Noetic News: Welcome to the team, Ginny!

Ginny Townsend

My name is Ginny and I’m the newest Consultant at Noetic. With a background of 15+ years in the marketing and strategy world, I’m excited to be a part of this powerhouse of a Team. 

As I’ve been telling my personal and professional networks about joining Noetic, the word I keep using to describe this firm is “home.” Finding a culture like Noetic’s and finding a team of driven professionals who feel like kindred spirits is rare and I’m grateful to be here. During the interviewing and onboarding processes, I was struck by the consistent level of thoughtfulness around each interaction, and I continue to be impressed by the level of excellence with which Noetic operates internally and externally.

With an ALM in Finance from Harvard and BA in Marketing Management from Bellevue, my passion lives at the intersection of marketing strategy and finance. This is where great brands remain viable and are able to continue serving their clients at the highest level. 

I’m grateful to have already had a rewarding and engaging career doing in-house marketing, agency-side marketing, and most recently marketing and strategy consulting. In these roles, I’ve had the honor of working with brands large and small that span from financial services and brokerage firms to municipalities, to prestigious universities, and pretty much everything in between. 

In addition to this work, I’m an advisory board member of a legaltech firm, I’m an angel investor, and a Kickstarter Alum. In my free time, I greatly enjoy hiking with my family.

From this varied work, I bring best practices from different industries and my belief in the power of elegant simplicity and “win:win:win” to the Team and its clients. I look forward to working and providing incredible value alongside my fellow best-in-class consultants here at Noetic.

To see more content from Noetic Consultants be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Noetic News: Welcome to the Team, Madelaine!

Madelaine Santa

Halo, สวัสดีค่ะ (sawadee kha), 你好 (nǐ hǎo)!

My name is Madelaine and I am the latest addition to the team at Noetic. A little bit about me: I was born in Jakarta, but I grew up in Southeast Asia. I lived most of my life in Bali, Bangkok, Singapore and I’m now based in Washington, D.C. I studied Advertising in undergrad and I have over 5 years of experience as a creative professional and general generalist. Some of my passion projects include designing an exhibition for a social entrepreneurship expolaunching a home-cooking app, and directing a zero-waste fashion editorial.

Recently I graduated with a Master’s from Georgetown University, which is where I met Noetic’s founder Nancie McDonell Ruder (she’s an Adjunct Professor in one of my courses). I was about a month away from finishing my program when I discovered that her firm was looking for a Junior Consultant. The position seemed a perfect fit and I knew consulting was an environment where my affinity for being interested in well… everything!! was an asset and not a weakness. 

During the interview process, I was blown away at the caliber of the people on Noetic’s team. Yes, they were smart and experienced professionals, but they were also genuinely kind and empathetic. They saw beyond my relative inexperience and saw that I could bring my drive and enthusiasm to the table. They assured me that I didn’t have to know everything from the get-go. It was more important to stay curious, ask questions, and just be my authentic self. Even though I was the one being interviewed, I left each one feeling more energized and confident in myself.

Two weeks in and I still feel this way every time I speak to my colleagues. They’ve embraced me wholeheartedly and they’re still reminding me to observe and absorb. I’m also delighted to report that at Noetic, the company values aren’t just words on a website. It truly is ingrained into our process. It’s used when communicating with each other and with clients. It’s referred to when we hit a hurdle. Throughout my initial onboarding, my colleagues have exemplified Help & Kindness First by taking the time to Zoom call with me one-on-one and answering my many questions with patience and grace. And on my end, I’ve been working on maintaining a Curious Spirit and Dynamic Positivity as I adjust to my new role. 

Right now, I’m looking forward to navigating the dynamic world of consulting, working with amazing clients, and getting to know the Noetic team better (I’ll be meeting them all in person later this month). Words cannot express how honored I am to be here and I’m excited to utilize my creativity, problem-solving skills, and passion for excellence to help build and strengthen brands from the inside out.

