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VOL. 123 | NO. 156 | Monday, August 11, 2008

RedRover Creates Breakthrough Strategies for Clients

By Rosalind Guy

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BREAKING THROUGH: RedRover Co. LLC, a marketing and communications firm founded by Lori Turner (pictured) and Julie Lunn, helps clients create sales strategies that work. -- PHOTO COURTESY OF REDROVER CO. LLC
RedRover Co. LLC
516 Tennessee St., Suite 124
Phone: 266-2662
Founded: 2005

When the economy is in a downturn and businesses have to cut expenses, one of the first things cut can be advertising budgets. Those cuts also can leave advertising agencies having to cut staff as their bottom line suffers.

One local agency, RedRover Co. LLC, developed a strategy early in its inception that leaves it nearly unaffected during tough economic times such as what the country currently is experiencing. The strategy quite simply was included in co-founders Lori Turner and Julie Lunn’s plan to become an “atypical” firm.

Turner is the managing partner of the Memphis office. Lunn is the managing partner of the Nashville office.

Strategy that works

While a lot of agencies focus on developing the most creative print or TV advertisements, Turner said that at RedRover the focus is on becoming an extension of their clients’ sales teams.

“We get in and focus on sales development for the majority of our clients,” Turner said. “We go in and help their salespeople sell more effectively. We are helping them close more business.”

By doing that, the firm is able to show a direct correlation between its efforts and the client’s bottom line.

“If they’re making a 5 to 1 ROI (return on investment) or a 10 to 1 ROI on everything they’re spending with us, then it is absolutely easily attributable to our efforts,” Turner said. “So in an economic crunch, we would be the last thing they cut.”

Since the business started three years ago, the most significant growth within the firm has come from its sales development consulting.

Sales development consulting accounts for about 70 percent of the firm’s business.

As consultants, RedRover provides an analysis of sales compensation plans, creates sales development plans and sales targets, and helps build a sales target accountability system.

“Most of our clients have small sales teams or are looking for support in building a new sales team from scratch,” Turner said.

The firm also focuses on helping small- and mid-sized business owners realize their dreams.

“I have the most rewarding job imaginable – hands down,” Turner said. “I get to help small- and mid-size business owners grow their companies into what they always dreamed – to be the leader of the pack. I see the direct impact of my work every day.”

More than a game

The desire to help those clients achieve their dreams is partly the inspiration for the name. Besides the fact that both Turner and Lunn are serious dog lovers, the name also brings to mind an old childhood game with the same name as the firm.

The game features two lines of players holding hands, standing opposite each other. When a player from the other team is called, they must try to break through the opposing team’s line.

“So our tagline is ‘Breakthrough Marketing and Communications’ because we’re trying to break through all the noise competing with all of our clients’ internal and external marketing messages,” Turner said. “That’s the foundation of our approach.”

Another aspect of the business that has led to its success, Turner said, is its location in the EmergeMemphis small-business incubator.

Being a part of the program gives business owners access to a vast network of sales team and business consultants to which they would not otherwise have access if they were leasing space in another building, she said.

EmergeMemphis and its executive director Gwin Scott “monitor our financial statements and give us strategic support on a routine basis,” Turner said. “I meet every other month or so with Gwin Scott to review my numbers and to talk with him about my growth plan. He offers great insight, helps me think about other ways that we might adjust our model to become more profitable and to better help our customers. So there’s this business consulting support that you get out of here and the other piece of it is networking.”

Turner said that since joining EmergeMemphis, the company has doubled its client base in Memphis and are on track to double its gross billings by the year’s end.

Currently, RedRover has a relatively small staff that includes the managing partners and “an extensive freelancing staff.” But Turner is looking to hire three full-time Memphis employees within the next six months – two account executives and a marketing specialist.

PROPERTY SALES 105 193 8,028
MORTGAGES 120 239 9,024
BUILDING PERMITS 192 445 17,512
BANKRUPTCIES 27 69 5,228