How Minority-Owned Businesses Attract Fortune 500 Contracts
By Robyn Streisand of Titanium Worldwide
In the last year alone, Fortune 500 companies will have spent over one billion dollars with diverse suppliers. Whether mandated by government contracts, to earn a tax reduction or to help recruit a more diverse workforce, the country's largest companies have created supplier diversity departments that provide substantial opportunity to historically under-represented groups and businesses.
"I began my quest to address the perception that
that minority-owned businesses lack the scale and
resources to take on large and demanding projects."
However, there remains a perception that minority-owned businesses lack the scale and resources to take on large and demanding projects. This has resulted in certified-diverse firms being bypassed for these initiatives, and instead, awarded much smaller-scaled work. Five years ago, I began my quest to address this far-reaching perception.
My vision for a way to vie with my largest competitors was to take what my firm did well, and then multiply it. Today, Titanium Worldwide is the world's first-ever collective of certified-diverse companies operating as a single agency. Comprised of 17 media, marketing and communication agencies, our business model provides clients with a broad range of services, category experience across multiple industries and a diversity of thought -- all under one roof.
Beyond diversity spend, our collective represents one of the most important approaches to the market right now. We provide companies fully streamlined services with one dedicated point of contact, one contract and one invoicing system, as opposed to the usual struggle of farming out work to multiple agencies. Our clients also benefit from access to senior talent, a greater depth of independent thinking and the ability to move nimbly -- a procurement officer's dream.
We quietly began two years ago, taking on projects from Cadillac, Deloitte and Teva Pharmaceutical, while working with a board of advisers to tweak the model and membership structure. Today, we have a combined revenue of $200 million, excluding media spend, with clients across the Fortune 500, including Disney, Mercedes-Benz, Ernst & Young and Toyota Financial Services.
"As minority-owned businesses, we can
speak with tremendous insight, providing our clients
with strategies as diverse as the communities
that they are reaching."
Titanium Worldwide's member agencies are 100 percent certified-diverse with the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the Women Business Enterprise National Council and the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce. Our collective has created a very specific perspective for the companies who want to speak to a rapidly evolving customer and employee base. As minority-owned businesses, we can speak with tremendous insight, providing our clients with strategies as diverse as the communities they are reaching.
We had to change the model to grow our capabilities and take on the largest projects. As a collective, the sum of our parts is what makes us incredibly strong -- like Titanium. And similar to the metal, we are nimble and flexible in structure, having the ability to scale up or down to meet the enormous need for diverse suppliers without ever sacrificing quality. Fortune 500 companies should never feel as if their diversity spend is an obligation and with this new model, it's actually an opportunity.
Robyn Streisand is a 30-year veteran in the world of marketing and Founder of Titanium Worldwide, the world's first collective of certified-diverse, independent agencies in the media, marketing and communications space, offering a full-service solution for today's business needs. Twenty years ago she also founded The Mixx, a full-service marketing agency that offers strategy, creative and execution solutions to Fortune 500 brands across a range of industries, media and audience segments.
The views, opinions and positions expressed within this guest post are those of the authors alone and do not represent those of CBS Small Business Pulse or the CBS Corporation. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are verified solely by the authors.
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