As a female professional with a math degree, analytic brain, a heart for helping others and a mission to be accessible, a local entrepreneur is working to carve out a unique niche in the digital marketing industry.
“I really loved working with the small businesses,” Kate Izell said of her four years with digital marketing agency Delegator. “I like feeling [that] I am helping people who don’t feel like they have a lot of other options.”
After gaining skills and knowledge with Delegator, which Izell said was starting to take on bigger clients, she began freelancing in 2016 and built up a client roster that she turned into her own business, Izell Marketing Group.
Her company offers a range of services, such as pay-per-click advertising, website creation, consultation and content writing.
And although she offers plenty of traditional services, she’s interested in focusing more on business intelligence and analytics, which she said can help companies maximize a company’s financial results and increase efficiencies.
She’s currently working on getting a Master of Science in analytics from Georgia Tech to develop a business intelligence enterprise-level service at affordable rates for local small, growing companies.
“I’m holding onto this idea of accessibility, and I mean that in a couple of ways,” she said. “I want small businesses to feel like an enterprise solution is available, and I also care about accessibility because I’m focused on wanting [clients] who don’t think they could ever get service.”
Minorities or small businesses on tiny budgets might feel like they have few options for the tools and guidance they need, she said.
Although there are countless small business opportunities in Chattanooga, there can be a certain level of exclusion for those who may not feel like they are with the “in” crowd, and being on the outside of the circle can make finding services more challenging, she said.
As a woman married to another woman in the South, she’s felt what it’s like to be on the outside at times, and although she said her experience may be different from other minorities, it gives her some insight into feeling excluded, she said.
Her background in a male-dominated industry—where emotional intelligence may be less valued—and parents who taught her empathy also contributes to the way she does business.
“Plenty of people don’t expect you to care or do anything for them,” she said.
Izell has had experiences in which she felt held back from positions because she’s female, but, now, as her own boss, she has connected with others like herself.
And she’s happy to tap into an underserved, underutilized population to collaborate on great work, she said.
In addition to wanting to provide services for all, she’s also focused on web accessibility and connection to services, she said.
Part of that involves taking steps to make websites and other tools accessible despite the type of web access someone has. For example, slow connections may mean that a user doesn’t see all images or that a site doesn’t function as it’s designed to for faster internet speeds. Or some email systems don’t load images, she said.
This is why some web services include a description of what’s happening in a photo along with the image, she said. People with learning disabilities should also be able to access technology the same way others do, she said.
Izell also doesn’t want a potential client’s budget to be a reason they don’t get the help they need.
She aims to find creative solutions to maximize even small budgets, she said.
“And it’s not even like I’m in competition with other digital advertisers,” she said. “There’s more than enough work to go around. But a lot of them have profit goals they have to have because of their structure and size, and right now, I’m lucky enough not to have that.”