FACILITYCalgary publisher Mark Kolke, in conversation with Mark Henderson
April 2, 2013
I met with Managing Director Mark Henderson to discuss explosive growth of his marketing firm Lux Marketing Group and learned far more about today’s version of young turk than I did about marketing. St. Albert native, education and work have made him a creation of Highway 2 – an Edmonton/Calgary highway 2 life history . . . but very unlike my own travels on that path. I wanted to learn how three guys who cut their business teeth at Intuit moved from collaborating at their own kitchen tables, formed a firm, grew it from nothing and leapt forward as quickly as they have. Curious. Nosy Curious. As is so often the case, the secret isn’t in the secret sauce or the newly invented widget, but in the skills, attitudes and work ethic of its leaders.
He explained that Lux is a full service firm, which is not to say they are trying to be all things to all people – but as Henderson explains it, they are a value proposition combining marketing agency with application software development, helping clients acquire new creative – and support that growth with technology solutions. This was interesting but the detail started to make my middle-aged eyes glaze over a bit, but I found the energy he shows for his work and his team to be pretty exciting. And, with spring coming, I asked him about his golf game – this floored me. He says he hasn’t played much in the last couple of years due to the demands of the business. His handicap:? A three. That’s disgusting!
Major influencing factors - what is at the core of it for you?
. . . learning that customers usually have a large portion of the solution in their head. Our job is to help them by creating a marketing solution they have ownership in, one which they can emotionally market, to answer the marketing question we are working to solve
I asked Mark how he sees his market, in his business, over the next 90 days?
… after a couple of years of belt-tightening, our clients are beginning to loosen theirs, fiscal-cliff fears are behind them, fear is subsiding
And over the next 5 years?
… it’s all about digital. Digital marketing is the most cost effective most efficient measurable marketing channel, ever! The next-new-thing is augmented reality. App writing is a gold rush. A great app serves 1 purpose and does it well, vs. software which tries to, has to do, so many things . . .
What qualities distinguish your preferred suppliers?
. . . we want people who are committed to a level of service quality, knowledge – ability to get the job done, because poor choices reflect badly on our business and in turn impact our clients.
Why Lux? What qualities do your clients look for in you, in your firm, that distinguishes you or sets you apart from your competitors?
. . . three committed leaders – Robbie Gilchrist, Scott Jackson and me – a shared passion to service our clients [aside to himself: we don’t’ charge enough for that!], balancing cost and services. Our clients know we hire quality – everyone on our team shares a passion for service priority, empowering our staff, developing bench strength
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