Catherine Merritt, Founder and CEO of Spool Marketing.
This episode delves into Catherine’s journey of scaling Spool, highlighting the core values and people-first philosophy that has propelled her agency to success.
Introduction to Catherine Merritt and Spool
Catherine Merritt has a rich background in the larger agency world, having led the consumer practice for a global agency. Seven years ago, she made a conscious decision to go out on her own. What began as independent consulting eventually evolved into Spool, a radically different agency founded on the principles of being people-first and challenging the norms of the industry.
The Genesis of Spool: A People-First Agency
Catherine shares her inspiration for starting Spool, emphasizing the need for a different approach in the agency landscape. The agency was conceived to be radically different, anchored in the belief that the world didn’t need just another agency. This philosophy led to the birth of a people-first agency where employees are encouraged to live big, full lives outside of work.
Unveiling Core Values: Agility, Authenticity, Accountability, Impact, and Curiosity
Spool’s success is rooted in its core values — agility, authenticity, accountability, impact, and curiosity. Catherine explains how these values contribute to the unique culture at Spool. The emphasis on critical thinking, curiosity, and accountability has created a workforce that is not only passionate about their work but also deeply invested in the success of their clients.
The Intersection of Entrepreneurial Mindset and Agency Work
Catherine’s journey took an entrepreneurial turn when she ventured into starting a direct-to-consumer startup. This experience drastically shifted her perspective from working on behemoth brands to navigating the challenges of a scrappy startup. She realized the importance of an entrepreneurial mindset — a mindset that values impact and aligns effort with outcomes. This mindset is now a cornerstone at Spool.
The Evolution of Spool Ventures: Bridging the Gap Between Agency and Entrepreneurship
Last year, Spool launched Spool Ventures, a venture fund that goes beyond traditional agency boundaries. By investing in various venture capital funds, Spool gains insight into emerging trends within the startup landscape. This initiative not only complements their existing work but also provides a competitive edge by staying ahead of industry trends and gaining a deeper understanding of clients’ challenges.
“The questions that the fund managers ask, those are questions that we ask ourselves all the time to make sure that we’re just understanding and grounding ourselves in our client’s business.”
Recruiting for an Entrepreneurial Agency: Embracing Adaptability
Spool’s success in cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset extends to its recruitment strategy. While not everyone walks in with an entrepreneurial background, Spool looks for individuals who are adaptable and can embrace change. The emphasis is on finding team members who can evolve with the company’s dynamic nature, fostering a culture of continuous growth.
Conclusion: Paving the Way for a New Age of Agencies
In conclusion, Catherine Merritt and Spool showcase a new paradigm for agencies — one where an entrepreneurial mindset, core values, and adaptability form the bedrock of success. As Spool continues to challenge industry norms, it beckons others to join the movement towards more impactful, people-first agencies.
Tune in to the full podcast episode for a deeper dive into Catherine Merritt’s insights on scaling a PR agency, fostering an entrepreneurial mindset, and redefining the agency landscape.
Catherine invites listeners to connect with her through Spool Marketing’s website!
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