The monthly member spotlight is an opportunity to learn more about a leader at one of our member companies and showcase the work they are doing. This month we spotlight Mardel Davis, Director of Sales at rTraction. Learn more about rTraction in our Member Directory.
Name: Mardel Davis
Title: Director of Sales
rTraction is a Certified B Corporation headquartered in the award-winning adaptive reuse space, the London Roundhouse. We thrive on solving complex problems and identifying barriers that the client may not have realized existed.
At rTraction we strive to demonstrate that doing well and doing good can coexist. We offer expertise in user experience and design, branding, content and social media strategy, SEO and SEM, mobile development, print and collateral, and experience marketing to help social innovators move the needle.
What is your role and what is the favourite part of your job?
As Director of Sales, I get to meet with prospective clients and ask them lots of questions to understand what isn’t currently working (with their website, their marketing strategy, etc.) and their organizational/project goals. By digging a few layers deep and asking a lot of “but why?”, I come back to the team with a thorough understanding of the gap that the client is experiencing.
My favourite part of my job is following up with clients mid-way through a project and hearing how the team has uncovered what was originally holdng the client back. Our team is brilliant at identifying these little “nuggets”, exploring the issue at hand and facilitating valuable conversation and exploration around the issue. From there they create a roadmap to success, usher the client through the life of the project and ultimately hit the client goals.
It’s awesome when the client is living the experience and value that I originally promised them.
If you could have a coffee with any business leader or industry expert who would you choose and why?
I would be thrilled to have coffee with Elon Musk. I would love to pick his brain and ask him a hundred questions! I’m sure I wouldn’t like many of his answers, but I would appreciate the opportunity to understand more about how someone so determined and successful thinks. I would assume we wouldn’t agree completely on any topic at hand, but it would be an amazing opportunity for debate.
What is the number one business book or blog you would recommend?
My recent favourite business-type book is Breaking the Time Barrier by Mike McDerment and Donald Cowper. It is a short read about how to price your products based on the value and it is brilliant.
Looking at your companies future what are you most enthusiastic about?
I can’t wait to see where we are one year from now. I have seen rTraction evolve so much in the time that I’ve been here, and we’re only getting started! Our CEO, David Billson, is focusing on the “demonstrate” part of our purpose (i.e., we demonstrate that doing good and doing well can co-exist), which means that rTraction will be sharing more openly than ever before. This spring we will start hosting monthly workshops as a way to facilitate valuable conversations and knowledge sharing. Next, we will focus on open source content. We plan on sharing anything we have learned about running a company and our updated policies to help other business become sustainable faster.
What excites you most about the local tech community?
It is great to see the tech industry in London growing. There is some wicked competition, and I think that’s a positive! It forces every company to find their differentiator and carve out their niche. It also ensures that everyone is bringing their A-game.
What causes or community activities is your company involved in?
At rTraction, we focus on improving community outcomes rather than maximizing profit. This is demonstrated in every decisions we make. We focus on partnering with charitable organizations and other socially minded businesses because it creates what we like to call a “ripple effect”, whereby in helping our clients, we in turn help so many others in the community.
My recent favourite community initiative was when Rachel Berdan and David Billson rallied around the Grand Theatre’s high school project Prom Queen. By starting a crowdfunding campaign, they brought together 700+ community members, surpassed the crowdfunding goal, encouraged the TVDSB to overturn their decision to not fund the play and most importantly, showed the LGBTQ+ community that they are supported. This was an incredible example of what we do, but let me tell you, it isn’t far from what we live daily.