Mission Control Marketing is the essential agency partner to the CMO at mid-sized b-to-b organizations. Taking a holistic approach, we provide strategic marketing counsel and channel-agnostic execution with an unflinching focus on increasing sales and driving overall business growth.

"They challenge us to think different, but stay true to who we are."

A Q&A with Katelyn Castellano
Vice President of Communications
at Engel & Völkers Americas


Tell us about your role and experience as a marketing professional.

I’ve been overseeing brand marketing and communications strategy for Engel & Völkers since late 2016. With this company, I’m helping to grow a well-established, luxury real estate brand from Europe into the Americas, which is a very unique and exciting opportunity. With approximately six years of real estate franchise marketing experience, I’ve managed public relations, social media, internal communications, franchise marketing and event strategies for two of the newest brands on the real estate scene. That fresh approach to the industry is what I thrive on. Prior to this, I spent many years working for medium to large-sized PR agencies focusing on the promotion of some of the largest names in consumer goods, nutrition and spirits.



What are the biggest challenges that you face in marketing a brand today?

Breaking through the noise and realizing that you can’t be everywhere. Competition is fierce. That won’t go away. While it’s important to know what your competitors are doing, it can’t be a game of catch-up. Own who you are, understand your consumer, and evolve with them. Every touchpoint matters, especially in a service industry. Every moment counts.



Has the evolution of the marketing landscape changed the way you approach your marketing strategy and relationships with agency partners?

Absolutely. Gone are the days when your social, PR, digital and creative teams are working in silos. It’s all about collaboration. At one point in time, clients went to agencies because they were the biggest; now it’s about finding partners who are different, innovative and who will provide a bespoke experience based on your brand’s individual needs.    



Why have you chosen to partner with Mission Control Marketing?

When I joined Engel & Völkers, I had the opportunity to re-evaluate our strategy and agency partners. As a younger brand, we needed a partner that was going to go beyond the motions and the glitz, but join us in the trenches. Mission Control Marketing is more than an agency, they are an extension of our team and our brand. They challenge us to think different, but stay true to who we are.  There is no shortage of downright honesty between both sides. Their team consists of talented individuals, each of whom has speciality areas that complement the others, and they are all genuinely great to work with. (except the CEO, he’s a pain in the ass).



There’s been a lot of debate in the advertising industry about benchmarking success through metrics (from impressions to media placements to Facebook ‘likes’). How do you judge success?

Metrics are important, to a point, as you always want to ensure you are exceeding previous years’ results. However, quality of content, distinction and telling your story to the right audience is what moves the mark. To simply rely on numbers is doing an injustice to your marketing dollars. I’d rather have five editorial media features in the right outlets and 15,000 Facebook followers who are industry influencers, versus 30 line mentions and 50,000 paid followers. Success is focusing on your brand’s key pillars, executing a content strategy around it, and maximizing your assets across all media platforms to support your sales strategy. Nothing beats validation from your industry and sphere of influence either. To hear, “I saw you featured in X publication” or “I’m hearing a lot about your brand now,” is that extra layer that makes you believe you are doing something right.



What do you think the biggest challenges for marketing professionals will be in the next five years? And how should they prepare?

The next “big thing” will always be on the horizon. Between more and more competitors, industry disruptors, new technologies and evolving media, it’s easy to get distracted. First and foremost, marketers have to understand the core of their business. What areas could be threatened and what characteristics can or will make you standout. Adapt your strategy around those notions, focus on what matters versus every new “innovation,” and stay true to your brand without being afraid to evolve with the times.

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