Against All Instinct: A [Data-Driven] Year in Review

As we enter the time of year where the temptation to reflect overwhelms our entrepreneurial instinct to look forward, a seminal moment in our history comes to mind.

Perhaps even more important than the beers we shared in a grocery store parking lot 14 years ago.

Just over a decade ago, we sat in a conference room and watched a demo of new software that empowered organizations like Greentarget to run quantitative research campaigns. Today, many of these platforms are household names. But, at the time, this was a novel idea within an emerging segment of the SAAS industry.

Our reaction to the demo was along the lines of: “We can do this.” Which quickly morphed into “We have no business trying to do this.”

True to form, we jumped in head first, another leap of faith, and discovered that our professional services clients immediately understood the marketing-communications value of data-driven insights. Since that time, we’ve run countless research-based campaigns that have uncovered points of view on everything from autonomous vehicles and tax reform to global bribery and cyber risk. We’re immensely proud of how strong the thread of research-based insights runs through Greentarget.

Fast forward 10 years to last March when the Holmes Report awarded Greentarget its Diamond SABRE award for “Superior Achievement in Research and Planning.” The award, based on our work for our client, Duff & Phelps, was a proud achievement for sure but also a reminder of the responsibility we embrace at Greentarget to direct a smarter conversation.

We believe that industry dialog benefits from the skillful participation of our best and smartest thinkers. We are forever grateful for that seminar 10 years ago; it put us firmly on the road to mastering data-driven thought leadership campaigns. It’s a key element to fulfilling our mission of directing a smarter conversation.

Speaking of data, as we close out another year of striving to cultivate a destination for the public relations industry’s top talent, here are a few statistics that make us smile:

  • Our team welcomed four new babies this year – with one more to come in early 2019.
  • An astounding 23 young professionals completed our internship program this year, including the three who graduated to full-time employment. Great things are coming from our newest junior associates: Taylor Craddock, Brianna Chernak and Nathan Kamradt. It’s a privilege for us to play a small role in the careers of so many young professionals.
  • In a major expansion of our repertoire, we welcomed John Matthew (JM) Upton as Greentarget’s first Director of Digital, responsible for expanding Greentarget’s digital capabilities into a full-service offering.
  • Further deepening our bench strength, Sonja Elmquist and Megan Turchi joined to support our content and editorial capability, while Annie Keller and Sarah Bauman joined our account teams as Account Supervisor and Associate, respectively. All four can already tell you exactly what time the groceries arrive on Mondays and within an hour when there’ll be nothing left but baked rice cakes.
  • If you didn’t make it to our offices in Chicago this year, you might’ve found us at the Legal Marketing Association national conference in New Orleans. Or at GroPro, an event in New York focused on bringing professional service firms and individuals together to exchange industry best practices and ideas. We also spoke at LMA Tech Midwest, Legal & Professional Services Council, RelativityFest and facilitated a session on artificial intelligence at the PR Council’s Critical Issues Forum in Chicago.
  • Greentarget’s 7th annual State of Digital and Content Marketing report dropped this June. And for the first time, we expanded our research to include C-suite officers beyond the general counsel. The resulting reports revealed that, while CEOs, CMOs and others differ from legal executives in some respects (they consume more video, read fewer email alerts and are less obnoxious about explaining the flaws in “Law & Order” storylines), both groups of decision-makers are hungry for better, more timely and more thoughtfully curated content.

We would like to wish you and yours a joyous holiday season filled with ample opportunity to reflect and celebrate what’s most important to you.

With deep gratitude for all that was and what is yet to come.

For nearly 20 years, John has focused on conceptualizing and executing marketing strategies for financial, professional and other service businesses.

Devoted to his family, John enjoys traveling, playing golf, spending time outdoors and watching his kids play sports.

Aaron is constantly seeking out opportunities for innovation at Greentarget, whether it is improving firm processes or finding ways to increase client and employee happiness.

He can often be found checking out live music and contemplating the parallels between great live musicians and high-performing teams.