To see more content from Noetic Consultants be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Women in Leadership: Michelle Russo, Chief Communications Officer at the United States Chamber of Commerce

Michelle Russo

Noetic’s Women in Leadership series highlights strong women leaders across industries who inspire us personally and professionally – as leaders, collaborators, and humans. They are recognized and influential in their respective fields and they leverage their positions of leadership to uplift, encourage, and support other women. 

This month we are proud to feature Michelle Russo, Chief Communications Officer at the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Of your achievements, what makes you most proud?

I often advise younger executives to be fearless in their careers. The only risk in taking chances is failing to learn. As I reflect on my own career highlights and choices, I’m proud that I’ve ‘walked the talk.’ I’ve taken on roles and responsibilities that ‘on paper’ I probably had no business taking on, but I did it anyway and learned a lot along the way.

What is your rule of thumb when it comes to leadership?

There are many definitions of leadership. The only one that matters to me is this: A leader is someone people WANT to follow, not someone people HAVE to follow. Underscores the importance of influence and inspiration rather than hierarchy.

Who has had the biggest impact on you and your career?

My mother. She put herself through college while raising two little girls. She went on to get an MBA and built a very successful career as a professor and mentor to so many people. My fearlessness stems from her example.

What has been your greatest lesson in the workplace?

The importance of allies. You can’t just be good at what you do. You need people in your corner and at your side.

How do you strike an optimal work/life balance?

Every person has to define ‘optimal’ for themselves. My family is the most important part of my life, but my career has been a lifelong passion. And I never apologize for either.

What are you most passionate about outside of work?

Traveling with my family. Meeting people from different places and experiences.

What’s your advice to young females beginning their careers?

Be fearless! Take chances. Be curious. Be yourself.

If you had to do anything over, what would it be and why?

Nothing. Maybe I would have spent less time sweating the small stuff.

What are some of the challenges women continue to face in their careers?

The Double Standard, although some of it is self-inflicted. I’ve never seen a panel or interview where a male executive is being asked about work/life balance. In turn, I’ve never/rarely heard a male executive raise the subject proactively.  

What is the most important quality we can offer in our day-to-day roles? 

Demonstrate curiosity and continuous learning. My third-grade teacher had a sign in the classroom that set the course for my life: “The only stupid question is the one not asked.” I tell my kids, “I’d rather look stupid than be stupid.”

To see more content from Noetic Consultants be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Consumers are Ready. Are Your Digital Platforms?

Photo by Firmbee.com on Unsplash

The masks are finally shedding. Refreshed business and social norms are solidifying. Many organizations are re-emerging with a refined vision and product formulated and optimized over the past 14 months. With that enhanced plan solidified, now is the time to optimize your digital strategy towards fueling accessible growth in today’s landscape.  To ensure your digital platforms re-emerge refreshed and ready for what 2021+ brings, we delve into David Rogers’s top strategies to thrive in the digital age.

  1. Access:  How quick, easy and flexible are your digital interactions? Consider everything from load rates, mobility to response times.
  2. Engage:  Is your content sensory, interactive, and relevant to your customer needs? Explore the stickiest part of your brand identity and what makes it special and unique.
  3. Customize: Are there ways to rely more heavily on AI to personalize our interactions with intent? Distill audience segments to prioritize and messaging that resonates.
  4. Connect:  Where is their innate value of consumer or product connection? Analyze meaningful opportunities for creating, sharing, and participating digitally via videos, images, or votes.
  5. Collaborate:  Does our brand or product lend itself toward collaborating with consumers? Could this enhance our product or consumer value? Explore and apply Wikipedia, and Uber-like business models to ideate determine applicability.

Your brand’s path toward a digital refresh will be as unique as your renewed business strategy and goals.  Our Noetic team is here to guide your digital re-emergence and set you on the path for growth. Let’s get started together.

