Higher Ed + Modern Publishing = One Stamats

Peter Stamats

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Stamats has long been known for working with higher education clients on research, branding, and digital marketing initiatives.

But we are also a leading B2B publisher, with 100 years of traditional marketing expertise and three digital and print publications: BUILDINGS, interiors+sources, and Meetings Today.

On this week’s podcast, find out how we’re merging to become One Stamats. Listen now.

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Don’t have time to listen? Read the full transcript below:

Mariah Obiedzinski: Thanks for joining us today on the Stamats podcast. I’m Mariah Obiedzinski, director of content services. And joining me today is Peter Stamats, president and CEO of Stamats. Welcome, Peter.

Peter Stamats: Good morning, Mariah.

Mariah: We are talking today about all the changes that we’ve seen across the industries we serve in 2019. We have been talking about everything from voice search and AI all the way out to delivering experiences instead of just plain marketing or branding messaging.

So, when we’re thinking about that, and when we’re visiting with clients, we’ve also noticed that they’ve been mentioning lots of different and diverse needs, things that they have never approached us before in the past. So we’ve started to say more often, “Oh, yeah, we do that. Oh, we also do that. How do people not know that we do this?”

And so, thinking about that and thinking about all those diverse needs that clients are bringing our way, how are we considering at Stamats shaping what we’re offering in 2020 and beyond to really support those needs of clients and be their partner?

Peter: We’ve taken a strong position this year in rebranding the company and just launched a new Stamats.com website that I think captures and encapsulates the breadth of product and service offerings that have served us well in a number of siloed markets that we’ve been in.

And our presence in those markets has been segmented. And what we’ve done is brought it all together into one cohesive presence for clients to take a look at.

Mariah: How is Stamats preparing in the remainder of 2019 to really attack all of those needs for clients and support them through 2020 and beyond?

Peter: What we’ve discovered over the past couple of years in listening to our clients and their diverse needs that take cross-pollinating of our internal staff’s talent into one cohesive team. And coming together to provide a broader base set of solutions is what really is going to work well for the clients in the long run.

So, where we may have just worked with a client on advertising media campaigns, now we’re adding a front end research component to it or branding component and detail instead of social media or nurture campaigns that really take their message to the marketplace in a more effective way.

Mariah: It’s really beyond a value-add proposition. It’s really, “Let us be your strategic partner, let us help you see this thing from the beginning.” You know, “What are your goals? How are you going to measure things all the way to the supposed end of that project?” And then how do you carry those results forward?

Peter: Many times, over the prior years, we were brought in on one-off projects. What we’re finding now is that by establishing a closer partnership relationship with our clients on an ongoing basis, we can build in feedback loops and mechanisms, utilizing analytics and reporting that is a big part of digital media and social media campaigns today, to hone the message for the client, revise it over time, make it more effective, segment the messaging to subset audiences that they want to reach so that they get the leads or the client retention goals that they’re aiming to achieve.

Mariah: So, one thing that maybe it makes Stamats a little bit different than other agencies that we partner with and other agencies that our clients work with, is the fact that we work with both the B2B and B2C sector.

So, we can take, you know…one of the things that we’re really fond of saying around here is B2B doesn’t really mean business to business, it’s businessperson to businessperson. We’re all people, you know, we’re all working towards those same goals.

Could you talk a little bit about some of the learnings that were able to transfer back and forth between those somewhat different but somewhat similar markets?

Peter: Sure, we’ve been brought in in the higher ed segment to speak just to incoming students, the student recruitment sector that actually has a form of a B2C component to it. Whereas on the other side in the commercial real estate industry, what we’ve done is work with our clients on just speaking to facility managers or the interior designers and those will be B2B interactions, relationships.

But at the end of the day, both sets, B2B or B2C, have the same component of crafting targeted messages to targeted audiences that bring tangible results to the client for their marketing goals and campaigns. A good portion of our client relationships have been oriented on the marketing and the messaging for their campaigns, their annual goals.

Taking a step back, it can be really helpful for the client to revisit their base level of foundational branding presence in the marketplace, something that ensures the message that they want to get out as true to the history and the mission that their company has had in the marketplace, and bringing it forward for today’s audiences.

So, we have a very solid set of brand content development offerings. We also do foundational quantitative and qualitative research in the marketplace to support taking that messaging to the marketplace in a more finely crafted way.

