It’s always exciting when a team grows, and we are over the moon to introduce Ellie Charter as our new Director of Client Services.

Charter, who hails from the University of Nebraska (Go Huskers!) comes from a deep marketing background that includes Bailey Lauerman and working with Carley Roney, Co-Founder of The Knot (XO Group). Charter says she knew she’d found her calling in marketing because “This industry–the positions I’ve had the opportunity to hold–have given me an opportunity to align my strengths: creative problem solving, writing, communicating, and networking,” she says. “I’m also a social creature, and that helps me bring more people to the conversation.”

While every brand should have its own messaging and mission, Charter does have a few tips for companies looking to set themselves apart from their competition.

Own your lane. 

“Be authentic,” she says. “Customers love a brand who is confident in what it does and how it does it. If you’re a small, family-owned business, focus on your excellent service and not on trying to be the biggest fish in the sea. And if you are the biggest fish, don’t feel bad about it–show how much good you can do because of your size.”

She notes Disney as an example of a big company that owned its corporate responsibility to empower young girls, when it changed its tune from ‘damsel in distress’ to girls who are capable of owning their own destiny.

Plan ahead. 

One of the biggest mistakes companies can make is “winging” their marketing strategy. “Companies who fail to plan ahead are spending more time and energy than they need to,” says Charter. “An annual marketing calendar can help identify and time key campaigns and opportunities.”

Of course, having a plan doesn’t mean you also have a crystal ball. “I always recommend clients create a contingency plan and budget, just in case,” she adds. “You never know what the year will hold–a speed bump, an offer you can’t refuse, a market downturn–and if you have the right team and funds in place, you can be ahead of the game–and your competition.”

Also, don’t shy away from technology. 

“Technology has reached a point where companies can invest in marketing that is highly targeted and effective,” said Charter. “And working with a strong, unbiased media partner can ratchet up your results by identifying media solutions for your specific audience and even a specific campaign.”

If companies are new to digital campaigns, she cautions against quitting too soon. “Programmatic digital marketing isn’t a sprint,” she says. “It gets smarter and more effective the longer it runs.”

Want to see what happens when the entire MediaSpark team comes to the table? Learn more here.