In 2010, when technology provider InterDev began working with Michael Mackenzie Communications (MMC), its employee count was seven. At the time, says InterDev Founder and CEO Gary Nichols, the company’s experience with marketing firms was limited. “We had pulled in a company to do a makeover of our logo and business cards,” says Nichols. “We had them create our original website, but we were not using them for any true marketing.”
That all changed when Nichols met MMC Principal Consultant Jennifer Koon at the Greater North Fulton County Chamber of Commerce Business Expo. “We were exhibiting at our booth and she was making the rounds,” Nichols recalls. “She said, ‘Hey, how are you, and what’s new? Do you need help?’” That interaction began a partnership that Nichols describes as “a major step forward for us.”
A few years after MMC began working with InterDev, the firm helped the InterDev team develop its request for proposal (RFP) response for a public private partnership contract with an Atlanta-area city—a contract that InterDev won. “That RFP was the biggest thing that MMC did for us, helping us land our first public sector outsourced IT client and doubling our staff nearly overnight,” says Nichols.
Eight years later, InterDev is a leading provider of IT, Security and GIS (Geographic Information Services) for city and county government. Its roster of public sector clients includes 27 cities that span the U.S. from Illinois to Florida. Its employee count has grown from seven to 75.
The Value of Professionalism
When asked what benefits his firm enjoyed working with MMC, Nichols replies, “Working with MMC, we have a marketing company to turn to—to raise the level of professionalism in response to requirements, like those we see with public sector RFPs. Tech firms are about the worst at knowing how to market themselves and MMC helps provide the competitive edge we need telling our story of success in our proposals.”
Nichols also praises MMC for its assistance helping InterDev develop a complete line of marketing materials. “We rely on our collateral as something that makes a physical impression–a leave behind after we meet with someone,” says Nichols. “It also raises our level of professionalism with RFP responses and puts us above the competition.”
“Working with MMC, we have a marketing company to turn to—to raise the level of professionalism in response to requirements, like those we see with public sector RFPs.”
– Gary Nichols, Founder and CEO
Another important benefit, he notes, is the event marketing with which MMC has assisted the firm. “We get a lot of our business from attending conferences,” Nichols says. “We need to stand out from our competitors. MMC helped us evolve from our drab colors from years ago to a more vibrant booth package that really stands out.”
Reflecting on why he decided to work with MMC initially, Nichols doesn’t hesitate. “It was Jennifer Koon herself. I recognized her as an extremely intelligent person, and she gets it right the first time.” Additionally, he notes, “Her team is always willing to help us out in a crunch. When I need something in a hurry, someone always says, ‘Yea, we have someone on it.’ I don’t hear, ‘We can probably get to it next week.’”
An Enthusiastic Recommendation
When asked if he would recommend MMC, Nichols responds, “Absolutely. We’ve tried having in-house entry level marketing people, but they have lacked the wide variety of skill sets needed for our true marketing needs. With MMC, we are always confident that action items will come back completed, on time.”
“There is also real value in the discipline that MMC brought to our marketing,” Nichols concludes.
“The regular cadence of having scheduled meetings—with a defined agenda and output, and expectations by the next meeting—is a benefit for any firm.”
— Gary Nichols, Founder and CEO
Beyond their principal role as strategic provider of Managed IT and Security Services, InterDev is well known as a champion of IT visioning and innovation for growing businesses and local government – a role they perfected over nearly four decades. In addition to managing and hosting IT operations for its valued clients, InterDev also offers MosaicGIS™, a cloud-based, software-as-a-service GIS platform based on Esri, as well as VoIP telecommunications services and circuit solutions. InterDev delivers services to business and municipalities throughout the Southeast and Midwest from their offices in Atlanta, Beaufort (SC) and Chicago. For more information, visit www.interdev.com.