A woman does a yoga pose while grinning and glancing to the side.
A man is flipped upside down with a soccer ball balanced between his feet.
A woman models a sunhat like she’s ready for the beach.
Granted, they’re not the typical headshots one is used to seeing on the “Our Team” section of a company website, especially for the three company leaders.
But that’s just what the minds behind Crawford Strategy like to call “the Crawford way.”
The marketing agency based in downtown Greenville is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, and its leaders are using the occasion to push forward their own unique strategy for the future – silly headshots and all.
“A client of ours was recently asked why he chose to work with Crawford,” said Crawford President Andy Windham (aka the man who posed with the soccer ball). “He talked about the creativity, the quality, how we’re going to do what we say we do – but the one thing he said was, ‘They look like my kind of people,’ which I really love to hear.”
My kind of people — meaning the kind of people who are comfortable subverting the traditional formalities when necessary, if only so as not to get weighted down by stodgy convention.
With a client list that includes United Community Bank, North Myrtle Beach, Michelin North America, Prisma Health and the University of South Carolina Upstate, the strategy appears to be working so far.
Founded in 2010 by Greenville native Marion Crawford (aka the woman doing the yoga pose), the company is seeing strong growth and is now elevating its most senior members of leadership to more significant roles.
Windham, who previously served as senior vice president of client strategy, is now the new president and chief strategy officer.
Andrea Stegall (aka the woman in the sunhat), who previously served as senior vice president of client operations, is now the new chief operating officer.
Crawford said the moves cement in place the best aspects of the company.
“We’ve had these two professionals associated with the company for nearly seven years,” Crawford said. “A lot of creative agencies have the talent of creatives but don’t always have that really strong complement of operational excellence.”
Likening themselves to two sides of the same coin, Stegall and Windham complement each other well. At the risk of oversimplification, Windham’s team drives the creative side of client strategy, while Stegall’s team makes that vision come to life.
“I can come in and be his partner in making sure the strategy he’s outlined and the vision he has really come together,” Stegall said. “What do we need to do, what team do we need, what processes do we need, what’s our timeline, what’s the budget – really what are all those pieces of the puzzle that we need to be sure we’re doing what we need to get the right finish for the client.”
But it’s not all about the clients. The company, which was just ranked the 11th Best Place to Work in South Carolina by the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, focuses on nurturing long relationships with its employees as well.
From paying team members for outside professional development to encouraging them to speak up about new ideas for company improvement to letting employees rock workout clothes in the office on Fridays, the 30-strong team at Crawford have created a culture that balances the personal with the professional.
Moving forward, the company still strives to keep that balance — the “Crawford way,” if you will — even as it shifts from its role as a local company punching above its weight to a truly regional agency.
“I always wanted to create a great company,” Crawford said. “I didn’t need to be big, but it needed to be great — for both the clients and the employees.”