An Outsourced Strategic CMO Who is Not Afraid to Roll Up Her Sleeves
IN HIS WORDS
“Bonnie gets our company, which means her advice is spot on for us in our marketing efforts. She helps us set the strategy and then rolls up her sleeves to implement that plan. I couldn’t ask for anyone better to be part of our team.”
Tony Rushin, Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Tony Rushin originally met Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk in 2011, shortly after she started her marketing firm. An IT consulting and managed services company, Network 1 was starting to grow, and its leadership knew they needed someone to join the firm as its fractional chief marketing officer to provide high-level strategic advice and in-the-trenches marketing support. When bbr went through a brief reorganizational change, Network 1 started working with someone else, but returned to Bonnie in 2018 as its outsourced chief marketing officer. While they were continuing to grow, Network 1 knew their branding and website looked dated, and messaging was not quite as clear as they wanted it to be. It was time for a strategic marketing plan and complete rebrand.
“We use our website to build trust, not really make money,” Rushin said. “We thought we had a good online presence, but then we started hearing new hires say, ‘your website ain’t that great.’ That’s when we knew we needed Bonnie to bring us into the 2020s.”
As Network 1 got to work on round two with bbr in 2019, Bonnie started by interviewing the firm’s leadership and other employees – in addition to 20 clients – to ascertain how each group viewed the company, its differentiators and even how to position Network 1 against its competition. Once that was complete, she put together a complete strategic marketing plan for the company to move the firm forward and expand its reach among its ideal clients.
“We knew the brand needed to be first,” Rushin said, “to have the logo, the messaging, the tagline and the elevator pitch narratives down, and then the colors, the fonts, the proposal format and much more. I could never do it myself, but I understood why it matters.”
With Bonnie’s strategic guidance, she helped the Network 1 team develop brand standards for the company, in addition their printed and online marketing and sales collateral and, of course, their new website, which launched in late 2020. But Tony said he’s always working with Bonnie on what else they need to do for Network 1 to continue growing.
“The important goal now is to get our outbound lead generation program to the next level, and she’s been instrumental in having us think through that process holistically,” Rushin said. “Bonnie is a sounding board for us on those ideas. We’ll write content in an outbound mindset and send it to her, and she’ll make it more powerful.”
Since the rebrand and website launch, Network 1’s overall satisfaction internally is the highest it’s ever been and there’s more pride among employees. The firm conducts an internal survey using OfficeVibe to keep their finger on their pulse and hear from their team members on where they should go next or what needs to be updated.
“The things Bonnie has done for us, the website and branding, are parts of the inventory we use to reach our goals. I get it’s a strategic process that builds on itself, and I expect bbr to continue in that fractional CMO role,” Rushin said. “With a firm our size (about 36 employees), Bonnie can’t just stay up at the strategic level; she has to roll up her sleeves to do the work, and she does. I’ve recommended her before and will continue to do so for firms looking for a strategic doer.”