Marketing agency Vovia enjoys international growth through challenging times

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Following a busy year, despite the pandemic that hurt so many media and creative companies, Vovia has expanded its leadership team to work with its growing roster of clients.

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Susan Murphy, president of Vovia since she joined the performance-driven media agency founded by Cameron Prockiw in 2014, says, “2021 was our biggest year for new client growth, which largely stemmed from businesses seeking agencies with e-commerce and performance marketing and media expertise.”

As a result, VP Customer Service Heather Isley, who is celebrating her 11th year with Vovia, has been appointed senior vice-president of strategy. Over the past two decades she has honed her media and strategy skills in both B2B and B2C, working across a range of industries, including finance, education, technology and e-commerce. Isley’s former position has been awarded to new hire Tracy Gonzalez.

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Gonzalez may have only recently joined Vovia but her strengths are well known to Murphy. In fact, when Murphy was at Venture Communications she hired Gonzalez to help her as client services lead.

Since then she has racked up 20 years of marketing experience on both the agency and client sides, steering marketing initiatives for a wide range of top-tier organizations, including Nike, Unilever, Coca-Cola, Proctor and Gamble, and Kraft.

Most recently, Gonzalez was vice-president, managing director and western Canadian lead of independent Toronto-based agency Rain, which acquired Calgary agency Karo.

“I have collaborated with Tracy over the years and have been very impressed with her leadership style, the client partnerships she fosters and her strategic focus,” says Murphy, “She is a great fit and an essential hire for Vovia’s next chapter of strategic growth .”

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From its 10,000 square feet of space in Mount Royal Village, that growth is built on a foundation of data advancement and innovation that consistently drives results for clients.

Vovia has been successful over the past year in expanding its client roster into Mexico and the US

Encanto Group, a manufacturer and retailer of household furniture, contracted the Calgary agency to launch its e-commerce and media program. In the US, the Calgary company is handling all of the national e-commerce campaigns for Cleverman, providers of male grooming products.

Murphy and her staff of 30 also continue to serve a strong portfolio here and win new local accounts.

They have enjoyed a long association with Calgary Co-op as its media agency of record for many years. Vovia was responsible for the integrated media strategy and execution in the launch of Co-op’s successful locally sourced Cal & Gary private brand, which achieved a high rate of brand recall at 85 per cent. Currently, it is providing media planning and buying for the Co-op’s new “Make Today Delicious” campaign, partnering with Calgary’s Daughter Creative that is responsible for all of the creative work.

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Another local business Vovia is proud to serve is Edo Japan. Founded more than 40 years ago in Calgary, it has grown to 140 locations across Canada, served by Vovia’s expertise on media planning, buying and execution.

Among its newest local gains are as the media digital partner with Lammle’s Western Wear, and being awarded media planning and buying for the new Calgary Cancer Centre.

Murphy is proud of the full range of services Vovia offers and for being recognized by Google as a certified premier partner; a notable designation awarded to the top performing three per cent of Google partners in Canada, and one of the select few Canadian media agencies on Google’s Executive Agency Council.

Notes:

It’s great to see that in-person events are taking place again. One to look forward to is the 2022 Distinguished Business Leader Award gala. The 30th anniversary of the award, co-presented by the Haskayne School of Business and the Calgary Chamber, will be held at the Hyatt Regency hotel on June 23 — and tickets are now available. Celebrated recipients this year are Wayne Chiu, the founder and CEO of Trico and founder of the Trico Foundation, and Andrea Robertson, president and CEO of STARS. They will both share their personal insights and stories on ethical leadership within our community.

David Parker appears regularly in the Herald. Read his columns online at calgaryherald.com/business. He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or by email at info@davidparker.ca.

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