Valerie Jennings founded her agency, Jennings Social Media & MarTech (JSMM), in 2003, moving into social media and content creation in 2005. Content has been the core of the business with an emphasis on grassroots marketing early on. Social media was a catalyst for innovation in the PR, marketing and advertising industry, and Jennings responded by rapidly changing and adopting new digital marketing strategies. Since its beginnings, Jennings has transformed her company from a small, social media consulting business to a highly-competitive strategic martech firm.
More recently, Jennings has transitioned JSMM into the new era of martech, implementing performance-based AI and martech-focused strategies to automate and innovate content marketing, SEO and digital advertising. In a few short years, the agency has hit major growth milestones, expanded new accounts and expanded the agency’s leadership and areas of specialization. The primary goal of JSMM is to help clients grow through the utilization of these emerging technologies, serving and benefiting the global economy. Jennings is a visionary leader, oftentimes predicting trends ahead of their time and supporting her theories with internal tests and data collection until she feels new opportunities are ready for clients.
She also stays ahead of the tech landscape by observing the latest trends and seeking opportunities to evolve with the adoption of AI and martech in the modern marketing space. Jennings recently obtained a certification in artificial intelligence taught by leading minds — including Andrew Ng, Stanford University adjunct professor of computer science, who founded and led the Google Brain project, a program developed using mass-scale deep learning algorithms. As CEO, Jennings is not one who takes a backseat to the operations of the agency. She is intimately involved with all client work, including ongoing research and strategy, execution, overseeing the responsibilities of her team, managing overseas teams and being available around the clock to respond to valued clients.
In a recent round-up featured in Forbes, Jennings emphasized the importance of staying at the forefront of innovation. “We, as leaders, must be ready to collaborate with other experts who can help navigate new areas to find creative solutions,” she said. “I also strongly value autonomy and give my team the independence to research new approaches, come together to discuss and find ways to integrate these with emerging trends to help clients stay relevant.” In 2020, Jennings was honored as a FOLIO: Top Women in Media honoree and Marketer of the Year by DMN. She stands alongside talented women content leaders from Forbes, Bloomberg Media, Digitas, ESPN, Consumer Reports, POPSUGAR, Bleacher Report, PEOPLE magazine and more in the FOLIO: Top Women in Media Class of 2020.
This award recognizes an elite group of women who represent the best and brightest up and comers, entrepreneurs, change-makers, corporate champions and industry trailblazers. Amidst the changing times, Jennings has invested much time and many resources to educate the community and industry at large on the latest marketing trends through hosting numerous webinars through local chambers, moderating a digital panel for the 2020 Midwest Digital Marketing Conference and presenting the keynote for the KC Tech Summit. Additional accolades include being named DMN 40Under40 Class of 2018, Kansas City’s Most Wanted Class of 2015 and Most Influential Women in Business Class of 2014. JSMM has also successfully met the requirements of the NWBOC National Certification Program for certification as a woman-owned and woman-controlled business as of 2018. The WBE Certification, provided by the NWBOC for decades, is typically accepted by corporations and government entities. The certification is a prestigious honor and requires a tremendous vetting process to meet the eligibility requirements. Jennings’ leadership is in-part inspired by her passion for the arts. Jennings founded her companies because she believes in creative expression through digital mediums. Her love for writing, art and, above all, music inspires new directions for the agency every day. Jennings took up guitar a little over two years ago in 2018, and it was the best business decision she has made. Music has inspired her to be more creative and to have the patience to take chances in order to move JSMM forward into the new digital age of martech.