Hi, I am Jordan – Founder and lead consultant at co&co. First thing you should know about me – I never set out to run my own business. When I was at uni I just wanted to graduate, join a mega agency and become like a modern day, female Don Draper. I didn’t plan on setting up on my own.
I say this to people that have known me since my uni days and they actually all just laugh at me. They all imagined one day I would run my own business. When I ask them why (and why you couldn’t have told me this before) they all say the same thing – ‘good’ was never good enough for me. I refused to settle for someone else’s idea of what ‘good’ looked like. I actually ended up getting my whole undergraduate degree course changed during my first year of uni, but that’s a story for another day, although I guess it does highlight the point those people that I have asked are making.
Well, it would seem that trait of never settling, and always expecting more than just ‘good’, carried through into my professional life post Uni. I didn’t end up as the next female Don Draper, instead I opted to develop my career in-house after some early work agency side. As I grew in my career, I became more and more exposed to how marketing worked in the wider context of the business, and how strategy and a plan is the most important part of marketing. Not a very sexy opinion, and sorry to any budding marketers out there who think it’s all about throwing ideas across the table at lunch meetings, and creating something that just looks great – it isn’t, and if you think that I would strongly advise a change in career.
You have to have a plan. You have to have a measurable objective. If you are going to ask a business owner for money to realise ‘your creative vision’, or whatever you want to call it – you better have some basis on which to argue that what you are asking for is going to make them money and achieve their goals. Otherwise – aside from your own ego, what are you doing it for?
My approach has always been very commercial – I am quite pragmatic and logical as a person, so maybe that’s why, but I just don’t get why you would do anything without some way of measing the success of it – good or bad – especially the bad, that’s where the real learning is. This methodology, whilst it might seem obvious isn’t actually how a lot of marketing professionals think, and because of that a lot of businesses often have very little visibility of how their marketing pounds are performing and impacting the bottom line.
Throughout my in-house career I always ensured that every single penny where possible could be tracked through from spend, to acquisition and sale. I always had a plan; I always had the business objectives front of mind. Behind all of the pretty pictures and fluff – there was a strategy. I can think of multiple times when I would work with external specialist agencies and they would all say the same thing – ‘You’re not like most marketing people we deal with.’
As I grew in my career, worked in different businesses, widened my network, and realised that my mindset was different to most – I started to think there was a gap in the market for a results driven marketing consultancy. Not a traditional marketing agency who just focus on the deliverables – the pretty pictures – the fluff, but a solid marketing consultancy who could work with in-house marketing teams, or businesses without an in-house marketing function to, a) establish what the measurable marketing strategy should be to achieve the business objectives, and b) help those businesses execute and implement the strategy – covering everything from recruitment, to marketing plans, asset creation, execution and analysis.
I started co&co – a team of consultants and collaborators. Our goal is not to replace in-house teams, businesses will always need boots on the ground, in the day to day who know the brand and the offering like the back of their hand. In the same breath, our goal is not to become a big bloated full-service marketing agency. Our goal is to support, advise and build better in-house marketing functions so that businesses overall can do better, perform better, achieve better.