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The Changing Landscape Of Marketing Strategy With Nicole Powell

Photo Credit: Emily Powley

It is fairly common for small businesses to change their marketing agency every 6 to 12 months. This high turnover rate reflects the abiding issue with the industry today. The advent of social media and resulting marketing channels was a huge overhaul in the world of marketing. Decades later, most agencies are still relying on statistics of impressions, clicks, and digital reach to impress their clients. 

These numbers do not necessarily convert clicks to new business though. Moving from agency to agency, clients consistently are guaranteed results and may indeed get high numbers on paper but do not see business growth – something Founder and CEO of HALCON Marketing Solutions Nicole Powell knows all too well.  

“Paid ads and social media are useful tools and tactics, but they should not be at the heart of a campaign,” Powell explains. “We create a brand book for each client first and work together to create a powerful story that engages people. That DNA of a campaign is the first building block many agencies don’t bother with, but is the focal point of many of the brands you know and love.” 

“You can tap into a variety of tools to optimize your digital advertising, but there is no guarantee that your target audience will trust you, like what you stand for, or buy from you,” Powell says. 

The woman and minority-owned boutique marketing agency transforms businesses into purposeful, powerful, and profitable brands. Powell and her team of creatives, neuro-marketers, and strategists have experience helping multi-billion dollar brands like ESPN and more with innovative and disruptive marketing campaigns that yield real-world results.  

Having worked for the client and agency sides of the business, Powell was discouraged and exhausted by the hamster-wheel industry that focused on numbers instead of people. She walked away, only to find herself falling back in love with marketing as a freelance consultant when she could apply her own approach to projects. 

“This led me to found my own company, HALCON Marketing Solutions. Clients have been with us for years because this story-driven strategy works. We also surprise them with our ideas and customer service. I also proactively foster a great working culture that supports employees and makes them feel valued. Allowing people to breathe and focus allows them to create their best work.” 

Photo Credit: Emily Powley

Many companies now have employee perks such as Happy Hour or annual retreats but Powell believes it should be more than a one-off thing, a value HALCON fosters. “There’s no reason why we can’t create boundaries and manage expectations on both ends. People cannot create amazing stand-out ideas if they feel stifled by a huge amount of pressure and stress.” 

As well as putting brand identity first, Powell is certified in and passionate about neuromarketing. “This is understanding what part of the brain controls our actions and what stimuli it responds to. It is possible to create marketing tactics that tap into that deeply instinctual part of the brain. Consumer psychology is a fascinating area that advocates different methodologies that take complex human processes into account.” 

Powell believes that businesses sell something and brands stand for something. “Consumers gravitate towards brands which have a clear identity that people can relate to. This produces longevity because they appeal to consumers on a deeper, more emotional level,” she says. “Brand values are not just paying lip service; they can be the key to a meaningful marketing campaign.” 

Powell’s infectious energy and positive outlook have taken HALCON, based in Saint Louis, Missouri, from strength to strength over the last five years. “We believe in month-to-month contracts because we are so confident in our commitment to doing an amazing job. I compare long contracts to marrying someone after meeting them once!”  

Monthly contracts give HALCON the incentive to do their best work and provide reassuring security for clients. “Many agencies lock clients into long-term contracts and then get complacent,” Powell says. “We only take on a certain amount of clients to ensure everyone is working at their peak. We call it ‘Post-Agency Anxiety’ in my team, the stressful nature of working in most agencies where they are just ticking boxes and have a high staff turnover.” 

Powell considers all new clients to make sure collaboration and mutual respect are present. “I would never tell a construction worker how to build a house,” she says. “I want to know that clients value my expertise and marketing as a business cost. This is an interpersonal industry and I want my legacy to be about producing good work while also being a good person and ensuring everyone is enjoying themselves.” 

Known in most companies as an org chart, Powell calls the business hierarchy an ecosystem. “I never want people to feel they cannot volunteer an idea or to feel confined by their job titles,” she says. “I want a fluid internal culture that provides space for people to explore and express themselves, which promotes creativity and respect.” 

Creativity is the lifeblood of effective marketing. “I see so many agencies pumping out content that does not resonate because they haven’t done the brand strategy work,” Powell says. “We now have people copying the messaging we create for clients, which is irritating but also a great compliment!” 

To find out more about howHALCON Marketing Solutions is innovating brand strategy, check out theirwebsite 

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