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UIX: Spencer Covey's Greetology adds creativity, humor to marketing

Spencer Covey is no stranger to startups. In the recent past he’s launched six businesses on his own or as a partner. Now, it’s established local companies looking for help with their growth initiatives that Covey finds himself drawn to. Matthew Russell finds out what motivates Covey to provide a unique blend of creative services to local teams.
Spencer Covey is no stranger to startups. In the recent past he’s launched six businesses on his own or as a partner. Now, it’s established local companies looking for help with their growth initiatives that Covey finds himself drawn to.

With clients like the Kent District Library, Meijer, Perrigo, and the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, among others, Covey has his hands full. It’s for good reason, too, as his skillset runs the gamut from leveraging market share to dialing in the impact of sales campaigns. As for how he found his calling with his company Greetology, Covey admits it was around four years ago that he “sort of fell into it.”

“I had always seen myself as an effective sales person and passionate technologist and one day when I was talking with a friend and mentor it just sort of dawned on me that I should merge the two together,” he says. “The skills I personally provide within my work at Greetology are an ability to hone in on and effectively target a client’s customer base then, using a very analytical approach, create multiple campaigns to convey their message or increase revenue.”

Without getting too bogged down in numbers and meeting a bottom line, Covey prides himself on adding a unique sense of humor and thoughtfulness to the design of each project

“Though the approach is analytical, that does not preclude the campaign from being humorous, goofy or creative,” Covey says. “That is really where my strength lies—the ability to look at being creative in a very analytical way.”

Some of the best examples of creativity at Greetology are the Creativity Camps Covey hosts at his farm in Saugatuck. Billed as a summer camp for adults, the events have “a simple mission: to help our guest to reconnect with nature in a meaningful way.”

“Sometimes what we really just need to do is stop and sit in the woods,” Covey explains on his site. “And other times we need to put on some face paint and play capture the flag in the dark. We need to remember the joy of painting with our hands and crafting creatures out of papier mâché. We need to sing campfire songs, we need to laugh, we need to get dirty.”

Upcoming Creativity Camps include the Excentricity Camp and the Magical Mystical Art Camp. The Excentricity Camp features a live stage production. During their stay, up to 50 attendees may choose to concentrate on set design, fabrication, costume design, script writing, directing, or acting. Up to 20 will attend the Magical Mystical Art Camp, which Covey describes for prospective campers as more of a freeform event.

“It's a bright sunny day, summer in Michigan. You just started your day with yoga overlooking Lake Michigan with the lapping of waves as your stereo. Next, you are planning on a breakfast of fresh fruit and farm fresh eggs and organic bacon (or tofu, whatever),” he says. “The full day will consist of expressing yourself any way you see fit. Be that walking through the woods to find that perfect spot to journal from, en plein air painting near a waterfall, on the beach, or hunkered down in a field of wildflowers. The days will end with an organic dinner of locally sourced ethically treated fruits, veggies and some delicious meat treats with options for vegetarians, followed by a nightly bonfire at the beach, story time, singalongs, and other such merriment.”

Covey says these events are starting to be a much bigger focus for him and Greetology.

“In the future I hope to have some events that are open to the public but right now they are exclusively for existing teams of people,” he says, “such as creative firms or large enterprises looking for a shot of creative energy and a change of venue.”

Of course, Greetology clients occasionally expect quantifiable results, which Covey delivers. He attributes his ability to think analytically to a degree in accounting he obtained from Grand Valley State University in 2005. Covey relies on a regular team of independent creatives, artists, and design firms but is the only full-time member of Greetology, and invariably the company’s most multi-talented member.

“This started with Perrigo where I was the lead strategist responsible for launching their social and ecommerce initiative,” he says. “Along with their digital launch I was heavily involved with new product design and research.”

Recently, Covey performed as an embedded consultant working on sales and marketing strategy with Ideomed, the company responsible for Abriiz, a mobile app aimed at helping managing conditions like pediatric asthma, diabetes, COPD, congestive heart failure and even childhood obesity.

“Specifically I was responsible for keeping track of our competitive market, identifying and approaching potential clients, creating marketing collateral for high value projects, representing us and creating content for various health care trade organizations, and representing us by speaking at health conferences,” Covey says.

And although Covey makes up the entirety of Greetology’s staff, growth is always on his horizon. He credits word of mouth as his biggest promoter, but certainly helps the word along whenever possible.

“I do my best to stay in touch with my professional network and attend various events around town; I make sure I always have something interesting to say and that usually works in my favor,” he says. “My favorite part is definitely helping others to get their products, services, and ideas birthed into the world. I really enjoy hearing someone at one of my retreats get excited about coming up with a breakthrough idea.”

For more information on Covey and Greetology, visit http://www.greetology.com/

Matthew Russell is the Project Editor for UIX Grand Rapids. Contact him at matthew@uixgrandrapids.com.

Photography courtesy of Greetology
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