|| Print ||
|Articles - May 2014|
|Monday, April 28, 2014|
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | PHOTO BY CARL KIILSGAARD
Siouxsie Jennett, president and CEO of Mambo Media, is in her downtown Portland office expounding on social media: the good, the bad and the ugly. Jennett, 47, founded Mambo in 1997 in Mountain View, California — “the home of Google before there was Google” — as a marketing firm that moves across all platforms. The company will create an old-school print campaign if that’s what’s needed. But its real focus is web design, video production and, more and more, social media; the latter now comprises 20% of Mambo’s business.
A well-conceived social media campaign is steeped in research, analytics and a commitment to the return on investment, Jennett says. An ill-conceived campaign, not so much. “I often have to explain that a digital-media campaign doesn’t mean posting what you ate for breakfast on Twitter,” she says.
Polished and articulate, with a knack for spot-on cultural commentary, Jennett is a commanding presence who rattles off business and technical jargon at a breakneck clip. She also understands the ups and downs of Internet marketing firsthand, having started her career selling advertising for a San Francisco Bay Area online magazine, Goplay.com, which she describes as a precursor to Citysearch. “It was 1995, and it often felt like I was selling sunscreen to Eskimos,” she recalls. From there she and a business partner spun off Mambo Media. With initial clients like Hewlett-Packard, Visa and Nokia, they rode the dot-com/dot-bomb bubble of the late ’90s.
Mambo swelled and then shrunk accordingly, employing five people at its height before the tech wreck brought it back down to just Jennett. It was time to re-think Mambo Media, her growing family and the Silicon Valley. Put off by the Bay Area’s overcrowded school system (“I signed up my daughter for preschool when I was pregnant and three years later she still wasn’t accepted”) and its social climate (“about what you do and not who you are”) Jennett and her husband, Paul Kelly moved to Portland in 2003 to pursue work-life balance in the Silicon Forest.
The move paid off. Today Mambo is worth $1 million, and Jennett expects it to double in value in 2014. Building on its success, Mambo recently moved to roomier offices in the Pearl District’s Park blocks to house 12 employees. Jennett expects that number to double over the next year too. While industry averages see employees changing jobs every two to three years, people at Mambo tend to stick around. Like Jennett, they are older and wiser, many with MBAs who cut their marketing teeth at the dawn of the digital era.
It’s an ever-changing environment. Today many clients seek out Mambo for its social media, web design and SEO-generation services. Jennett ticks off the success stories. A software firm came to Mambo troubled by declining traffic from search engines. Mambo developed a program that increased search traffic 110% from the previous year, with referral traffic from social media increasing 86%. Another firm, a “multichannel customer experience and contact center solution provider,” wanted to leverage social media to increase web traffic and leads. Mambo’s solution generated 177 “high-quality” leads and a 44% increase in Twitter followers in the first four weeks of the campaign.
As technologies evolve at a rapid pace and as more companies jump on the social media bandwagon — digital marketing is now a $62 billion industry in the U.S. — businesses are shifting their approach to advertising and promotion, Jennett says. For instance, savvy companies are combining IT and marketing budgets and responsibilities in order to keep pace with changing needs. Mobile is also huge. “Most of our clients get between 15% and 50% of traffic from mobile devices,” she says. “But many websites aren’t mobile ready, even the new ones. There’s still a disconnect.”
The rising tide is causing some growing pains for Mambo. “Growth and scale are our biggest challenges,” says Jennett. “I spend more time on operations than clients now,” she says. Jennett still insists on reviewing deliverables, but she’s enjoying living behind the scenes, working as a strategist instead of managing projects.
That strategy includes practicing what she preaches. Mambo pulls out all the digital marketing bells and whistles to promote itself. The company puts out informative blogs, posts on Facebook and Twitter, and has a nifty mobile app. Ironically, however, the company still gets 80% of its business the old-fashioned way: repeats and referrals from clients. It keeps them plenty busy. “We are booked with what we have coming in right now.”
