Address: 1000 N Water Street, Suite 16, Milwaukee
Year founded: 1933
Product or service offered: HY Connect is a full-service marketing communications agency. It offers advertising, digital strategy and development, earned and social media, media planning and buying and more, all with a strong metrics driven approach.
Projected 2014 revenue: $21 million
CEO: Troy Peterson
Other key members of the leadership team: David Sheehan, president
Target clientele: Our client contacts are marketing officers and vice presidents of marketing representing B2B and consumer businesses and services. We have deep expertise in health care, packaged and durable goods, retail, restaurants, financial services and home and building products.
Business organization memberships: American Association of Advertising Agencies, Association of Energy Services Professionals, Advertising Marketing International Network, Milwaukee Interactive Marketing Association, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, Society for Health care Strategy and Market Development, Public Relations Society of America
What has fueled your company’s growth? “We don’t have a secret ingredient. Our difference is that we turn the lens away from us to focus on our clients. As an industry, we are notorious for talking about ourselves. At HY Connect, we start by asking: ‘What is the marketing manager trying to do? What difference are they trying to make?’ It’s a simple concept. Yet amazingly, our approach creates an entirely different model of agency.”
What is the biggest obstacle to your company’s growth? “During periods of rapid expansion in a professional services industry, the easy solution is to quickly add more people. That’s a temptation we make every effort to avoid. No one wins when we hire poorly. Finding the right people who buy into our vision of a client-first, integrated service model is critical to our continued success. So, our biggest challenge is to align our growth with our ability to be highly selective with our staffing requirements.”
Do you plan to make any changes in your company in the coming months? “We are currently in the process of a major overhaul of our internal systems, with the goal of accommodating our recent growth as well as preparing for ongoing and continued growth. We remain fiercely committed to providing our clients with fully-integrated marketing solutions. When communication is integrated, there is a continuous stream of engagement.”
Who are the business people, locally or nationally, whom you admire? And what traits do those people exhibit that make you admire them? “In their respective industries, we have great respect and admiration for Zappos and Southwest Airlines. Both of these companies have made customer service the central component of their business offering. Their unparalleled efforts are a differentiating force among competitors and have ultimately become the source of their remarkable success.”
What is the outlook for the business conditions of your industry over the next several months? “According to advertising industry resources, it appears that 2014 growth will be moderately better than growth in 2013. The industry has been experiencing modest growth over the past few years and will continue on that path for the rest of 2014.”
What is your company’s most important growth strategy right now? “We plan to continue to adhere to the brand platform that has allowed us to be so successful to date. We have found a strategy that is working for us so we will continue to build on our momentum and keep moving forward.”