To see more content from Noetic Consultants be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Women in Leadership: Julia Ziegler, Director of News and Programming at WTOP News

Julia Ziegler

Noetic’s Women in Leadership series highlights strong women leaders across industries who inspire us personally and professionally – as leaders, collaborators, and humans. They are recognized and influential in their respective fields and they leverage their positions of leadership to uplift, encourage, and support other women. 

This month we are proud to feature Julia Ziegler, Director of News and Programming at WTOP News.

If you could provide a nugget of wisdom…

Success does not come without a lot of hard work and commitment. I believe every successful person has had to sacrifice at one point to get where they are today. In journalism, that might mean working holidays/overnights, picking up shifts on your day off, or staying late during a breaking news event. Promotions and opportunities do not come to those who want them simply because they want them. They come to those who put in the work to grow themselves and enhance their craft.

What is your rule of thumb when it comes to leadership? 

People always come first. I will drop everything I’m doing if someone on my team needs to speak with me. A business can’t operate without great, engaged people, which is why your people should be at the center of everything you do. Take care of those people…help them grow…lead them to success. 

Who has had the biggest impact on you and your career? 

Professor John Sanchez, my news media ethics and broadcast journalism professor at Penn State. I would not be where I am today without him. His belief in me as a young journalist pushed me out of my comfort zone and his work ethic is something I continue to model today, along with the work ethic of my parents and grandparents who worked hard for everything they had.

What has been your greatest lesson in the workplace? 

Listen more. It’s something I’m still working on 18 years into my career but it’s incredibly important. You learn more when you listen more.

How do you strike an optimal work/life balance? 

I’m probably not the right person to ask this question to! I love my work therefore I spend a lot of time engaged in it. Journalism is a mission-driven profession, a part of my being, and something that brings me joy. I’m lucky that way. That said, if you work hard it is definitely important that you also take time to disconnect. I’m big on taking mental health days – random days off that are just for me and give me time to reset. And in my day-to-day life, it’s important to be present. The dedication and focus I show while I’m at work, I also bring to my family and friends when I’m with them. 

What’s your advice to young females beginning their careers? 

I would say this not just to young females, but young people in general. Take every opportunity someone throws your way. Say yes to learning and trying new things (even if you aren’t sure how they fit into your ultimate goals). Be proactive. Get to know your coworkers. The people around you have so much valuable information and lessons to share, and most are willing if you speak up and ask. 

What is the most important quality we can offer in our day-to-day roles? 

Empathy.

To see more content from Noetic Consultants be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

How Can Leaders Train Themselves and Their Teams Now For Later?

Photo by Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

Through our almost two decades of experience working with organizations of all sizes across all industries, we’ve seen a lot of what works well… and unfortunately, a lot of what doesn’t. In the last year, one thing we can state with certainty: senior leaders’ ability and willingness to invest in their and their team’s learning – consistently and significantly – allows teams to weather the most turbulent of storms. This is especially true in the last year,  with massive transformations, remote working, and unpredictable challenges no one could have anticipated, the leaders and teams who invested in their development through Training & Coaching have yielded the strongest results. How so?

BY STRENGTHENING YOUR LEADERSHIP YOU FORTIFY ALL THE SEATS IN YOUR TEAM

When you sit in a new seat – by moving up to the C-Suite seat or in another vehicle altogether – skilling up is essential. For some leaders who oversee many different functions outside of their core expertise, expanding and refining skills and knowledge across all of the areas they manage can determine whether they will sink or swim in that new role. We recently worked with a newly promoted Chief Marketing Officer at a global Fortune 500 travel company. Although they were highly skilled and talented from their previous roles and responsibilities, they had some gaps in some of the core skills required to be an effective CMO… in a pressurized situation to deliver and deliver quickly for a travel sector so hard hit by the global pandemic. To that end, Noetic conducted personalized coaching and curriculum, featuring practical and theoretical tools to arm and elevate this leader’s ability to manage with a difference across their entire team, propelling them, and their team, to success. 

