Sandra Rodenas, Your Own Marketing Department
If you’re a micro, small or medium-sized business owner, do you know if your website has the proper AMP, assuming you even know what it is? More importantly, do you need to know what it is?
(Answer: It stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages and it’s an initiative to ensure pages load quickly on mobile devices, which matters to Google.)
Those are the kinds of marketing questions that can bedevil small businesses, which can’t afford a dedicated staff to handle everything from social media to digital marketing to traditional advertising. Throw in ever-changing digital platforms and mobile devices, and even businesses that have a marketing person may need support in a specific area
“My clients either lack the resources or expertise to manage their marketing initiatives, and my job is to take the load off of them,” says Sandra Rodenas, owner of Your Own Marketing Department. She notes that it’s important for her clients to have a well-thought-out marketing plan, something that’s easy to lose sight of in the day-to-day scramble to run a business.
“I try to help them understand why they need a comprehensive marketing strategy and put together a road map,” she says. “What are their gaps? Where are they? Where do they want to be, and where do they need to be?”
One common issue she sees is small businesses lacking the time and resources to effectively manage their social media strategy and website marketing. She also finds that many small businesses struggle to navigate the quagmire of today’s media landscape. These businesses are uncertain of how to create a comprehensive marketing strategy that will engage existing and attract new customers.
Rodenas understands that those same small businesses don’t have unlimited resources. She has structured Your Own Marketing Department to meet the needs of each client served. She can offer a specific service – SEO or PPC – or manage the digital footprint including website development, mobile marketing, video marketing and more.
“When I first started two years ago, the bulk of my clients did not have mobile responsive websites,” she says. “The first year I literally migrated nearly every one of my clients from outdated websites to mobile-responsive sites.”
While clients stay focused on their businesses, Rodenas frees them having to try and stay on top of fast-changing digital and marketing trends.
“Those are the kinds of things I stay abreast of,” she says.
Your Own Marketing Department can step in and take over time-consuming tasks, or provide a competency that a business may be missing. Rodenas, who has a bachelor’s and an MBA in marketing, is also well versed in traditional media – she got her start as a marketing researcher for a television station in Missouri, KFVS12, a top CBS affiliate, and then went on to become an award-winning account executive for the station. She’s also worked for Comcast, AOL, ReachLocal and the Baltimore Sun. Although she excelled in sales, she realized she was more of a strategist. At the same time, clients were asking her if she could handle more and more of their marketing, and she decided to open her own company in Missouri. Her husband, a former naval officer, was recruited by a Fortune 100 company resulting in a move from Florida to Missouri and later to Maryland. After another stint in the corporate world, she once again decided to create her own business. She also has become an expert in digital marketing through corporate training, job experience and continuing education.
She sympathizes with small businesses negotiating this new world, and relishes the challenge of increasing their visibility.
“They don’t have sizeable budgets, but they have the need,” she says.
She points to how far the local media landscape has come from the days of three – four TV networks, newspaper, radio and cable TV. There are now myriad ways for the public to consume news, information and entertainment.
“Today, it’s much more of a puzzle to figure out how to market your business,” she says. “I take the approach that I’m a stakeholder in my client’s business. I am invested in their success. It helps that I’m passionate about marketing.”
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