It was about three weeks into my new job at SIGMA (six months ago) that I had my epiphany. I had finally figured out how to work the microwave without exploding my Grande Pike Place Roast or Maple and Brown Sugar Quaker Oats (:30 seconds on high for 16-oz. coffee and :90 seconds for oatmeal, provided you don’t add too much water). It was also around that time that I achieved a basic comfort and confidence level in navigating the confusing layout of our building, which is truly a maze of locked doors from one area to the next (for people and data security reasons). That’s when it hit me…our customers only care about one thing: VALUE.
Anyway, I like to get into the office early, maybe even too early for my own good. It’s often still dark and I tend to be the first customer at my local Starbucks. There are two problems with getting to Starbucks at 5:00 in the morning. #1 is that they’re not open yet, and I impatiently have to wait for the door to be unlocked. Sometimes this happens at 5:15, but only if the barista gets in early (the sign on the door says they open at 5:30). Here’s the other problem – when they do let me in, the coffee’s not that hot yet. So, this inevitably leads me to the microwave (my favorite is in the southeast pod on the ground floor) when I first get into the office. I don’t do this every day, as I find it’s helpful only when my brain is full of ideas and in need of “ready-set-go” kind of morning. It’s a ritual two or three days a week.
Getting back to VALUE... Full of dark roast and pacing my office rug to death, I kept asking myself, "How can SIGMA drill deep into the value proposition and get our clients more of it…and faster?" What exactly do our clients value, really? I had to get crystal clear on what it is that our customers define as value, and if we have the chops to deliver it to them. Is it hard work and commitment? Is it our process? Is it our smart people (which we have in spades)? Is it our knowledge? Is it our personality? No, No, No, No and No. It’s none of those.
Here’s what matters: Insights live within our clients’ data. We are in the business of harvesting these insights and making them actionable. It’s our job to make sure we do that and do it fast.
Once I established this as our primary purpose, it only made sense that we remodel our company logo and positioning statement…SIGMA Marketing Group is now operating under its new name, SIGMA Marketing Insights. After revamping our image on paper, it only made sense to update the look and feel of our office here in Rochester, NY. This included a remodel of our main lobby, and in addition, unused office cubicles were removed, which has enabled us to create a better, more open, “free-thinking” work environment - all designed to get our team thinking in fresher, more innovative, and, most importantly, more insightful ways.
Our most significant change is in the way we provide customer service value to our clients. Our re-engineered “open source” approach delivers client value seamlessly, with a multi-discipline access to each other, including skill and talent among operations, insights, and strategy. It seems to be working like a charm.
Finally, as part of getting our clients to value faster, we have had a full-court press on building out a killer technology platform called mi-LinkSM. It’s our process and self-serve portal that integrates, scrubs, analyzes and serves up client data into highly visible interactive reports. You can check out the newly minted demonstration video on our home page. It is the high-powered engine that enables powerful insights. It too is winning the hearts of our clients and the team within SIGMA.
And that’s in the first six months…
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