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April 10, 2024 at 10:49:23 PM

Marketing with a Why: The Secret Sauce of PSP Compass


Marketing Beyond the Transaction: Building Relationships That Last

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April 10, 2024 at 10:49:23 PM

Ignite Business Insider shares the stories of businesses that are making an impact in their local markets. We highlight their stories in order to inspire entrepreneurial growth and to let readers learn more about businesses across the world that are growing and scaling.


James LaJoie

Co-Founder Marketing Operations

PSP Compass Solutions

Thank you for taking the time to sit with us and share your story. Can you share a little bit about you and your company?

Thanks for inviting me! At PSP Compass, we're a digital marketing agency on a mission to empower businesses. We bridge the critical gap between education and execution in marketing, focusing on three key pillars: strategy first, channel selection, and data-driven analysis.

Many businesses jump straight into tactics without a clear roadmap. We educate them on the importance of crafting a comprehensive strategy that aligns with their goals and target audience. This ensures all their marketing efforts are cohesive and laser-focused.

Next, we guide them in identifying the right channels to reach their ideal customers. It's not about blasting messages everywhere; it's about finding the platforms and strategies that resonate most effectively.

Finally, we don't stop at strategy and channel selection. We're big believers in the power of analytics. We help clients understand their data, track key metrics, and measure the success of their campaigns. This allows us to continuously optimize their approach and maximize their return on investment (ROI).

In essence, PSP Compass acts as your marketing compass, guiding you with a strategic roadmap, identifying the most effective channels, and using data to ensure you reach your destination – success with your target audience.

A question so many people are interested in, is how you got started. Can you share a little bit about what you were doing before this, and what that moment was like for you when you decided to start this new journey?

That's a great question! Before PSP Compass, my business partner and I worked at another marketing agency. While there were definitely talented marketers there, we witnessed a recurring trend: a gap in understanding between clients and the value marketing brings to their businesses. Businesses often lacked guidance on the "why" behind marketing strategies and tactics. It wasn't necessarily about bad marketing; plenty of skilled companies were out there. But we felt a more personal touch was missing, a true partnership where clients weren't left in the dark about the "how" and "why" of their marketing efforts.

This observation became a turning point for us. We saw a need for a marketing agency that not only delivered results but also empowered clients through education. Businesses, especially small and large business owners making significant investments, deserve a partner who helps them understand the industry. We wanted to bridge that gap by demystifying the "why" behind marketing strategies.

Digital marketing can be a world of ambiguity, especially concerning online advertising. Our vision was to bridge the gap between theoretical strategy discussions and the practical realities of online implementation. We believe in the crucial role of data analysis—it's often a process of elimination to understand what works and what doesn't. However, clients are paying for that valuable data, and it's our responsibility to keep them informed and involved in the decision-making process.

This desire to educate and empower clients became the driving force behind PSP Compass. We want to be the compass that guides businesses to their marketing destination and the journey of understanding how they got there.

Let's take a little bit of a detour, and rewind the clock a little bit. What did you want to be as a kid? And how did that influence the person you are today?

At 15, I started mowing lawns in my neighborhood. It wasn't just about making money; I thrived on exceeding expectations. When a homeowner requested something specific, and I delivered a fantastic result, the satisfaction was immense. This experience fueled my initial career path in college. I was drawn to the precision and problem-solving aspects of medicine, so I pursued a pre-med track. It was during that time that I discovered another key lesson: focus and dedication are essential for mastery, regardless of the field.

While medicine wasn't ultimately my calling, the lessons of dedication and continuous improvement translated beautifully into the marketing world. Here, the "something specific" translates into achieving a client's marketing goals. The journey of learning and refining strategies to deliver those results is incredibly rewarding. Just like exceeding expectations with a perfectly mowed lawn, exceeding a client's marketing goals brings immense satisfaction. This pursuit of excellence, fueled by hard work and a growth mindset, aligns perfectly with my belief in giving my best effort in all endeavors. My experience working in corporate management at FedEx Freight further solidified this philosophy. There, I saw firsthand the disconnect that can happen when communication isn't prioritized. I believe strongly in a leadership style that actively communicates the "how" and "why" behind decisions, ensuring everyone at all levels understands the bigger picture. This fosters a more collaborative and efficient work environment, where everyone is aware of how their role contributes to the collective success.

