Innovative Alliances: A Marketing Strategist’s Experience Partnering with Big Storm

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. There’s nothing like a great partnership. When you team up with people who align with your ambitions and bring out the best in you, magic happens. That’s why we truly value each partnership at Big Storm. When we band together with a local marketing strategist, a videographer, a content writer, or another industry expert, we can solve challenges faster, smarter, and just better for you. We love to see how you and your business thrive from the strategies that come out of a collaborative brainstorming session with partners. Over the years, we have joined forces with many amazing minds in the industry. In fact, it was one of those brilliant people’s ideas to write this blog. She wanted to share her experience of what it’s like partnering with our specialists so you can experience a taste of Big Storm’s “secret sauce” for digital marketing. Meet Katie Smith, Fractional CMO and owner of Wild Path Consulting. A marketing strategist and straight-shooter who’s always up for a new challenge, Katie readily shared her thoughts on what it’s like working alongside our team over the years. And what an exciting partnership it has been! We hope by reading about her experience, you can get to know us a little better, check out our process, and get a taste of how we help business professionals like you accomplish marketing goals. Like the trailer for the next summer blockbuster, we’re giving you a glimpse into our story so you can get excited and more informed on what it’s like working with our team. (No spoilers, but we know you’ll love the ending of this movie!) With that, let’s roll the tape to show you what Big Storm is all about through the eyes of our main character: Katie Smith.

Enter Katie Smith, Digital Marketing Partner, Stage Right

Like the lead of an adventure film, Katie’s full of passion and forward-thinking ideas. You want to follow where she leads because she has you and your company’s best interests in mind. With over 20 years of industry experience under her belt, Katie guides companies and organizations forward in their marketing efforts. Through ideation, problem-solving, and execution strategies, she creates a clear path forward so marketing efforts are centralized on clients’ visions and goals. From the start, Katie says she and Drew Schug, Big Storm’s Founder and Principal, have always aligned on how they see businesses operating and how best to apply marketing tactics to a company’s needs. When they first met, both professionals understood the importance of understanding and nurturing the customer journey. They recognized that to have impactful marketing that achieves goals and increases ROI, you need to thoroughly understand your client’s customer journey. When Katie first partners with a client, they build out a customer journey map to evaluate what type of marketing is needed at every stage. Similarly, Big Storm dives into the perspectives of customers along each phase of the customer journey to strategize and craft marketing assets that meet each stage’s special needs. Put the two together: you get an unstoppable force for maximum impact!

Cut to: Great Northern Metal Company Collaboration

Katie and Big Storm joined forces in 2020 to collaborate on a marketing project for Great Northern Metal Company (GNMC), a Bozeman-based supplier of metal roofing and siding. GNMC hired Katie to spearhead the creation of their marketing program, as GNMC was fast-growing, carving out their place in the market. This program needed to be fast, nimble, and scalable—it also required a marketing team with those same qualities. To get the program going, Katie wanted a team who could quickly create the marketing collateral GNMC needed without any add-ons or unnecessary fluff that takes up unnecessary time and budget. She needed marketing experts that could create structure around the GNMC’s branding, which consisted of a logo and nothing more. To put their best foot forward in the metal roofing and siding industry, GNMC aimed to have a cohesive, effective brand that maximized their website’s impact and built trust with the audience. An effective website was a cornerstone in GNMC having an impactful customer journey. That’s when Big Storm appeared on the screen, teamed up with Katie, and dove headfirst into this grand adventure with GNMC. Big Storm solidified the GNMC brand by creating an engaging, user-friendly website that grew the number of people who found the company by search. Our digital marketing strategists sat down with Katie and the team at GNMC to understand their advertising needs and create an advertising plan that worked with their pace and budget. Katie was an effective go-between for GNMC and the Big Storm marketing team. She “translated” niche industry needs so our digital marketers could craft it into a strategic implementation plan, one completely personalized to GNMC. “I love working with Big Storm because everything is bespoke and custom,” Katie said, reflecting on the GNMC collaboration. “They don’t come in with just one way of doing things. You don’t have to start at “A” to get to “B.” They look at the needs, the problem that needs to be solved with the customer. Great Northern Metal wasn’t just a normal metal company—they wanted to do things differently.”

