Number 1: A Year in Review for our Chicago Business Marketing Successes in 2017

Top 10 List of New Marketing Solutions from 2017, Number 1

We have been sharing some of our Chicago Business Marketing Firms best strategies and client success in 2017. As the marketing industry grows, so does the variety of services we can provide. We chose to stay on trend with new ways you can grow your business in chicago. We use great marketing strategies and tools to get you there.

We think a year in review is important, so we can improve on where we have been, and look forward to identify new trends our clients businesses need. We take providing marketing strategies seriously. Thanks for reading our year in review. 


#1 Rebranding // Joanne Klee Marketing

JK Marketing and Events served me well for over 10 years. A decade in the marketing business in Chicago. Having worked at a bank, specializing in small business and corporate marketing. The big statistic that stood out, and which was probably my motivation for years; over 50% of businesses fail with in the first 2 years. Regardless of reason, regardless of profits or losses, over 50% of those businesses established close their doors in the first two years. 

Join me on a quick walk thru the timeline and history of Joanne Klee Marketing. This will be fun. #Nostalgia


2000 // It's Time for a A Great CHICAGO (True) Small Business Marketing Firm

I worked with an agency in my corporate days that was named after the two owners wives (clearly a love that lasts). They used their wives maiden names as the cornerstone of the agency. These two had an idea and a dream: to work for themselves, provide direct mail solutions and GREAT service. And they did. I loved the work they provided, the dedication of the employees, the pride in their brand and the company they all felt ownership in. It made an impression on me that never left.


2005 // What Chicago Business Owners Want

Years later, I chose to stay home and raise a family. While I am a dedicated marketer, I am also a traditionalist at heart. While I had talked about starting my own Chicago Marketing Consulting Firm, I also wanted to start a family.  

I had seen first hand while at the bank, and met business owners who needed professional marketing services and projects, but couldn't afford or manage and in house staff. Instead - ideally a with a Chicago temporary marketing department was the solution.

Business owners could not afford full-service multi employee agencies, who had overhead and expertise. And sometimes business owners want to maintain there business and not experience too much growth, so the work stays manageable. So their business stays manageable. In times when the market goes down, they can stay afloat and not have to cut too much to keep the business running. 

A co-worker serving on the Board of Directors for a non-profit needed help. We had kept in touch after I left my corporate marketing role when my first son was born and he remembered my consulting firm idea. They needed an event manager. Someone to manage the logistics of their fundraiser, and quickly. Traditionalist mom met corporate marketer; I took the job.

The event ended. Details ran smoothly, and the executive manager felt it was successful because I was approached by the Executive Director. The organization needed event services, and marketing support. Could I consider more projects with them? And how much would I charge? We scheduled a meeting. After a conversation at home, and the potential of providing my marketing work on a freelance basis, I was considering starting a business. 

In the meantime, I went back to my roots, I contacted my former agency account manager out to lunch. She was knowledgeable, she had worked on a number of branding initiatives, and I valued her opinion. I needed to know, and verify my gut instinct: What do I name my company? 

She didn’t hesitate. “You are the brand, you are the company, you are the marketing ideas, you need to include your name.”

Seriously. Me? 

I am the brand? I mean, of course, it’s obvious. When you are a freelancer you are the brand. My own self doubt was at the forefront. Was I really trying to start a company? Of course I had confidence in my work, on my skill set. But being a business owner is a whole different dynamic. At the bank I was the Small Business Division Marketing Manager for several years. I laugh our bankers about our business accounts and which type of business belonged in which product suite. I had worked with business owners in focus groups. I had gone on numerous calls to their offices and observed their operations and heard their woes as owners. So could I do this? Could I be an owner?

When you provide a marketing service it’s in your style, your approach, your customer service style. I am the entrepreneur, I am the brand. I should be the name. 

I had worked under my maiden name at the bank. I didn’t change it after I got married. But now i had a son, and a family, and I am a traditionalist at heart. I started my own company, with my married name: 

2005 // Founded JK Marketing and Events. 

2015 // Full Time Professional Marketing Services

This is not freelance anymore. The business had grown. I was providing marketing and project management services to 3 clients, and growing. I had a staff of vendors who I managed for the client.

After balancing my Family Manager role and a part time business, it was time to grow and get to full time contract work. It was time to scale the business.  For the next two years we built the business, working with a network of contractors we helped clients accomplish their goals, used marketing to help them scale their business. Business growth is not a secret formula. Instead it’s a desire. Countless hours. Long hours. But in the end worth it. 

2017 // Rebranded Joanne Klee Marketing

Joanne Klee Marketing Website Development Rebrand and Business Launch Number 1: A Year in Review for our Chicago Business Marketing Successes in 2017.


Chicago Small Business Marketing #MissionPossible

If you missed the previous countdown posts, start at #10 which will have links for the list is here.


“Business Marketing in Chicago #MissionPossible
— Joanne Klee, OWNER | Joanne Klee Marketing



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