In 2020, Ann Gray Consulting has grown from being Ann Gray’s freelance job to a company employing almost 20 people and winning accolades, such as the Top 100 Marketing and Advertising Influencers at the MARsum summit in Las Vegas or Marketing 2.0’s award for Outstanding Leadership.
Ann Gray started her business while battling disease from her bed because she “couldn’t stand being unproductive”, so she started learning everything she could about marketing. Soon, she found herself using her newly acquired skills to give advice to entrepreneurs on how to increase the sales of their local businesses while still maintaining her silversmith jewelry business. At some point, she had grown to such a capacity from helping businesses with their marketing needs that she had to close the jewelry business and focus on consulting entirely.
Ann Gray Consulting’s focus on using marketing to help local communities comes from Ann’s passion for being of service to others and “going the extra mile”. “I see my business as an opportunity to share my values with others and show them kindness”, she states. She goes from words to actions by donating 20% of all proceeds (before salaries & business expenses) to support local ministries & charities.
Ann Gray’s consulting firm now offers services that go from SEO and website design, to social media and influencer marketing, as well as content creation.
Two things are very relevant in explaining the rapid growth of this online marketing firm. One is a devotion to research and knowledge: “We are a team that is constantly doing research to stay on top of marketing’s findings”. The second is not hiding their values and putting them at the front of the business: “People of all age groups are gaining a more substantial concern about «who are the people behind the brand».” Ann is right on money, according to the Heinz Generational Values Report of 2018, 87% of the people want to know whose brand this is, the people behind it, and their identity and values she states.
Another distinctive attribute of her agency is a personalized approach: “we work with all varieties of business models and we customize our strategy for every client by spending time getting to know the same things people want to know about us: the identity of the brand, the values of the people behind it and the way they want to communicate to the community,” Ann says.
A “100% video” method and an honest approach have proven highly effective for Ann Gray, both for the marketing strategy and the content her agency creates for them. “People want to buy but do not want to be sold to, so we make every effort to ensure that our client’s content is and looks authentic. We present it using video because that has become the dominant way they experience everything online.”
For Ann Gray, the logical next step for a strategy based on authenticity is engagement: “We never do a campaign without doing engagement”. They do this with sincere, genuine, and kind interaction with their client’s target audience.
In a short time, Ann Gray has earned recognition in the marketing world. Besides the awards she has received, now she is seen as a reference for honest marketing, with invitations to speaking engagements alongside people with outstanding trajectories in media, philanthropy and social work, like Doug Lewellyn and Jim Masters. She is also the host of Mastering Marketing Mysteries on the Bold Brave TV Network.
Ann Gray faces the next chapter of her agency with hope in what the future holds, expecting to help more people using marketing to leverage their business potential.