Interview with Renita Williams, Founder of The Marketing Plug, United States

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Renita Williams

As founder of The Marketing Plug, Renia challenges herself to build a team of professionals that could deliver high-quality work for B2B and B2C brands.

Interview with the 2020 MUSE Creative Awards Winner - Renita Williams

1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your creative background.

I was the kid that preferred to watch commercials on TV instead of changing the channel. For as long as I can remember, I've been obsessed with the way brands communicated with consumers. Today, I take pride in crafting the perfect message for both B2B & B2C brands.

I started The Marketing Plug with the goal of challenging myself to build a team of professionals that could deliver high-quality results at very affordable prices.

2What made you become/why did you choose to become a creative?

I've always had an eye for design and I just love making things look better. When I was younger, I used to play The Sims and obsess over every little detail while trying to create the perfect life for my characters. As an entrepreneur and creative, I have the unique ability to create my own path. Unlike other professions, there is no limit to the ideas I can develop, the people I can collaborate with, and the places I can go.

3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.

I am the founder of The Marketing Plug, a full-service digital marketing agency in Chicago. The Marketing Plug is founded on the belief that digital marketing is the ultimate equalizer. Thanks to technology, small businesses can effectively compete with large corporations — if their digital marketing game is on point.

We work hard to level the playing field for every entrepreneur, dreamer, and small business owner by providing them with the tools to acquire customers online. Our mission is to facilitate economic growth by providing equal access to quality digital marketing and web design services, especially to black-owned businesses.

4What does “creativity” mean to you?

Creativity is like a well that never runs dry. It's the way we think, the way we don't think, and everything in between. There's always a new way to express an idea, and creativity is that breaking point that lets us go beyond the status quo.

5To you, what makes a “creative” idea and/or design?

Often times, people think a creative idea has to be mind-blowing. In a world full of distractions, to me, a design is creative if it has the power to catch your eye and make you stop and pay attention.

6Tell us about your creative and/or design process.

My creative process is pretty simple. Once I establish the overall goal, my team takes inventory of what already exists in that space and comes up with ways to make it better, faster, more visually-appealing, more persuasive.

7What's your favorite part of the creative process and why?

My favorite part of the creative process is pitching ideas to clients. The looks on their faces and the feedback we receive is absolutely priceless. If the client is not blown away, we've missed the mark.

8Describe your creative style and its main characteristics.

Clean, modern, simplistic, minimalist. I prefer tons of white space with not a lot of clutter. There are so many "eye-catching" trends happening right now, keeping things clean and simple goes against the grain, and tends to stand out more than ever.

9Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your creativity process?

Yes, definitely. As an African American woman, I see beauty and opportunity everywhere. Since the majority of our clients are minority business owners, we understand the feeling of fighting uphill battles. I know that there's beauty in the struggle, so creatively, I push my team to constantly push boundaries, push limits, and think of diversity and inclusion at every step of the design process.

10Congratulations! As the winner of the 2020 MUSE Creative Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?

After five years in the game, it feels amazing to be recognized, especially at the international level. We've always done award-winning work for the best prices in the industry, but now it's official. We're an award-winning digital marketing agency and that definitely has a ring to it. This award has definitely been the highlight of 2020, and we're hoping that it serves as a launching pad for an even better 2021.

11Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2020 MUSE Creative Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?

This project is a web redesign project we completed with the primary goal of connecting with our target audience, small black-owned businesses. We wanted to create a space where black entrepreneurs and creatives are celebrated by inclusive language and imagery. I chose to enter this project because it reflects what we're all about, making black-owned businesses a focal point, not a feature, or an afterthought.

12What was the biggest challenge with this project?

The biggest challenge was creating the service pages and explaining what we offer in the most authentic and digestible way possible. Digital marketing is such a dense topic, and as a full-service digital agency, we wanted to show and tell what we do in a way that resonates with our target audience.

13How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?

With a Muse Award under our belt, I'm holding myself and my agency to even higher standards. There is a certain level of quality clients expect when we describe ourselves as "an award-winning agency" and my goal is to make sure we exceed those expectations.

14What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?

1. Creatives have a different way of thinking, which is truly unteachable and indescribable.

2. There is no limit to creativity, browsing through the list of 2020 award winners demonstrates that.

3. The objective can become subjective and the subjective can become objective, This is the only industry where there are no right or wrong answers, just different ways of doing things.

15What makes your country specifically, unique in the creative industry?

I'm not quite sure.

16Where do you see the evolution of creative industry going over the next 5-10 years?

As we continue to push the envelope on best practices and standards, the old will become new once again. Just like in fashion, the creative industry will use the past as inspiration to create the future.

17If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Creative Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?

Do it and do it now! There is no better feeling than being able to refer to yourself or your agency as "award-winning". MUSE has so many categories to choose from, so just find a niche, submit your best work, and let the panelist decide.

18What resources would you recommend to someone who wants to improve their skills in the creative industry?

Behance, by Adobe, is a great community for creatives.

19Tell us something you have never told anyone else.

In school, I hated art. I got good grades but drawing, sculpting, and painting never really spoke to me. It wasn't until I discovered graphic design that I really considered myself to be a creative.

20Who has inspired you in your life and why?

When it comes to inspiration, the what is more important than the who. The Black Lives Matter & Black Girl Magic movement have been the most inspirational factors in my life. Together, these movements symbolize the struggle and celebrate the excellence of my heritage and culture, which is beautiful. Before these movements, I was afraid of being too bold, too black, and too authentic. Now, it's embedded in every project I'm a part of.

21What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?

Authenticity is key. People can smell ingenuity from a mile away. You have to truly know yourself in order to be yourself. So take the necessary steps to identify who you are and make sure your essence is reflected in every project you do.

Winning Entries

The Marketing Plug | 2020

The Marketing Plug | MUSE Creative Awards

This project is a web redesign project we completed with the primary goal of connecting with our target audience, small black-owned...
(read more at MUSE Creative Awards)

The Marketing Plug

The Marketing Plug is a full-service digital marketing agency built to create marketing solutions..