Giving thanks for a successful year

Chris Behrens, President and CEO

Our team at YA has worked very hard in the past year, and we’re looking forward to a few days off for rest and reflection during the Thanksgiving holiday. We’re all especially grateful for the resounding successes we’ve achieved in the year that’s now drawing to a close. When you take the time to be grateful, you can better appreciate all the blessings and strengths that have helped you reach milestones and achieve success. Our YA team realizes how fortunate we are as we look ahead to not just a great year, singular, but great years, plural.

Building business and community
On the business front, we’re experienced big “wins” for our clients, a major expansion of office space in Minneapolis and in Chatham – Kent, Ontario, and the coalescing of a team that’s ready to dominate the engagement marketing space.

On a more community-building note, we’re gratified at the superbly executed conference we sponsored in partnership with the Carlson School of Management Institute for Marketing Research, Ignite 2017. When more than 200 eager business practitioners and respected academics get together to share ideas and best practices, great things are bound to happen, and they certainly did this past October. The content was excellent and the audience impressively engaged, and next year’s conference will surely be a “can’t miss” for marketers. Stay tuned for information on dates and presenters, and feel free to share your suggestions for topics you’d like to see covered.

What’s ahead
2018 is a pivot year for YA as our previous investments were primarily focused on addressing core operational processes, client feedback and older technology platforms. Going forward, our investments over the next three years will focus on capabilities that scale the core business and enable growth into new verticals, geographies and channels. In addition, we will be making leaps forward in our product road map, operational efficiencies and of course in our people, processes and technology. We’ll be keeping our eye on the ball by executing against our strategic initiatives:

1. Grow our business profitably
2. Invest in our future by taking a client-centric approach
3. Create a culture that lives our values and
4. Engage our clients and their consumers to become advocates

Personal update
On the personal side, I’ve experienced fulfilling, rewarding volunteer work with the University of Minnesota, Carlson School of Management, Institute for Research in Marketing, Minneapolis Downtown Council, The Minneapolis Club, the ANA and Circle Urban Ministries in Chicago. I’m very fortunate and grateful to work with smart, energetic and knowledgeable people who want to make a difference in the community. By giving back to others, sharing time and helping others to solve business and social issues, I continue to work on making a difference by doing well.

Staying the course
Our mission, vision and strategy remain exactly the same. It’s our single-minded focus and drive that have helped us transform our business, build strong client partnerships and enhance our employees’ potential for career growth. If you’d like to learn more about how YA can turn even first-time customers into loyal brand advocates who take action, buy more and spread the word, please contact me to begin the conversation.

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