FitzMartin is a B2B sales and marketing consultancy, founded in 1992. For more than two decades and for hundreds of clients, we’ve applied the science of behavioral psychology to the art of design to catalyze growth. Today, our clients most commonly benefit from four types of engagements: sales process consulting, marketing advisory services, data-driven digital marketing and design.
"The search for meaningful distinction is a central part of the marketing effort. If marketing is about anything, it is about achieving customer-getting distinction by differentiating what you do and how you operate. All else is derivative of that and only that." - Theodore Levitt
Co-Founder, Principal, Director of Strategy
Sean is a principal of FitzMartin, and our leading mind and voice on sales and marketing strategy. And that’s a good thing, because unlike typical Southerners he’ll tell you exactly what he’s thinking. You see, Sean isn’t indigenous to the South. Born in Pennsylvania, but bred in the South, we think he’s the best of both worlds.
Sean is particularly adroit at applying the science of behavioral change to sales and marketing communications in a focused business-to-business marketing firm. Bottom line, he is trained by a career helping people sell stuff. Manufactured goods, professional services, carpet and consulting, software and healthcare equipment. Sean's core principle applied: "Frankly, few companies fail for lack of clever products or services. Most companies fail for a lack of revenue. If nothing gets sold, nothing else really matters.
Every marketer when asked for previous clients will pull out the biggest names they ever worked with. For him it’s Georgia Pacific, the Southeastern Conference (yes the college sport empire), BBVA Compass (one of the largest banks on the globe) and a few other attention getters. But the truth, well the truth is Sean has spent most of his career not working for international banks or the Fortune 1000 but in 5MM to 80MM dollar companies that make up most of American business.
As much a consultant to management teams as anything, typically Sean prefers to be working side by side with owners and family members who fight the battles of business on a day-to-day basis. He has learned to push past the rhetoric that many Fortune 500 MBA types muck about in and quickly find practical solutions that work.
“Most of my clients do not live in the luxury of chewing on ideas and considering alternatives endlessly” notes Sean, “they live in a daily need of payroll and short term sales while dancing around the obstacles of regulation and competition.” “My experience is owners and executives prefers answers to rhetoric. They prefer good enough to the perfect solution at 5x the cost and 2x the time to implement.”
Professionally, Sean is one of only 3,500 certified by the Business Marketing Association. A member of the “IBM Brain Trust” he contributes to the nationally syndicated radio/Internet talk show “The Small Business Advocate” sponsored by IBM. Sean also authors how-to business communications articles, and even lectures at local colleges and universities.
Sean's first book, written for the owners and CEOs of 5MM-70MM firms, is being released in the late fall of 2014. It is a practical, business driven, guide for an executive in charge of marketing but not trained to do it! His vision in writing this book is simple, but big--to profoundly change how leaders of small- to mid-sized B2B businesses think about and direct the marketing function of their businesses and to inspire, encourage, and even empower business leaders to be more successful. Marketing is the single most understood business functions in the SMB B2B world. It also holds the keys to the most attainable profit for most.
Sean and his wife have a daughter in college. When not at the office, it’s a safe bet that he’s traveling with his family. They love the mountains and the sea; which is appropriate since Sean loves both fly fishing and a brisk hike in the backcountry. As a family, they also enjoy community and missions trips with their church, Cahaba Park Presbyterian.
"Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Mac is our Creative Director, and manages our creative talent. He’s a writer, which makes him part gypsy. Mac possesses a deep expertise in business-to-business marketing, mostly because he’s had lots of jobs and worked with an array of clients. That might sound a bit unstable. But, for our clients, it means that Mac can draw from several disciplines to write simply about even the most complex subjects—from construction to financial instruments. Mac gives readers clear reasons to prefer our clients. And that’s why our clients prefer him.
Mac is also an expert in brand development. He’s been at FitzMartin for 16 years, and has worked with countless clients to articulate the heart of their brands in a clear and compelling manner. An award-winning Creative Director, Mac has been recognized on numerous occasions by the Advertising Federation and the Business Marketing Association. Under Mac’s leadership, The American Marketing Association has twice named FitzMartin the Forbes McKay Marketing Firm of the Year. Prior to joining FitzMartin, he worked for many years as the Director of Marketing for United Chair, a then $100 million manufacturer. There, he managed all aspects of the company’s brand. Mac also played professional golf and peddled public relations for a minor league baseball team. So, if you need something articulated in prose, or hit with a stick, Mac can oblige.
