In 1981 Nancy Kramer founded Resource, a digital marketing agency, and secured Apple as her first client. Between then and now, she has grown the agency into Resource/Ammirati, an IBM company, which employs hundreds of associates in Columbus, Chicago and New York. Earlier this year, her agency was acquired by IBM to become part of IBM iX, the world's largest digital-agency network.
Kramer is one of the most influential women in advertising and is creating serious opportunities for new jobs and innovation in central Ohio. She’s a woman who brings as much to the table with her passion for innovation as she does with her genuine care for making people feel like they belong.
I had the chance to hear her speak at the AAF Columbus March luncheon and asked her what is the best advice she could give the Nancy Kramer from 1981, regarding everything she's been through. Her advice: always follow your gut.
An impressive role model for any business owner, here are some other lessons learned.
1. Thanks to her, Columbus is literally on the map! Kramer flashed up a map of all the IBM ix locations around the world during her presentation. It was thrilling to see Columbus listed among other larger-city locations such as Boston, Chicago, New York, Toronto, London, Paris and Tokyo. Columbus will continue to be a hotbed for marketing innovation. (Remember, you heard it here first!)
2. IBM is a pretty cool company, and on the forefront of innovation in the digital world. According to Bloomberg, IBM received over 7,000 U.S. patents last year. That averages to about 20 patents per day; it's also the highest number of patents received by any company for the 23rd consecutive year! And guess what, now IBM has a spot to innovate right here in Columbus, Ohio.
3. Don't judge a book by its cover. Kramer said she never would have imagined that Resource/Ammirati and IBM were a good match until after she left that first meeting, but every day she feels better about the decision. Imagine if she wouldn’t have taken the initial meeting based on her preconceived ideas? It’s a great lesson for all of us.
You truly could have heard a pin drop during Kramer’s presentation because her genuine demeanor is so captivating. I would say lesson four is, no matter where you are in life, be yourself and people will like you better for it.