Technically Marketing

This entrepreneur used his IT background to give his business an edge

One of his first experiences with computers came when he was given a Timex Micro as a birthday gift. It was at that point that Joseph N. Weaver Jr. discovered his true passion for a concept that has revolutionized the new millennium — interactive technology.

Equipped with $15,000 in savings, Weaver launched Global Design Inc., an integrated marketing communications firm in 1995. The Baltimore-based, five-employee firm is a full-service marketing firm that focuses on graphic design and interactive multimedia. Though the firm generated a meager $60,000 in its first year of operation, revenues increased more than tenfold to $650,000 by 2002. With clients that include GlaxoSmithKline, Sun Microsystems, Novo Nordisk, and the Maryland Transportation Authority, Weaver projects 2003 revenues to reach the $1 million mark.

A graduate of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, Weaver received his masters degree in information systems from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, before being bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. “I have always been intrigued with the versatility of technology and its ability to transform ideas into reality,” Weaver comments. After several years as a senior consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Weaver decided to use his ingenuity and skills to attain a more fulfilling role as an entrepreneur.

Keeping a business afloat in the early years is never easy and Global Design was no exception. One of Weaver’s most difficult challenges when getting his company off the ground was selling potential clients on integrated marketing without having an extensive portfolio. “Building my business required me to establish strong business relationships with prospects, various associations, and other experts,” Weaver states. He relied heavily on grassroots marketing, referrals, and positive, motivated people to get him through the tough times.

Tapping into his technological expertise, Weaver believes he can give his clients a competitive edge. “The world is rapidly becoming a global marketplace,” Weaver says. Global Design encourages clients to think globally when developing their brand identity, without losing sight of what is important on a local level. The company uses a gamut of marketing tools such as DVD presentations, touch-screen kiosks, CD-ROMs, and rich-media broadcast e-mail to help solve its clients’ business problems.

One of Global Design’s recent accomplishments was landing a deal to design an interactive Web strategy for the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture in Baltimore. Weaver states that his firm will continue to embrace technology and use it to better solve its clients’ business needs. Weaver says, “I look forward to the business opportunities that tomorrow brings.”

Mail your small business questions to Savvy Solutions, BLACK ENTERPRISE130 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10011or send an e-mail to hughesa@blackenterprise.com.

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