They told me change is the only constant. And after 17 years of running an integrated marketing agency, I believe them.
In 1998, I founded Hardin Business Communications to provide public relations and marketing services to industrial B2B companies. But my feet were set on this path long before that.
I’d been a tech geek my whole life. A good friend of mine had built a COSMAC ELF with his dad in their garage. Something went bang when I saw that ugly little box. We were the sort that camped out for tickets to the Star Wars premier (May 1977, btw). We learned how to program on Radio Shack TRS-80s. And when it came to college, I worked in a PR and marketing firm as PC tech and clerk. After a couple years, my constant begging convinced the boss to let me write for her pro bono accounts. Can’t thank you enough for that Judi Schindler.
In 1996, after several years working as a newscaster in Chicago and in newspapers reporter then editor, I found a way to combine my two vocations – communication and technology – into an occupation. And Hardin Business Communications was born.
As time went on, I was lucky enough to meet a lot of fellow geeks with talents in graphic design, writing, editing, programming, accounting and project management (married that one). Some folks left to start their own design or marketing companies and we miss them; new folks came on board. But most stayed. Clients came and went too, although I’m proud to say that we still have two clients from Year One. During the next 16 years, most of the clients stayed too.
Year after year, HBC continued to grow thanks to the hard work of many folks. But I was still taking all the credit by having my name over the door. Today, we change that.
TECH B2B hasn’t been a one-man show for a long time. There’s a team of good, hard-working people with special skills and industry backgrounds and expertise at TECH B2B. All of them can be proud of what we’ve accomplished for our clients. Every time the lead reports come in, it still feels like Christmas. We take a minute to smile and remind ourselves that marketing isn’t a soft industry any more. Technology has given marketing the tools to put intelligence in our strategies and give our clients another competitive edge.
It’s a challenge to stay head of the technical wave, but that’s okay. You never stop learning, and it keeps us young(ish). And after all, change is the only constant.