Statwax team members are experts at many things, including their uncanny ability to bring fun and energy alongside all of their accomplishments. So much so, that the most common answer to “what do you like about your job?” is touted by team members as “the people.” Enthusiasm echoes off the walls of our open office (or our Slack channels between satellite offices) whether teams are brainstorming for conversions, or simply engaging in ongoing office debates such as “is a hot dog a sandwich?” and “what’s the best higher ed podcast?”
To welcome you into Statwax’s unique company culture, we’ll be getting to know the team better in our spotlight blog series.
To kick things off, we’re pleased to introduce Alyshia Madlem, Statwax Executive Vice President. Alyshia is easily described as someone to look up to, and not just because she’s a part of #teamtall – she’s a powerhouse of insight and organization that makes our days more productive and pleasant. When she’s not impressing us with her Hubble Telescope-level ability to see the big picture (from growth in higher ed to growth as an agency and individuals), she can be found volunteering to support women in tech, exploring the National Parks, or making knockout WWE puns. We asked her a few questions so you can learn more:
I’m an executive vice president here at Statwax, where I am in charge of hiring, training, and internal operations. I also still get to interact with a few legacy clients to keep up my client services skills.
Why did you choose to work at a digital marketing agency that was focused in the education space?
What is amazing about digital is we work to put messages in front of very precise audiences – in this case prospective students for schools, college alumni, and those that want to support education. I always loved school growing up and continuing education is a huge thing of interest for me professionally, so being able to work at a company that helps people find their path to an educational solution that can help change their life is really inspiring to me.
What qualities do you think sets Statwax apart from other digital marketing agencies?
For our clients I think we are different because we aim to be a true partner, not a vendor. We will of course produce results, but we also strive to always be presenting out of the box ideas, supporting other marketing efforts, recommending vendors, etc. We are a specialist agency who is really good at what we do but is also comfortable to stay in our lane. I also think our transparency is key – the level and frequency of the reporting we provide makes our clients feel like they don’t have to ask where dollars are going or what they produced – the information is always at their fingertips. One of our core values is that transparency is a marketing right – not a privilege, and we live by that with our clients.
Since I work mainly on the people side of the house, I also want to talk about what makes us different to our current and potential employees, and that is our focus on two things – continuing education and that everyone has a voice. Our industry moves really fast and is really big, meaning we need to constantly be investigating and checking out the latest platforms, tactics, tools, etc. We have a dedicated budget for that for each person, and we actively work with each team member to block time off for this learning – the same as they would make a calendar appointment for a client call or internal meeting. Additionally, since our industry is massive and fast-paced, the knowledge we are seeking can also come from our team members – no matter their job title. We want everyone who has an idea to contribute it and not worry about whether they are “supposed to” based on their job.
What do you think is the biggest difference in working with education clients compared to other industries?
Our EDU clients have a really good idea of the long view of marketing, and are always striving to have a truly integrated marketing plan.
For some schools, a start we are helping to find students for maybe one year from the campaign running – that is a pretty long cycle to keep potential students involved. They understand that there is an entire path for those potential students that we need to create with digital tactics, and those tactics need time to be tested, implemented, optimized and tested again. Our clients also understand that our tactics can help other channels they are utilizing to lift the whole of marketing, instead of looking at and operating as if everything is a siloed piece of the student journey.
What do you think is the most important marketing lesson you’ve learned since working at Statwax?
How important transparency really is for clients. We have worked with a lot of partners who haven’t been given views into where their dollars are being spent or how, haven’t received regular reporting, haven’t talked to the people actually placing and optimizing their ads, etc.
We believe in being a true partner, and that means enabling our clients to have access to and/or views into where every budget dollar they have is being spent and what the results of those dollars is. On top of that, making sure that we also regularly report on all of that data and have a dedicated time to talk our clients through what we have done and what we have seen is paramount not only to the success of our campaigns, but also the success of our partnerships. I think people often think that digital marketing is just about what technical skills you bring to the table – though that is a good portion of what attracts our partners, the other large portion of it is the client services and partnership side – which I think can often be neglected in our data-driven world.
What is your favorite thing about working in the Statwax office?
I love that I learn something new every day, and that I don’t know where that lesson will come from. There is such a wealth of personal and professional knowledge here, from our interns to our CEO, and it is fun to gather pieces that help my work but also random trivia to impress my friends and family.
How do you spend your free time?
My husband and I love national parks and day trip hiking and try to visit at least one park a year and take trips to our local parks as much as we can (and where our dog can get his exercise). I am also a huge book nerd (fanatical about keeping my Goodreads up to date) and love board games – and since my husband runs a board game store I get to try out the latest and greatest quite often (shout out Game Preserve!). I also spend time volunteering to help women, especially those in tech, learn about the skills it takes to be successful in the field.
When coworkers come from remote offices to visit, what’s one thing you highly recommend they should do in the area?
My first reaction to this is to talk about food, but that seems too easy. I would say visit The Indianapolis Children’s Museum, which despite its name is amazingly fun for adults and kids alike.
What’s your favorite story you like to tell about your pets?
My husband taught my dog how to do a fist bump so that whenever the dog wants to go outside my husband sticks out his fist and says “pound it bro” and the dog will tap his paw to his hand – it cracks me up every time. I also have an inside/outside cat, but his best stories involve his hunting abilities, which are impressive but also gruesome.