Ontra employees enjoy the flexibility to work from home, in one of our office locations, or spread their time across the two. With teammates dispersed across the country – and even around the world – every department organizes two team offsites during the year to gather everyone for thoughtful, impactful face-to-face time.
Our Marketing team met up in Chicago in August 2022 to discuss marketing strategy and brainstorm additional ways to impact Ontra’s growth. Of course, there was also a healthy dose of team bonding and interactive discussion.
Aligning on objectives
Chief Marketing Officer Justin Shriber underscored that an in-person offsite affords the opportunity to align on the overarching objectives we’re pursuing as an organization. The marketing team’s goal is to accelerate Ontra’s growth. To that end, we established four key areas of focus:
- Landing and expanding within the world’s most prominent asset managers
- Building one of the most respected brands in private markets
- Delivering superior ROI on our marketing spend
- Making Ontra Insight a new standard in contract obligation management
During our offsite, we reviewed these objectives, our wins to date, and areas where we need to double down. “I loved the energy everyone brought to this discussion and the ideas that surfaced as the team collectively engaged on these important topics. We have a team of dedicated, smart folks who are aligned, want to do great work, and deserve to be recognized for their contributions,” said Justin.
We made a concerted effort to make our event cross-functional, inviting the Recruiting and Talent teams to present their strategy and suggest how marketing can help. Our colleagues from Legal, Sales, and Account Management also joined us during our team-building events. We really appreciated the support of these individuals. It reminded us that although we all have different jobs, we’re building something great together.
“The offsite was a great opportunity to meet the Marketing team in person and put faces to names. It gave me a chance to better understand the team’s roadmap and priorities, share recent changes that marketing ops and rev ops have implemented, and get a sense for the types of data and analytics the marketing team is craving,” explained Joe Dvorkin, senior director of business operations & strategy.
Brainstorming on branding
Since Ontra explicitly focuses on private markets, we decided to allocate time to brainstorming ways we could strengthen our brand within that sector. The facilitator kicked off the session by setting the context and asking each person to list concerns, opportunities, and big ideas that came to mind. That exercise jump-started a lively conversation, with each person building on the previous speaker’s points. With the creative juices flowing, we quickly documented pages of incredible ideas that never would have surfaced otherwise.
As Sarah DeCamp, senior product marketing manager said, “The offsite was an incredible opportunity to meet the broader Marketing team in person, and learn about everyone’s roles and projects in detail. As someone who has been focused on product marketing for Ontra Insight, I found it incredibly valuable to hear more about the demand generation, events, and digital marketing efforts that are collectively driving new revenue opportunities across our product suite.”
Enjoying food for thought…and our bellies
To complement the day’s inspired thinking and engaging discussions, we shared a spectacular meal at Girl & the Goat, one of the first restaurants on Chicago’s famed Restaurant Row in the West Loop. The specially prepared tasting menu was out of this world and took us on a culinary journey spanning the globe.
Chyra Howlett, head of Talent Brand, shared her experience of the offsite: “I joined Ontra’s talent team in March to focus on employer brand and, since day one, have partnered closely with the Marketing team. While we were able to build rapport remotely, having the chance to meet everyone in person was immensely valuable. I not only benefited from the information that was exchanged business-wise, but had the chance to get to know team members in a relaxed environment. The food and ambiance at Girl & the Goat was the perfect finale to a productive few days!”
With our bellies full of outstanding food and our heads full of creative concepts, we all looked forward to getting back to our respective workspaces to forge ahead. As Justin concluded, “We have an exciting team comprising experts who brought forth great insight and ideas for tackling our Q3/Q4 objectives. In addition, new Marketing members got to meet their teammates within weeks of joining and, best of all, we were all able to bond. There’s lots to be done over the next few months and I’m excited for what’s in store!”