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Susan MacNicol is the Managing Director of Strategic & Creative Marketing Inc., a marketing firm dedicated to assisting businesses in achieving their optimal sales. The firm helps its clients by clearly defining their target market, identifying competitive advantages, and creating powerful marketing messages and tactics that reach the right audience. She is a results-driven leader with a progressive record of developing and implementing marketing, recruiting, market research, and sales strategies for commercial organizations, government agencies, and nonprofits. 

Susan has served on National Advisory Panels for LinkedIn and Facebook corporate for four years, providing feedback, ideas, and beta testing to these global leaders in social media. She has a BA in marketing communications from Columbia College Chicago and an MBA from Pepperdine Graziadio Business School.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [03:44] Susan MacNicol talks about Strategic & Creative Marketing, Inc. and what it does 
  • [04:44] The relationship with Facebook and the lessons learned
  • [08:27] Susan shares her corporate career days and the transition to the agency world 
  • [10:30] The evolution from consultancy 
  • [11:48] What is recruitment marketing? 
  • [17:08] Tips and tools for creating an incentive program for employees 
  • [24:25] Who are the ideal clients for Strategic & Creative Marketing? 
  • [28:48] Susan discusses the supply chain technology
  • [32:26] Mistakes people make with marketing strategy and planning

In this episode…

Marketing is fundamental to the success of any business. So how can you come up with effective marketing campaigns that drive results? 

Many companies have a marketing team, but most don’t have the expertise to create an effective marketing campaign that delivers the desired results. Susan MacNicol recommends partnering with marketing agencies with the know-how to help you build a strategy supported by processes to make it all work. She shares how these professionals conduct comprehensive reviews of target markets, sales goals, creative content, and messaging to communicate your value proposition to customers and prospects.

Listen to this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast with Dr. Jeremy Weisz featuring Susan MacNicol, Managing Director of Strategic & Creative Marketing Inc., where she discusses how she helps people build marketing strategies and plans that work. Susan talks about Strategic & Creative Marketing, Inc. and what it does, its relationship with Facebook, and the evolution of the firm’s services.

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Episode Transcript

Intro  0:01 

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz  0:22 

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders today is no different. I’ve Susan MacNichol and she is the founder of Strategic Creative and Marketing, which is And Susan, before I formally introduce you, I always like to point out other episodes, people should check out of the podcast, we were just talking about an amazing person show, Todd Taskey, he runs Potomac business capital, he has the podcast, Second Bite Podcast. And actually, he’s kind of like, agency owner meets private equity, and helps agencies sell their business and he really pairs them up. And sometimes he calls a second bite because sometimes these agencies make more on the second bite than they do on the first because they sell to private equity. And then private equity sells again. And they make more on the second bite than they do when they first sold it. So it’s really cool. He’s got some amazing agency owners on his show, check it out. Also, another one to check out is Jason Swank. I had him on twice. So it’s truly how Susan I know each other, he talks about how he built up his agency to eight figures and sold it and then that his second one was about how he’s acquiring agencies, how they value it, how they approach it. So check that episode out as well, and more episodes on and this episode is brought to you by Rise25. And at Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and partnerships. And how do we do that we actually help you run your podcast, we’re an easy button for a company to launch and run your podcast we do strategy, accountability, and the full execution and production of a show. We call ourselves to the kind of the magic elves that work in the background to make sure everything happens. And for me, the number one thing in my life is relationships. I’m always looking at ways to give to my best relationships. And I’ve found no better way over the past decade than the profile of people in companies I admire and share with the world what they’re working on. So if you’ve thought about podcasting, you shouldn’t have questions, go to to learn more, there’s a really great piece of content that’s also on inspired Insider. That’s the five types of episodes every podcast should be creating. So you can check that episode out as well. So without further ado, Susan MacNicol has 25 plus years of experience in marketing communications, she started her full-service marketing firm that I mentioned Strategic and Creative Marketing Inc. back in 2001. She has served everywhere from enterprise organizations, the small business market, as well, several government agencies even and her digital team serves on national advisory panels, she’s going to go a little bit more depth into this for both Facebook and LinkedIn corporate, and they receive ongoing direct training and campaign feedback from the media giants themselves. So she’ll share some of the things that they’ve learned. Some of her past clients include Experian, Nielsen, Charter Business, Office Max, Erickson, Charter Cable, Time Warner, Johnson and Johnson, and many, many more. Susan, thanks for joining me.

Susan MacNicol  3:36 

Thank you for having me. Very exciting.

Jeremy Weisz  3:38 

Just start off and tell people a little bit about Strategic Creative Marketing and what you do.

Susan MacNicol  3:44 

Yeah, so we are a full-service marketing firm. And really, what that means is that we can work with a client and start from the beginning with forming the strategy and the plan, and really kind of nailing down. Who are you trying to reach? What are your key, your value proposition, your key selling points, determining your target markets, your segments? And then what is the messaging you need to be saying to each of those segments? And then what tactics are you going to use based on your budget based on what you want to achieve, we develop all of that and then build out the tactics as well. So we’re really concerned full-service we look at we have a lot of tools in our toolbox and we kind of look at what is the client trying to achieve? And then what is the best way and the most cost-effective way to do that? So that’s what we do when we work with a client take them from the start to finish on all of those different pieces.

Jeremy Weisz  4:39 

Susan, Facebook called you one day. Why? What happens?

