Jumping the Corporate Ship into a Sea of Startups

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We hope to display this campaign as an art exhibit in late May.

Courtesy of BB Group.

It was 5:05 p.m. and time was moving like molasses. I was watching the clock so I wouldn’t get another slap on the wrist for tripping our clocking system by being one minute early or late. This job was supposed to be the big break in my career and set a steady pace of moving up the corporate ladder –  but I was only five months in, why did I feel so apprehensive?

Was this really how it worked for a creative marketer? Sitting behind a computer and waiting for emails all day? If that was the case, I had to get out of here. How? I couldn’t just leave. There was the process of lining up another secure job, preparing all my projects for my team and explaining to a new employer why I only lasted six months here.

Fortunately, everyone in my department knew this wasn’t a good fit. We mutually agreed it was time for me to move on, I packed up and walked away. I had no idea what I was going to do and I was upset because I felt I had failed. I was even more frustrated with the prospect of having to go through the whole job hunt/interview process all over again. This would take time. Time I couldn’t afford to waste in limbo.

Finally, I decided that the only thing left to do was start a digital marketing firm. I had a few close colleagues suggest I go solo and provide a service that is really needed by local businesses in San Antonio.

Honestly, I didn’t think I would be at this point at 26 years old. Can I really do this? Should I wait until I’m at least 30? Nope. Now is the time. Go for it. After all, I probably wouldn’t get this opportunity again. I made four phone calls. One to each of my parents, one to a dear friend – who had planted this idea in my head in the first place – and the last to my best friend and now business partner. After the calls and four green lights BB Group was born.

A screenshot of the BB Group website.

A screenshot of BB Group website, www.bbdigitalmarketing.com.

Many people have asked why we haven’t sought other jobs with larger companies that would guarantee job security and benefits. Our reason is simple: we are the pioneers of a new type of marketing. We’ve studied and developed skills to solve tomorrow’s problems. Tara Caballero and I studied together at the University of Texas at San Antonio. The last year and half of our studies, our professors never had “required” books for our curriculum. Why? Because technology is ever-evolving and so is digital marketing. This is why I love what I do so much, there is never a dull moment when you’re constantly evolving as a professional.

While working as internal social media specialists, we’ve hit a few walls within larger companies and marketing veterans because they don’t know the right questions to ask us or even the right tasks to assign us. More issues arise when trying explain that certain traditional strategies won’t be as affective in a social media marketing plan. No one wants to be told they’re wrong – especially not by a 26-year-old. But we’ve climbed these walls with our clients.

Sometimes we’re sent to all sorts of social media conferences and end up correcting the presenters. Some of their information is either outdated or not informative enough. Anyone can google “how to update my Facebook page” but not everyone can write a status update that is engaging and reaches an audience beyond their immediate network. As a company we maintain our foundation with traditional marketing but are truly on the forefront of new media and digital marketing.

Humble beginnings of BB Group in the Wong Grocery Company building. Photo by Claudia Loya.

Humble beginnings of BB Group in the Wong Grocery Company building. Photo by Claudia Loya.

This is a main reason why we’re so confident in our business, because we understand and practice the theories behind engaging content and visually appealing websites. As students we were taught that it is our job to inform, engage and entertain audiences within 30 seconds. As professionals, we provide our clients with this formula.

Through BB Group, we can cater to our clients’ needs and create our own social marketing campaigns to showcase our talents.

Our first campaign is The Adventure Project (see top image). We’re asking 10 San Antonians to take disposable cameras (provided by BB Group) and take pictures of their adventures around town.

We want to see how the locals enjoy their city versus tourists. We plan to develop the best images and display them in an art gallery format in late May 2014. We’ll also have a silent auction so that locals can purchase the images and display them in their homes or businesses. Ultimately, we want to show the public that San Antonio is changing quickly and in the best ways possible. We want to provide this information to the right organizations within the city and make our contribution to San Antonio.

The Wong Grocery story on South Flores St. is now leasing commercial office space.

The Wong Grocery Company store on South Flores Street is now leasing commercial office space. Photo by Claudia Loya.

We’ve been in business for about five months and have decided to join other creatives at the Wong Grocery Company co-working space. It’s a huge step and as my friend Zac Harris has said “it’s not easy.”

People tend to romanticize the startup/entrepreneurial world, but there are a lot of things (struggles behind the scenes) you won’t see on Facebook or Twitter. We decided to showcase our startup story on Instagram and Facebook.

We know that we might have to wait a few tables or do some babysitting on the side – but it’s worth it.

Now at 5:05 p.m. I don’t have to worry about clocking out because I need to leave early for an event or work late. This is definitely worth eating ramen and pb&j sandwiches every day and foregoing a few weekend getaways and music festivals.

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7 thoughts on “Jumping the Corporate Ship into a Sea of Startups

  1. As a fellow marketing professional, I appreciate the sincerity of this piece and the heart it took to follow your gut. Will be following on Facebook and Twitter for sure!

    • I would venture to guess that that is because people initially took the risk of starting a business and creating a culture that valued entrepreneurialism. San Antonio is changing quickly and it great to see people invest their time and resources into it instead of leaving.

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