Marketing and public relations are often considered important hallmarks of any successful business. Now more than ever, in the age of social media and ‘viral’ content, these matters can very quickly make or break any company.
Since establishing Stephen Donnely & Associates in 2002, Stephen Donnelly has mastered how to strike a balance between the use of modern tools like big data and analytics with a more traditional business focus of putting the client above all else. In doing so, Donnelly and his firm have become a vital part of the success stories of countless entrepreneurs.
“When I worked for various marketing firms, I noticed early on how most of them focused on the money, and I saw this as the wrong way to go about things,” says Donnelly. “After all, regardless of the business you’re in, success comes down to your relationships and how you use them.”
Donnelly built his firm around one simple philosophy:If you take care of your client relationships, the dollars will follow.
Today, Stephen Donnelly & Associates has grown into a full-service marketing and communications firm that puts the client first, all while being on the cutting edge of modern technology. To this end, the firm prioritizes a client support team that focuses on being proactive and communicative with its clients while investing heavily in data collection and analysis.
Despite the heavy costs, as well as the relative lethargy in the foundational work involved in building up client relationships, this unique approach has ended up paying off in spades for the company.
“We do spend a lot of money on data, investing six figures per year on various tools and software that help us do our job well,” Donnelly explains. “The payoff, however, has been phenomenal. We’ve grown quite a bit as a company, with year-over-year growth of around 400% in revenue, staff, and client base over the last five years. Even more importantly, we have various clients who we have maintained a great working relationship with for the last 20-plus years, while just two to three years is common for your average marketing firm.”
One of the firm’s favorite success stories is actually its first client, Adam Weitsman, whose brand has grown exponentially since he first signed on to help promote his initial work with scrap metal processing company Upstate Shredding – Weitsman Recycling. Today, Weitsman is not only a billion-dollar entrepreneur with a highly successful conglomerate, but also a community and industry leader, a philanthropist, and business icon. Such examples, says Donnelly, serve as proof that a firm’s focus on client relationships can be a better way.