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Against the CurrentThe Subject Line

Against the Current with MJ Dame, Director of Marketing at Design 3 International

By July 18, 2023No Comments

MJ Dame, Director of Marketing, Design 3 International.

Tell us about your company, your role, and top priority or initiative over the next six months.

As the Marketing Director of an international design firm, I have the privilege of engaging new prospects around the world. Time zones, late night or early morning Zoom calls were a way of life long before the pandemic forced everyone into that space. Working internationally often offers a buffer from the economic boom-bust cycles of any single country or global region – rarely do all world economies rise or fall in unison. But that also means that we may occasionally run two very different marketing strategies concurrently.

Given the current and/or projected state of the economy, what has been the greatest challenge(s) you’ve faced so far or anticipate in 2023?

B2B marketers always face various challenges influenced by the state of the economy. In a good economy, we are immersed in doing great design work, capitalizing on our successes, and making new connections. But uncertainty surrounding global markets, and inflationary pressures are ever-present hurdles. In a challenging economy, B2B marketers must adapt to these challenges by re-aligning (and reassessing) to our core business goals, managing operational costs, and finding innovative ways to maintain client satisfaction amidst economic fluctuations.

Are current market conditions or concerns about the economy later this year impacting your marketing plans? If so, how?

Yes, market conditions and economic concerns undoubtedly impact marketing plans. B2B marketers need to carefully analyze the market landscape, consumer behavior, and purchasing power to tailor their marketing strategies accordingly. With a potential economic downturn, marketers may focus more on cleint retention, offering value-added services, and adopting cost-effective digital marketing approaches to optimize budgets.

As a B2B marketer, what tends to be pressures you experience that B2C or B2G marketers may not understand or appreciate?

B2B marketers face unique pressures that may not be immediately apparent to B2C or B2G marketers. B2B sales cycles are typically longer, involving multiple decision-makers and complex negotiations. Relationship-building and fostering trust become critical for successful B2B marketing. Additionally, B2B marketers often need to navigate intricate procurement processes and showcase long-term value propositions, requiring a deep understanding of the target industry and its dynamics.

Does PR play a role in your overall marketing strategy, and if so, where does it provide the most value? Where does it fall short?

Public relations plays an important role in the overall marketing strategy of B2B businesses. John Wanamaker of Philadelphia’s famed Wanamaker’s department store once said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” But effective PR efforts can certainly help establish credibility, build brand reputation, and enhance thought leadership within the industry. By securing media coverage, participating in industry events, and engaging with key stakeholders, PR efforts can generate valuable exposure for B2B companies. However, PR may fall short in terms of lead generation and direct sales impact, as its primary focus is on brand perception rather than immediate conversion.

Do you or your team currently leverage ChatGPT or another AI tool? How so?

Clearly, ChatGPT is impressive, and our team has really only begun to explore ChatGPT and its potential. For now, all design is done exclusively by real people.

What are your summer plans?

Beyond my work life, I always explore opportunities for rejuvenation and personal growth. I plan to take a break to recharge and reflect on the achievements and challenges of the past months. Webinars, industry publications, and podcasts are my way to stay updated on emerging trends. Overall, the summer will be a balance of relaxation and professional development.

You can learn more about, follow, and connect with MJ on LinkedIn.

Matthew Pugh

Matthew Pugh

Matthew Pugh holds more than 20 years of public relations and communications experience, primarily in the technology space. Before co-founding Pugh & Tiller PR, he served as Vice President at Weiss PR, where he was instrumental in growing the firm and its technology practice, particularly among international and global companies. Prior to that, he served as the Director of Communications for two high-growth technology firms where he devised and executed comprehensive public relations, analyst relations, and social media programs. He also worked as a Senior Public Relations at a leading cybersecurity company, where he provided strategic PR support for corporate and marketing initiatives, industry trade shows, product launches, and employee communications. He also spent several years at a national public relations firm, designing communications and media relations plans for clients in the technology, higher education, commercial real estate, and legal industries, and began his PR career working for a faith-based disaster relief and development organization. Pugh has earned several industry awards including, a MDDC Press Association award for feature writing, several PR World Awards for his work in the technology sector, and was named part of the “Marketing Team of the Year” for a high-growth international technology company. Pugh earned his B.S. in mass communications from Towson University.