Great Marketing is About the Strategic “Why”

Katie Bowden And Duke Creative Collective Are Offering Up Marketing That Finds The Perfect Mix Of Chaos And Planning

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In This Episode

Great marketing needs a mixture of chaos and planning, but how do you know where that line exists? Our guest, Katie Bowden of Duke Creative Collective, is an idea person who can sit in a brainstorming session and come up with her “Crazy Katie Ideas” that will grab anyone’s eye, but she shares with us how building the strategy for clients is the most creative part that they do at Duke. The discussion in this episode could help to open the eyes of entrepreneurs and business owners who are struggling to understand how important the “Why” is to your marketing efforts. 

Episode Breakdown

First 10 Minutes
We get introduced to Katie Bowden and hear all about some delicious snacks and Maritime connections between the group. Katie introduces us to her company Duke Creative Collective. Katie explains the evolution of her business and the group discusses again the benefits of a small business being focused on culture. The group discusses the recent win Duke Creative received at the Saint John Board of Trade OBA Entrepreneurial Achievement Award (

10 Minutes – 20 Minutes 
The group talks about the strategic side to marketing and how important it is to nail down that component before focusing on the tactical points like the material that ends up getting created. Katie explains how it takes more time to focus on the strategy piece with clients. Dave asks how Katie works with clients to get the strategy buy-in or how to get past clients just asking for the end product instead of telling the Why behind their request. Dave questions about how they work to help clients to articulate complex customer stories. Katie says they get that type of request a lot, and it’s also something that they struggle with and continue to work on for their own business. 

20 Minutes – 30 Minutes
Dave asks about past projects Katie has to showcase, and Katie provides us with some recent examples for projects. We learn more about Katie’s background and her experience as an author. The group talks about all the different parts of marketing by using the OBA awards show as an example of how creative styles differ.

Katie Bowden

Katie Bowden

President and Chief Creative Officer, Duke Creative Collective

Katie is an award-winning creative consultant with 25 years experience in marketing and brand strategy, creative development and project management.

She is an idea person – imagining the possibilities, stretching boundaries, building brand, and generating results for her clients. She is a wordsmith – building meaning, inventing metaphors, and stringing words together in ways that matter. She has published several short stories, sold two children’s books, and is represented by a New York literary agent.

Katie has extensive experience working with and for clients in a variety of sectors, including ICT, post-secondary education, manufacturing, tourism, and Crown Corporations. She understands what it means to work in a multi-stakeholder environment – and she has a great gut instinct for what’s going on in the mind of a customer.

She spends her days crafting strategies and tactical plans designed to achieve goals, writing copy that cuts to the chase, and providing creative direction that results in marketing tools with impact.

Katie was born and raised in Toronto, educated in Halifax, and moved to New Brunswick in 2002. She co-founded Duke Creative Collective in Saint John in 2010, incorporated the business in 2014, and now leads a team of five…six if you include office dog Obi.

She is President of the Board of Directors for the Teen Resource Centre, a member of the Business Community Anti-Poverty Initiative (BCAPI) leaders group, a member of Achieve Literacy, a member of the Board of Directors for Family Plus, and a member of the Board of Directors for the New Brunswick Museum.

Katie lives with her husband Mark and their two teenaged boys in Quispamsis.

About Duke Creative Collective

At Duke we believe marketing is positive change.

With original ideas, powerful strategy and meaningful creative, we build marketing solutions that move product, raise awareness, and make a difference.

Making change like this, is why we do what we do.

Formed in 2010 as a collaborative workspace for a group of expert freelancers, Duke evolved into a marketing consulting and creative services agency in 2014.

We see ourselves as an engine for positive change – for our clients, for our hometown, for our region, and for ourselves.