OPTIMIZING YOUR TEAM’S VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENT IMPROVES PRODUCTIVITY

Can you imagine starting a new role in a new company having never met anyone on your new team or in the company overall? How about leading that team? We bet you can because we’ve met so many in this last year who have encountered this very situation, and chances are you have too (maybe you’ve even experienced it yourself). In this age of working remotely, there are new dynamics to consider and address to ensure your team is surviving and thriving. We interact virtually very differently than how we interact in person. Having clear communication within a team is challenging enough in person; in a virtual work world, it’s critical. One way to build a more cohesive and successful team is to assess everyone’s working style preferences through DiSC®  analysis. The results can reveal how to more effectively work together by leaning into your similarities and stretching into your differences. Understanding the way your colleagues prefer to work and communicate can help bridge gaps, prevent or solve misunderstandings, and increase productivity. It can also identify if your team is heavily skewed to one DiSC® style – a balance of styles is a constructive consideration when recruiting for new hires. Noetic can assess your team through DiSC®  and conduct customized workshops to make the most out of your profiles. Learn more about DiSC® here.

NURTURING HIGH-CALIBER TALENT TO RETAIN FUTURE LEADERS

Your biggest asset is your employees. Investing in their abilities and giving them the opportunities to strengthen their existing skills and learn new ones is beneficial for everyone to drive growth for the individual, the team, and the company. It can also fend off attrition rates which are extremely vulnerable right now. We’ve had several large-scale clients in the last year heavily focused on an individual’s development precisely for this reason. Like our marketing executives coaching engagements, we offer Coaching for Emerging Leaders and Talent to ensure emerging leaders feel supported, stable, and nurtured even in the most uncertain of environments. A significant first step is taking our  Art & Science Assessment to identify and diagnose your areas of strength and others we can develop together. An investment in your team is an investment in your long-term success and the leaders of the future. 

If you’re a senior leader looking to sharpen your skills or have team members who need a focused approach to prepare them for the next level, Noetic offers various Training & Coaching services to achieve your goals. Let’s skill up!   

For more information, contact us at hello@noeticconsultants. 

To see more content from Noetic Consultants be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself…

Alicia Lisowski

In my 20+ year career, I have worked in the largest span of functions and company sizes one would probably ever achieve – if they had set their sights on doing so. This includes working in a company of one (my own company), building small start-ups, and holding leadership positions in several global agencies partnering with some of the world’s largest companies as my clients. Throughout this journey, I have held fast to my core beliefs in the power of creativity, innovation, and character. With this breadth of experience and same core passions – I recently chose Noetic as my new adventure.

I have been in Nancie McDonnell Ruder’s orbit for more than 20 years – the Founder of Noetic. I have watched her consistently act as the type of CEO + Founder I most admire – whip-smart, generous, effective, focused on creating and delivering work with excellence, and being a true leader who brings out the best in those around her. So when Nancie asked me to join Noetic I was intrigued – and then when I came to know her powerhouse all-female team and the outstanding companies and people who comprised Noetic’s client base – I was truly sold. 

So far I’m most enjoying tackling the different types of problems our clients face, where we craft solutions in partnership with them and then deliver the work with excellence. With strategy at its core, Noetic provides research, branding, training, and coaching that enables brands and the people who build those brands to clarify who they are and deploy this authentically inside and outside their company walls. 

There is no “one size fits all” with Noetic – each client gets our thoughtful attention so we fully understand their needs on their terms. We meet them where they are, operating in our genius zone to work hand-in-hand to understand what they truly need, then honestly and openly, tell them exactly how and why we are uniquely positioned to jump in and help. When we find that our expertise is not a direct hit for solving the client’s needs, we offer up other solutions and partners as suggestions. Operating with this level of integrity is really special, and I’m delighted to be a part of a company that lives its values every day.

