Meet this month’s ‘foiler – Tracey Parry, Airfoil senior vice president, partner. Tracey oversees strategic programs for eBay, SurveyMonkey and FuzeBox, among many others. She’s earned a reputation for driving daring, highly effective consumer events and research-based media campaigns. Here she talks about bringing to bear these combined experiences to the advantage of Airfoil’s clients.
From day one, we’ve been a company that thinks much bigger than we are, which is consistent with the objectives of companies that are trying to make their mark in technology and other highly competitive markets. We started Airfoil with an aggressive growth plan, and a very clear entrepreneurial vision. It served us well as a technology firm starting up in Michigan, and that attitude obviously translates to our work here in California. The passion we put into launching Airfoil extends to what we think we can accomplish for brands in the Valley.
2. Would you say there are common denominators, or hallmarks, of clients who succeed with Airfoil, regardless of whether they’re based in Detroit or Silicon Valley?
The types of companies we are attracted to, and that are attracted to us, take the work we do together very seriously, but not themselves too seriously. They value striking a healthy balance between doing business and doing good. We place an incredibly high value on service, putting our clients at the center of everything we do – in turn, we work well with brands whose leadership assigns significant business value to marketing communications.
3. What are the priorities for brands trying to succeed in a market as competitive as Silicon Valley?
The marketing communications priorities of our Silicon Valley clients aren’t unique, but there are certain objectives that are especially critical for them to meet, given the intensely competitive nature of this region. A clear and easy to understand value proposition that directly connects with the most important audiences, which in Silicon Valley comprises consumers and the financial community, is a must. Messaging and positioning also are pivotal. Because there are so many companies operating in such cluttered spaces, aligning positions and differentiation to the right respective audiences is hugely important.
4. How is the convergence of the automotive and technology industries manifesting in the Valley?
The conversation here is, foremost, about the evolution of mobility – automotive, manufacturing and transportation are most consistently evaluated and promoted in the context of this next-level dialogue. It’s not just about how cars are evolving, but how people move and want their technology to move with them. In the last year, there’s been a decided uptick in mobility and technology in the Valley, and that convergence of the industries is manifesting itself in more overt ways. Convergence is pretty apparent here – there are already 15 auto manufacturers, 25 wireless carriers, hundreds of vendors, and thousands of startups in Silicon Valley. And while OEMs and suppliers are setting up shop to be close to the companies creating what’s on the horizon for in-vehicle and mobility innovations, they’re also in Las Vegas every January at the Consumer Electronics Show seeking insights into the up-and-coming technologies consumers will be demanding in their vehicles.