Let’s face it, in an industry known for penny-profit, making a buck is getting harder and harder. In “younger” segments of commercial food service, like fast casual, unit count expansion is the #1 growth strategy employed by executives. And this works for a while. As segments mature, growth is harder to achieve. The darling fast casual segment recently dropped below its double-digit growth rates for the first time in recent history.
There’s an old adage that marketers use, “I know half of my marketing budget doesn’t work, I just don’t know which half.” That was once true. Clients had to rely on agency account directors or creative directors to translate results. Not necessarily the case anymore. In this age of analytics and big data, there are dozens of measurements to tell us what work works and what work doesn’t. But even as sophisticated as our ability to gather metrics has become, there is still no secret formula, no app or algorithm for generating ideas.
A lot of times when you meet someone new, they ask “So, what do you do?” Over the years, I’ve answered with “Food marketing,” or maybe, “I help companies sell the food that restaurants sell to you.” But when I meet someone in the food industry, someone who understands the complexities of channel marketing, someone who might be reading an article on our company website right now, I tell them about Shared Spaces.
Vanessa has the enviable skill of bridging gaps—from reconnecting disconnects in communication to identifying the path from where a client is to where they want to be. A true leader, she inspires successful growth with a direct and thoughtful approach: listen; engage; empower. She has an impressive track record of brand development on a global scale that underscores her value as a strategist. Above all, it’s Vanessa’s ability to recognize and cultivate the best parts of brands, talent and work that makes her an invaluable member of the Marlin family. Her secret to productivity? Phone-less, computer-less conversations.