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Meet Andrea Arco of Arco + Associates

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Arco.

Hi Andrea, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
After graduating from Wake Forest University, I spent several years working in and with marketing agencies along the East Coast. As my experience grew, so did my awareness that there was something missing from most agencies; an opportunity to truly put the clients first. So, in 2005, I started my own agency with the express goal of helping clients connect their marketing efforts directly and consistently to their business goals. As a first-time entrepreneur, I couldn’t have known exactly everything that would be required of me to get my business off the ground; but I did know there was plenty of hard work along the road ahead. What I didn’t realize, however, was just how difficult it would be to break into the new city (St. Louis, Missouri) that my husband and I had just moved to, or that I would soon be trying to do it during a historic recession.

What I found when I started to build my company was that there was a thriving business community in my new home city – and it was hyper-local and incredibly tight-knit. On the one hand, this meant my prospective clients had the same appreciation for collaboration over competition that I wanted to instill in my own company culture. On the other, it meant that everyone could immediately identify me as an outsider. I had two choices: blend in or embrace what made me stand out. I chose the second. I networked, I hustled, I used my fast-paced, East Coast style as a differentiator. As I did, people embraced me in return. Today, we have over 35 clients, many of whom have been working with us for almost two decades– and for all of them, it’s the unique qualities of each Arco team member that make the company uniquely valuable.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Just a few short years after I founded Arco + Associates, the recession of 2008 arrived – and for many businesses, the first expense on the chopping block was marketing. At the time, I was still working as a one-woman operation and trying to cement my place in the local business community. It took a lot of hustle – and plenty of hard days – to keep building growth during that time, but as I did, I was also building resiliency that continues to keep me going to this day. Once I got through the shake-up of the economic recession, the next challenge that lay before me was one that I would ultimately wish I’d started sooner: building out my team. I didn’t hire my first Arco + Associates employee until 2015, and in hindsight, that prohibited a lot of growth. Since then, we’ve experienced rapid growth, expanding to a team of 11 in just over five years. Now, my challenges lie in some of the most rewarding work I’ve been able to do so far: leading, developing, and training a young leadership team.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
At Arco & Associates, we provide full-service marketing strategy and communications to clients in dozens of industries throughout the nation. We have helped organizations ranging in size from 10 to 1000 employees focus their marketing investments and increase their bottom lines through strategic planning, copywriting and content creation, branding and visual identity, social media advertising, and public relations. We’re known for a results-driven approach and dedication to process and timelines. Our clients appreciate—and benefit from—the team’s knack for cutting through the creative noise and tying marketing strategy to business goals. There are plenty of marketing agencies out there, but I believe our clients choose us because of a few key things that make us different:

1. We tie every marketing effort to a specific client business goal, so we know we are always working to augment their comprehensive strategy and never working in a vacuum. 2. We are consultants by nature and provide every client with on-call expertise at no added cost. 3. Our team is strategically small but mighty. Every client has direct contact with the leadership team and top strategic thinkers throughout all stages of the process.

I’m proud to say that when clients come to us, they recognize that they are getting a higher level of thoughtful, strategic business consultation in addition to marketing execution. I’m an entrepreneur, and I want to help other entrepreneurs like our clients succeed in every possible way. Any time our team sees an opportunity to provide added value to a client – whether it’s by hopping on the phone to talk through a campaign concept or giving our opinion on a new service offering – we do so.

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
From the very beginning, resiliency has been a characteristic I’ve relied on time and time again. Not only because of the general challenges of entrepreneurship or the impact of unpredictable events like a recession and a global pandemic but also because marketing by its very nature is experimental. While everything we do is based on strategy and research, understanding exactly what works and what doesn’t for each client takes some level of trial and error. That means being able to let great ideas go if they don’t fit an audience. It means being able to turn every campaign into a learning experience. It means constantly looking for ways that your last initiative can be improved upon.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Joan Fisher

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