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In January of 2020, marketing predictions were clear that data-driven storytelling would be critical in driving success. Fast forward to September 2020, with businesses turned upside down from an unexpected pandemic, their leaders are turning their internal and external marketing teams to tell and retell their stories.

Utilizing data to understand trends and hot topics to engage users will accelerate more than ever this year to ensure relevant content goes to the right audiences. However, there is another step that ensures effectiveness, which is to understand a client’s brand. Through research (audits + competitive landscapes) and establishing an understanding of a client’s key differentiators and voice, key learnings are applied to mold a unique, visual, and verbal story. From there, a successful campaign relies on a message that can be applied to traditional forms of media and digital tactics that are being used, including email, social, pay-per-click, videos, websites, and blogs. It is not a cut-and-paste process and instead requires due diligence, accountability, creativity, and detail-orientation.

Alicia Shepherd

Alicia Shepherd, an account manager at Rizco for the past two years, has been promoted to Director of Strategy + Content. She will be leading the charge to expand Rizco’s content expertise and how it drives digital marketing, ensuring the brand story is at the core. The timing couldn’t be more relevant.

According to a survey that was conducted on March 26th by Orbit Media Studios and Agency Management Institute, the marketing services that are least impacted by COVID-19 and are showcasing an uptick include Content Marketing (3%), Graphic Design (7%), Web Design + Development (26%) and PR Communications (27%). Whereas on the other hand, media planning and buying are being impacted the most (-95%).

“Marketing initiatives must be results-focused, and the same holds true with the story that is curated. Alicia has been the kingpin of several of Rizco’s clients’ strategies, where she has established, managed, and nurtured their brands with great success, even during a pandemic. Alicia’s strength is that she actively follows the trends and always comes back to the client’s brand to ensure that the message, no matter how it needs to pivot, is authentic. This authenticity drives engagement and results, it is not easily accomplished, but Alicia does it with ease.” – Debra Rizzi, President, Rizco.

Shepherd remarked on her new role, “throughout my career, each client and consumer experience has taught me the importance of brand-led marketing. Decision-making and storytelling guided by the brand and what they stand for are integral to success. I am honored with this promotion and grateful to have the opportunity to help lead Rizco clients on their brand journey and build strategies with the consumer in mind.”

A Brick resident and Spring Lake native, Shepherd previously held retail management positions at the Banana Republic and Coach. She launched her career in New York City, working at top advertising agencies, Grey Global Group and Starcom Worldwide. A graduate of Lehigh University (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania), Shepherd holds a Bachelor’s in Science in marketing with a minor in communications from the College of Business and Economics.