Jacqueline Drew founded the company in 1996, shortly after she became a new mother. She knew starting a company would be difficult; to inspire her and others to jump in and make things happen, she originally called the business “START Marketing.”
Having already conquered her fear of cold calling through previous roles in sales and marketing, she networked old and new connections to build a small client base. The company added services as the industry evolved, from websites to online marketing to social media. She hired her first employee when her daughter was born (2000) and the business grew modestly over those years, as she balanced career and motherhood.
The company found its beautiful current location in Inglewood in 2005, giving great street exposure and new opportunities to work with businesses in the surrounding area.
Growth was steady until around the year 2010. Jacqueline noticed the 2008-09 recession had really taken its toll in Calgary; companies were cutting back, and much of the marketing work in demand was going strictly to online marketing and web companies. Leads were smaller and budgets were tighter. It was time to make some changes.
Seeking out some new skill sets resulted in a chain reaction that truly changed the company. One key colleague recommended rebranding to get the company into new territory, away from the impression (given by the name START) that we might only work with startup companies. Given that our strength was strategy development, we also wanted to move away from being branded as just another marketing company. We realized that after 15 years in business, it wasn’t so much about starting as it was about sticking with it, i.e. tenacity!
So, in 2011, the company rebranded to Tenato Strategy Inc., and we went seeking skill sets to build a team of the industry’s most experienced brains in marketing and communications. Our team has greatly improved Tenato’s capability to deliver efficiently and consistently to our clients, and achieve lasting growth results. Since 2011, growth has rapidly accelerated. We have been honoured to work with an enormous range of clients, from award-winning tech start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, and non-profits such as universities, government organizations and charitable causes. And yes, we still enjoy our small business clients as much as we always have; as Jacqueline says, “Anybody who is willing to laugh at my ridiculous jokes generally makes a great client.”