Meet Simone Jones Tyner: Founder of True Marketing Agency

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Simone Jones Tyner, founder, True - An Integrated Marketing Agency

According to 2019 statistics, the key elements and components of a successful marketing campaign or strategy lies in highlighting the uniqueness of your brand, making your product or service the best thing about your business and choosing the right channel to reach your audience. Marketing pro Simone Jones Tyner has clearly gotten it right with her integrated marketing agency, True. She launched it in 2002 after deciding that she and her husband, both of whom were working at the same company at the time, needed a break between work and home.

“The lines were so blurred. I thought it was a good time to quit the job, and start something else,” she told TNJ.com in a recent interview. Launching True was a no-brainer. “I already knew how to buy media, I understood the PR and promotion pieces, I worked with a lot of celebrities and had great relationships with record companies, radio stations and artists. I had all the resources; I just had to figure out how to put it all together to make it into a business,” she says.

Interestingly, her first client was her previous employer who hired her to produce a big 10,000-attendee women’s expo event that she had already been producing, for years, while working there; and to date, she has worked with brands including Google, Comcast Universal, Rainforest Entertainment, Bank of America and the National Urban League, among others. 

As for what makes True unique, “We are creative, but we also have the logistical capabilities to execute. A lot of agencies have great ideas, but they don’t know how to take it from an idea to an actual event. We have the executional skills to make it happen,” she adds.

But, of course, with owning any business comes challenges. “A big challenge to owning a business is understanding when you need to start outsourcing services. When you get started, you’re wearing all the hats: you’re the social media manager, the bookkeeper, the administrator, etc.,” she explains. “While you might be pretty good at everything, for example, I taught myself everything I needed to do, you get to a point where you have to decide if it’s the best use of your time. A lot of business owners get so focused on working IN their business that they forget to work ON their business. They don’t leave the space to strategize on how to grow the company such as figure out what’s next, determine what clients they want to go after, and envision what the future looks like. And it’s all because we get so caught up in doing the work for the client.”   

Then there’s the competition. For Jones Tyner, who has held several positions in radio including marketing director at Philadelphia radio station Power 99, data comes into play when it comes to staying competitive in the marketing industry. “We’ve heard the phrase content is king. Going forward, I think we’re going to hear more and more and about data being king. A lot of people are now using data to provide insights for marketing strategies. I think that’s going to be the key to improving the customer experience,” she reveals.

Jones Tyner says an example of how data will play a bigger role is through components such as content personalization. “You will see more online brands and apps suggesting products, services, media and so on based on your location, past purchases and other preferences,” she notes. 

She continues, “And when it comes to events, the customer experience is going to be key. Sustainability and inclusivity are trends we’ll be seeing more of as we plan events. For the first time ever, this year’s Golden Globe Awards offered a plant-based meal. Clients will be asking marketers more and more about sustainability. Some even have sustainability goals they’re trying to hit, so you have to be prepared to speak to that.”

Regarding inclusivity, Jones Tyner says there are brands getting hit with lawsuits now because, for example, they’re built a website that doesn’t meet ADA requirements. “There are so many things you have to think about now that you didn’t have to think about years ago. You have to be mindful of these changes as you move forward,” she advises.

As for a skill one must have to effectively run a marketing agency in 2020? Says Jones Tyner, “Patience!”