Personally, Mac and his wife (an art director herself) are raising two children who are no longer children. At home, if someone isn’t reading, writing or drawing it’s considered a minor upset.
"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people just exist." - Oscar Wilde
Director of Client Services
Anna joined FitzMartin in 2015 to lead our client services team. No small task, considering the challenges our clients face grow more sophisticated and more complex every year. Experience is invaluable, and Anna brings a wealth of experience to our team.
“It’s about trust,” Anna says. “And you can only earn trust. It’s my job to make our clients look great, to make their jobs easier and, of course, to help them create the kind of marketing that sells more. In the end, that’s what matters.”
A graduate of the University of Alabama’s advertising program, Anna has worked for two larger agencies: Intermark and Luckie & Co. She’s worked for clients of all sizes, in both retail and business-to-business categories. Her past clients include Bayer Environmental Services, Regions, Krispy Kreme and Mohawk Flooring among many others. Anna has particular experience in digital marketing, and given the increasing use of digital tools today, her experience is particularly relevant.
Anna also spent time on the client side of the equation as director of marketing for iLaw Ventures. This startup partnered with law schools around the world to deliver accredited courses to law students. Her responsibilities included managing the iLaw brand while developing relationships with new partner schools. We’ve always found account leaders who have client-side experience to be invaluable.
Ask her and Anna will tell you that effective account managers are curious people. “You have to understand your client’s business, and the only way to really do that is to be curious about the nuances of what they do. That’s how you find the seeds that become great ideas. It helps to be interested in people, to get to know your clients personally as well.
“And most importantly you have to earn their trust. If we mess up, and all agencies mess up from time to time, it means taking responsibility and resolving the issue straight away. But mostly we earn their trust by doing great work and helping their companies grow.”
The first thing you notice about Lauren is that she gets things done, a useful skill in an account executive. In fact, we joke that you don't give something to Lauren unless you want it done. She says that her main motivation is producing results for her clients; we've yet to find a client who disagrees with this idea.
Lauren graduated from Auburn University with a degree concentration in marketing. She's worked since as part of an in-house marketing group and in an agency setting. Having been on the client side gives her a good perspective of her clients' point of view.
She began her career with Geordan Communities, a new-home builder, where she learned firsthand the challenges faced by an internal marketing team. She managed all facets of the company’s marketing initiatives from traditional marketing campaigns to using new platforms and out-of-the-box ideas to drive traffic and garner results for Geordan’s strategic sales goals.
Lauren came to FitzMartin from Markstein, where she received a crash course in the agency life, e.g. juggling multiple tasks on short deadlines. As you do when you work for a small agency, Lauren wore many hats helping implement tactical plans to achieve her clients' goals.
Lauren and her husband have two little ones who keep them on their toes, because, well, that's what small kids do. Apart from attending as many Auburn football games as possible, they enjoy spending their time outdoors.
When you hire someone to join your account services team, you look for several important characteristics. An ability to lead. Attention to detail. An ability to understand a client’s business as well as the client does.
Meet Jennie Sun. Jennie is smart, quick-witted and organized. As you would expect. Jennie has extensive agency experience, most notably helping lead various incarnations of Honda, including Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, Honda Manufacturing of Ohio, Honda Manufacturing of Indiana and Honda Manufacturing of Canada. Her other clients have included Alaga Cane Syrup, Louisiana-Pacific Corporation and CityWalk Birmingham.
Talk to Jennie about Account Service work and she’ll tell you success is in the details.
“The most important lesson I've learn about account service is that everything is important no matter how big or small, if it's important to the client then it's important to you. Don't write off small details. To make your clients successful you have to be good at thinking beyond the task at hand. Sometimes your client wants something done but they can't see around it because they are too close to subject. You, as an outside partner, should be able to provide broader perspective, other solutions and/or recommendations.”
In her past, Jennie has led all facets of client work, from strategic development to project management. She has deep experience in tracking and reporting results, as well as the day-to-day logistics that require precise attention to detail.
