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Meet Angel Mason Broadus of Puzzle Pieces Marketing in Mission Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Angel Mason Broadus.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Angel. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’m a pharmacist by education but I stumbled into my marketing career by accident and being in the right place at the right time. After leaving clinical practice, I started teaching pharmacy students at a local vocational school called United Education Institute.

At the time, I wasn’t actively on the market for a new position, but when I was previously job searching, I posted my resume online and had forgotten to take it down when I found the teaching position. While teaching, I received a call to interview for a marketing position for a medical device company. There was a single line on my resume that mentioned a white paper that I co-authored.

I had no marketing experience but because of the research we had done to write the white paper, the company thought I had enough market, product, and competitive product knowledge to potentially be a good fit for their product manager position. Even though I had ZERO marketing experience, they took a chance on me and I landed the position.

I worked as the Senior Product Manager for the company’s flagship product, conducting market research, hosting focus groups, writing functional specifications, and working closely with hardware and software development to create new features and functionality for existing products and developing new products to fill identified market gaps. After working there for over 5 years, I moved into marketing positions at 2 additional medical device companies where I expanded my marketing experience into international marketing and market development.

I loved the work I did and probably would have never considered starting my own company. I always joke and say I had the fortunate opportunity to be laid off from my last corporate marketing position because it gave me the opportunity to do some self-reflection and take some time to really evaluate where I wanted to take my career.

During that hiatus, I spent a lot of time with friends and colleagues that were business owners. Asking questions about how they market their business and providing them with marketing ideas, suggestions, and recommendations. They would then offer to pay for my ideas. That’s when I realized that there might be a market out there of other business owners that are looking for the same or similar services.

I made the decision to formally launch a consulting business that offered marketing and strategic planning services and I would give the business just 6 months to achieve the first objectives I had set for myself. In just a couple weeks, I signed our first contract with a small division of Johnson & Johnson and the rest is history.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I would love to say that this journey has been a smooth one, but it has certainly been met with some challenges. I was extremely lucky to have landed a really substantial contract as our first client, which got us off to a great start.

However, starting out with such a large client did not give me a good appreciation for how difficult it would be to continue to market the business and land new clients; especially one of that size.

I never expected that being a business owner would be so much hard work with so many long days. Another challenge of being a small business with a tight team is that we tend to wear multiple hats. This could also be seen as a positive, as it makes us much more well-rounded and able to jump in and support our teammates on projects when their bandwidth is a more stretched.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Puzzle Pieces Marketing story. Tell us more about the business.
Puzzle Pieces Marketing is a small agency with big ideas, a wellspring of creativity and innovation where we all love our jobs because we get to watch our visions come to life.

We are a boutique Marketing Solutions and Public Relations firm offering services in the areas of Strategic Planning, Online Marketing, and Creative Design.

Our campaign strategy meetings feel more like family dinners. Because we are a family. That’s what happens when you start with two co-owners who are married. You get people who care about each other and their clients. You get people with a personal stake in achieving your goals and an entire marketing team made up of creative individuals with their own superhero powers. You get team members who know your brand inside out — not senior managers who’ve never heard of you because you’re not a top client.

You get an agency that’s more flexible and adaptable to your needs, that can change your strategy way faster than the stuffed shirts.

What we are most proud of is the strong relationships we nurture, our volunteer work, and our desire and efforts we put into improving the lives of the people in our community.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Luck, or being in the right place at the right time, has played a significant role in the success of our business. I set some pretty high expectations starting out and only gave myself 6 months to achieve the goals I had established with the launch of the business.

Just a couple of weeks after the launch, we signed our first official project with a division of Johnson & Johnson.

One of their major competitors was going through a product recall and J & J was scheduled to introduce a new competitive product the next year. As a result of the recall, they decided they would expedite the launch of their product, but didn’t have the resources to do it within the tight timeframe.

They hired Puzzle Pieces Marketing as a consultant to provide project and product management consulting services on a contractual basis in order to launch the project within the new expedited timeframe.

That initial Johnson & Johnson contract gave us the resources to market our services to a broader audience and use the J & J case study to secure additional clients.

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