Why did you start TribalVision?

To fill a gap in the RI marketing services sector. Small-to-midsize business owners find it impossible to afford all the bells and whistles of an ad agency, or to pay the salary of a VP of Marketing. And working with lower end companies yields very little return. They are typically project driven, doling out services a la carte with a narrow focus and no concern for strategy or measuring results. TribalVision is strategic, integrated and affordable – just the right fit.

What separates TribalVision from other firms?

With TribalVision, you get the best of two worlds: intelligent strategy and effective execution, delivered holistically. High-priced ad agencies focus on advertising – just a small slice of the total marketing picture. They structure their compensation to increase with every campaign and project they create for you. TribalVision provides strategy based on research, from which all your other marketing efforts grow. Our interests are aligned with yours in a partnership, with a compensation structure that doesn’t reward us for selling you. As your watchdog, we make sure each dollar you spend is done so intelligently and efficiently.

Can you describe TribalVision in a few sentences?

We are a big-picture thought leader, crafting solutions specifically for small to midsize business owners operating in a challenging economy. We’re not in the business of selling websites or facebook pages. Instead, we take a comprehensive, integrated approach that begins with a period of serious thought. TribalVision gets “inside” your particular challenges, your budget and your goals – and creates cost-effective, metrics-driven, across-the-board strategies, tactics and solutions.

How does TribalVision get compensated?

You pay an affordable hourly retainer and that’s all. Costs for the partners we employ on your behalf are not marked up in any way, but merely passed through to you, in total transparency. This operational simplicity takes away our incentive to overspend your money in order to pad our invoices. There’s no commission, no upselling and no conflict of interest.

Can I afford TribalVision?

Yes, you can. When you outsource your marketing to TribalVision, you eliminate the cost of in-house salaries, retirement benefits, paid vacations and 401Ks. Instead, you pay only for what you need, for as long as you need it. The TribalVision philosophy is not to spend-and-see. We focus, tighten and pinpoint spending, so in some cases, we may recommend turning off your output in areas that aren’t delivering a sufficient return. Our compensation structure includes no markups or commissions for any of the services we contract. For the cost of an entry-level employee, you gain the invaluable expertise of a Chief Marketing Officer.

Can you actually help me get leads and grow sales?

Absolutely. With us, it’s not about handing you a high-level strategy — or doing some fancy creative — and saying “here you go, good luck.” We work step-by-step with you to execute a practical real-world strategy. TribalVision isn’t just another business coach or consultant. You could say we’re like a coach and quarterback all rolled into one. We not only design the overall game plan. We’re on the field with you, directing and carrying out this play-by-play strategy.

So you basically write a marketing plan?

What we do really goes beyond that. Any so-called marketing firm can write you a plan. But you’ll find most of them use a lot of big-picture objectives that are pretty vague. By contrast, with our highly detailed marketing plans, we don’t leave a stone unturned. These deep-dive strategy slide decks typically run 50, 75 and even 100 pages long. We’ll look at any pertinent business factors in addition to marketing. You also get a detailed tactical calendar that lays out specific dates and milestones: week by week, and month by month. It’s all very methodical and focused on one goal: driving more business and making you more profitable.

Can’t I just hire an internal person to do this?

Sure you could. But it would be next to impossible to find someone with the depth and breadth of expertise you get with a three-person TribalVision account team. It’s a matter of having a single person who’s a general jack of all trades, versus the synergy of a cutting-edge team with decades of combined experience. There’s really no comparison in terms of the level of the work, and how quickly it can take shape.

Can you really offer completely objective advice?

We have no specific products or services we need to sell. And no matter what we recommend, you pay TribalVision the same flat-fee retainer. Since our compensation is fixed and transparent, it’s not tied into getting you to spend more money. For instance, we won’t make a penny more by recommending a $50K website versus a $10K website. We won’t make a commission by recommending an expensive buy. TribalVision is actually incentivized to prove our value by doing more with less: treating every client dollar as if it were our own.

How often will I see my team?

Your three-person TribalVision team will meet with you in person, every two weeks, at your office. This is one reason why clients who have dealt with typical ad agencies and marketing firms say working with us is like night and day. As opposed to relying on phone and email to build an understanding, we believe deeply in the value of face time — and in the virtue of experiencing your business operations onsite and in the field. This is only real way for us to form the deep understanding needed to develop your company’s messaging personality and a comprehensive business development strategy.

How can you make all of this affordable?

It’s simple. Strategy and execution for business development is what we do, day in and out. The only real learning curve is to dive into what your business is all about. We’ve developed streamlined and effective ways to do this quickly. TribalVision also draws on a wealth of knowledge and experiences — gained from tackling similar challenges for our diverse base of clients — that can easily be transferred and applied to the projects we undertake for you.

What if I need services beyond what you do in-house?

To address these needs, we’ve built a network of the best specialty, creative and production talent available: regionally, nationally and even internationally. These bona fide pros have low overhead and streamlined rate structures — which we pass on directly to you without any markups or added fees.

Using a method commonly referred to as the Hollywood Model, we use this network of creative partners to select the best possible talent for each project. This is similar to the way a director assembles a crew of actors and technical pros for a particular film. Once the movie is completed, the crew disperses. For the next project, the director can choose to call back specific members, or assemble an entirely new crew.

Do I need to sign a long-term contract?

Absolutely not. You pay only for the services you need, for the period you need them. What’s more, you can gear our involvement level to coincide with your evolving needs. If you’re like most companies, you may have a more intense need for our services during the early stages of the relationship. Once TribalVision has done most of the groundwork and has set a strategic direction, it’s often feasible to scale us back to a maintenance level — while retaining the consistent and relentless focus we bring to the picture.

How would we begin working together?

After having an initial phone conversation, we’ll arrange for a TribalVision account manager to come to your place of business. We use this introductory face-to-face meeting to learn more about your needs, challenges, pain points, etc. After the meeting, we’ll develop a custom proposal for you, outlining what we believe your greatest needs, opportunities and challenges to be. This is all prior to you entering any sort of hiring agreement.

Do you handle creative initiatives such as website and brochure design?

While we’re strategists at heart — and certainly not your typical “branding” firm —we ably address our clients’ needs for high-quality creative. Unlike agencies with in-house creative, we’re not limited to whoever’s on our payroll. TribalVision can source and manage the right talent for your project, no matter where that person happens to reside. Through our global network of top-level free agents, TribalVision have the benefit of access to exceptional creative with very reasonable pricing. As a result, we provide them with creative of unmatched quality, which they haven’t been able to access nor afford up to now.

How would you describe the TribalVision culture?

If you love the idea of two-hour lunches at expensive restaurants and meetings on the golf course, you should google some larger marketing firms. TribalVision would rather put together a seminar for you, with practical ways to market smarter. We are, after all, marketing geeks who eat, sleep and breathe our mission. We’re thought leaders, not salesmen. Listeners, not talkers. Savers, not spenders. Focused, fun, approachable and passionate.

What if I don’t need you year round?

That’s fine. The beauty of our outsourcing model is flexibility.

Who are your partners?

The best and brightest pros in the business. Each small business or freelancer that we assemble for the TribalVision team has been hand selected. In nearly all cases, they are themselves working lean, without the expenses and overhead large companies bear. You get their streamlined rate structure, talent, experience, and earnest commitment – with no TribalVision markup for their expertise.