Interview by Angela Brutsche.
Screamer Co. founder Scott Creamer made a name for himself as a creative director in Chicago, but the talent didn’t stop there. He founded Screamer Co. in Austin, TX in 2006, and has continued to grow his company’s in-house talent and services to accommodate client needs. An award-winning, full service advertising agency known for brand development, storytelling, and positioning strategies, Screamer Co. also offers a wide range of services from market research to media planning/placement.
What prompted you to found Screamer Co.?
Prior to starting Screamer in 2006, I worked as a freelance creative director in Chicago. Before that, I worked at BBDO as a creative director. My passion has always been in creative direction and initiating big ideas. After moving back to Texas, my plate of small projects quickly grew into larger projects. Before long, my partner Tim Lee and I were building plans to scale and accommodate these larger projects. We founded the company on one client account – one very strong relationship built on a lot of trust and a mutual understanding of goals. Branding, positioning, communicating are our key competencies and strong points. Our promise at Screamer is to help clients “find their voice.”
Were you ever nervous about starting your own company?
The biggest question I asked myself when starting out was “Can I really do this?” I had no background running a company. I had never even taken a business class. That fear was also my biggest motivating factor. This work continues to feel like a great challenge. We’re constantly learning how to build new and different programs and expand our services. We try to invest in people who have very diverse backgrounds. I have attempted to identify employees for the agency that expand our talent base and can help grow the company.
As a leader, what skill has been most important to your success?
Moving from being an independent contractor to running an agency, I had to shift my focus from being tactical to being strategic. I had to learn how to mentor and train people instead of actually doing the work. In addition, any new skills I’ve developed are possible because of the various business coaches in my life.
What advice would you give to professionals new to the marketing profession?
You have to love this business or it will eat you up. Projects and schedules can be crazy. Campaigns are developed in a matter of days. That sounds like a tight deadline, but it’s not unusual. You must be dedicated.
What do the most successful marketing strategies involve?
The most successful marketing strategies involve planning and great creative. We believe in doing a ton of research and getting as much info as possible. Then, we sift through the kernels to find the pieces that really matter.
Are there any common misperceptions about marketing that you’d like to set straight?
There are no rules to this game. You can use some resources as guidelines, but this business is not cookie-cutter. Each project is completely different. Each problem must be considered individually. Following a “never do this” or an “always do this” methodology will inevitably tie hands instead of solve problems.
What is your favorite resource for staying current on marketing trends?
My team. Most of my team members are under 30 years old. They are on top of everything that is going on. I rely on them. I have three or four information news feeds I refer to daily, but about 90 percent of my awareness of trends comes from my team.
What compelled you to join the American Marketing Association (AMA)?
I’m very active in Austin AdFed. It’s a great experience; there, I can connect with my peers. AMA membership is geared more toward businesses and marketing professionals. We joined AMA to expand Screamer’s exposure to a new community.
Screamer Co. holds a group membership in Austin AMA. We thank Scott and his team for their time and support. To learn more about AMA group membership, visit http://austinama.org/membership or contact our VP of Membership Recruitment at firstname.lastname@example.org.