Did you have a person, or brand, that was influencial in your early formation of business, or career?

Absolutely! During my time at FedEx, I was significantly influenced by their internal motto, the Purple Promise: 'At FedEx we pursue excellence and act with integrity. This commitment is embodied in the Purple Promise: “I will make every FedEx experience outstanding.”' This emphasis on customer focus and exceeding expectations resonated deeply with me. It instilled the value of prioritizing people first, delivering exceptional service, and understanding that these principles are the foundation for sustainable success. This philosophy is core to our mission at PSP Compass – People first, Strategic marketing, and Profitable results.

Now, I have found that with successful people, there is always someone pivotal as either a mentor, parent, teacher, or someone that you look to for advise, that helped set you on this path. Could you share who that person was? And what impact that had on the person you are today?

That's a powerful question. My faith has played a significant role in shaping who I am today. The values of integrity, perseverance, and service instilled in me during my upbringing have become core principles in both my personal and professional life.

On the business side, there hasn't been one single mentor. I've been fortunate to learn from a combination of sources: supportive family and friends, books by inspiring figures, and motivational speakers like Simon Sinek. His emphasis on "knowing your why" resonated deeply with me, aligning perfectly with the purpose-driven approach I wanted to take with PSP Compass.

Another valuable piece of advice came from my brother: "Your character is your most important asset as an entrepreneur. Who you are, deep down, will come out in everything you do." This resonated as I built PSP Compass, ensuring that our actions and values align with our mission.

More recently, Tim Grover's book "Relentless" has been a source of inspiration. His emphasis on perseverance resonates with my own drive to never give up and constantly improve. There's a balance to be struck, of course, but that book offered a comforting reminder of the internal fire that fuels my passion for excellence.

What was one take away that you learned from that person? And how did it translate into your business today?

As I mentioned, While there wasn't one specific mentor, a powerful combination of influences shaped my approach. One of the most impactful lessons came from the concept of "knowing your why." This idea, popularized by figures like Simon Sinek, became a cornerstone for my business philosophy. At PSP Compass, we believe a client's "why" is the foundation for a successful marketing strategy. By helping them define their core purpose and values, we can craft campaigns that are not only effective but also truly represent their brand identity.

When we work with businesses, we focus a lot on their "Why?". What is your "Why"? What is the driver behind your company, and why you and your team wake up each day and give it your all?

At PSP Compass, our "why" is centered around empowering businesses to navigate the ever-changing marketing landscape with clarity and confidence. We see a disconnect between the immense potential of marketing and the confusion many businesses face. This is what drives us to wake up each day – the opportunity to bridge that gap.

Let's dive deeper into your products and services. You already gave an overview, but how do your products or services help your customers? And what makes them different from your competitors?

While the core marketing services we offer – SEO, paid ads management, Website development and social media content creation – may seem similar to what other agencies provide, our approach sets us apart. Here's how:

Unwavering Focus on the "Why": We go beyond tactics. We delve deep to understand a client's core purpose and target audience psychology. This "why" becomes the foundation for all our marketing strategies, ensuring they resonate with the right people.
Data-Driven Optimization, Human-Centered Approach: We leverage data analytics to constantly refine our strategies, but we don't lose sight of the human element. Understanding your ideal client's motivations and desires allows us to craft targeted messaging that truly connects.
Long-Term Partnership: We believe in building long-term partnerships with our clients. This allows us to develop a deep understanding of their business, goals, and target audience. It's not just about a quick campaign; it's about a collaborative journey towards sustainable growth.
In essence, we don't just deliver marketing services; we become invested partners in your success.

Let's unpack that even further. Let's pick one aspect of your business. What makes it so unique? And how does it change you or your customer's experience?

One aspect that truly sets us apart is our commitment to personalized client relationships. Many agencies prioritize a one-size-fits-all approach, but we believe each business has a unique story to tell.

Here's how this focus on personalization transforms the experience:

Building Trust Through In-Person Interaction: We prioritize face-to-face meetings whenever possible. This allows us to connect with clients on a deeper level, understand their perspectives, and build trust. In today's digital world, that personal touch goes a long way.
Translating Vision into Strategy: We don't just listen to your goals; we delve into the "why" behind them. By understanding your company's core values and target audience psychology, we translate your vision into a data-driven digital marketing strategy that resonates with the right people.
Empowering Your Story: We believe every business has a story to tell. Whether it's through captivating videos, compelling website copy, or targeted social media campaigns, we help you craft a narrative that authentically connects with your ideal customers.

