Vicki Bohlsen: Pivoting the Marketing Industry through Ardent Determination and Persistence

Vicki Bohlsen

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Marketing is one of the most crucial aspects of any business. There are certain key attributes that make marketing leaders successful, namely customer centricity, accountability, adaptability, and others. With the emergence of social media platforms paving way for digital marketing, innovation and creativity have become the necessary traits to thrive in the industry. In the present scenario, marketing leaders are leveraging the benefits of marketing to propel their business forward. Moreover, several leaders have been implementing and adopting strategic marketing tactics for the growth and success. One such leader who is making her mark within the marketing industry with immense innovation is Vicki Bohlsen.

The Journey to Success

Before starting as an independent contractor, Vicki gained immense knowledge and experience in the field of PR and marketing. In 1987, she graduated with a major in communication from DePauw University. After completing her education, she worked for several PR and marketing agencies, CBS Television Network and a local NBC affiliate. She further worked as a freelancer specializing in public relations (specifically earned media or publicity) for non-profit organizations and event/entertainment clients. In 2010, Vicki established Bohlsen PR.

Throughout her career, Vicki has been awarded with several notable accolades. In 2010, she received an invitation to President Obama’s State of the Union Address.  She was also elected to Selflessly’s Board of Directors in 2019, awarded B Corp ‘Best for the World’ in 2021, and several other achievements. Currently, she spearheads as the CEO of Bohlsen Group and propels the company towards immense success and development.

Imminent Services and Solutions

Bohlsen PR initially focused its services on public relations, however, its services were mainly initiated towards other marketing tactics for the clients. In 2012, the company was rebranded as Bohlsen Group to better explain its overall service offerings. According to      Vicki, unified marketing simply put “is creating a marketing strategy for our clients that uses various tactics to reach a client’s goals.” The company’s unified marketing services includes strategic planning, creative development, content development, social media, earned media, paid digital, influencer outreach, video production, and/or website development. In 2016, Bohlsen Group became B Corp certified and was named as one of the ‘Best Place to Work’ in Indy and has since positioned itself to be and work with companies that use business as a force for good.

The Guiding Light

Being at the helm of the company, Vicki guides the operations of the company, including processes, marketing, business development, human resources, and finances. She also acts as a strategic counsel for all the clients–from lead generation and business development to writing proposals and onboarding to retaining and measuring results.

Along with handling all these roles and responsibilities, Vicki also spearheads the team and coordinates the operations. She keeps the team motivated by incorporating the following measures:

  • Providing and seeking constant feedback and communication, while also empowering responsibility
  • Creating an energetic, flexible workplace culture with the best benefits
  • Developing continuing education opportunities and internal advancement

Undertaking Social Initiatives

Vicki believes that a historic global culture shift is underway to harness the power of business to help address society’s greatest challenges; this belief is what led her to become B Corp certified through B Lab. B Lab’s goal is to accelerate this culture shift and make it meaningful and lasting. It works to create viable alternatives to an economic system through the network of global partner organizations and interrelated initiatives.

The tenets of corporate social responsibility provide a platform for decision-making and the members of the B Corp community act as pseudo board members if you will” – states Vicki.

Optimum Client Satisfaction

Bohlsen Group constantly focuses on ensuring optimum client satisfaction. Further expressing her views on the same, Vicki states, “We treat our client’s money like our own. This is one reason that we coined our approach ‘unified marketing’.” Bohlsen Group believes that its clients might need to incorporate a mix of marketing tactics to reach their audiences. Therefore, it is best to find ways to create an overall approach that unifies the messaging across various tactics within the budget available. Additionally, to make a social impact, the company provides a 10% discount to non-profit, B-Corp certified, or for-profit companies that make a social impact. This has enabled Bohlsen Group to contribute and donate $1.2M to the community to date.

Triumph over Challenges

The COVID-19 pandemic had a staggering impact on businesses on a global scale. As a result, Bohlsen Group was also struck by the effects of the pandemic. Moreover, marketing is the first cost-cutting measure implemented by any organization in case of financial woes. However, Vicki’s ability to handle critical situations and strategic decision-making skills helped her overcome the disruptions caused by the pandemic. She negotiated Bohlsen Group out of its lease that helped save $125,000 annually. The company further took advantage of the EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) and PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) available through the Small Business Association (SBA). Moreover, adjustments were made to the staffing hours worked as needed to get through the roughest months. These measures helped Bohlsen Group to survive in business despite being down by 52% during the pandemic period.

Pacing with Emerging Trends

To date,Bohlsen Group has undertaken several measures to be on top of the industry. In 2020, the company became carbon neutral to contribute to climate change. It also implements measures to keep all its team members up to date with the latest trends and technological advancements. To ensure this, Bohlsen Group enables staff members to present Lunch-n-Learns and/or contribute to a monthly newsletter. Additionally, the company also conducts an annual client survey to seek input and feedback regarding its performance. “Bohlsen Group maintains pace with trends emerging in the advertising/PR industry and, because of our B Corp certification, the social impact industry,” concludes Vicki.

Leadership Memo:

Vicki Bohlsen Quote

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