I have to admit it. The dream of creating VennQuelle wasn’t completely ours: It was born out of conversations with our respected friend and corporate client Andy Butler—a big thinker for Procter and Gamble who’s constantly looking for diverse, innovative and sustainable global suppliers.
For more than two decades, our sister company Creatives On Call—a female owned and operated creative staffing agency—has been sourcing creative professionals for P&G and other major U.S. corporations.
Andy pushed us to think bigger. What if we curated highly specialized virtual marketing and creative teams instead of just singular creatives with specialized skills? He advised that companies like P&G needed nimble teams that were diverse and could efficiently handle large marketing and creative initiatives, projects and engagements. Andy knew we had a large talent cloud of marketing and creative professionals who thrive in virtual workplaces and the gig economy. And he knew there could be huge opportunities for diverse on-demand teams. In fact, it could be a game-changer—not just inside P&G—but everywhere.
Still, he knew a creative staffing agency model like ours didn’t provide the economy of scale and speed that a big corporation like P&G needed.
Our conversations with Andy got us to re-evaluate our business and the industry.
More firms are foregoing conventional recruiting and hiring practices and optimizing the use of W-2 and 1099 based employees for better business productivity. Sites like Upwork™ and Freelancer.com® make it easier to find contractors but they lack the strategic partners who can pull together all-star teams. Full-service consultants like Accenture come with big price tags—and smart generalists instead of specific know-how.
“VennQuelle is a great idea,” said Meredith Genova, Senior Client Service and Marketing Officer at the boutique investment firm Nicholas Investment Partners. “Companies in the financial industry after the meltdown in 2009 laid off whole marketing teams. Today, they don’t have or can’t afford to have in-house staff to execute medium to large sized projects."
That’s what we were contemplating one day at lunch. Deep in thought we kept picking up and then placing down our glass on a napkin, creating a pattern of rings.
I didn’t know it at first, but I was working out our solution right there—mapping every possibility so that they can be compared. I gazed down at a Venn diagram and saw the future.
We knew there was one ring for Creatives On Call—a talent cloud where top-of-their-craft, on-demand marketing and creative professionals can find remote work they love.
And another ring for smart companies that need exceptional marketing and creative to get projects done with flexibility and ease.
Finally, there was our third ring. A space for a new consultancy that provides infinite marketing and creative team solutions that are efficiently sourced by AI enabled technology and curated by hand.
That night I took our watermarked Venn diagram napkin and the word quell sprang to mind, German for “spring” or “source.” Putting all the pieces together, we created VennQuelle.
Scaling the idea required the help of machine learning, which has been used within our sister company for several years. Taking what we’ve learned, we crafted new technology to support VennQuelle’s project and engagement team needs. Now we can very quickly assemble project teams from our 15,000+ mid to senior level associates with the highest precision and targeting available. Plus, our technology gets smarter every single day.
However, we know that machine learning can’t do everything. It’s easy to source an individual freelancer, but putting a freelance “team” together takes work—a lot of work.
VennQuelle’s technology enables us to very efficiently get the right people teed up so our professionals can curate the right team for your marketing and creative projects and engagements. And although our software allows us to match thousands of data points to almost instantly construct teams, no machine learning can replace the instinct and insight we’ve developed over the past 23 years of working with marketing and creative professionals.
All this hasn’t happened overnight. For the last two years, we’ve been quietly beta testing the concept with great success.
Client Michael Galland, marketing manager at Cintas Corporation, said it’s been a boon for time management and the bottom line.
“I have been able to save a ton of money and get a ton of work done in a short period of time,” he said. “But, the biggest benefit in my opinion is it saves me hours upon hours of ‘project management.’”
We’re excited to launch this new venture. VennQuelle is uniquely positioned to provide all the advantages and benefits provided by professionals in the gig economy, as well as the team resources and assurances large corporations seek and trust.