have the bandwidth to keep up with all of the moving parts.

The term “stack” is used because each portion makes up a layer in the user’s journey and how they interface with your brand. For example, an SMB will typically utilize a website service (e.g. Squarespace), an email program (e.g. Constant Contact) and a social media business page (e.g. LinkedIn). These tools make up the company’s marketing technology (martech) stack. However, there may be better and more efficient options, as well as additional tools that should be adjusted and added to the stack to increase productivity and simplify the customer outreach process.

The basic components of an optimal marketing technology stack include:

  1. Website built on an easily accessible content management platform
  2. Backend analytical tools to measure website performance and searchability
  3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program for email marketing and sales tracking
  4. Customer outreach program via email automation and digital ads
  5. Appropriate social media channels, and an all-in-one dashboard to monitor and post to each channel

Under each of these components, there are potentially dozens of options a business owner can choose from that vary greatly in complexity and price point. What’s more, it’s important to consider scalability in both technology and team size when selecting the products in a the business’s marketing technology stack. For example, an e-commerce startup might not need much more than MailChimp to send out customer thank you emails, but the lack of automation and integration with the established web ordering system will cause major delays as sales grow.

Successfully installing a marketing technology stack and ensuring staff is appropriately trained to use the tools involved is a crucial component in attracting and engaging with the target audience in the most efficient way possible.

If you’re interested in learning about Fetch IMC’s stack install, click here to get in touch!