Periard, Newera seek to change ideas about marketing

Thu, Oct 27, 2011

One on One

Emily Periard, co-founder and account manager of Newera Social Marketing, moved to Colorado Springs for the mountains, the sunshine and inspiration.

Periard, and her partner, John Petrovich started Newera recently and have more than 10 years combined experience in marketing and social media.

However, the company has found the local market to be tough. Convincing Springs businesses to try new tactics hasn’t been easy.

But that’s not stopping the two, who say Newera sets itself apart because it educates clients about how social media can be an inexpensive way to grow business.

How long have you been in business? What made you decide to focus on social marketing?

Newera Social Marketing just turned 1 year old on July 1.

Before starting Newera, John and I were in positions where social media was becoming a critical part of our company’s overall marketing plans, but when we tried to find effective yet affordable options for this area of marketing, there were none serving the Colorado Springs area. Newera was created to provide cost-effective, responsible solutions that offered businesses the opportunity to capitalize on social media outlets as marketing and branding tools.

What are some of the challenges of starting a new business today?

One of the biggest challenges we face is educating our prospective clients on the value of social media outlets as marketing tools, and the cost effective options available to them. We do have big-city influences from Denver here in the Springs, but not all business owners have been exposed to the many features and capabilities of these new tools to see how they can positively impact their overall marketing and branding efforts. The fact that many of these tools can be used free of charge at a basic level really resonates with all business owners who are feeling the impact of today’s economy — it just takes time to help them discover and explore the options.

How has business been? What are some of your major successes?

Our client base has been growing steadily and our retention rate is extremely high — in our type of industry, we know that retaining clients is a challenge, and we’re happy that our clients are happy.

One of our proudest moments came when we implemented a social marketing strategy for a local nonprofit that helped them land a coveted $50,000 Pepsi Refresh Grant. We’ve also watched our social marketing strategies open brand-new revenue streams for our clients. We love showing our clients the advertising reach that Facebook itself has to offer, and helping them develop a new customer base that couldn’t previously be reached with traditional marketing vehicles.

What do you think Colorado Springs should do to attract more young professionals like yourself?

One of the main reasons we moved to Colorado Springs is because this area really supports our goal of working to live, not living to work. The sunshine itself helps one’s state of mind exponentially and you can’t beat the inspiration that our local mountainous landscape offers. That being said, being a young business owner and entrepreneur in this city can be challenging. It quickly became apparent to us that it can be tough to get Springs business owners to break with tradition, particularly when it comes to marketing and branding. Because young business owners are typically working with new methods and tactics, their ideas aren’t supported and embraced the same way they may be in a bigger city. It can be easy to feel discouraged, but we’ve found that when we take the time to educate our prospective clients, they’re already thinking about making changes to get on board with the new ways of doing business — they just weren’t sure how to do it until someone took the time to explain it in a way they could understand. Remaining straightforward and honest about strategy and results has helped us gain the respect of our clients as young business owners, and our successful efforts have helped us maintain happy clients.

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