Let's dive into your customer's journey a little bit. Can you share with us, how do your customers discover you and your brand? What are their next steps? And what is the experience you would like to see your customers go on, when working with you and your brand?

Many of our customers discover PSP Compass through referrals or through our team's proactive outreach. We believe in building relationships, so our team often attends industry events and connects with potential clients in person.

The ideal customer journey for us looks something like this:

Discovery: A business owner hears about PSP Compass through a trusted referral or encounters us at an industry event. They're intrigued by our focus on understanding the "why" behind marketing strategies.
Connection: A member of our team reaches out to schedule a no-obligation consultation. During this initial meeting, we prioritize getting to know the business owner, their goals, and the unique challenges they face. This in-person interaction fosters a sense of trust and allows us to understand their "why" on a deeper level.
Collaboration: If there's a good fit, we move forward with a customized marketing plan. This plan is built on a foundation of shared goals, target audience insights, and a deep understanding of the client's core values. We believe in open communication and collaboration throughout the process.
Growth: We implement the marketing strategy, leveraging data analytics to continually optimize performance. The focus is on achieving measurable results that align with the client's long-term vision.
Partnership: We view our clients as long-term partners, not just transactional relationships. We're here to support them on their journey towards sustainable growth.

Let's rave about your customers for a minute. Can you share a story about one of your clients or customers, that either touched your heart, or made an impact with you and your team?

There's a client relationship that truly exemplifies the power of going beyond transactions. It's with a company that runs silent discos denver (Cifernoise Productions) – a truly unique and fun concept. Initially, our interactions were professional, but as we delved deeper into their marketing strategy, something special developed.

Through open communication and a shared passion for creating memorable experiences, a genuine friendship blossomed. We discovered that by listening to their goals and understanding their "why," we could craft a marketing strategy that not only resonated with their target audience but also felt authentic to their brand.

This collaboration wasn't just about us helping them; it was a learning experience for both sides. Their creative energy sparked new ideas for us, and our marketing expertise helped them identify areas for growth. While they haven't reached their ultimate goals yet, the journey itself has been incredibly rewarding. We're both learning and growing together, constantly striving to create a truly unique and engaging experience for everyone who interacts with our company.

Everyone likes an inside scoop. What detail or secret about either you, or your company, is something most people might not know?

Here's a little-known secret about PSP Compass: We weren't always the established agency we are today. In fact, we started as a side project, fueled by the encouragement and inspiration of a loyal group of clients who wanted to work with us directly. The idea was to create a more personalized marketing experience, something beyond the typical agency model.

Right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we took the leap and formalized PSP Compass. While the timing wasn't ideal, the challenges we faced during that time only strengthened our resolve and forced us to become even more innovative in our approach. Looking back, it's incredible to see how far we've come, and we're excited for what the future holds!

Final thoughts. What feeling or benefits would you like your customers or clients to take away when working with you and your team?

We want our clients to walk away from their experience with PSP Compass feeling empowered and confident. We believe that by truly understanding their "why" and core values, we can craft marketing strategies that not only achieve results but also feel authentic to their brand.

Beyond the technical expertise, we strive to build genuine partnerships with our clients. This collaborative approach fosters trust, open communication, and a shared sense of purpose. Our ideal client is someone who is as invested in growth as we are, and together we embark on a journey of continuous learning and discovery.

Ultimately, we want our clients to feel that PSP Compass is more than just a marketing agency; we're an extension of their team, a trusted partner on their path to achieving their long-term vision.

Last question. How can people find out more about you and your company?

Here are a few ways to connect with us:
Visit our website: – This is a great starting point to explore our services, philosophy, and client testimonials.
Follow us on social media: We're active on various platforms (mention the platforms you're on).
Reach out directly: You can connect with me personally via email at or find me on LinkedIn: We're always happy to chat about your marketing needs and see if we might be a good fit.

Well, it has been great being able to sit with you and learn more about you, your brand and your customer's journey. Thank you so much for sitting with us and sharing your story.

Thank you so much for having me! I enjoyed sharing our story with Ignite Business Insider.

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