June 3rd, 2019
by Josh Janowiak
Entrepreneur Marketing Panel
Today, staying agile and keeping an entrepreneurial mindset—regardless of business size, age or industry—is proving to be essential. As competition tightens, and industries continue to evolve and change, its questions like these that are keeping us up at night:
How do you market a new business with little or no budget? What strategies, tools, and tactics do you use, and why?
When should you hire out marketing versus what can (and should) you and your team do in-house?
How much should you invest in marketing and how do you know when and where to invest your budget?
During our April panel, hear from four local entrepreneurs as they answer these questions and share how they launched their businesses, while providing lessons learned, insights, and tools that all marketers can use on the job today. Join us as we ask questions, get answers, and hear ideas that help spark innovation.
Red 66 Marketing, President
AMA West Michigan Preside Elect
The owner of RED66 Marketing. Yes, the RED comes from her bold hair. And, if you didn’t know, the 66 was her jersey number when she was the first girl to play football at 8 years old. Rebecca has always had a passion for marketing, and building strong relationships with clients – by offering honest input and feedback, and has a firm belief in doing what you say you’re going to do. She is the incoming president of the American Marketing Association and belongs to the board of directors for GROW and FSA Counseling. She is also a member of Launch Terre Haute, The Startup Ladies and the GROW EmpowerHER program.
Meet the Panel
Freshwater Digital, Executive Vice President
Jonathan Dodge has well over 15 years of digital marketing and entrepreneurial experiences in paving new industry opportunities. He has co-founded successful start-up companies (including one of the first online food ordering platforms), served on a board of directors at his alma mater Michigan State University, consulted for several large web publishers, led the creation of the digital advertising department at Meijer, and managed digital strategy for Jack Morton Worldwide. He is currently EVP of Business Development for Freshwater Digital, a 9-year-old company in which he is a partner and joined as employee number two.
Grand Apps, Co-Founder and Operating Partner
Chris Ake and another founded Grand Apps in 2011, a mobile app development company. The company’s reach began locally in Grand Rapids, MI but soon expanded its mobile marketing services and began serving clients globally. As Chris grew this company over the past several years, he began investing in and launching more businesses. Currently he owns 6 companies, 4 are service-based companies and 2 are investments. Entrepreneurship and building companies are his passion and he is constantly sharing his journey.
Carbon Stories, Founder
Erik Lauchie is a young entrepreneur. He Founded Carbon Stories, a Michigan based creative agency in 2015 at the age of 19. Carbon tells its clients’ stories and shares experiences through numerous media forms, including; photography, videography, graphic design and print media. Since the start, Carbon has traveled around the world telling stories and sharing experiences. Erik’s motto is Create Daily.
Green Giftz, President and Owner
Karen Scarpino is the President and Owner of Green Giftz and Promotional Impact, a certified woman-owned business. Green Giftz is a high-design and eco-friendly branded merchandise company servicing clients like Steelcase, Herman Miller, Haworth, Stiles, Herman Miller, Chrysler and more. She is a member of the Chamber of Commerce CEO Round Table, a recipient of the Grand Rapids Business Journal Top Woman-Owned Business and West Michigan Women Brilliance Award Entrepreneur Award Winner. Karen has mentored students at Grand Valley State University and presented to the Michigan Diversity Council on onboarding and employee retention through successful branded merchandise programs.
Panel Discussion & Questions
How did you get your start?
What was your biggest failure or what helped take you to the next level?
What was the first thing you did to market your business?
Referrals & word of mouth
How often do you have to tell prospective clients no?
As business leaders how do you stay educated and fresh in your industry?
Audience question: How do you add members and manage others on your team?
What hiring tips would you offer to first-time managers?
How did you pick the name and brand for your company?
What are a couple things you’ve done to ensure the success of your organization?
How do you complement your teams with skill sets that complement yours?