Our Annual Meeting: Thoughts for 2013

Friday Night Lights

Monday, December 3rd, was the day of the annual meeting at Cowley Associates where we got together to plan for 2013 and discussed our strengths and the strategic direction that we are taking as a company.  It was a fun break away from a normal work day to grow as an agency family.

 What We Like About Working At Cowley

 The meeting was held in Cowley’s conference room and began with a very informal pizza lunch from Nick’s Tomato Pie, Armory Square’s best pizza shop.  Gail introduced the meeting and Paul started off with a go-around-the-room on “What we like about working at Cowley.”

 The Cowley Conference RoomAs Members of A Team 

“I like inventing things,” said Paul Cowley, our CEO, a 37 year veteran of the craft, “I like solving problems fast! I like coming up with new things and I’d rather fail and move onto something new than be too afraid or hesitant and not try at all.”

Paul has truly lived this out, time and again, in the many ingenious marketing projects he has successfully launched for clients over the past few decades and in the many awards he has obtained.  We are all grateful to work under his creative guidance.  He fosters that creative spark in all of us and makes good work glow.

Chris MacSaveny, our web developer, said: “I like building websites and making videos – being creative and making web better for businesses.”  A quick look at our website design and VideoKix! portfolios will show you just that: Chris is a master at improving the professional image for all our clients on the world’s top business market – the web!

All of the websites Chris has designed are extremely user-friendly, SEO optimized, and have proven to be profitable online presences for our clients.  His ingenuity and customer service make the process of building any web project easy for even the most computer shy client.  On our end, it’s great to work with Chris because he always gives you his honest opinion, together with three different immediate solutions to your problem, and the practical know-how to show you how to fix it.  He’s a master web chemist, movie-maker, and a cool guy to have on the team – a great asset for Cowley! 

Gail Cowley, our Executive VP, expressed her excitement and drive for developing new business and acquainting people with the agency. She loves creating a smooth and efficient work flow so every client has a great experience with our team.  Gail is truly one of the great reasons for all of this: her personable warmth, professional standards, and encouragement for every associate on every project make each endeavor a great success!

Tracey Gregory, our Project Manager, likes seeing things done on time and efficiently; likes learning new things, and working with our team.

“We all click,” she said.

Tracey has been a great addition to the team: keeping us all on schedule and under budget for every project – saving us and our clients sacred time and money, while helping us produce amazing results every time.  Her attention to detail, contagious enthusiasm and energy, incredible customer service, professional business etiquette, and knack for moving things forward make her a top-notch project manager and one of the great reasons “we all click”!

Mary Bruce, our accountant, expressed her great appreciation for the fact that Cowley knows and manages good accounting standards and efficient billing relationships with our clients.

“I was scared to go back to work,” says Mary, mother and homemaker for the past ten years, “But this is the best place I’ve ever been.  I’ve never worked in a place where it is genuinely nice to walk in the door and am not afraid to approach anyone.”

“We all have integrity here and respond to people accordingly,” she said.  “Nobody is putting on a façade and we are all pretty genuine.” 

Gail highlighted how good Mary is at working with our clients and we all could attest to how great it is to work with Mary.

Joe Cunningham (that’s me), our Internet Marketing Manager, likes seeing the results come in from all the SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay-per-click) advertising, and social media marketing work.  It’s exciting for him (me) to not only see our Facebook or Twitter fans and followers double in the past month or so, but once we started getting new business emails and calls from Facebook, he (I) was like – “Cool!  See, it works!”

Joe (I) has (have) done wonders (don’t mind if I say so) for several clients and our own agency in the online marketing realm: exponentially increasing SEO traffic for ourselves and clients, generating leads from social media, and making money from Google PPC ads.

“It’s a tough, complicated job,” said Joe, “but somebody’s gotta’ do it.” [Big smile.]

Joe has really boosted the Cowley blog in the last few months, thanks also to an initiative the team ran with from Jesse – having each of us write a blog to get a new voice and content from the team based on our varied expertise.  Just another example of how our team makes great ideas come alive and produce great results.

Jesse Clayton, our Graphic Designer talked about the joys on his work.

“I like taking on new creative projects and seeing clients get excited when they see the improvements I make,” said Jesse.  A longtime student and now master and college professor of the craft, Jesse’s comment about client excitement is an understatement.  Take a look at his work in our portfolio and you’ll see why.  It’s the best design work money can buy!  Something we, our clients, their customers, and Jesse’s students truly appreciate.

Jesse’s expertise spans far beyond Photoshop.  He always has a creative insight for every strategy and marketing plan, as the blog example above shows, which makes him an invaluable team member and a great to work with.

All of us commented on the great work our strategic partners lend to our marketing efforts.  We are so proud to expand our team with various talented, professional teams and individuals who help us create the multi-dimensional aspect that makes us the area’s top full-service ad agency.

As a Team

Gail underlined how we all like working together; how we respect each other, get along, and make clients happy.

“We stand for something,” she said, “Quality and excellence.”  It’s a gift to enjoy coming to work and always be improving and advancing the business. 

Paul mentioned how we are all confident in what we do and how we do it.

Chris noted how we are always getting better, faster.  It’s essential to keep up with the new tools, strategies, trends, and technology that arises; and Cowley prides itself in always being on the cutting-edge to create “better, faster.”

We discussed a foundational document on who we are and what we value, which resonated with all of us, underlining our core values of quality, teamwork, building the community, and creating our deliverablesmarketing, web, print, and media.

“Who We Are and Where We Are Going!”

Paul’s presentation entitled “Who We Are and Where We Are Going!” opened our eyes again to the big picture.

After a quick overview of advertising history, Paul explained how he hates being a “me too” business and how we have kept our “mojo” and have been successful by being innovative, new, and interesting.  He showed us how technology is beginning to win over art, bridging the gap between skilled artists and every business’s need for marketing.

Times Square NYC

Paul’s genius and leadership was again displayed to all of us in the new business plan he outlined the new exciting products and projects we are now getting involved in.

In short, we can all attest to the extreme creativity and business prowess of Cowley Associates because of the creativity and success of our captain.

Conclusion

With the New Year just around the corner, many of your companies will be having their budget and business meetings, scoping out the future under a sometimes dismal business panorama.  Fear not!  We’re not going anywhere and we’ve got a trick or two in store.  Cowley has created business solutions for clients for the last 30 plus years.

Give us a call, shoot us an email.  We’re here to help you and your business.  And let us know how you and your business are gearing up for the New Year.

The future is as bright as you make it.

Nick's Tomatoe Pie - Armory Square, Syracuse, NY
Happy New Year from Cowley Associates!

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