Like so many of the best AEs in our history, Jennie spent time on the client side, as well, as the marketing manager for Dorothy McDaniel’s Flower Market and community relations manager at Earth Fare in Huntsville.
Proving that Thomas Wolfe wasn’t exactly right, Jennifer has come home to FitzMartin again. For 11 years, she was our Director of Resourcing, helping manage time and money in the agency and ultimately owning responsibility for our profitability. Jennifer is tough enough to make the hard business decisions that must be made, but smart enough to know what it takes to grow the business.
After leaving FitzMartin, Jen worked for many years as the Director of Marketing for Southern Surgical Arts, a cosmetic surgery center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Her primary responsibility was growing SSA in Tennessee, North Georgia and North Alabama. In four years, the business grew at an average rate of 15% a year.
Jennifer has regularly published marketing- and business-related articles for professional publications and associations, including:
Jennifer serves on Chattanooga's American Heart Association Circle of Red, which is a passionate group of women committed to educating other women about the prevention of heart disease in a fun, heart-healthy way. Members have the influence and resources to significantly impact the community by making a personal commitment to help find a cure for the number one cause of death in women. She is currently the chair for Circle of Red.
Jennifer rejoins FitzMartin as a strategic consultant. Welcome home Jen.
"The basis of art is truth, both in matter and mode." - Flannery O'Connor
Director of Strategy and Insights
We like to think of Charles as “mentally ambidextrous.” After all, he has a rare knack for applying science and creativity to solve the most pressing B2B marketing, product and customer experience challenges or, as he likes to say, "I use marketing research techniques to inform innovation, strategy, CX, product and marketing decisions."
Charles uses the left side of his brain to apply data visualization and statistical modeling techniques to see through the haze that often obscures tough marketing and product decisions. He then taps into the right side of his brain to apply those insights to marketing strategies, product/service iterations and change management initiatives.
Charles also has a deep understanding of innovation frameworks and futures research methodologies. He has led innovation projects for clients ranging from Toyota’s Strategy and Innovation Group to Georgia’s $14 billion flooring industry.
A third-generation Georgia alum, Charles holds an MBA with Presidential Honors from the University of Georgia and was selected as a 2011-2012 Leadership Fellow by the UGA Institute for Leadership Advancement. While in college at Emory University, Charles was an all-conference member of the varsity track and cross-country teams.
In addition to being an avid runner and fly fisherman, in his spare time Charles advises early-stage tech startups on marketing and product strategy. He is also currently serving a two-year term on the Dean’s MBA Advisory Board for the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business.
"Painting is concerned with all the 10 attributes of sight; which are: Darkness, Light, Solidity and Colour, Form and Position, Distance and Propinquity, Motion and Rest." - Leonardo da Vinci
Will represents a growing trend in the digital realm, the pairing of creative thinking, design skills and technical know-how. They call the job Creative Technologist, but what that really means is Will can conceive an idea and make it work. Sounds simple; it's not.
Will's background is a little different than your typical web designer. He studied Industrial Design in Auburn's famed program, where he developed a keen sense for the user's experience. The ability to consider the user's point of view proves critical, whether we're building a client website or designing the entire brand.
Will came to FitzMartin from The Get Smart Group, a Los Angeles agency. For Get Smart, he served primarily as a web designer, managing the process from original concept through final launch. On a personal note, Will graduated Vestavia High School where he was known to play a mean trombone. He has yet to demonstrate those skills around the office.
Originally from the Shoals area, “The Hit Recording Capital of the World,” Will received a degree in Communications from the University of North Alabama. It was there where he discovered his passions of impacting people and working in a creative environment.
Will Riley comes from the financial industry with an understanding of how work should work. He was a member of the nationally award-winning Listerhill Credit Union market department. From there, Will discovered he had an entrepreneurial drive and decide to start a company out of a basement. Growing the company from a start-up to having write-ups in Entrepreneur, Will wore the hat of Marketing Director. At both of his previous companies, he was involved with their advertising agencies. Will is a good craftsman but wanted to push himself to grow in marketing strategy. Will now serves as our Demand Generation Specialist. He manages our clients’ digital advertising campaigns, creates revenue-producing inbound marketing campaigns and bridges the gap between sales and marketing through enabling our clients’ salesforce. Will is always thinking of ways for our clients to efficiently sell more of their products and services.