It's all about online reputation. Without one, it will be increasingly difficult to compete.

Over the last decade, Adept Marketing has changed a lot. We launched the business with a few core services and became a full-service digital agency with video production capabilities by 2020. Our growth trajectory coincided with our clients' needs and our commitment to helping them get the best results. In recent years, we discovered a different client need, and it's one that isn't being successfully addressed by any company. That need is trust, and we believe it's the currency of the next decade.

Changes in consumer behavior, such as online reviews and social sharing, have moved us away from traditional mediums for building trust. A Harvard Business School study discovered that a one-star increase on Yelp led to an average revenue boost of up to 9%. Also, a BrightLocal Consumer Survey revealed that 88% of people trust online reviews as much as friends and family recommendations. Historically, companies earned trust through national ad campaigns. Now, it's all about online reputation, and without one, it will be increasingly difficult to compete.

Since 2008, Adept and other digital agencies have helped companies build websites and create digital strategies to acquire customers across channels. Still, the focus on acquisition alone can have diminishing returns when generating long-term value for brands. We believe there needs to be a distinct true north that will impact all aspects of a company's success, building trust above all else. The traditional marketing funnel undervalues the intangible and hard-to-measure impact of trust. In fact, brands that have trust probably take it for granted, and those that don't miss this point when trying to optimize all aspects of the funnel. We believe the most impactful optimization a company can make is to wrap all of their marketing efforts with trust. Doing so will generate third-party endorsements, reduce acquisition costs, and increase lifetime value.

Adept yields incredible growth for clients, but there is a ceiling that digital marketing alone cannot break. All companies need a foundation of trust, which is why we are thrilled to announce the launch of Upright, a new public relations agency focused on generating growth through trust. The combined efforts of Adept and Upright presents a unique solution to modern-day business challenges. We're not changing the acquisition funnel; we're putting it into a new dimension.

To lead Upright, we sought a public relations expert with a depth of experience and boundless energy who could launch the company and lead a movement, so we recruited Kristyn Wilson. Kristyn has more than 20 years of experience as a journalist and corporate communications leader representing notable companies and clients such as NetJets, Abbott Nutrition, Resource (now IBMiX), Nationwide Children's Hospital, Victoria's Secret, and more. She also earned degrees in journalism and integrated marketing communications from Ohio University and Northwestern University. Undoubtedly, Kristyn's commitment to her craft will help companies with integrity, good intentions, and strong capabilities get the spotlight that they deserve.

It is a very exciting time for our company, and we encourage our clients and prospects to learn more about Upright. Our unique combination of services presents genuinely different solutions and refocuses PR efforts on what's most important. Trust is everything.