Today we’re taking five with Mindy Davis, our SVP of Client Services. Mindy’s been with House Party longer than almost anyone, so if you like your marketing insights with a healthy dose of historical perspective, today’s your lucky day.
1) You’re House Party’s SVP of Client Services; can you tell the good people at home what that means?
Absolutely. Within Client Services, we manage the day-to-day relationships with our client partners. Every client has an assigned team, which consists of a campaign strategy director, a social strategist, a designer, a copywriter, an analyst, an operations expert and customer service representatives. We have an amazing team of experienced folks who are all focused on creating a positive client experience.
2) What’s the secret to a happy client relationship?
There are several factors that make for a great client relationship:
Listening to the client. While we’re very knowledgeable about how a House Party or Chatterbox™ campaign works, we always need to recognize each brand’s unique qualities and execute accordingly.
Agreeing on the goals of the campaign. When we fully understand what our client is trying to achieve, we can set the right plan in motion.
Managing expectations. While it’s great to always say “yes,” there are often good reasons to suggest alternative solutions. It’s our job to educate clients about these solutions and make them understand why they’ll lead to a better outcome.
3) You joined the team way back in 2007, when it was still a new company and a new idea. What convinced you to move from an established brand like Kraft to a young start-up like House Party?
I had worked on established brands my whole career — always in a more corporate setting. I was looking to shake things up a bit, while still being able to use my marketing skills (albeit in a slightly different way).
At the time, I was working on a brand that wasn’t offered at retail; the only way folks could try it was through direct-response mechanisms. I had come up with the idea of house parties, which we were testing through research. The idea resonated with consumers, but I had no idea how we were going to implement it.
Luckily, a friend of mine shared office space with a new company called House Party. And the rest is history. I was so intrigued by the idea (and certain that it was going to be an important way to market products in the future) that I pressured House Party to hire me!
4) What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the marketing landscape — and House Party’s place in it — since 2007?
When I first came on board, House Party was really ahead of its time. The Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) had just been established (their first conference took place in just one room!), and brands were just starting to embrace the idea that this could be a powerful marketing tool. Word-of-mouth marketing typically fell under the PR umbrella, simply involving cute and clever promotional ideas to get consumers talking.
Over time, brands have recognized the full power of social marketing, and House Party now works alongside brand teams, media agencies and creative agencies. Word of mouth is a more established part of the marketing mix, and will only continue to grow moving forward.
5) And, on a related note, how has House Party evolved in the last seven years in response to (or anticipation of) client needs and expectations?
I think that marketing organizations are leaner and more pressed for results than ever before. House Party has responded to these changes in a very positive way.
In the beginning, House Party was sometimes considered a “heavy lift” for clients. We’ve worked hard over the past seven years to create new turnkey processes that allow clients to easily work with us. We’re very buttoned-up operationally, and that allows for a smooth client experience.
We’ve also really evolved in terms of measurement. House Party continues to be a leader in proving the quantitative side of word-of-mouth marketing, and we regularly partner with third parties like Nielsen to prove the ROI of our campaigns.