Being so early in my tenure at Noetic, I have to say I’m looking forward to many things. One that first comes to mind is getting to meet my colleagues in person soon – I have only ever met Nancie, and the last time I saw her in person was years ago! 

I’m also looking forward to seeing how the work I’m touching creates a tangible business impact for our clients. Marketing and Leadership are two essential elements of any company’s work, and when we help our clients get these areas right, a lot of positive results grow from there. 

Finally, I’m looking forward to resuming sharing more of my own thoughts on my and Noetic’s digital platforms. I’ve been told over the years I’ve provided helpful insights, shared great content from others, and occasionally inspired even a laugh or two – so it’s time to get back at it!

I look forward to meeting you and finding out how we at Noetic can work with you to achieve your goals.

Women in Leadership: Meg Galloway Goldthwaite, CMCO of The Nature Conservancy

Meg Galloway Goldthwaite

Noetic’s Women in Leadership series highlights strong women leaders across industries who inspire us personally and professionally – as leaders, collaborators, and humans. They are recognized and influential in their respective fields and they leverage their positions of leadership to uplift, encourage, and support other women. 

This month we are proud to feature Meg Galloway Goldthwaite, CMCO of The Nature Conservancy

What are you most excited about in going to The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to be their new CMCO?

Our world has got massive work to do, and we need to unite to dramatically lower the rate of biodiversity loss and drastically cut climate emissions – for the health of the planet and all living things. As the largest environmental NGO, TNC has the unique combination of skills, assets, and relationships necessary to get that massive work done. As a global leader generating solutions for these tough challenges, TNC is uniquely qualified to share breakthrough stories of that work in ways that shift minds, protect our planet, and save lives. I’m thrilled to be part of a team that champions the bond between brand and mission and the relationship between communications and social change.

Who has had the biggest impact on you and your career?

My grandmother was a Gold Star widow who went to work after my grandfather was killed in WWII. She worked hard, spent little, and sacrificed personal comfort for her family. She taught me that grit and determination can get you through nearly anything. She built a career, raised two kids alone, and saved enough money to travel the world in her retirement. 

My late friend and spiritual guide, Margaret, gave me the unconditional love I needed to hold up my head with grace and poise even on my darkest days when shame and fear threatened to overtake me. She also dressed like every day was a party, and I aspire to that. For some reason, my husband, Todd, thinks that I can do absolutely anything. And while he’s not right about that, he gives me the courage I need to walk into anything and at least fake it until I can figure it out. And for my last person, I’ll give you a three-for-one and name my kids: Marina, Liam, and Annabelle who push me to live so that when they think of caring, equity, and integrity, they think of me. At least that’s my aim when I roll out of bed each day.

If you had to choose one person who affected your career the most and who you’d pay tribute to, who would that be?

My dear friend and former boss, Joyce Dorris. I learned more marketing from her than anyone else. We worked together for 7 years. She has an unmatched ability to generate a vision and hold it ever-present as she weaves strategy, branding, and communications together to achieve it. She also taught me the value of packaging up an initiative and selling it – “Tie it all up with a bow” – she’d say. That woman could rock a PowerPoint deck like no one I’ve seen. I spend a good deal of time thinking, “What would Joyce do?”

What are the most important things marketers need to be thinking about as we get further into 2021?

As we continue to make our way out of the darkness of the 12 months, people will want to affirm the joys of being with friends, sharing a meal with family, traveling to cool places, etc. I think successful marketing and communications efforts will echo that return to simplicity and appreciation for basic love. I also think we’ll do well to show the power of people uniting. 

For new marketers, what is the one piece of advice you’d give for them to think about as they progress in their careers?

The same thing I say to my kids – be teachable. You never know where your next lesson lurks. Also, be kind. I appreciate the notion that people are more likely to remember how you made them feel than what you actually said.