In 2014, of course, social media is steeped in irony — and positive and negative impacts. On the business side, Jennett aims for as many eyeballs on Twitter, Facebook and other social media as possible. That imperative is at odds with her role as protective parent — Jennett recently confiscated her 14-year-old’s cell phone for a month after discovering the teen’s Instagram account. “I made her write an essay on the pros and cons of teenagers using social media,” she recalls. “She couldn’t find any pros. “That’s life in our new modern era!” observes Jennett. “I have yet to see the value proposition for my children, and I will keep them away from [social media] for as long as I can,” she says.
Deployed thoughtfully, however, digital networking reaps rewards. “Social media provides a very powerful, cost-effective vehicle to accomplish marketing objectives,” Jennett says. “It’s direct, engaging and can provide great value to your prospective customer as they evaluate your offering against the competition.”
Thursday, January 08, 2015
BY CAMBIA HEALTH SOLUTIONS & OREGON BUSINESS COUNCIL | OP-ED
Businesses have a significant stake in the health of Oregonians. In fact, we cannot succeed without it. By committing to using our companies as levers for good health, we invest in our people, our business, our quality of life and our economy.
Monday, January 26, 2015
The day after this issue goes to press, the city of Medford will host its annual business conference. The event features Minoli Ratnatunga, co-author of the Milken Institute’s annual “Best-Performing Cities” report. Preliminary data suggests that Medford is likely to retain its No. 1 ranking among best-performing small cities for having a higher concentration of high-tech firms than the national average.
Thursday, February 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
Employment in Oregon is almost back up to prerecession levels — and employers are having to work harder to entice talented staff to join their ranks. This year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project showcases the kind of quality workplaces that foster happy employees.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
A place-based multimodal transportation plan for Mt. Hood is long overdue.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
As the costs of college mount, and as employer demand for software developers soars, coding schools and classes are popping up everywhere.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Examining the governor's rapid fall from grace in a "bizarre" and "unprecedented" saga.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
BY TAMSEN LEACHMAN | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
It is important to understand the EEOC’s priorities, and ensure that your leadership understands the shifting expectations of regulators and the heightened standards to which you (and they) may be held.
Real Time - Oregon Business
Tweets by @OregonBusiness
|The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon|
|Help Wanted: Poached Jobs aids restaurateurs |
|On the Brink|
|How Oregon will survive the loss of Hanjin|
|Thy neighbor's house|
|How a Utah-based essential oils company cornered the Oregon market|
|Green Rush: Cashing in on legal marijuana|
|SeaWorld aims to alter marketing strategy|
|Herbalife stock falls after forecast cut|
|Target reports $2.6B loss in 4Q after closing Canadian holdings|
|Jury: Apple must pay $529.9M to settle patent case|
|Study finds many retire earlier than they expected|
|Rhetoric heats up ahead of net-neutrality vote|
|Google readies to fight Apple Pay|
Generations of students and graduates have been plagued by the question: What is my true calling in life? Four alumni from Corban University’s Hoff School of Business who graduated in different decades say the school helped them find the answer by giving them a practical, well-rounded education.
It’s happening whether anyone’s ready or not. Businesses here in Oregon and across the U.S. are already experiencing the effects of the largest generational shift in recent history, and these changing tides will impact every level of the workplace — from a company’s executive leadership to its cultural core.
Success stories spotlight meaningful career opportunities in Oregon's diverse and lucrative tourism industry.
The Firm was recognized for the strength of its case matters during 2014, including precedents set or verdicts with notable high dollar amounts at stake.
The Oregon Chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services, will be hosting it’s Annual Dinner and Keynote event on March 12, 2015. The evening promises to be memorable, with this years Keynote, Christine McKinley.
Lane Powell will team with Oregon Business magazine for a half-day seminar titled “Best Practices For Best Employers™: How to Become One of ‘Oregon’s Best Workplaces’ Starting Today!”