Sandy Rubinstein is the CEO of the independently female minority-owned marketing and advertising firm DXagency.
Sandy first came to the company in 2009 after 20 years in various senior marketing, management and advertising roles at television networks and consumer brands. She is a graduate from the University of Miami with a double major in Classical Voice and Business, and a minor in Marketing and Advertising.
ClickZ caught up with her to find out about the challenges of her role as CEO, working for a female minority-owned marketing agency, and what advice she would give to women who want to work in the digital industry.
Tell us a bit about DXagency. What do you do as an organization, and how did you get started?
DXagency is a full-service engagement agency that specializes in creating marketing opportunities for its clients that resonate with target consumers. We have clients in all business verticals, and provide a focused approach to our clients’ businesses that results in strong ROI.
It’s an independently female and minority-owned agency founded in 2004, with a team of more than 40 members at our Edgewater, NJ headquarters. In 2015 we also opened an office in Miami, Florida.
The company was born out of the music business, and the clients have grown organically to include music, television, consumer packaged goods, financials, and more.
What is the biggest challenge in your role as CEO?
If you’re not growing, you’re dead. But I think this point is really what separates us from the rest of the pack. We’re a small company with 45 employees and we hope to double and triple that.
However, many people think that in order to do that, you’ve got to get out there looking for new clients. At DX one of our biggest challenges are using every second of our time taking absolute care of the existing clients we have. We’re constantly looking for ways to optimize their growth, because we know that when we stay true to our clients, a steady stream of growth comes through our door.
Whatever you do in business, stay laser-focused on your current clients and new business will find you!
Yet equally as important and challenging in my role as CEO of DX is to make sure, and I mean absolutely sure, that everyone looks forward to coming to work every single day. In order to do that, we try to come up with as many opportunities for a special occasions as possible.
For example, when we notice that someone has been putting in a tremendous effort on a certain project, we make sure everyone knows about it, and we place their name on a plaque on the front door of the office. Around holiday seasons, we have a themed pot luck where everyone has to make up something and pick out a reward from our Pot Of Luck, and when we run out of holidays we just make new ones up!
It’s my job to find every excuse possible to reward those who make great efforts, and make sure everyone is appreciated. When someone from the office is out sick we always make sure someone checks in on them, and when someone has a baby, everyone spends some time passing around the baby pictures.
Creating a great place to work is not about big things; it’s about always doing small but meaningful things on a consistent basis. It’s about showing our staff they mean as much to us as our clients do. Creating an enjoyable place to work is not just smart – it’s the only way for you and your company to succeed.
DXagency is a female minority-owned firm, certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. How did this come about, and what difference do you think it makes to the organization?
We were eager to move through the certification process, because we felt it was important to our business and to our clients. Diversity is an incredibly powerful thing, bringing different perspectives and points of view to the work we output and that is something we believe in strongly from the top down. And this encompasses not just visible diversity, but age, gender, and so on.
What do you see as the most significant trends in digital marketing over the coming years?
The move back to email as a key tool in digital marketing.
What kinds of skills are needed to be effective in your role?
Clear communication and decisiveness. People need to know what is happening, and they need a leader who they can come to with a question and who has the answers. This allows your employees to get back to doing what they need to do in order to move the business and the clients projects forward.
We move fast, and our clients expect that from us. That type of clear workflow, expectations and decision-making needs to come from the top.
Do you have any advice for women who want to work in the digital industry?
I would give them the same advice my mother gave me: “Do it because you love it, not because you see it as a path to fortune.” With anything in life, if your heart isn’t in it, you won’t be successful.
More specific to digital marketing, if you love the challenge of finding that needle in a haystack, that thing that makes people “feel” something and take an action, then there’s no career better in the world!
This article is part of our ongoing Q&A series on ClickZ which takes a closer look at the roles, life and work of leaders in the digital marketing and advertising industries. Read previous installments in the series.