I am a strategist and insight consultant. My work is critical to achieving impact, but is typically proprietary and largely intangible. My expertise is most visible when paired with a tangible deliverable, like market research, website development, or communications planning. Though I specialize in subject matter, I direct overarching strategy development as well. Clients report that my contribution extends their capacity and improves their outcomes, and strategic partners consider my expertise invaluable to client satisfaction and retention.
Deep knowledge developed across a broad range of industry sectors and stakeholder communities sharpened my ability to cross-pollinate ideas. I synthesize inputs that bring context, nuance, and understanding to client challenges. I have spent the last 20 years looking for and making connections. So much so that I think of myself as Russell Crow in Beautiful Mind meets Melanie Griffith in Working Girl. I consume all kinds of content and fastidiously apply new thinking. Time I spent performing the roles of data scientist, operations director, project manager, and analyst have taught me the critical link between strategy and execution—that the former is dependent upon the latter.
Subsequently, I subscribe to Seth Godin’s and Bernadette Jiwa’s and Mark Bonchek’s thinking that marketing should be in service to—and a conversation with—a very specific group of people who share something. I want to believe in the potential and compounding impact of conscious capitalism, but I remain disappointed by the snail’s pace of realizing that potential. I aspire to deliver Avinash Kaushik-worthy out-of-sights at every opportunity. As a systems thinker, I appreciate James Clear confirming that habits do not limit freedom, they enable it. While most of my work is at EarlyWorks, I also speak and conduct workshops for individuals, teams, and organizations.
— Sarah Donnelly, TechTown Detroit Retail Services Director
Mary is a strategist and insight consultant who’s dedicated twenty years to assessing stakeholder experience and exploring leverage points related to ease, friction, trust, privacy, and momentum. Mary employs novel approaches to collecting and synthesizing unstructured data, qualitative wisdom, social media listening, and secondary research to craft strategies that influence change. Mary's work informs: strategic narrative & marketing communications, stakeholder engagement & experience, and concept development.
Immediately applicable insights are available via keen observation of and in conversation with the communities clients serve. Mary equips clients with data-driven decisions that provide essential clarity of focus and prioritization, powering intentional marketing and driving transformative stakeholder experience. She shares with clients the lessons she's learned in industries like consumer electronics, data security, entrepreneurism, financial services & banking, grocery, healthcare, human resources, insurance, professional credentialing, and retail. An avid content producer, she blogs regularly and podcasts about these case studies. Before joining EarlyWorks, Mary spent 14 years running an independent strategy consultancy. Prior to that, she directed a $1B family brand strategy at Cardinal Health in response to increasing pricing pressure and a newly open market environment. She began her corporate career during the dot.com boom, reinforcing corporate brand strategies at an enterprise software firm in the midst of integrating 70 acquisitions.
Mary is a fan of the Oxford comma. She spends her “free” time chauffeuring three children and an occasionally juicy French bulldog.