Güd Marketing

Güd Marketing: 45 Years for the Greater

by Debbie Horak on June 30, 2023 3 -minute read
As Güd Marketing looks back on 45 years, we’re proud of where we are today and the journey that brought us here. As we’ve evolved our structure and focus — from general advertising to cause-based marketing that strengthens communities — the industry has changed right along with us. Here are some reflections to mark the occasion.

Oldsmobile Was Our First Client.

Güd Marketing began as Pace & Partners, and its first partnership was with Oldsmobile, a bygone car line from General Motors, for which we drafted, formatted, and published the owner’s manuals for several vehicles. Today, our agency’s involvement with the auto industry is focused on traffic safety and promoting Michigan’s economic growth and development, but that’s far from the only change. Owner’s manuals were formatted through a cut-and-paste technique that had nothing to do with a computer and everything to do with scissors and glue.

New, Improved Evolution of Advertising.

In 1978, the male-dominated marketing world still resembled “Mad Men” in many ways. Today, Güd Marketing is woman-owned, and its leadership includes professional women and men who are experts in the field. Our team represents many different cultures, ideas, perspectives, and experiences, and we actively embrace opportunities to evolve our DEI practices and cultivate our unique, people-centric culture. Our differences are one of our greatest assets — a panorama of viewpoints provides diversity of thought. Progress is güd.

Insights for Smarter Marketing.

Today, Güd Marketing is known for our data-driven strategies and agile responsiveness. We use the latest technology to inform and monitor the success of our communications and make real-time adjustments when needed to achieve optimal outcomes for our clients. Back in the day, we planned a campaign for the entire year — this was called the “spray and pray” method — with limited ways of evaluating its impact or pivoting tactics. We let it play out and circled back 12 months later to devise a strategy for the next iteration.

Audiences Are Savvier.

The rise of technology and evolving perspectives around culture, gender and inclusion have changed how audiences consume advertising and receive messages. Gone is the one-size-fits-all marketing of yesteryear. Today’s consumers have more media options, a broader view of the world and a more refined selection of what they train their attention on. This means we can reach different audiences with different messages, but the packaging and delivery need to be more compelling, attention-grabbing, and relevant than ever to elicit a reaction. If you want to impact today’s consumers, you need to make a meaningful connection, which means tailoring messages and tactics to key audiences.

Optimizing Engagement

In Güd Marketing’s early days, our tactical toolbox consisted of television, radio and billboard ads. That’s it. These are still effective platforms that we use today, but we have new forms of media tools — platforms to engage our audiences in real-time. With these innovations, we can accurately match the right person with the right message at the right time in the right way. And there’s so much more! Social media facilitates in-the-moment audience engagement, giving us instant feedback and opportunities for optimization.

Our Team Has Grown with Our Agency.

Güd Marketing started out with a skeleton crew of optimistic multitaskers. If you worked in account, you were a jack-of-all-trades who not only managed client communications and projects but also acted as the media buyer and strategist. Today, we have dedicated teams that stay on top of industry best practices to deliver a coordinated, fully integrated, and comprehensive approach that includes account, research, strategy, creative, multimedia tactics and activation — executed by experts in each discipline.

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” — Vincent Van Gogh

Marked by constantly evolving strategies and services, our path from 1978 to today has mirrored drastic changes among audiences and within the world. Looking back on our work, we’re reminded of the significance of purpose and intention and the collective power of small actions in inspiring meaningful change. It’s been an honor to serve the public good, and we can’t wait to see what the next 45 years bring as we work for the greater!

Debbie Horak

Principal and President
Attitude matters, inspiration seeker, Trekkie, “Star Wars”, sci-fi and twins rule
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