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Joshua Garity, Candorem Strategic Marketing

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Joshua Garity, president and founder, Candorem Strategic Marketing.

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1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

The most challenging part of what we do at Candorem is changing the perspective of how marketing campaigns are not only implemented but measured within organizations.

Before working with us, organizations typically approached their websites, microsites, or landing pages as something that needed to be done. They didn’t understand how they could be integrated into much larger campaigns and, more importantly, actual business goals. Or, if you like buzzwords, KPIs (key performance indicators).

If a vendor can sell you on an idea and can get you to open your checkbook, that’s great. They’re good salesmen and care about their own revenue. But if they can’t explain how it’s impacting your goals specifically, you’re working with the wrong people. Spoiler alert: brand awareness isn’t a solid answer.

Imagine this, your vendor buys a Facebook ad. They send the ad interactions, or click-thru, to a landing page on your website. That landing page should mirror the messaging strategy of your ad. That’s not a campaign nor is it a strategy. That’s opening the door to a potential lead. They should be able to show you how that landing page generates a literal lead. If you have a physical store and your goal for the campaign is to get them into your store, how are they tracking that?

Just because you don’t have an e-commerce website that sells a product for immediate checkout, like Amazon, doesn’t mean you aren’t trying to sell something. It doesn’t mean you can’t track the customer touch points of your marketing funnel. It doesn’t mean you can’t attribute that ad buy cost to actual revenue.

A website doesn’t need to be just a website. It can be an integrated part of your marketing department that generates hard numbers to show executives the importance of their budget.

The rewarding part is breaking that down on an individual basis for our clients and showing how and when we can implement marketing strategies that scale. Not just today or tomorrow, but long term. Seeing their eyes light up with the potential of what comes next reminds me of that Christmas morning sense of possibility children have.

2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

As much as I would love to say someone like Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, or even Taylor Swift, all of whom I greatly admire for their business acumen in their own right, it’s important to focus on people that aren’t trendy to admire: anyone that doesn’t have a household name.

A powerful piece of advice can come from anywhere. It doesn’t have to be a traditionally powerful person.

There isn’t anything wrong admiring big names, but if you focus your admiration on those you may lose sight of people with potentially more valuable insight, guidance, mentorship, and critique.

I’ve always been a strong believer in valuing the opinion of everyone in the room. Whether they are an intern, the CEO, or someone cleaning the carpet. They all have a vastly different perspective from me. I can learn something from them. Hopefully, I can also teach them something as well.

3. What has been the high point of your career so far?

Earlier this year, Candorem earned an American Advertising Award for our business-to-business website work with WHEDA on the Transform Milwaukee project.

We are a small, focused agency and were able to earn that award while competing in the same category with other, much larger agencies in Madison.

It was the first time we submitted work for any kind of award and that validated our process, approach, and ability to generate strategic buy-in with larger organizations despite our small size.


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