To see more content from Noetic Consultants be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

The World Has Changed…and so Have Your Customers

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash

One year ago, Kansas City was the Super Bowl Champ, Parasite was an Oscar winner, and many of us were getting ready to take off for Spring Break. What was only 365 days ago, now feels like a decade, after a year of face masks, social distancing, far too much loss, and (finally) a road toward vaccinations.

Normalcy may feel closer each day, but your perspective has most likely forever changed… and so has the perspective of your customers. Many of our clients have been able to survive (and even thrive) in these ever-changing times by doing three things with their customers consistently:

  1. Realizing their “today” is not like their “yesterday”
  2. Deeply listening (and then listening again)
  3. Responding dynamically to their customers changing needs

Noetic supports our clients through custom research to better understand how customer needs have evolved, ensuring meaningful results to those they serve and to their bottom line. Here are some examples:

Identifying changing consumer needs in a dynamic landscape  

In one of the hardest-hit industries, a travel-related client needed to pivot their business model as travel needs quickly evolved. Noetic designed and conducted a national quantitative study that uncovered growth opportunities based upon customers changing travel needs. 

Meeting consumer demand where they, and you, need it most

An academic institution was looking to better connect with, and serve, its audience(s) in these virtual and uncertain times. Noetic leveraged existing secondary research combined with custom qualitative to help prioritize audience focus and messaging priorities. This prioritization and focus became the foundation for their 2021 planning and fundraising efforts, activated within a Noetic-led co-creation session.

Reimagining core metrics and tracking 

As part of their annual planning cycle, our fortune 500 financial client was looking to establish metrics that captured their refreshed 2021 thinking and tie them to quarterly and yearly goals. Noetic helped craft and finalize SMART* metrics and an approach for leadership alignment. Codifying and tracking dashboard metrics enables team members to prepare for the future, with the ability to pivot as business needs and dynamics change quickly.

*SMART = specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound

Do you have a clear understanding of your audience today? Noetic would love to strengthen your understanding of your customers’ needs and grow your business. How can we help you? For more, email us at hello@noeticconsultants.com.

To see more content from Noetic Consultants be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

How baked is your Marketing & Execution Plan? Noetic can help.

Photo by Taylor Grote on Unsplash

You want to outline your weekly meal plan, especially to include some new recipes. With so much going on, you realize you don’t have the ingredients you need, or enough time and resources time to actually cook it. When we feel overwhelmed in an area where we want to be more proactive, we tend to backtrack and stick with recipes we already know. But what if you had a sous-chef who would stand alongside you to help you complete the tasks that get you to the dinner table with a great meal? 

The CMO Council recently revealed there is optimism amongst global marketing leaders looking for growth recovery this year. That said, 25% of marketing leaders anticipate they will downsize or restructure their marketing organizations in 2021.

Like delivering great meals, developing and executing your marketing plan requires a sharp vision, clear objectives, and multiple contributors to achieve its goals. Reductions to team sizes across industries have forced many to wear more than just their own chef’s hat. Taking on increased responsibilities have left some with an overflowing plate they can no longer manage.

At Noetic, we can jump right in to bring your brand strategy to life so you can get further faster – because we are not only strategists. We are also practitioners who have the expertise and skills to execute your marketing plan.

What does that mean?

At its most practical level, Noetic can conduct and complete critical day-to-day marketing initiatives like:

  • Developing multi-channel marketing plans to meet sales goals
  • Creating digital content for social platforms
  • Managing creative teams to develop your audio and video campaign materials
  • Devising your SEO strategy
  • Recommending and supporting tracking analytics

We have experience across diverse industries, and we specialize in understanding a brand’s key components. This allows us to whip up tried and true techniques that deliver on your business needs to attract and satisfy your consumers’ tastes.

So, when your plate is full, contact Noetic, and we can talk you through a menu of options on how we can deliver on your marketing plans. What will you order?

To see more content from Noetic Consultants be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn and follow us on Facebook and Instagram.