Houston Marketing Moguls: Recognizing Rachel Gottschalk


Imagine one of the brightest, wittiest, A-game marketing professionals in Houston with a knack for effectively building marketing plans that align perfectly with strategic goals and enter Rachel Gottschalk. She’s just one of those gals who has got our ambiguous profession that IS Marketing figured out. With a work roster that includes the likes of the Houston Rockets and Memorial Hermann – clearly others have figured her out too. Enjoy.

Meet Rachel Gottschalk: Marketing Director – Orthopedics/Sports Medicine

Memorial Hermann Health System

Maintains extensive experience in developing, implementing and executing, marketing, communications and corporate development strategies.

CMG: How did you wind up in sales/marketing?

RG: I actually majored in marketing in college so it is something that has always appealed to me. I thought I would end up in the advertising world as opposed to marketing, but through my experience in media buying at an agency I realized I was more interested in the campaigns our clients were running rather than how to best place them. I also realized that working directly with clients and stations played perfectly into my strengths and therefore I migrated to that role.

CMG: Who has had the biggest impact on your career and why? 

RG: My former boss at the Houston Rockets was truly a mentor to me (ahem – Dawn Keen.) She saw a lot of potential and afforded me the autonomy and flexibility to create and implement new ideas as I had them. She trusted me and therefore played more of a support role rather than micromanaging my efforts. I also learned how to effectively manage people – different types of people – from her. She allowed me to observe and learn from how she dealt with various situations with employees and co-workers. The good, the bad, and the ugly, so to speak. That education has proven invaluable.

CMG: What in your marketing experience are you most proud of?

RG: While I was with the Rockets, a co-worker had left the organization and there was a shuffling of the deck where I was given several large, critical sponsorship accounts to manage. For a couple of those accounts, the partnership had become very strained. With focused efforts, I turned the relationships back into positive ones and secure a renewed, long-term partnership with each. I am proud that the relationships I built with those accounts and contacts continue to exist today and I still keep in touch and/or work with them in some capacity even now.

CMG: Where do you come up with your most creative ideas?

RG: Creative ideas are everywhere! I think I have gotten just as many great ideas from meetings and conferences as I have at sporting events, concerts and cocktails with friends. If something I see or hear strikes me as “interesting” or “cool” then it worked! I am still a consumer first – before a marketer – and it is worth trying to apply that “something” to what I am trying to accomplish in my role as a marketer.

CMG: One word that describes you?

RG:  Accountable.

CMG: In the Houston business world – what do you want to be remembered for?

RG: I make an effort not to just do things because they have been done before. I’d like to be thought of as someone who is able to take a step back and look at initiatives and opportunities objectively and only execute those that truly have the ability to bring value to my team.

CMG: What is one hard lesson you’ve learned about marketing?

RG: Just because you think it is the greatest idea since ‘Happy Hour’ – that is the saying, right? – doesn’t mean that everyone will agree with you. Or, that it will in fact turn out the way you expect. I have learned to be as diligent as possible when trying to predict or sell others on the value of ideas before diving into them. 

CMG: How do you integrate your marketing efforts? Can you give us an example? 

RG: Good ol’ communication is the key here for me. I have been fortunate to work for multifaceted organizations with many departments all focused on their own areas of expertise with the idea that all of those strengths will come together for an outstanding final product. Easier said than done when, in reality, everyone gets caught up in their own departments’ projects and goals and deadlines. It is easy to lose sight of the “big picture”. Communication can help bridge that gap – whether it be regular, cross-departmental meetings or off-site, team-building outings.

CMG: Do you have any tips or best practices for measuring ROI?

RG: Two lessons I’ve learned here. 1) Set target goals before activating if at all possible. 2) If you have no benchmark and cannot set a goal beforehand…DON’T! It does no good to set an arbitrary target. If you meet or exceed that target – it doesn’t mean it was a success. If you fall short of that target –  it doesn’t mean it was a failure.

CMG: What is your secret weapon? ff

RG: This will sound odd, but I try to remain a bit removed from my current position. Over time, it is easy to “drink the Kool-Aid” and not remember what it was like before you became a part of your company. This sounds like a good thing and probably what HR execs dream of at night. However, I believe that by attempting to stay closer to who you are targeting (the “consumer”), you have a better shot at actually reaching them. You become a bit jaded when you live and breathe a certain product or service or vision every day at work. It is important to remember that most people receiving your message don’t know, or frankly care, about it as much as you do. Our message can speak truer to the audience if we can still think like that audience. 

