Exeleon Magazine

Anna Stella: Beyond Marketing and More

Anna Stella Transformational CEOs

The world of marketing has undergone a significant transformation over the past few decades, driven primarily by advancements in technology and shifts in consumer behavior.

As a multi award-winning professional, Anna Stella is no stranger to the changing faces of the marketing world. For Anna, marketing is one of those rare few fields that allows for creativity and experimentation.

Since starting her marketing company in 2012 – BBSA – Anna Stella has made sure to bridge the gap in the industry by delivering a full range of services. Read this exclusive interview to understand her journey, vision, and her thoughts on marketing.

In your experience, what are some of the essential qualities a successful CEO should possess?

The role of a CEO is demanding and challenging, and it needs a diverse set of skills and qualities. A successful CEO effectively leads an organization with a vision and purpose while handling obstacles and challenges that emerge along the way.

To attain this, I believe that a CEO must be adaptable, quickly adapt changes, and lead teams through new circumstances that come along the way. Adaptability requires a sense of quick decision-making in times of uncertainty.

What prompted your interest and subsequently your foray into the marketing space?

One exciting thing about digital marketing and its greatest advantage is that it allows for creativity and experimentation. No fixed, unshakeable rules exist for creating an effective campaign because every business and its target audience is unique. I love marketing because it is ideal for people with diverse skills and interests, and I want to apply it all in one profession. Marketing is a job you love–one undeniable truth is that it is never boring.

Talk to us about BBSA. What was the pain point that led you to start this agency?

Every day, businesses and marketers work tirelessly to discover distinctive selling points for their businesses/brands, products, and services. However, all USPs have an expiration date. BBSA was established in 2012 after identifying a market gap with a clear USP.

Small businesses have distinctive challenges. Although small businesses make up 98% of companies and play a crucial role in building the economy, they only employ an average of 5 employees. Most of these small businesses lack the resources to hire in-house marketing expertise, hindering their ability to capitalize on domestic and international opportunities. The lack of marketing skills and expertise can surely impede their growth and progression.

Marketing agencies have yet to discover a method to fully cater to this market. Currently, they offer niche services in a fragmented way rather than comprehensive marketing solutions. BBSA fills this marketing gap and has the vision of providing every small business with access to a team of competent marketing experts whenever required.

Our tagline, “Outsource your marketing,” captures our approach perfectly. We handle your marketing with the same dedication and care as if it was our very own company. Our clients have seen the tangible differences we make for them.

As the Founder and CEO, what role do you play in the day-to-day proceedings of the company?

As an entrepreneur, getting caught up in handling everything yourself is easy. Having started the business, you have a profound understanding and a clear vision of where you want it to go. However, attempting everything independently can be counterproductive and ultimately affect your business’s growth. Therefore, I embrace the role of CEO and not chief of everything. Some of my roles as CEO include:

  • Finding new clients
  • Defining the business’s overall vision, values, and mission and setting the general direction
  • Creating and developing a high-level business strategy that aligns with the long-term objectives.
  • Balancing current capacity and future growth.

Having worked with some of the top organizations in Europe and beyond, you have seen the marketing space evolve continuously. What do you think is the future of marketing with the emergence of AI?

AI and Marketing. Marketing and AI. In 5 years, it will be everywhere. Maybe it will also have its name, as we have seen for “e-marketing” and “Digital marketing.” Perhaps it will be called AI-Marketing? Marketing is one of the areas of business operations where AI will drive total change. And frankly, it was about time. A McKinsey study showed that marketing and sales are the single business function that will have the most financial impact. So basically, you’re already dead if you’re a marketer and not using AI. The mantra goes that AI won’t replace you–if you let it help you.

All industries with a lot of data and a need for heavy personalization and intelligent automation of their operations have been doing AI for probably the last decade – healthcare and financial services – but doing it within their business’s operations, not marketing and sales. However, it’s my experience that many business professionals still see AI as abstract. The number one challenge I see is complacency and a reluctance to change how things are done in the marketing processes.

Looking ahead, what is your vision for BBSA? What are you most excited about?

We recently opened up a new office in Hong Kong, and it’s surely not the last international expansion project. As the saying goes, if you are not succeeding in one geography, do not expect to kill competition in another. That is why we focus on strategic internal growth opportunities and keep the big picture in mind. To scale effectively, a compelling value proposition that aligns with the target country and, more specifically, our target clients is essential, and we’re thrilled about taking on this new challenge.

Read Digital Version.

Visit BBSA Marketing Website.

Contact Anna Stella on LinkedIn.

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