Bob Bailey, CEO of Truth Collective, was interviewed by Kevin Oklobzija for this feature in the Rochester Business Journal published June 30, 2021.
Truth Collective is taking its creative marketing expertise to the C-suite level.
The marketing and storytelling agency has added a Business Growth Consulting Practice to its menu of offerings, believing the same principles that drive a successful advertising campaign can also provide targeted vision for corporate strategy.
“We’ve asked ourselves, ‘Why would you go to a creative company for this?’” Truth Collective CEO Bob Bailey said. “The reality is, creativity is what spurs growth.”
A rather typical corporate growth strategy often involves analysis by an accounting firm. What sector of the business has potential for growth? Where can cost-savings be found? Is the company too bulky in certain areas?
“But you can’t cut yourself to growth,” Bailey said. “A lot of times companies are stuck in a state of inertia. There’s a lot of memory in a company and sometimes disrupting and breaking free from the old way of thinking isn’t easy.
“Sometimes it takes an expansive mindset to shake off that old habit.”
The concept of a creative agency providing top-to-bottom strategic growth advice isn’t really all that radical.
“A lot of challenges that businesses happen to encounter occur ahead of the marketing,” Bailey said. “We’re offering corporate-level strategies because they tend to affect all levels of the business.”
Bailey said Truth Collective’s approach is to blend corporate strategy and brand strategies and then take a deep dive into a company’s mission, vision and values.
“Are they clear enough, are they growth-oriented enough?” he said. “Then we create activation plans and mobilize a new corporate strategy that assesses four disciplines: the customer; the employee; operational processes; and financial impact.”
Truth Collective’s approach involves an examination of how a company expresses the purpose behind its brand, whether actions align with the master plan and whether the leadership structure is equipped to create lasting change.
With data analysis already part of the creative process, the firm believes it is ideally positioned to devise strategic initiatives and market-ready blueprints.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced a significant number of businesses to examine their structure and plan for the future. Not every firm is equipped to act on what they found or what they believe they need.
“Through COVID, everybody looked inside,” Bailey said. “How do we become more efficient? How can we streamline? You do those things to cope and there was a lot of coping going on.
“But now it’s time to act. How do we rethink our purpose? How do we rethink what it means for our employees to be part of this place? That’s what we can help companies do.”
That analysis and implementation of a growth plan doesn’t need to be an ordeal, either. Nor does it need to drag on.
“The companies that need it, need it now,” Bailey said. “This is not a year-long endeavor to figure out. That quick momentum focus helps make us different.”
Just as it is customary for a company to have a creative agency of record, a firm that undergoes a strategic growth analysis often keeps the consultants on retainer. That is not how Truth Collective is approaching its new practice.
“We want to help companies grow and then become self-reliant,” Bailey said. “We think that’s the definition of success.”