BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week: Teresa Schell, President and owner of Strategic Marketing Partners

Teresa Schell, President and owner of Strategic Marketing Partners
Address: 219 N. Milwaukee St., Milwaukee
Industry: Marketing consulting specifically for manufacturers
Children: Evan, 17, and Anna, 13

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?  

“We rebranded our image. In the first five years of the business, all of the focus and attention was on rebranding and nurturing our clients’ brand identities and we soon found the SMP image neglected and in need of a refresh. Now we have a revitalized brand with a consistent message across our media channels.”

What’s new at your company? 

“Ownership. Effective Jan. 1, I will acquire SMP as the sole owner from founder Tom Duffey. Duffey is the president and owner of Plastic Components Inc. in Germantown. Plastic Components will continue to be a client of SMP.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year? 

“As the client base continues to expand, necessary talent acquisition will be required to successfully deliver a solid marketing platform to our clients without compromising effectiveness. We align ourselves with strategic vendors to support web development and videography.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?

“Challenging the status quo! Several business leaders believe that marketing is a website and brochure. A company’s messaging power is more impactful, with deeper levels of significance, when there’s a commitment to consistency. To move from mediocrity to greatness, companies need to venture beyond averageness. Nothing great is ever attained by doing things the way they’ve always been done.”

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?

“Social media management. Our client base is growing a stronger responsibility to the social media environment. The digital revolution continues to mature in manufacturing; however, the smart marketer builds a connection with an audience that moves away from ‘mine is better than theirs’ to providing new statements towards a solution to one of their problems.”

Do you have a business mantra?

“Deliver with personal purpose. Living in a digital world and adopting new channels of marketing is no excuse for abandoning the personality and human element of a company’s brand and business. It’s essential to show up emotionally, with confidence, and demonstrate what can be expected from us in the future.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?

“Seth Godin, entrepreneur/author. Seth reminds us to put emotional labor into our work towards the things that others fear; never hesitate to share a kind word when it’s earned; and even though we’ve been trained to finish our homework, our dinner, our chores, these days we’re never finished, and that’s okay. ‘It’s a dance, not an endless grind.’”

What was the best advice you ever received? 

“What matters most is how we handle failure, not how we handle success.”  

What do you like to do in your free time?

“Study different characters and flavors of red wine along with their region.”

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