Mariah: And I think it’s important to highlight as well, the history of this company has been in publishing. Historically for 100 years, we’ve been publishers of three wonderful brand magazines and other publications over the years.

Coming from that background, we have that capability to partner with clients who are looking to really reach out to that B2C market as well as that B2B market and manage that process all the way through from ideation with the advertisers all the way out to output for the consumers. How does that translate perhaps into another industry that is more heavily consumer facing?

Peter: It translates in two ways, having our company have a long history, both in publishing and in agency marketing services is interesting because the two worlds are increasingly emerging.

So, for traditional publishing relationships that we’ve had, we’re now introducing more agency and marketing campaign development and crafting combined packages for the clients and serve those purposes.

On the flip side, where we’ve had more of a traditional agency relationship with clients, we’re getting into situations where we may create a publishing offering for them, maybe their own internal publishing brand that they now use as a communications vehicle into the marketplace, and married those together. So, it’s an interesting hybrid relationship that is really developing over time. And I see that being a big underpinning for our future.

Mariah: What it really comes down to for clients to consider going forward is do you really know your audience? Do you really know your data? How are you pulling together that data and how are you using it?

I think it’s important for people listening to know you should have a good solid partner that can help you all the way through. Now, whether that’s one in-house agency, one agency that you partner with or multiple agencies, everybody has to be on the same page and have somebody guiding that ship all towards the same goal.

Peter: Our internal staff got together and did a huge revisit on our mission and our vision statements. And what we’ve crafted last year, which is really, I think, a good benchmark for us moving forward, and what would be a value to people who look at what Stamats offerings is, is a statement that says this: Across media and markets, we collect data and cultivate insights to tell compelling stories.

And that underpinning, I think, is a real solid foundation for the work that we do and the way in which our staff approach client relationships and develop them for long standing success, from our standpoint and from the clients’.

Mariah: One thing that we find is oftentimes clients will have an agency that will handle the upfront, the KPI build out, the metrics, how are we going to do this from the beginning? And then they step out and wash their hands of it.

It’s been turned over to an internal team or to another agency or group to handle the tone and the brand and more of the fluffy emotional feel. And then, oftentimes after that, it either goes back to that first group again to analyze something they weren’t even involved with, and say, “Here’s all of the things that could have been done better.”

What do you suggest, Peter, as clients are looking for a process to make that more efficient, to make that more efficient for their internal teams and their budgets?

Peter: Stamats really has the capacity, the capability, the breadth of knowledge and services to work with a client on an ongoing basis, both in a quantitative and analytic, a research oriented way, or in compliment to that also in a creative design, a qualitative messaging combination, so that over time, and as the needs of the client change, we can adjust the breadth of services that we offer to meet those needs.

Mariah: A lot of our processes that we start with or follow kind of an agile sprint methodology. So, we start with the discovery, then we go into, “Okay, how are we going to build this out into a program?” Then we start the implementation.

And when I say we, it’s whoever is working on this, this could be an internal team, it could be another agency that we’re partnering with. And then always, always from the high level of all projects that we work on, whether it’s just content or if it’s development, or if it’s advertising, it’s always what is the goal? Why are we doing every one of these steps and tying it back?

Finding that this is something that is often glossed over by internal teams, it’s often glossed over by external teams. So always having that honest third party involved, whether you like it or not, you have to have that person kind of playing good cop, bad cop with you to make sure that you are following the original program plan.

Peter: So many stories that we hear today are of clients investing in pretty significant market automation tools, only to find out after a six month or a one-year period of time that they haven’t achieved the results that they want to attain.

A lot of it ends up falling through the cracks, not because the technology hasn’t been really good, but that the implementation of the technology on the people side hasn’t been well executed. It is generally an issue of resourcing and knowledge of how best to use those tools.

So, Stamats has staff that are invested in solid use of technologies such as Salesforce, or a CMS such as Drupal or Omni Update, or marketing campaign technologies such as HubSpot, or Marketo.

And we can help you bring those things to life to achieve the solutions that you really need to do on an ongoing basis and take that worry off your plate and work with us in a partnership relationship to get the goals achieved that you are looking for.

Mariah: Peter, this has been very insightful. And again, if you have any questions about any of the things Peter’s discussed today, please do reach out to us. We’re always available to answer your questions. Thanks for joining us, Peter.

Peter: Thank you, Mariah.

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