Strategic leadership: a Q&A with new StudioNorth strategist Yolanda Hernandez
Strategist Yolanda Hernandez recently joined StudioNorth to expand our strategic service offerings. We caught up with her recently to ask about changes in the industry, her role, her background and the strategic opportunities she sees for StudioNorth clients.
Everyone talks about marketing strategy. What does it mean to you?
Marketing strategy is about helping businesses transform by designing personal experiences that build stronger relationships between an organization and their customers. In doing this, it provides a roadmap or framework that allows a company to focus on the best opportunities to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.
Why do StudioNorth clients need a marketing strategist?
A recent Forrester study revealed that 80% of companies believe customer expectations have changed due to B2C practices. Technology and data have driven part of this change, but the real driver has been the ways different audiences want to interact and their need to have information at their fingertips.
70% of US adults use smartphones, and they have 4.3 connected devices on average. Plus, we have multi-generational groups—Baby Boomers, plus Generations X, Y and Z—that have different likes, dislikes and attributes. These connected audiences want more personalization, and they base their purchase decisions on how you’re solving their specific problem or need.
Organizations consistently need to deliver customized experiences across digital platforms. We’re seeing more organizations partnering with agencies to become more fluent in digital leadership. They’re specifically focused on best practices across the customer journey and experience that will help transform their business.
Will your approach change how StudioNorth serves its clients?
StudioNorth has been assuming a more strategic role with clients for years, often in collaboration with marketing partners.
As a marketing practitioner with Fortune 100 companies across various industries, I’ve walked in our clients’ shoes. I’ll be partnering with our clients to help them solve the same issues I faced.
It always helps an agency to have someone who understands things from the client’s side. From our client’s perspective, they’re comfortable knowing I’ve sat in their chair.
You’ve worked extensively on the client side. What appealed to you about joining StudioNorth?
As a client, I selected StudioNorth for various initiatives because they were willing to understand my business challenge and then roll up their sleeves to help me solve that challenge. Their agility helped my team move faster with go-to-market plans. It was very refreshing to find a partner who tells you “we’ll find a way…”
Can you share some experiences in corporate life that helped shape your thinking as a marketing strategist?
As a global business executive I’ve been a strategic partner on executive leadership teams of large manufacturing, distribution, service-oriented corporations, as well as in the not-for-profit sector. I’ve advised new and established brands and driven incremental and sustainable revenue and growth within B2B and B2C—specifically in the financial services, IT, industrial supplies and healthcare markets.
I’ve led initiatives focused on digital transformation and MarTech, audience development, customer touchpoints and experience, content architecture and strategy, demand generation, strategic planning, brand strategy, marketing effectiveness and process re-engineering.
Can you describe some specific ways you’re already working with clients?
We’ve been partnering with them across various initiatives and topics to address their specific business challenges and needs—customer insight, segmentation analysis, audience development strategies, brand expansion, event infrastructure and strategy, analytics, omni-channel strategies and 2017 planning.
In some cases I’m working with peer practitioners who I have had the pleasure and honor working with at other organizations.
I am excited to work with organizations in a broader advisory role and helping them reach the “Always On—Need it Now” connected customer. I am equally excited to be a part of the StudioNorth team and look forward to expanding on the great strategy work they’ve been designing and offering their clients.
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