For Heidi Davidson, co-founder of the marketing and communications firm Galvanize Worldwide, leaving a high-powered corporate job to follow her dream was a no-brainer.
“Having worked on both the agency and client side of PR and marketing roles, I saw first-hand that the traditional agency model wasn’t always a fit for the evolving needs businesses now have for marketing,” Davidson says. “It was too inflexible, too high-cost and too cookie- cutter. Around the same time, I was hoping to find a better balance between doing great work with great companies, and being around more for my children. Together with Galvanize co-founder, Jeff Gadway, we saw an opportunity to build a different kind of agency model.”
And build a new model they did. Harrison-based Galvanize currently offers startup advisory services, in which a company’s business and marketing strategy is tailored to build brand awareness and accelerate revenue. They also accept outsourced marketing duties from clients, fulfill vital on-demand work, handle crisis communications, and recently unveiled their new Marketing Masterclass.
“These workshops blend theory with hands-on, workshop-style learning in an attempt to address a gap in marketing and communications knowledge and skills at startup, scale-up, and founder-led organizations,” explains Davidson. “Our first classes are focused on helping participants become better storytellers, more captivating presenters, delivering a compelling pitch to customers or mastering media interviews.”
With all these services and new features, its no surprise that the firm has been growing. “Galvanize started as a two-person operation just three years ago and has grown more than 1,200% in three years,” says Davidson. “Now, with more than 50 consultants, we know that we’ve tapped into something very special.”
Davidson credits the growth to her company’s vision of bringing experts in their field together with businesses and delivering outstanding service. She also notes that working in Westchester helps. “We’re not bogged down by expensive NYC overhead, so we’re able to keep our fees low and pass that savings on to our clients,” she says.
These savings likely matter to the fledgling startups Davidson often works with, which have become one of the company’s primary sources of revenue. “Ultimately, we have become quite well-known for our startup advisory work because we have participated in a number of high-profile acquisitions of startups that we’ve worked with totaling about $50 million last year,” she says. “These companies have attributed some of their success and their greater valuation because we ‘made them look bigger than they were.’ We’re very proud to have had a hand in their success.”
Davidson sees a bright future for Galvanize Worldwide. “We will continue to recruit and retain the best marketing and communications experts in the field by providing them with access to interesting client work while supporting the balance they need to work when and wherever they desire,” she says. “We’ll take care of the overhead and pipeline, so they can just focus on delivering great results.”