Five Questions with Kristy Fairbanks from IMPACT Group
At Atomicdust, we’re lucky to partner with brilliant business owners and marketing professionals. Our clients and partners span various industries — from healthcare, to restaurants, to professional services and consumer goods — and with each project, we learn as much from them as (we hope) they do from us.
This month, we’re sharing insight from Kristy Fairbanks, Marketing Director for IMPACT Group. Kristy has spent the last 20 years in various marketing roles, working in B2B, B2C and “P2P” markets. What’s “P2P?” Kristy explains:
How do you approach marketing? What’s your marketing philosophy?
The customer experience used to be considered what happens after the sale. I believe that experience begins long before the sale –with the positioning, messaging and stories that draw in prospective and existing buyers.
You’ve got to talk to the person, not to the wall, or the hand, or the half-listening individual. Each one of us is so busy, and it’s the marketers’ responsibility to cut through the clutter and share a story people want to hear.
What has been your most successful or favorite marketing effort? Why do you think it was successful / a favorite?
Two main projects come to mind:
The first happened completely by chance, during a photo shoot when I worked for Angelica Corporation. While shooting an Anheuser-Busch uniform catalog at Grant’s Farm, one of the property’s Dalmatians joined in the fun. It was one of my all-time favorite photos; here’s to serendipitous collisions.
The second one was IMPACT Group’s new website. I consider it my most successful effort, mostly due to the team here and at Atomicdust. Selling services instead of products was a new adventure for me when I joined the IMPACT Group team.
When your company differentiator is your people (everybody says this, right?), it’s hard to show what makes you special. Atomicdust took on the challenge of spreading the “P2P” people-to-people message with us. And wow did we score. The results include a 200% increase in leads in the first four weeks!
On the flip side, what is the biggest risk you’ve taken? What did you learn from it?
Creative that included a naked lady to sell high-end yacht coatings! It was 1998 and I was the Marketing Coordinator for U.S. Paint. The concept was nerve-wracking at the time, but turned into a series that involved actually painting women’s bodies. I learned that the unexpected will often make our audience stop, read and buy.
What do you think is the most significant marketing challenge facing your industry today?
Convincing our potential clients to see their employees as individuals, not human capital. At IMPACT Group, we empower people to succeed and grow during career transitions. We believe in the value of career coaching and the importance of one-on-one support to unlock the potential in each and every one of us.
What is the most helpful business book or resource you’ve come across?
A thesaurus. The Wall Street Journal (print edition). And my husband – since he’s joined the agency world, we’re constantly discussing marketing in our home.