THE MARKETING DOCTOR
RMR & Associates, Inc.
For more than 25 years, Robyn Sachs has led RMR & Associates, an award-winning integrated marketing communications firm, to continued heights of success in its work with fast-growing companies across several industries. Sachs is also a recognized leader in the area, and a frequent speaker at a number of events and organizations.
Q: Why does RMR look at PR, marketing and communications as a doctor would?
A: Very similar to a doctor asking, “Where does it hurt?” at an initial appointment, RMR’s marketing-audit process is geared toward obtaining a holistic picture of a client’s goals, needs and pain points upfront to design a marketing communications program that is tailored to those specific concerns. It is also important to us that our clients understand that, just as a doctor matches the prescription to the diagnosis, our audit process helps us determine whether the client’s needs can be addressed through marketing communications. Marketing is a good solution for clients who have a product or service that people need and want, but if that’s not the case, a different approach may be required to drive results and value.
Q: When you joined RMR, why did you decide to build up the PR division?
A: In the early 1990s, RMR’s focus was almost completely centered on advertising. I led the charge to add PR services to the firm’s offerings, because I knew the importance of third-party credibility from the press, particularly for the tech companies that were flooding our client roster at the time. The value of having our clients’ stories told in top publications, as well as building their credibility with industry analysts, was critical to our clients’ positioning in the market and ongoing success. The value and ROI that PR services bring our clients has only continued to grow in the years since, and now it constitutes RMR’s largest division.
Q: How has RMR’s long tenure in this industry helped it develop a 90-percent success rate?
A: I believe it can be summed up in four simple words: Been there, done that. Over the last 25 years of helping companies succeed and grow within their marketplaces, we have built proven processes for everything we do. Not only does that mean we know what we’re doing, but it also ensures we aren’t experimenting on the client’s dime. While we have achieved a very high success rate, the best marketing in the world still can’t combat market forces, such as the current state of the global financial market. In those cases, we have to adapt our processes and approach to meet the clients’ needs amidst the larger market climate they operate in.
Q: What do you look for in the next generation of leaders at RMR?
A: It’s very exciting for me to witness and empower the development of the next generation of leaders within the firm. I really value the opportunity to mentor my employees, arming them with the essential leadership and management skills to help them be successful, and then watching them grow and flourish. Overall, we look for people who are passionate about the field, as well as working with clients to help them achieve their goals and objectives.
Q: How did RMR get through the crash of the tech market in 2001, and how was it able to avoid layoffs in the process?
A: Throughout my career, it is, and always has been, important to me to practice what I preach. RMR had its best year ever in 2000, and the firm had close to 50 employees leading into the crash of 2001. Even worse, the tech companies bore the largest brunt of the crash’s impact, and at the time they made up the majority of our client list. Right away, I brought in a business consultant to work with us and implement a proactive reorganization of the company overall, along with implementing cost-cutting measures wherever possible. We were able to avoid layoffs by offering employees a one-day furlough option. Before long, we were back in growth mode again, and I was surprised that several employees actually wanted to keep their furloughed day off even after it was lifted!
Q: Tell me about the range of clients you work with. What type of company can benefit from working with RMR?
A: Our clients range from public companies to financial services, and insurance advisers to technology and staffing firms, real estate companies and nonprofits with $1 million to $1 billion in annual revenue.
Q: Why do you view winning the EY Award as a milestone in your career?
A: It is a tremendous honor, as well as a very difficult achievement to be selected as a winner for the EY Award. So many of our clients want to win it as well, and the year I was selected I was actually in the same category as one of our prospects! Over the years I’ve also been fortunate to participate as a judge for the program, which has been fun and educational, while also allowing me to have a hand in extending the honor of the EY Award to some of our area’s most successful entrepreneurs.