CMG: Amen. 

Radio Works in Houston: Here’s Proof from The New 93Q

For those of us whose careerqzoo2015 foundations are steeped in traditional media – where radio has long been our
go-to for disseminating targeted messages – the following story will come as no surprise to you.

And while this blog is a high-five moment for all radio professionals – may it also serve as a testament to Houston advertisers that ever doubted in the power of this tried and true medium. Turns out – radio not only compels consumers to buy – it changes their lives as well. That said…

At Cox Media Group Houston, we are accustomed to receiving regular email communication with important Corporate and staff updates. And – every so often – we get a note that does a heck of a lot more than just inform. These are the emails that make us proud to be Cox Media Group employees – and stewards of radio.

Here’s real-deal proof that radio works.

Last week, our Receptionist, Petrice Douglas, shared the following story with us and I feel compelled to share it with the readers of Houston Marketing Matters

I have been here for 12 years, and often get a reminder of just how BLESSED I am to have such a great job that surrounds me with AWESOME people.

This morning a gentleman walked in to pick up a prize and asked if he could speak with Al Farb, our Morning Show Producer. I’m usually pretty firm about not disturbing the jocks while they are on air in the studio, but I could hear Al and Erica Rico, one of the Q Morning Zoo hosts, in the hall talking. I asked the gentleman if it was an emergency, and he said that he wanted to thank them.

The entire Morning Show crew came out to greet him, and he humbly thanked them for helping him get his new job as a plumber. He explained to them how he received 15 calls from different companies offering him a job the same day they talked about his situation on-air. My heart got happy! To see the look on his face, and to see how grateful they were to be able to help was absolutely priceless.

Props to our very own Q Morning Zoo on The New 93Q for this one. Thanks for representing.

Houston Businesses: Is Your Competition Stealing Your Online Traffic?

Fact: If your competition’s website loads quickly, navigates and presents information easily on a mobile device and yours doesn’t, they are stealing your digital audience.

Mobile usage has shown rapid and steady growth over the past few years and is more popular than ever with Houston residents. Mobile advertising and optimization is crucial to marketing in Houston. Your website and content should be optimized for mobile viewing in order to reach your target market, expand brand awareness and keep you from losing digital traffic to your competitors.

Browsing on the Go

Houston’s mobile users want information quickly and simply. They are using the Internet on the go and don’t have time to hunt through your website for what they need. Houston businesses must take on this challenge by creating a responsive website.

A responsive website transitions from one screen size to fit various other screen sizes without users needing to zoom in or out. This makes content easy to read and navigate to increase your clickthroughs and conversions.

Mobile-Friendly Content

Optimizing your content for mobile use is key to improving engagement with your brand rather than your competitor. Use headlines to draw attention to important information and subheadlines for support and key details followed by body content.

Long paragraphs of content are difficult to read especially on a small cell phone screen and mobile readers are too busy too sift through to find the information they need. Break up sections of content for improved mobile viewing by:

  • Keeping your content concise
  • Keeping your call to action clear
  • Using bullet points to make key points easier to read

Opting Out of Optimization?

If your website requires viewers to tap or zoom their cell phone screens to see your content or scroll endlessly to find your call to action, they will be navigating away from your website. They won’t have the information they need and with a bad experience attached to your brand, your competitors will be more likely to gain their business instead—you are losing sales.

Mobile usage is constantly growing and having your content optimized for different screen sizes isn’t something that “cool” or “hip” businesses are doing, it’s something that all businesses need to consider adopting if they haven’t already. Because as we’ve read, if your site isn’t optimized for the mobile users experience your competitors may be.

A Positive Experience

If your website is easy to interact with and your content is easy to comprehend mobile users will connect a positive experience with your brand. This will enhance your brand value to them and increase your clickthroughs and likelihood of valuable lead conversions.

The world is ready for mobile even though you may not be. If your Houston business isn’t optimizing for the growing mobile audience, your competitors will leave you in the dust.