Nancy Kramer of Resource Interactive: Your Questions Answered

Resource Interactive, a renowned digital marketing agency headquartered in Columbus, is led by two women: Kelly Mooney and Nancy Kramer.

Kramer, Resource’s founder, chairman and chief culture officer, is considered an industry pioneer. She launched Resource 30 years ago and has since had a hand in landing major clients (Apple, Procter & Gamble, Home Depot, and Kohl’s, just to name a few), orchestrating culturally significant marketing strategies (in 1999, Resource live streamed the Victoria’s Secret’s fashion show, which the Massachusetts Institute of Technology included it in its time capsule for the century), and molding the agency into a top workplace (it has been recognized by The Wall Street Journal and Business First for its culture, workspace, and work).

Herewith, the Ohio State University alumna shares the questions she is asked most frequently about business and Resource− and her answers, of course.

1. Resource Interactive is headquartered in Columbus while most technology companies and advertising agencies are located in Silicon Valley or New York. Why are your roots so firmly planted in Columbus?

I was born and raised in Columbus, and have lived here my entire life.  So, my roots are deep. That said, I believe Columbus is a fantastic place to launch a business. The city is open to new ideas and, given the constant regeneration of students, the community is incredibly smart. Those two characteristics, combined with a solid Midwest work ethic which should never be undervalued, make Columbus a fabulous place for our type of business. And while we aren’t headquartered in Silicon Valley, we do have offices in Palo Alto, Cincinnati, and we have associates located all across the country to help us better serve our clients.

2. How did you land Apple as your first client?

I get asked that question a lot. In 1981, I met two folks affiliated with Apple and, at the time, there was no plan for any type of regional marketing effort. We created a business proposal to market Apple in this region and they liked it. Apple gave us the initial support and we were in business. In those early years, I personally worked on the launch of the Macintosh, desktop publishing, and I worked with the two Steves− Jobs and Wozniak. It was, and continues to be, an incredible experience.

3. This year your company was ranked No. 4 in the nation by Advertising Age magazine. What does that recognition mean to you?

Frankly, we have always understood that, first and foremost, we are in business to serve our clients. Without them, there is no business.  That said, it was terrific for the company to be recognized by Advertising Age. This ranking is very prestigious and to the earlier point about our location, to be acknowledged in this way, given our underdog status, is especially fulfilling.

4. Resource Interactive will celebrate its 30th anniversary in September. What have you learned about business over the last three decades?

I’ve learned to trust my gut, have the courage to listen to it, and then act upon it. Looking back on the last 30 years, I wish I could have a do-over for every time I decided not to trust my instincts. There is so much noise in the world and people giving you their opinion about what you should and shouldn’t do that it can be hard to block out the noise. You have to do what you believe is right. I’ve learned that if I can find the time and space to think quietly, I can figure out the solutions that are right for me, which always involve being in alignment with my personal values.

5. What role does philanthropy play in your corporate mission?

Philanthropy has always played a significant role in our company’s mission and culture. For many years our efforts have supported the arts and women’s and children’s organizations. In particular, we’ve donated money and our talents to United Way, MidOhio Food Bank, The Ohio State University, Columbus College of Art & Design, The Columbus Foundation, The Wexner Center for the Arts, The Center for Domestic Violence, and many others.

This year, we launched a brand new program called RI:Gives that makes it possible for Resource to give a corporate donation to the charities that mean the most to our associates. After an associate donates 25 hours of her time to a 501c3 organization, Resource donates $250 to the organization. Many associates will take us up on the offer during this year’s Pelotonia race.

6. What role does continuing education play at Resource Interactive?

The one thing we all know in the digital environment is that things quickly change. During a recent comprehensive strategic planning initiative, we realized our business changes significantly every 18 to 24 months. What we are doing today won’t be what we are doing in 2013. The only way we believed we could be successful in such a dynamic was to create a comprehensive approach to continuing education, so we launched RI: University.

RI:U is a continuing-education program for all associates to keep them up to date on technology and strategy. Starting this year, all associates −including me!− must earn continuing education credits to be eligible for bonuses. Many of our associates are also RI:U teachers because we believe there is no better way to learn than by teaching, and the more education that can be delivered by our own talented associates, the deeper the learning.

To learn more about Resource Interactive, visit