For Barbara I. Wichmann, CEO of ARTEMIA, the Bay Area is a challenging and innovative place to do business: "It really is great to be right in the geographical heart of so much innovation; to be surrounded by people who are prepared to challenge the norm; to not simply accept the status quo and to always ask "why"? And this spirit is not just limited to startups; I continually see our corporate clients asking those same kind of questions - everyone seems to be interested in moving forward - there is a sense of discovery and desire for continued learning that is exhilarating to be around."
ARTEMIA has come a long way in its 21 years. Wichmann recalls that it was initially an international product launch company, helping to introduce US firms to the European, Asian and Canadian markets, and foreign firms to the US market: "It was heavily focused back then on our core communications and public relations services." It soon became apparent that ARTEMIA could serve clients better by becoming a full-service agency. New technologies have further transformed marketing and communications, she adds, creating new ways to reach consumers, and blurring the lines between B2B and B2C marketing channels.
The focus now is on content creation and brand messaging, says Wichmann. Technologies like the Internet, mobile and cloud computing have created a new landscape which offers great benefits for those who master the necessary skills. ARTEMIA creates "strategic, integrated digital marketing plans that reach consumers at relevant points on their customer journey - be it on mobile, web, in print or even in person - all supported with engaging content." Wichmann believes that the fast pace of the industry is conducive to creativity and innovation.
In this environment, Wichmann's business philosophy is most likely to succeed: "In a nutshell, to ask difficult questions, stay agile and never stop learning." While there are many "content mills" out there, what sets ARTEMIA apart is the client-centric approach, based on client needs. This is followed by an assessment of the information received from the client with in-depth market research, as well as detailed competitive analysis. Wichmann says that this dialogue is "key to building trust and fostering a spirit of collaboration."
ARTEMIA is also unusual among marketing and communications companies in seeking and receiving ISO certification in 2011. Recognition as a green business makes a public statement about the commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, using sustainable products, and reducing and recycling waste. Other affiliations also emphasize core values as well. Wichmann is a member of QuEST, a telecom industry forum which keeps her connected with key trends and networks in the industry.
As a woman-owned business, she says, "The idea that by sharing ideas and insights we all grow stronger is powerful and inspiring. And it works!" Through membership of of the WBENC and Astra communities, ARTEMIA helps support women in business, with conferences, matchmaking events, and providing professional pro bono services.