Susan MacNicol  4:44 

So it kind of a fun story here actually have they called my director, digital Tami Wloch, who is amazing. And they reached out because what happened this was about five and a half years ago when the platform’s really started to change everything and monetize. If you put up a post, in the old days, everybody can see it now, not so much. So they kind of clamped down on all of that, and said, hey, here’s a boost button, you’ve got to pay your you have to have paid ads to reach people and targeting. And so when all of that happened, we jumped in and started learning it very quickly, like, how do you do these paid ads, what’s effective, and the graphic and the audience build and all of that. So we started running campaigns for clients. And we got a call from Facebook corporate, and we thought wait, is this a scam like, you can never even reach them, this is crazy. And they had reached out to us and said, look, we’d like to what we see your ads and how well they’re doing on our platform. And we’d like to invite you to be on our national advisory panels. So now for about five and a half years, we have been directly interacting with their reps. And Tami will do beta testing for them. And we’ll do get feedback on different services. And they in turn, our training my team ongoing on the latest, what’s happening with the algorithms and what changes are really working well for the campaigns, whether it’s graphics, or put this word in, instead of this word, it’s going to work better. So they give us these types of tips look at our campaigns. And so therefore, what that means is, our clients will get a lot more for their money, because our campaigns are highly effective in terms of reaching the people, we need to reach the engagement rates, the click rates, and then the cost per click tends to be very low.

Jeremy Weisz  6:24 

Talk about and you may not be touching this directly, but what is something that has stuck out of what they’ve shared with you as a company.

Susan MacNicol  6:37 

I mean, constantly, it’s so interesting, like everything changes, like every month, there’s something changing, so you have to constantly be on top of it, which is I guess pretty much the world of marketing and digital marketing. But recently, people may have noticed it too, in the last few months, you’ll see a lot of circles in any of the ads that are coming up everything is curves and circles in the imagery. So that’s something that is like trending that we’re seeing that we were talking about with our rep reset like, so just simple things like that, they’ll talk about just the way the picture, you know, the photo is aligned on the on the ad, different things like that, that’s where they’ll give us kind of pointers, and they’ll read the campaigns and sometimes take out a word or two and say, take this word out or add this word, it’s going to resonate better with the algorithms and being pulled because, you know, we’re bidding for space, basically, when we’re running these ads. So the ad has to be perfect, and really has to meet all the parameters that they want. And when it does, then the systems will pull our ad and then feed it out to who we’re targeting. So and sometimes, if you do something wrong in your ad, you won’t know it. The system and these companies, they don’t tell you, oh, there’s too many words on your picture on the photo party. And they don’t tell you so you don’t know, you just know, well, it didn’t do well. So by us hitting every single checkmark that they want, that enables us to make sure that our ads are really serving up very quickly and very effectively to get the results.

Jeremy Weisz  8:09 

I want to get to why you started an agency. But let’s go back because you went from corporate to starting agency. Let’s go back to your corporate days and what you learned and you worked at some big studios, including working on shows like Seinfeld, take me back to the big studio days?

Susan MacNicol  8:27 

Yeah, that was super fun. Yeah, really, in the start of my career. I’m from the Chicago area. But I moved out to Los Angeles, I wanted to work specifically in entertainment. And so I was able to get into Columbia Pictures, which was awesome. So the big corporate, starting on the film side and helping to launch a lot of the big movies, working on exhibitor relations, in that marketing group for several years. And then the big films safe from the 90s You know, like city slickers, Terminator two with Arnold Schwarzenegger, all of that super fun stuff. And then did that for several years, then moved over to the TV division, which was the TV syndication. And that is where we had things like, you know, Designing Women and married with children. And then of course, Seinfeld, which was a just such a great program that we were able to work on in launch and into syndication. So I did that for a lot of years in the beginning, and then, you know, had an opportunity to work overseas, based in Italy, working in the Middle East for satellite TV company, and then coming back and working in Denver, for stars encore company, and then setting up my own company, and really just starting off doing consulting work, just different projects, and did that for a lot of years and started to also do some recruiting work, which was really interesting and recruitment marketing, which was big demand over the last couple of years for that and really reaching talent and having a good story to share. So I did all of that. And then it was about seven years ago where I turned this company into more of an agency and started to add have a team of people and really more clients that we can serve at one time. So it’s been a long kind of a journey until like seven years ago, when I sort of changed the whole model.

Jeremy Weisz  10:10 

Talk about the evolution of services. So kind of like consulting, then you add recruiting, then you add kind of a team and agency. Stick on the consulting piece for a second talk about what you were doing when you add the consulting piece. And then we can move to kind of the recruiting piece.

Susan MacNicol  10:30 

Yeah. I mean, for the consulting, it was a lot of projects, I mean, similar to what we do now, where I would go into sort of as a consultant on my own and help to develop campaigns strategy, copy, positioning, and then build out tactics working with designers that I knew I’ve done a lot of like TV production, video production. So working on using all of those tools to really, you know, work with companies like Ericsson Adelphia, which was a big major cable company, years ago, before it was taken over by Comcast. But a lot of those programs, I would just develop them incentives, rewards, programs for employees, marketing strategies, b2b. So a lot of that I would work on just on my own on different projects. And then I started getting into working on recruiting projects and contracts, I started doing some work with Johnson and Johnson, in recruiting of their pharmaceutical and medical device reps. So I really learned that whole recruiting area, and then started doing recruitment marketing work. So kind of blending the recruiting that I had learned about and the marketing to do recruitment marketing strategies. And that was really for companies like OfficeMax, corporate, for the recruitment marketing.