Founder & CEO
Modo Modo Agency
Interview conducted by:
Bud Wayne, Editorial Executive
Published – August 16, 2023
CEOCFO: Ms. Vetter, before we get to your terrific agency Modo Modo and what you are doing there, I read somewhere that as a 3rd grader, you started working the cash register for your dad's pharmacy. Very industrious for someone so young. How did that influence your life and career choices?
Ms. Vetter: My parents were both very brave people. My father escaped a communist country and came to America. My mother had to move away from home at an early age. After they were married, they had a business, so they were in business together. Because of that influence I have always had a sense of ownership and responsibility for the task.
I had bosses that said early on that I always acted as if it were my company. There was a degree of accountability and ownership that always came through. I was raised in a family business and I love the people that work here. We are a loyal group and care about each other. We work hard and play hard. That stuff is as real to me today as it was before.
CEOCFO: Tell us about the name Modo Modo, where it came from, and what was behind the founding of Modo Modo?
Ms. Vetter: Modo means "the way." There are different terms where people say, “A Modo Mio,” which is "My Way." Modo Modo is repeated because frequency leads to recall. We are not pre-
We have “The Way” on the wall. We talk about “way finding” in terms of message mapping and conversations, and even for our employees on their fifth anniversary their gift is a Tiffany sterling silver compass that on the bottom says "Never lose your way." We find ways to bring the idea of being on a journey and having a mission and a purpose and and keeping going a part of all things, whether it is internally for us, or the work we do for our customers.
CEOCFO: The Modo Modo Agency is a recently announced four-
Ms. Vetter: What it means for us is we work with primarily midmarket challenger brands and global leading companies. When you are the best of the best or you are emulating the best, you want to work with people that understand what that pursuit looks like. If you are a leading company you want to work with people who are leaders, on top of their game and are growing.
We not only want to help great companies talk about how great and innovative they are, but we also want to do that ourselves. Therefore, when you work with us you will know we understand what it means to walk the talk and grow properly by diversifying offerings, staying relevant and making a difference in the community. When you do all of those things you grow. That is what Inc. represents to me, and the Inc. Power Partner is especially important because unlike many industry awards (and we have a lot of industry awards), those are panels of judges that have a lot of criteria, and there is probably a lot of subjectivity to those.
The Inc. Power Partner uses detailed surveys that your customers answer on behalf of you and your index. That one to me is a much higher bar because we have to submit many of our clients to speak on our behalf.
CEOCFO: Would you tell us about the vision for the company? Why the focus on B2B (Business to Business)?
Ms. Vetter: We talk a lot about B2B being sexy. I made note of several phrases, such as B2B is smart, B2B is rich, B2B is powerful and influential. B2B is more forward, it is trendsetting and not trend following. It requires alignment. I think all those words are words that people typically associate with consumer marketing and consumer products and think of it in a flashy way. What we see is all of these things being a part of B2B. It is a bigger part of the economy; it is a harder part of the economy to understand. Once you do understand it you realize how influential it is.
CEOCFO: What were you doing before you started Modo Modo? Tell us about your early career and how it helped you understand B2B?
Ms. Vetter: Before I was an agency, I started my career as an enterprise software salesperson. I was in B2B and I had to sell enterprise software to economic decision-
If somebody does the hard work and connects things and brings those points together along a channel, wonderful things happen. I have been privileged to have my whole career in the agency in the B2B space. We have done work with household-
CEOCFO: Why do you do it?
Ms. Vetter: We think it is hugely important and we love the complexity of it, but we are good at it and there are not a lot of people that are good at it. It is not simple. It should not be made to be hard but you do have to know a lot about business, the psychology of organization and the mechanics of a long-
CEOCFO: Why do you say B2B is sexy?
Ms. Vetter: It is powerful, rich and trendsetting, those are the things that people think of when they think of "sexy," and they are absolutely real. However, what is sexy to an engineer designing an electric vehicle charging system, may be very different than what is sexy to a sixteen-
Alignment is a huge part of that. Especially with global organizations, you wind up with disconnected things. There was a stat that I found about how much misalignment costs major corporations and it was something like misalignment costs up to 25% of your gross revenue a year. These are things like misunderstandings, false starts, not connecting this to that. There is a lot that we do that has to happen regardless of whether there is an ad or a campaign. However it manifests itself, it always turns to that business aspect. Especially when you think about "sexy" and what is sexy to a CEO. If it is a technology offering, the CEO of a major corporation does not want to know all of the, “speeds and fees.” He wants to know if this offering or product is going to make us faster or move us from second to first in the market and if it is going to make his share price go up. Then if the answer is yes, go talk to his people. Then there are different decision makers. There are economic decision-
If you just try to show all the messages in front, you drown yourself out and the message is missed. If we did not understand the difference between an economic buyer and a C-
CEOCFO: What types of businesses do you work with?
Ms. Vetter: We work primarily with two sets of businesses. Gartner has four quadrants and their upper two quadrants are challengers and leaders. Those are the companies we work with primarily. The leaders would be a billion-
In terms of industry, it is pretty broad but we have a lot of depth in medical and healthcare, and every kind of technology and data. We also have a lot of experience in manufacturing, chemicals and things like that. Some of it has to do with the complexity of their business operating channel, independent sales organizations they might sell through, or sales agents, distributors, dealers or any of those types of apparatus where going to market creates more challenges for how you can effectively market through others. All of those create a very fertile ground for us.
Unfortunately for all the companies in the world that are in these spaces, there are not enough good marketers because B2B is not the platform in most marketing educations. When you learn it, you get the Google, Coca-
CEOCFO: What is your approach and how do you help these companies reach their goals?
Ms. Vetter: In B2B you do not have the luxury of only thinking long-
What is typical in the right client is they know they have large business challenges; they know their brand needs to do more of the work for both their dovetails and marketing team, and there is some amount of urgency as well as long-
CEOCFO: In closing, you are an author, speaker, and mentor. You are the CEO and founder of Modo Modo Agency and named Woman Business Owner of the Year at the 2022 NAWBO National Women's Business Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. With so much success already, what is next for you?
Ms. Vetter: I want all of the people that I serve, both my clients and all of the people that have come up in this company, to have all of this. I am trying wherever I can to enable people, whether it is education for one person so that they can become an expert in an area of passion, or whether it is helping someone whose later career changed to a nonprofit environment because they want to take what they have learned but do it in a different place.
I feel it is my role at this point to be enabling others with the influence that I have been honored to collect. There is a lot of value in the network that I have. People talk a lot about a network effect but I want to use my network for good and I want to use it for people who are going to do more good. It is a pay-
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