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Hidden Gems: Meet David Smith of Envision Creative

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Smith.

Hi David, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I worked as the Marketing Director for a financial technology company and in the span of just two weeks in September 2001, I closed on a new house in South Austin; I was let go from the company I worked at for over nine years (the company was bought out for its technology, and everyone was fired), then 9/11 happened, and the entire country was reeling from the horrible events of that day. Unsurprisingly, no one was hiring after that. So I was left with a new mortgage payment, no job, and no hiring prospects… awesome. But I’ve always believed that every challenge has an equal and opposite opportunity if you just look for it.

I always stayed on top of my graphic design chops and even had several freelance clients I did work for over the years, and after being the client of multiple agencies and seeing that experience firsthand, I decided to start my own agency entirely from the client perspective. Having never worked at an agency before, I felt it was a strong foundational element to build on by not being burdened with the same old processes that each agency followed just because that’s the way it had always been done.

I believed there was a better way to approach client engagements, which was always asking myself, “What would I want if I were still the client?”. As we grew throughout the years, this has continued to be a guiding principle for us to ensure we’re doing the best work we possibly can for our clients because they are expecting results that truly make a difference for their brand. So we built processes that specialize in repositioning clients using our own proprietary 5 | E process for increased growth and success.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Envision was started during a time of adversity and over our 20 years in business, we have had to weather many ups and downs in a market space that is extremely dynamic and competitive as well as the world at large. Whether it was the financial collapse in 2008, the COVID pandemic last year, or any other challenge in between, I’ve always focused on making sure that our team members and our clients were being supported to the best of our ability.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
As Envision grew as an agency, I saw that there was a need in the market for an agency partner that provided a more holistic, strategic approach to support. That’s why we focus our efforts on being experts in helping organizations reposition themselves for long-term success as opposed to simply rebranding.

Rebranding is the process of modifying or changing the image and identity of an organization through the change in name, logo, design, offering, etc. Repositioning on the other hand is a much more comprehensive process of reviewing a client’s goals and the challenges they’ve faced in trying to attain those goals. Then backtracking from there, we create a strategy to help them position themselves using various marketing techniques and tactics to achieve those goals.

The result may include a rebrand, or a change in messaging or shift in target audience to gain more awareness. Ultimately it means looking deeper into solving a business problem and not just updating window dressing for a fresher look (which may or may not have anything to do with addressing the challenges they’ve faced in trying to achieve their goals).

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
Obviously, during the last year and a half, every organization in the world has realized that they absolutely have to have a strategic and robust digital presence in order to engage their audiences and be more agile during unexpected times. The tools being utilized to create this presence are rapidly evolving. AI and machine learning will have a dramatic impact on how all marketers approach the digital space and reach audiences to drive meaningful results.

And, with the ever-changing landscape regarding privacy regulations, marketers will have to stay vigilant and adaptable in their tactics to remain compliant while still driving engagement. This challenge will go hand-in-hand with finding new and better ways to evolve our processes while creating new impactful solutions for niche-based verticals.

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