The Plot Thickens: Why Big Storm?

There’s no cloak-and-dagger twist or mystery here—we value transparency, like Katie does. After years of partnerships like GNMC, we asked Katie point-blank why she continues to partner with our digital marketing and web design firm on projects. Her answer: “We’re like a recipe book. While we are a team full of foodies, we asked her to elaborate for our understanding.” “Big Storm is unique among agencies,” Katie said. “They approach marketing like a recipe book: they have a plan for everything. If they don’t have a plan for it, they’ll build it from scratch in a way that works for the business. That’s why they’re so nimble and full of problem-solvers. There’s not just one path to go through, like other agencies. There’s a whole book to go through.” Diving into her explanation, Katie identified three aspects of Big Storm that lend to our recipe-like approach to successful marketing:

  • The Team

We’re proud of our band of strategists and creatives. Like a spice blend, we’re a zesty mix of strategists, creatives, and marketers united in our love for people and problem-solving. Katie acknowledged our team as one of the special ingredients in our Big Storm recipe book. “Knowledge within the team is so strong, full of passionate experts who love what they do every day,” Katie said. “They’re always learning, looking for new possibilities, and up on the latest technologies and strategies, so you know you are getting the most updated marketing strategies. They’re the best minds in the industry—there’s no experience like the Big Storm experience.”

  • The Process

The Big Storm process puts you, the client, at the center of it all. Because you’re the main character of your success story–not us! Katie highlighted our process as a factor for what sets us apart from other digital marketing agencies. “Big Storm talks about needs and goals first, then they’ll bring in the team to get it done for you,” Katie said. “They’re a team of experts ready to listen. They’re ready to problem-solve with you. They come forward with curiosity and wonder, then take the skills and excitement necessary to pull together a plan that gets you to where you want to go. There’s no extra fluff, where you feel uncomfortable with what you are doing with your marketing. It’s exactly what you need.”

  • The Communication

Words have power, whether they’re on paper or in conversation. Good communication means good business, and Katie pointed to our ability to communicate with her and clients as one of our strengths. “Communicating with Big Storm is a joy,” she said. “We’re already in that mindset of problem-solving, so we are ready to listen and listen completely to what they want to do.”

The Reviews Are In

In the end, we’re here to make your life easier by taking the weight of digital marketing off your shoulders. We maximize your digital footprint, drive conversions, solidify your brand, and streamline processes so you can focus on your role and only your role. You don’t have to be a team of 15+ people just to ensure your company’s efforts succeed. We love the work we do with our clients, but we wonder: How do they feel about us? Katie readily supplied the answer. “Clients love working with Big Storm,” Katie said. “They’re positive, fun, and friendly to work with. In the partnerships I’ve done with Big Storm, the clients have seen so much success. What clients really appreciate is that Big Storm isn’t like other agencies that don’t understand them or look down upon them.” Katie elaborated that other digital marketing agencies that she’s worked with often have tight systems that don’t flex with clients’ needs, or they don’t allow her to think outside of established systems and be creative. Big Storm breaks the standard mold for digital marketing and web design companies and builds trust in the process. “One of the most important pieces of this relationship is trust,” Katie said. “As a business owner, it is my reputation on the line. My clients are expecting me to get things done and work on a budget. So, it means a lot to me to trust Big Storm and know they are going to listen and use our budget efficiently. I’ve never been disproven by that. Big Storm has always elevated my clients’ experiences.” With a review like that, we can’t help but be proud of the work we do and grin like a lottery winner. You can’t top the magic of a good partnership, and we look back on our collaborations with Katie Smith with immense joy and pride.

Roll the Credits & Partner with Big Storm

Now that you’ve gotten to know us, we’d love to get to know you! If you’re looking for a marketing partner with a team that blends creativity and precision, let’s chat. Fill out our contact form today, and let’s achieve your goals—together.

Find out about Working at Big Storm