Social media and technology rapidly bring people together across cities and time zones, but they often lack the human warmth and connection of a face-to-face, in person conversations.
That’s where 4What, an electronic-media based marketing firm comes in to establish that human connection, according to chief operating officer Wade Mastro. 4What is out to connect clients with customers in a personal way and to attract employees who can work remotely.
“We attract people. We’re not about bricks and mortar,” Mastro said. You have to be innovative. You constantly have to be on your toes and creative.”
4What maintains its own green room where it can produce videos for its clients. It works like the green screen television weather experts use to present their weather reports.
The company currently is providing a video service called 4YourMessage that lets a client appear in a variety of videos on his company’s website.
“You’re able to clone yourself so you can be out there for your business,” Mastro said.
Ferguson Management Services has recommended 4What to several of its clients because of the For Your Message program.
It lets clients introduce themselves, explain parts of their business and can shorten the sales cycle, said David Ferguson, president and CEO “It’s like a video business card.”
“They’re taking video to the next level,” Ferguson said, which is important as video becomes more important to people. “They are taking the technology age and making it more visible.”
Mastro and partner Jim Cossetta were middle school friends as they grew up in Collier County. Their business success is unusual. They are two home-grown talents who stayed and built a business.
It’s a rare thing to bring a tech company and higher paying jobs to Southwest Florida, Mastro said.
They have 12 employees and are looking to create satellites of the main office by usingSkype and holding online meetings. Thanks to those kinds of programs they don’t need a large office to attract clients so they’re downsizing from 6,000 square feet to about 3,000 square feet.
“It’s about adapting to change and putting the money into people and technology,” Mastro said.
It’s a much different world,” Mastro said. “If you can’t adapt and change quickly you’ll be out of business.”
“Going virtual while maintaining the human connections allows the company to be more nimble and cut costs, he said.
Using these techniques also helps 4What find employees who have a new perspective on working, according to Mastro
“Millennials are never going to work in a business in one spot,” Mastro said. “It’s adapting the business to attract them.”
They work from home, teleconference and stay connected virtually, he added.
4What looks for employees who can discipline themselves to work that way, Mastro said.
“There definitely has to be a skill set on self-management,” Mastro said.
They can be productive with fewer interruptions if they can work remotely, he said.
The need for a flashy office also is lower today because clients want 4What to come to them. They want to know the company can do the work and help them, he said.
Grooming the next generation of tech workers already has started at 4What. The company tries to reach children through its support for the Basket Brigade, which provides 30 students each semester with a food basket to recognize their hard work.
“To grow our community we have to bring in high tech jobs. It really starts with our youth,” Mastro said. “We’re fueling their dreams of the future.”