November 7, 2022

75 Years of Leading B2B with Strategy: Independent Agency Godfrey Celebrates Diamond Anniversary

Written By: Angie Pascale

Godfrey, a member of the Worldwide Partners (WPI) independent agency network since 2007 and a full-service B2B marketing agency, is celebrating 75 years of working with companies that make stuff, really complex stuff like machinery, components and chemicals. We spoke with Godfrey President Stacy Whisel about elevating the team mindset, evolving with the times and leading with strategy.

WPI >> What do you attribute to your agency's longevity? What principles/practices have led to your continued success?

Stacy >> We decided, pretty early on, that creativity can’t exist in a vacuum to be consistently successful. So instead of separating creative and strategy, we made sure they worked with each other. Whenever we take on a client challenge, strategy leads the way – determining challenges, customer needs, and who the audience really is. That’s helped Godfrey grow and thrive – and do remarkable work. 

We also have an underlying culture and have since the beginning. We have a formal culture statement that is rooted in our “core values.” Godfrey has dedicated teams that are full of drive, a sense of fascination, purposeful partnership, meaningful transparency and community. The net results are thriving teams and amazing work for our clients. 

Success for the agency and our clients comes when everyone works together as a team, so we make it a point to elevate and reinforce that mindset.

WPI >> How has your agency changed/adapted over the years? 

Stacy >> We are currently on the fourth generation of ownership, but through each ownership transition there has been a commitment to evolving with the times. Our agency has a history of continuous adaptation and experimentation with new technologies. From the early days of national print magazine and newspaper advertising to the first Godfrey website in 1990 to the social media channels of today, we have always embraced using current and evolving mediums that reach our clients’ audiences. 

Godfrey began focusing on building a client base within the B2B space in the late 1970s by targeting high-tech industrial B2B companies within a 150-mile range of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. By the 1980s the agency had transitioned to being primarily B2B. Today we are serving global businesses that are truly making the world better, from chemicals that make our drinking water safe to HVAC equipment that heats, cools and purifies our homes and offices. 

But the evolution isn’t limited to how we serve clients. We also have a deep focus on growing our understanding, community and the way we operate internally. Today we are a woman-owned small business, officially certified by the SBA this year.

Godfrey Women Owned Business

Erin Michalak and Stacy Whisel, owners of Godfrey, which has been certified as a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

WPI >> How many people worked at the agency in the first year? How many people are at the agency now? 

Stacy >> The agency was originally started by two partners; we currently have 75 team members. 

WPI >> That’s a fitting number of team members for your 75th year in business! How else has your agency grown over the years in terms of services offered? 

Stacy >> At the beginning, we handled very local accounts and did national print advertising for a few Lancaster, PA, based companies that had national customer bases. While we still work with a handful of Lancaster-based companies with a global footprint, we are specialized in B2B, specifically global and national industrial manufacturers. 

We still handle some print advertising, but the majority of advertising is in support of digital channels – from programmatic display to paid search and social. Godfrey’s PR offering began to grow in the 1980s and continues to be a robust service for our clients today. 

WPI >> That’s a good deal of change since the early days, and makes sense that much of the work now supports digital channels. Is there anything that is still the same from when you first opened your doors?

Stacy >> That’s difficult to answer, as nobody who now works at Godfrey was around in the late 1940s – but I think the driving element from our beginnings to current day is how amazing our people are. Every team member at Godfrey is focused on working as a team and providing amazing work for our clients. 

 Side note: If you see our team members (or their furry, shelled and finned friends) with frisbees, it’s because the frisbee was invented in 1947; the same year we were founded.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Godfrey (@godfreyb2b)

WPI >> What is your all-time favorite campaign/project from your agency?

Stacy >> There are plenty of projects we’ve loved over more than 75 years, but the one that had a huge impact was the Solenis branding project.

Godfrey Solenis

Ashland Water Technologies was looking to divest its process, functional and water treatment chemistries as well as state-of-the-art monitoring and control systems into a new standalone company (Solenis). It needed to be a company with a sleek look that reinforced the company’s strong reputation for experience, technology, and support. 

We provided branding, content creation, research, video assets, campaign planning, public relations, identity, logo design, and a full internal campaign. The net result was a powerful, beautiful, and high-impact brand that immediately made an impact on the market.  

Check out our website for a glimpse into some of the work we’ve done – including the work for Solenis.

WPI >> How has being part of the WPI network benefited your agency?

Stacy >> Having access to other independently owned agency leaders is a tremendous benefit. Learning from other agencies through their experiences and sharing best practices – even just being able to talk with others who understand the ups and downs of this business is incredibly valuable. 

 We often tap into many partners to help support our clients across the globe, sometimes in a formal partnership with shared responsibility for the same client, and sometimes just in one-off tactics or media buys.

"Godfrey embodies the independent spirit, collaborative mindset and unparalleled work that permeates our network,” said John Harris, President and CEO of Worldwide Partners. “They consistently win WPI Perfect Partner Awards for being generous in their knowledge sharing, enthusiastic in all partner collaborations, and innovative when it comes to advancing their agency and the network. We are honored to have their continued support and partnership.” 

To learn more about how Godfrey turns B2B marketing into an art form, visit: https://www.godfrey.com/ and connect with them on LinkedInInstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Written By: Angie Pascale