VOL. 127 | NO. 181 | Monday, September 17, 2012
SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
Brought to you by
Small Businesses Top of Mind For Green Line Marketing
By Sarah Baker
When Meghan Heimke was considering names for her boutique marketing firm three years ago, she didn’t have to look much further than her own backyard.
“When I actually started this business and decided to go out on my own, I lived in Midtown and my house backed up to the (Shelby Farms) Greenline,” Heimke said. “My thought was, no matter where this business goes or where this path takes me, I started on the Greenline.”
And so Green Line Marketing Group was born in March 2009. It was great timing, considering the Greenline trail was also in the beginning stages of its big marketing push.
“The name increased in notoriety and while we don’t have an affiliation with them, we are grateful for the name recognition,” Heimke said. “The other thought about it is green is a forward-motion word. You think of green lights, and we always want to be moving our clients forward.”
Green Line Marketing specializes in boosting the presence of local small businesses. Services include advertising and public relations, graphic and Web design, social and email marketing, and photography and event planning.
Green Line Marketing Group staff includes Rachel Carpenter, from left, Meghan Heimke, Lindsey Graeber and Crystel Hardin. The company offers comprehensive marketing solutions to small businesses.
(Photo: Lance Murphey)
It’s a skill Heimke perfected while working at Harrah’s Entertainment and then Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, a client she retains to this day.
“Small-business owners a lot of time know they need to do some sort of marketing, but they’re not sure exactly what or how much money to spend,” Heimke said. “Our goal is really to provide a marketing solution for that small-business owner that is still strategic, forward thinking – we’re still aggressive and proactive, but it’s on a budget that is realistic for them.”
Green Line’s client roster has grown exponentially over the last 36 months thanks to referrals, and run the gamut from restaurants to nonprofits and health care to law and real estate firms. Ninety-five percent of them are local.
“I have this thing that good news travels fast, but bad news travels faster, so you better make sure what you’re doing is right,” Heimke said. “We do not spend a lot of advertising dollars on our own. In fact, in the last five months, we haven’t spent a dime on our own advertising. And we’ve experienced the most growth.”
Green Line has added three new positions this year, bringing its total staff count to four. The firm currently occupies three executive suites in Clark Tower, but is on the brink of outgrowing its space as it approaches the possibility of adding more members to its team.
“We have just grown quicker than we had really anticipated, but we’re so grateful and we’re down for the ride,” Heimke said. “It’s funny, I was telling my husband at the beginning of the year that my big fear is I don’t want to grow too fast. I want to make sure that we’re providing quality work and I’m never, ever, ever, going to sacrifice our work for a larger number of clients. Quality is much more important to me than quantity.”
Also important to Heimke is Green Line’s client diversity in both company size and industry sectors. That allows the firm to leverage its skills across a wide spectrum of trade areas.
“We’ve often been asked, ‘Well, have you thought about just doing restaurants or just doing health care?’ And to be honest, I have thought about it, but I love the diversity,” Heimke said. “We never have the same day twice. Quite frankly, it’s to our clients’ and to our own benefit that we have that diversity, because what may be a best practice in one industry, we can augment that slightly, implement it in another industry, and have incredibly successful results.”