Grade A specializes in localized marketing support for national brands in professional service industries. If you don’t have a marketing department, we become yours. If your marketing department needs support, we step in to help. We believe marketing should always work in tandem with sales and public relations, so Grade A applies its hybrid approach to each engagement.
We’ll craft an action plan that pulls together the elements you actually need, while leveraging your existing resources. From marketing materials to e-campaigns, websites to sales integration, and PR process to social media, we have you covered.
We approach every interaction with a “give first” mentality. Through this approach, we foster long-term, quality relationships with clients, partners and our community. We do a few things to make sure important relationships flourish:
These values guide everything we do.
Amanda attended George Washington University in DC. While in college, Amanda worked at DC101 Radio, WB-Television (now CW), and Fleishman Hillard International Public Relations. After graduating with a degree in Communication, she held several high level directorial and management positions in business development and marketing. In December 2010, Amanda started her own cross-media marketing and consulting firm called Grade A Marketing. With a strong interest in the multidisciplinary art of persuasion, Amanda's desire to understand the many motivations of human behavior plays a major role in her approach to marketing.
Amanda has been featured in online and print publications including Executive Travel Magazine, The Washington Business Journal and ABC's Washington Business Report. In addition to being Grade A's CEO and driving force, Amanda is also a Board member for the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and Co-founder of Click, a local events hub started in 2009 under the name HD Happy Hour.
Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn
People are always asking me about the future of marketing. What’s the next big thing? What should I be doing? When people ask these questions, they're not really asking what to do. That part is easy--you should create content and be your authentic self. . Really, people asking those questions want to know how to do it. In other words, execution, is the hard part.
So what does it mean to "be your authentic self"? It means you should be real in every aspect of your marketing, including your voice, your values, and your goals. The “human” approach is already widely practiced and taught by many renowned marketing gurus. “Keeping it real” will prove increasingly important as a new generation of younger professionals become a prime market for professional services and big boy products. When appealing to this population, it's critical to recognize that members of this new generation do not like to feel like they are being "marketed to." On top of that, they can spot "fake" from a mile away. Your authentic self may not resonate with everyone in your target market, but you can be certain that a version of yourself that is anything less than authentic will turn off potential clients and damage your brand.
So now the question of how to execute on being your authentic self. Let’s take my company, Grade A, as an example. I like to think I’m always real. I am the same person no matter where I am or who I’m talking to. Nonetheless, in my own marketing efforts, I've been slower than I’d like in following my own advice and creating more content. Why? It takes a lot more effort and it’s a lot more challenging to lay everything out there in print and video than it is to be authentic during interpersonal engagement. I aim to give people the tools to overcome those challenges, such as deciding on the best format and delivery for your content, deploying the right technical resources, and distributing your content to the right audience.
My goal is not to attract clients with this website. Rather, it’s a place for me to practice what I preach.
Seriously. Most of my clients will never look at my website. Or they might, but only to see that I have a legitimate company. And besides, a lot of what I write isn't for them. So what am I doing if my content doesn't necessarily appeal to my target market?? That is a fantastic question! If authentic content is the future of marketing as I believe, then I am using this platform to show the world who I am, which in turn helps me engage with current and future business and thought leaders. Plus, I have a lot of STUFF (tips, info, stories) that I need to get out of my head and on paper the web. My goal is for this website to serve as a resource for anyone trying to put their authentic self out into the world. Is that a lofty goal? Sure. But aiming high is who I am.