Nicole Hadaway was just 22 years old and freshly graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison when the head of marketing at Axley Attorneys left. Hadaway, who had been a marketing intern at the firm for a year, moved into her boss’s empty office and continued the work.
The firm let her keep the office — and her boss’s title.
“Having 60 relatively intimidating lawyers put that much trust in you from such an early age definitely gave me the confidence and motivation I needed to learn and perform at a high level,” she said. “I never wanted to give them a reason to doubt their decision — and I worked that much harder for it.”
Hadaway says what she enjoys most about her work is its rapid pace.
“We have access to so much interesting consumer data … that makes our decisions more effective than ever before and targeted,” she said. “Not to mention, we can really track the direct results of our marketing efforts and learn from them.”
Robert Procter, Axley chief marketing officer and partner, has worked with Hadaway for the seven years that she’s been at the firm. He praised her for being determined, bright and organized.
“In my experience you don’t usually meet someone who is as organized as she is or is as creative as she is but is still as organized and efficient,” said Procter.
He said Hadaway has proved able to draw up marketing and branding plan that are embraced by lawyers of all ages at the firm – everyone from millennials to professionals in their late 60s.
“It should not be underestimated how difficult it could be for a marketing director that comes from one generation to work with attorneys from another generation and to bridge that gap,” he said.
Procter says that one of Hadaway’s most notable projects had her putting in place software that could help answer the question: Which marketing campaigns had been successful? That helped reveal instances in which money spent led to desirable results..
“She coded some of it herself,” Procter said. “That’s really impressive because it’s not what you would consider to be the job description of the marketing director.”