Rising Star: Abbi Achterberg, Digital Marketer

(Indianapolis, IN | March 7, 2013) Indianapolis Star, Business Section

Abbi Achterberg didn’t hesitate to start Tipping Point Marketing shortly after obtaining her master’s degree in business administration from Butler University. Now, having celebrated her first year in business, Achterberg says her decision was the right one.

“I had always wanted to start my own business,” she said. “I had some contacts and opportunities present themselves at the right time. It was definitely the right decision.”

Tipping Point works with clients to develop marketing campaigns that include blogs, social media, email campaigns, and website design and content.

Achterberg, who has a bachelor’s degree in psychology, was introduced to marketing by a contact from DePauw University. The combination of using creativity and understanding business processes grabbed her.

While pursuing her MBA, Achterberg worked in marketing for HCR Manor Care, a long-term care and rehabilitation facility. Prior to that, she worked with autistic children.

“Psychology is about how people react and behave,” she said. “When you think about consumers and how they react to a brand and product, it’s the same idea, just a different industry,” she said.

1. How did you manage to stand out in a crowd and advance quickly in your career?

I am good at listening to people. Marketers sometimes don’t listen to their customers or stop to listen to what potential customers are trying to say. You need to stop and listen to what the market needs. My unique background. I haven’t worked in the big PR firms or taken the traditional route. I understand the language of health care and nonprofits.

2. What was your first job? How did it impact your future?

I worked in a tennis club during high school. I was very entry level. I had to be there at 6 a.m. It definitely taught me work ethic.

It’s the grit of all the work and the little things. Picking up tennis balls ? all that has to get done. As a small company I’m the one doing it. You have to pay attention to the details.

3. What’s the toughest mistake you ever made and what did you learn from it?

I tend to get caught up in the vision. I have to consciously remind myself to pay attention to detail. I had a professor remind us once that “the devil is in the details.”

4. How important is it to have a mentor? Did anyone in particular help you advance in your career?

Incredibly important. I’ve talked to other people. Mentors are hard to fine. If you have a good mentor, it’s important and important to give back. If you have the chance to be a mentor to someone else, take advantage of it.

One of my mentors was a professor at Butler, Dr. Richard Fetter. He was an important guide for me as a I started my business. He helped guide me along. Overall my first mentor as a professional is Kay Wheat-Dillon. She has since retired from Beverly Healthcare. She taught me to aim high. One day she told me I should become the administrator one day. I laughed at her like she was crazy. When I think back I realize it instilled in me that someone saw something in me. She was a tremendous leader. She showed me the value of leadership.

5. What advice would you give to other young people trying to get started in marketing?

Learn as much as you can now. Even in my career I am still reading and learning as much as I can. Things are always changing. Staying on top and knowing what’s relevant and being conscious of your personal brand.