Mission: Why We Exist
Were you ever told that to be successful in business, and especially within the sales and marketing aspects, you had to be a “certain kind” of person — i.e. cut-throat, aggressive, and the kind of person who had to be willing to boast and grandstand? Perhaps you’re even worried right now about contacting a “marketing firm” because you think we might be “those kind” of people who will say just about anything to make a sale…?
“My parents believed that good ethical people couldn’t really succeed in business, and that sales and marketing were somewhat sleazy professions. In fact, even after I discovered a real aptitude for marketing and sales (successfully telemarketing at the age of 16!) they really tried to talk me out it, saying I was too nice a person to go down that road.” explains Tenato’s CEO, Jacqueline Drew. “I have certainly witnessed what they were saying — crooked companies make fast bucks sometimes. That means short-term success can be harder for honest businesses….they often fly under the radar, have trouble recognizing how great they are, and don’t always get their fair share of the pie. But I think that’s exactly why I MUST do this, it is my job to prove that good companies CAN succeed through real, ethical and persistent marketing, and succeed better in the long run. Helping good honest companies ultimately helps hundreds families stay on their feet, while making the world a better place.”
That’s why our mission is simple: We help the “good guys” win. – with an honest, tenacious approach to ensure they achieve their full value and recognition in the marketplace.
Our firm was founded in 1996, originally providing strategic planning, marketing and sales development services to small businesses, operating under the name of START Marketing Inc. CEO and Founder, Jacqueline Drew, a commerce graduate, spent many years consulting under this banner, providing radio columns to Corus, CBC Radio One, and working on boards in the business community as the client base evolved to include oil and gas, professional services, retail, manufacturing, and wholesaling businesses across a broad range of industries, each who came with the same need: to find the best route to sustainable, profitable growth.
Despite our formally-educated understanding of the term “marketing” as involving key strategy decisions to drive growth (such as refining offerings, pricing, messaging, target selection and promotional decisions), we realized that there was a disconnect between our definition of marketing, and that of the general public, which defines “marketing” as basically promotional initiatives only (such as advertising, direct mail, websites and the like). In fact, many people also saw marketing as entirely separate from sales initiatives, instead of the strategy behind it. Many clients were therefore somewhat surprised to come looking for “marketing” and discover that we not only assisted in “strategy,” but that strategy was indeed required to achieve growth. After all, achieving lasting growth takes more than a few brochures and website; if offerings, targets, pricing or other key strategic elements are not competitive, no amount of attractive promotion will create success.
As our client base grew to include mid-sized, large and government organizations, we came to the understanding that “strategic planning” and not “marketing” was dramatically better representation of our core service, and finally renamed the company as Tenato Strategy in 2011. Fortunately, this also coincided with the completion of our Principal Consultant’s MBA, and some groundbreaking strides in our online market research capabilities. With much new and exciting, we are very much looking forward to our next 15 years.
About the name “Tenato”
The name “Tenato” has an interesting story. It is combination of two terms which we combined into one: “tenacity” and “tenuto.”
“START Marketing,” our original name, was a name our founder developed back at square one, when the company was quite young and impetuous. It represented a “jump in a do it” attitude to spur the company’s launch, and it was also a name that was meant to appeal to small, start-up companies. Over the years, the company evolved greatly, as did our clients. We came to realize that our success, and that of our clients, depended greatly on the tenacity to persist, not just start.
In addition, with our founder’s background as a trained musician, we were aware that “tenuto” is a musical term that means to hold a note for its full value, and bring it out for emphasis to be heard. At Tenato, we help our clients develop their full value, emphasizing their strengths to be heard. For the musically minded, a tenuto symbol looks like this:
So is it “Ten-AY-to or Ten-AH-to?” Well, we suppose you could say Ten-AY-to, but we actually say Ten-AH-to. Hmm, now that reminds us of a song…ah, let’s call the whole thing off…