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Our “Why Marketing?” series gives industry leaders a chance to speak about the importance of marketing.

Bri Lynn is a project coordinator with Ready For School, a West Michigan community initiative. Ready For School works to ensure that every child enters kindergarten prepared to succeed by equipping parents through integrated support of the Holland/Zeeland/Hamilton communities.

Bri keeps herself up to date on digital trends and uses streamlined messaging for Ready For School’s varied audiences. This is important in her field of development as well as marketing.

For Bri, development and marketing go hand in hand. “In development, it’s really important that we market our stories,” she says, “and turn those numbers into photos that would really cause someone to pause, take a look, and consider the incredible transformation that we’re seeing at Ready For School.”

Our “Why Marketing?” series gives industry leaders a chance to speak about the importance of marketing.

Chandler Karadsheh is a marketing manager with Grand Rapids-based Axios HR, part of Staffing Inc. and Axios Professional Recruiting. Axios HR helps mid-size businesses reach their human resource goals with smart strategies, proactive advice, and a partnership mentality.

Chandler has been involved in many areas of marketing, from digital ad campaign management to traditional print ads and direct mail. For Axios, Chandler recognizes that digital marketing is an important tool, particularly to answer questions.

“The most essential function of a good marketing system,” Chandler says, “is to effectively deliver the best answer to the question that our future customers are asking.”

Our “Why Marketing?” series gives industry leaders a chance to speak about the importance of marketing.

Bob Kreter is the marketing director with Dégagé Ministries, a West Michigan nonprofit offering help and hope to homeless and disadvantaged individuals in the Grand Rapids community.

In his 35 years of experience in the marketing industry, Bob has seen more change in the decade than at any other time. This is because of technology such as advances in digital platforms.

“Marketing is an absolute must in whatever you’re doing.” Bob uses digital marketing, specifically social media, to tell Dégagé’s story to potential donors and to the community the ministry serves. “Through Facebook, we can share those stories. And that’s what social media is all about.”

Our “Why Marketing?” series gives industry leaders a chance to speak about the importance of marketing.

Lily Nguyen is a marketing manager with Eidex Insights, a Grand Rapids-based data analytics firm. Eidex equips school leaders with software and support services that help them with insights to stimulate decisions.

Marketing is fundamental to building a strong foundation for your brand. With her team of 20+ members, Lily uses digital marketing to communicate value to clients and share Eidex’s story. For Lily, today’s digital tools and analytics make marketing an exciting field to be a part of.

Our “Why Marketing?” series gives industry leaders a chance to speak about the importance of marketing.

Amanda Stevenson works in content creation for Versiti Blood Center of Michigan. Versiti is a leader in innovative blood health solutions. They integrate science, medicine, and service to improve patient outcomes and reduce the cost of care for hospitals.

Amanda spoke with us about why digital marketing is a necessity, particularly for a nonprofit such as Versiti. “A lot of people think marketing is easy and that anyone can be good at it, but it takes the right people to do marketing effectively.”

One of the challenges Versiti faces as a nonprofit is acquiring the unique donations required for the organization to thrive. Instead of just asking for money, they need blood donors. It can be much more complicated to find people willing to donate their time and body rather than just money sent online with the click of a button. Digital marketing has to show people how they are helping, who they are helping, and why it is important. Amanda understands that a good digital marketer needs to tell a story that matters.

Our “Why Marketing?” series gives industry leaders a chance to speak about the importance of marketing.

Ben Risinger has been working in the marketing industry since 2000. As a marketing and communications professional, Ben knows firsthand why marketing today is more important than ever.

When you understand the value of the service or product or education you’re providing, digital marketing is a fantastic tool to help you connect with your audience. Today’s critical digital tools and strategies allow for precision targeting and marketing. Marketing today blends together analytics, PR and communications.

Ben believes in the importance of continuing your education in a field that is constantly evolving. His advice is to always be looking out for blogs, tweets and new trends to help you keep up.

Our “Why Marketing?” series gives industry leaders a chance to speak about the importance of marketing.

Shannon is a marketing specialist on a team of 50+ at Flow-Rite Controls. Flow-Rite provides unique and useful solutions for customers by designing, manufacturing, and marketing fluid control devices. 

Shannon spoke with us about the challenges the manufacturing industry faces when it comes to marketing. As a marketing specialist, it’s important for Shannon to be able to provide relevant content to her customers, as well as her customers’ end consumers. Flow-Rite relies heavily on Google Analytics to indicate the trends and platforms of their audience, enabling Flow-Rite to stay at the forefront of their customers’ minds.

Our “Why Marketing?” series gives industry leaders a chance to speak about the importance of marketing.

GR Now is the go-to place for keeping up with all things Grand Rapids. For the latest on events, restaurants, and entertainment in GR, check out their website or join the 70,000+ community on their Facebook page.

CJ DeVries, owner of GR Now, talks about why digital marketing is essential for the success of her company. Digital marketing strategy allows the business to use real-time data to predict what their readers want so GR Now can deliver excellent content. Because of digital strategy, CJ’s readers looking for content about picnics will see that content in the summertime when it’s appropriate. When implemented correctly, digital marketing allows people in a community to express themselves, helping GR Now to connect with their audience.


Our “Why Marketing?” series gives industry leaders a chance to speak about the importance of marketing.

Beth DeVries is the Director of Marketing for Greenridge Realty. Founded in Grand Rapids in 1980, Greenridge Realty currently has 20+ business locations and 450+ agents. Their main objective is to inform, guide and look after the best interests of their clients throughout the home buying or selling journey.

Real estate is moving rapidly, particularly in West Michigan, with listings selling quickly every week. Digital marketing allows Beth to automate Greenridge’s listings process and enables her to share those listings with targeted audiences within three days of the homes hitting the market. This kind of digital marketing is effective, efficient and affordable, helping take the work out of the hands of real estate agents so they can focus on their clients. For Beth, this means excellent service to Greenridge Realty clients and a more streamlined process for sharing their listings.