May 2, 2017
Danielle Walton, Co-Founder and Lead Strategist of Adept Marketing, joins Kevin on this episode of the Columbus Entrepreneurs’ Podcast. In this episode, she shares the road to starting her business, some of the philosophies their company is built on, and where they see themselves in a few years’ time.
[:32] Danielle shares a bit of her background: She grew up in Canton, OH, and went to Miami University for college. Upon graduating in 2001, she took a full time position with Deloitte Consulting (where she had previously done an internship), where she travelled between North Carolina, Michigan, Louisiana, and Ohio.
[6:00] After about four years with Deloitte, she started looking at marketing opportunities, and she took a position at Lifestyle Communities. At Lifestyle, she met her current business partner, and together they essentially ran the marketing agency. In 2006, they pitched their business plan to a franchise company, and opened PR Store in Columbus in 2007. When they realized it wasn’t going to work, they got out of the franchise, and launched Adept Marketing in June of 2008.
[12:23] Where were the struggles Danielle and her business partner faced while getting this business started? The hardest part was during the PR Store phase, and figuring out how they could transition into their own business and continue supporting themselves. About a year and a half in, Danielle and her business partner, Justin, also had to decide whether they wanted to be consultants or whether they wanted to be involved in the operations of the business. The people side of things has been a challenge in building and retaining the culture, as well as recruiting and hiring.
[15:40] The struggle in recruiting and hiring is finding people with experience. About a year and a half ago they started a Digital Marketing Associate program that is specifically for people right out of school who don’t have the experience. This program has been great for many applicants, but they still need people who can bring expertise and experience.
[17:11] Danielle talks about some of the aspects and philosophies of their company that might be a little different than some of the other agencies out there.
[22:14] Danielle talks about how EO became a part of her world. While she was first introduced to it when she was working at Lifestyle Communities, where their goal was to be able to qualify for EO/YPO. EO has been great at providing an additional sounding board for ideas and shared experiences.
[24:25] Danielle talks about how her and her business partner’s roles within their small business. In addition, she talks about their dynamic and what makes them good partners. They were colleagues before they were friends, and their strengths and weaknesses balance each other out.
[26:17] They are on the path for growth. Currently they are forecasting three to five years ahead, to make sure they can meet their metrics goals. By 2020, their goal is to reach $15,000,000. But more than the revenue, it’s about building an organization that allows people to grow and have opportunity.
[31:15] This podcast has been a great way to connect with other people from EO. It has helped Danielle feel like she could talk to more people in gatherings and such, because of the podcast. It has been a great help to her and many of the other guests on the show!
Mentioned in This Episode: