Jim Neumann is founder and president of Allturna, a multi-channel marketing provider based in Doylestown, PA that employs an analytically centric approach using individual customer-level preferences to determine channel and message mix.
Jim founded Allturna in 2012 after spending the first 20 years of his career leading the evolution within larger advertising agencies to leverage data, technology, and analytics in the design and deployment of targeted and measurable marketing programs.
Allturna is a four-time winner of the Philadelphia 100®. Its most-recent win was last year, when it was ranked #37th on the list with 2017 revenue of $1.6 million, up from $691,600 in 2015. The company’s 2018 revenue was almost $2.1 million.
Why are you an entrepreneur?
The allure of starting my own company was always very appealing to me, but the thought of “starting over” in the midst of what I felt was a fairly successful career prevented me from taking the leap for decades. That was until the day the company I was working for went out of business and closed their doors two days before Christmas, which is when I realized I needed to have more control of my own successes and failures and began my own firm.
What are the most important characteristics of successful entrepreneurs?
There are three characteristics that I personally employ, and which have worked well in helping me start and grow my business.
First, you have to be willing to do the work – especially in the early stages of any business. Because there is no one to delegate to, this can mean doing things that may not feel comfortable. But doing them myself has helped me grow and it also demonstrates to my team that we are all in it together.
Second, you have to build a good team and a good culture. Creating an environment where people work together to achieve a common goal is powerful.
And third, you have to be honest with yourself and your prospects and clients. Not getting help for skills that you need help with is silly – you’re only hurting yourself and your firm. Telling clients and prospects what you are good at and what you are NOT good at creates a long-term relationship.
How do you see marketing evolving over the next ten years?
I jokingly say that after 25 years marketing has finally come around to my way of thinking. When I started my career, the use of data, analytics, and technology was novel and interesting but certainly not at the center of what marketers or their agencies focused on. Now you have agencies touting the number of “data scientists” they have on staff and their data acumen. I think that trend will continue, but consumers are becoming more and more aware of their digital footprint and the need to balance privacy with some of the benefits that data-driven marketing brings. Legislation in the EU and pending legislation in California help to foreshadow the trends relative to consumer data privacy and protection. While these laws won’t eliminate the use of data as a core approach to marketing, it will certainly raise the bar relative to making the use of personal data more ethical and understood.
How has EFGP membership helped you grow Allturna?
I joined EFGP at a point when I really needed to work on the business, not just in the business. EFGP membership has helped me realize there are many other folks like myself living parallel lives in different universes who face similar challenges and are willing to share their experiences to help us all collectively succeed. I’ve met complementary businesses through EFGP, and while we haven’t jointly sold work with any other EFGP member, we have tried and will continue to try. It’s a great networking group and the speakers provide relevant topics that I can use in my business.
What was the impact of winning the Philly100?
Winning the Philly100 made me realize that Allturna (and I) had moved from the surviving stage to the thriving stage. We spent so much time in the early years working to simply create an income stream and establish our capabilities and footprint within our client base, that I really didn’t think about the fact that we were creating a company that could have lasting success until going to the CEO Breakfast and Awards Banquet the first year. Now it’s become a bit of an annual event where I look forward to seeing other multi-year recipients and catching up.
“Five Questions With…” is a series of interviews in which EFGP members share insights about their career journeys, their industries, and the value of EFGP membership. To learn how joining EFGP can help you grow your company, explore our website (you're on it!).