About Us

Jacqueline Maartense, Founder

Harvard MBA, Managing Director at Intuit, EVP Global Marketing at Corel, VP of Marketing at Cendant Hospitality Division, VP of Marketing at eGroups (Yahoo), Microsoft product management Word for Windows, product management at Gillette and Clairol

Jessica Malack, Advisor

Sales and Business Development Strategist, Branding specialist for nutritional foods and dietary supplements

Eric Archambeau, Advisor

Quadia Ventures, Partner, Co-Founder

Impact Investors in a Sustainable Food Future


Managing Director, Wellington Partners 

The Creds

Global Brand Building

We've worked on notable brands on a global scale--Gillette, Microsoft, and Quicken, to name a few.

Creating Storytelling Legends

Jacqueline has helped companies like Intuit, Nosto and Thoughtexchange tell their stories and articulate purpose to inspire total engagement.

Challenging Leadership

In 2007, Jim Kouzas interviewed Jacqueline Maartense about her unusal approach to leadership--closing the company down for a day.

Testimonials

Here's what former clients and colleagues are saying on LinkedIn.

Marketing Fundamentals

We've got 30 years' experience across the entire range of marketing functions from  strategy, brand building, product marketing, demand generation, communications, and more.

Creating Best Practices

How do you create competition to inspire the team?  For Quicken checkbook software, the arch rival was the pen.  We literally jumped on our competitor's products to summon our killer instincts and inspire innovation. 

Our Founding Story

How will you change a customer’s life today?

That was the question I asked my team the first day on the job as General Manager of Intuit’s  UK office in 1997.   I remember looking out at a sea of faces:  some quizzical, some excited, and some downright angry.  


We were 3 weeks away from the annual product launch--we had to deliver a product to manufacturing, or risk missing our numbers, and continuing to struggle from negative profitability. So, of course, I decided to shut down the company for a training day. 


You could pick the engineers from the group.  They were the ones with their arms crossed and feet tapping--they wanted to get back to their real jobs:  fixing bugs and readying software for launch.  You could also pick out the janitor and the back-office staff--they were the ones with puzzled looks wondering why I was asking them about customers.  That was Marketing’s job. 


I drew in my breath and I shared that today was about redefining the way we think about getting profitable.   We each needed to find our connection with the customer so we can re-direct our energy towards delivering a brand promise of customer delight. The way to win was to listen and ask better questions than anyone else on the planet.    


More puzzled faces. 


I asked for a leap of faith that day.  We spent the morning teaching everyone how to ask a powerful question and we embraced a new skill:  everybody always listening


The next step was to put everyone on the phones with a list of customer numbers.  “Call them”, I said.  “Ask them what you can do to make a difference in their lives' today.”   


More apprehension. 


What took place that afternoon even surprised me.   The energy in the room started to grow.  The grumpy faces turned to smiles, and the smiles turned to---something more.
 

Everyone Must Become a Marketer

We turned a company on fire that day, and transformed the culture in a heartbeat.    


The grumpiest engineer said it best:   “When I started listening to customers’ problems I started to get excited.   I realized:  I can FIX THAT!”   Even the janitors and the admin staff began to discover their connection, too.  Many of their friends were Quicken or QuickBooks users and they realized that those relationships were opportunities for listening, learning, and giving back in a way that they hadn’t previously valued.
 

Building a Culture of Questioning

Building a culture of questioning and listening is what this company is all about at its heart.  We believe that transformation can happen in a heartbeat.  We know that asking better questions is a skill that can be learned and taught.   


We live in a world where we get answers at our fingertips.  We just Google it.  What will separate the winners of tomorrow are those that ask a better question in the first place. Our purpose is to help others develop a culture of listening and inquiry so that we can all turn the world on fire--one day at a time.   


We turbocharge our process with technology such as group thought mapping and thought collecting that will get you to the best questions faster and with more internal alignment.  We introduce a query-based approach to strategy planning, product-service management, branding, and more.    


The best question will drive innovation and breakthrough thinking. It’s as easy and as hard as that.