Q&A with Executive Director of Innovation and Client Development

2019 is proving to be an exciting year for Elevation already! We are thrilled to announce our acquisition of Chicago-based innovation consultancy firm – Cloverleaf Innovation. Cloverleaf will bring a multi-dimensional approach of product innovation and development to our full-service marketing capabilities.

In addition to expanding our services, we are also excited to welcome Cloverleaf Innovation founder, John Edelmann, to our team. For the month of February we got to sit down with John and learn more about what the addition of Cloverleaf will bring to Elevation along with an inside look at what John does in his new role at the agency.

Tell us about a typical day in the life of John:

Weekdays start at 4:30am with a cup of java followed by a workout. After a big breakfast, shower and quick dog walk (we have 2 soft-coated wheaten terriers) I have a 36-minute commute to Elevation. At work, I network for prospects in 3 ways: 1) via my contact list that I’ve built over the years 2) cold calling prospects using our new CRM system and research contact tool and; transition warm leads that Lisa R, our senior client development specialist, has cultivated.  There’s also time spent each day pulling together our capabilities presentations, writing proposals, crafting Master Service agreements and SoWs.

What brought you to Elevation?

When I first came to Phoenix from Chicago, I was looking for design and strategic support for Cloverleaf, my innovation consultancy, and connected with the top 20 agencies in the Valley. I hired 3 different firms over the course of a year to help support project work but none seemed to have the energy, creativity and broader strategic vision that I was looking in an agency – until I came to Elevation. Scott and Ryan had a long-term vision for the agency – and a clear point of differentiation than other agencies.  Ryan shared Elevation’s approach to managing a client project and the strategic thinking and creative executions on several projects and I was sold!

Tell us more about the innovation process you’ve crafted at Cloverleaf and how it will be utilized at Elevation:

Over the past several years, innovation has become a major focus of organizations as the pace of business increases, the competitive landscape changes, new technologies are created, etc. Cloverleaf was formed to help companies think differently about their business. By providing new learning (via insights, trend data and specialized end-user learning), combined with creative and strategic thinking and expert perspective using a collaborative workshop to “brainstorm” new concepts we are able to commercialize new products, brands or services. It’s an extremely fun and rewarding process. This same methodology can be integrated into Elevation as a core service offering – one that allows us to not only create a new product or service but also launch, promote and publicize that product. We’ve already proposed this turnkey innovation + marketing approach and the response has been very favorable. Stay tuned.

We know in the past you’ve worked with a lot of B2C and B2B companies, how does this innovation process work well in the B2B space?

The exciting part of the innovation process is that almost every company can use it. The methodology is also extremely adaptable and scalable. For B2B businesses (and the B2B side of B2C businesses), this process can not only help create products and services but also address some critical business challenges or opportunities:

  •  How can Client X penetrate a new channel of distribution?
  • Client X has acquired a new technology, how can it best be applied in a specific vertical?
  • A competitor just launched a breakthrough new product, how can Client X respond?
  • Sales are plummeting in a certain sector, how can Client X turn the business around?

With Cloverleaf and Elevation combining forces, how do you think the agency will stand out as a trailblazer in the B2B marketing space?

There are few integrated marketing firms that offer true product and service innovation…and even fewer that are in the B2B space. We will be a trailblazer in the industry because no B2B agency can deliver everything from insight and product concept to product launch and successful commercialization.

Share 3 things about you that we don’t know:

  1. I married my kindergarten sweetheart, Julia Buckingham
  2. I have a key collection with over 10,000 keys
  3. I have a 35-year old Land Rover that I drove to Alaska and back last Summer

What’s your favorite thing about living in the Valley?

Weather aside, it’s absolutely the Sonoran desert. Not only is it stunning, it offers unlimited fun. I live a quarter mile from Piestwa Peak, fantastic mountain biking, and I can be backcountry camping among the saguaros in less than an hour.

Check out our other employee spotlights here.