Scanlon.Louis builds go-to-market programs to help companies grow. Jim Lanzalotto, CEO of Scanlon.Louis, is an award-winning marketing and eBusiness leader with nearly 25 years of leading-edge experience for some of America’s highest-impact B2B brands. He started Scanlon.Louis with the fundamental belief that — regardless of the economic environment — companies need outsourced strategy and marketing services to enhance their existing resources and grow their business. Scanlon.Louis will finish 2011 with revenues up nearly 200% from 2009.
Jim is a sought after writer and speaker on the economy, customer relationships, eBusiness and technology and marketing integration. In the past few years, he has spoken on these topics to groups such as The Conference Board, Staffing Industry Analysts, National Investor Relations Institute, Americas SAP Users Group, the Australian Business Travel Association and FOX News. He was recently named to the Staffing 100 as an Innovator and Thought Leader.
MO: What’s the difference between growth and strategic growth?
Jim: For far too many companies, growth means nothing more than adding new sales people.
Long-term, sustained and strategic growth is a mix of new products and services, new markets, strategic alliances, acquisitions – along with additional sales resources, among other things – that are developed in a concerted way and based on measurable objectives.
MO: As an innovator how do you bring ideas to life?
Jim: It all starts with the customer and understanding what’s needed in the marketplace. At Scanlon.Louis, our mantra is: Learn. Think. Do. The learning comes from not only understanding the market, but also spending hours interviewing and interacting with buyers to learn what they need and what’s not been delivered to them. Then we work with our customers to help them become distinctive – to stand out in their market with a proposition that’s more the table stakes of good service and quality. And by standing out we mean to be above the fray with one, unique value proposition that differentiates them from the competition.
Right now, for example, we’re working with a mature company in a very crowded industry, a start-up in the Energy market, a technology firm and an undifferentiated BPO. Each has a unique set of challenges. And we’re infusing each company with a distinctive value proposition that helps them break out of the pack and will ignite their business for sustainable strategic growth. And each of those value propositions emanates from the mouth of a customer.
MO: How have you managed to expand into 4 countries since just starting in 2009?
Jim: Our global expansion is fueled by our customers and business relationships. Our business in Australia came from a long-term customer who brought in Scanlon.Louis to design and develop a new business for a large, publicly-held firm. In Asia, our customer was looking to expand its scope and needed a go-to-market program to break out of a very crowded market. We’re just building on our relationships with customers and their customers.
MO: Do you think that there’s one single thing all entrepreneurs should know?
Jim: How to disrupt your markets with a unique offering or value proposition. You’ll be able to raise your profile and turn that higher profile into new business.
MO: As a leader in the industry, how do you manage to stay inspired, focused and motivated?
Jim: I’ve played sports as long as I can remember. Even when I was a little kid, my focus and motivation was always on measuring my success with numbers – team wins, batting average, points per game. As my business career progressed, I’ve measured success in how products, divisions and companies perform. Now, with my own company, I set peer-based annual and long-term goals around revenues and enterprise value so we can measure our performance. I even set up incentives for the company based on hitting those goals.
MO: You’re planning on launching a digital media buying business next month. Why did you feel that this was an important next step for Scanlon.Louis and how do you envision it will change the company as a whole?
Jim: Evalu8 – our digital media buying business – fills a dramatically large hole in the market. Companies that buy interactive media often do so blindly and with little understanding of the pricing and other dynamics – like incorporating social media, advertising and operations – at play. And since we’re only focusing on media buying and social media integration, we’ll be able to deliver a very focused solution on how to improve lead flow and reduce costs.
Evalu8 is an extension of the outsourcing services Scanlon.Louis currently delivers. While it focuses solely on the recruitment space as a vertical, Evalu8 is a great example of how a fast-moving company can disrupt a large market that’s underserved to create new business opportunities.
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