Marcella Hoard grew up in the idyllic town of Westfield, Indiana, playing with toy cash registers and selling the neighborhood children rocks, grass, and anything else she could pass off as appetizing.
“I had a plethora of fake food,” Marcella says, “and playing grocery store was my favorite thing to do. Westfield is a wonderful place to grow up, but it was definitely suburbia, and I guess I had a fascination with grocery shopping. I was also very rambunctious as a kid—I was always the person asking a bajillion questions, always asking why. The older I got, the more I realized I have to preface the question by telling people they don’t have to answer. I can come off as nosy, but I’m just a naturally curious person.”
It is perhaps this same curiosity that drove her toward marketing. It’s definitely a quality we think will serve her well in her new role as a senior account executive at Well Done.
You previously worked for Indiana University Health. At Well Done, you’ll be managing multiple clients at once. How do you make that shift?
I think what most excites me about working here is having that chance, that opportunity to jump between industries. Part of my role is to put on the “client hat” and act as an extension of their internal team, which means learning a lot about who they are, what they’ve done, and what they need.
That’s a challenge, but I love challenges, so that motivates me. And at IU Health, while I did focus more on specialty projects, one of the big things I learned was how to hold client goals near and dear to my heart and think of them as my own. I plan to carry that attitude over to Well Done while I really expand my learning.
Is your background in marketing?
I actually went to school for journalism and public relations, but the internships I had that fell on the PR side were much more like marketing than I initially expected. And what I quickly found out was that I really love brand strategy and messaging. There’s something that appeals to me about seeing what a client’s passion is, and helping them bring that to life in a way that tells their story.
If you’re an independent grocer, for example, you might be very passionate about food insecurity, feeding the community, promoting local brands. But getting that message out to people isn’t necessarily what you’re best at. I find such happiness in watching a client’s face light up as we take their passions and run with them.
It all comes back to the grocery stores! Would you call yourself a foodie?
I do love to cook, and if you looked at my Instagram you’d see I follow a lot of food specialty bloggers. I’m pretty good with most kinds of foods, but my biggest weakness is Thai. It just never turns out well. And normally I’m not a strict recipe follower, but with Thai food I try to follow them to a T because I find it so challenging.
But I also love eating locally. Any time of year, I’ll have a list of new restaurants I want to try. And I’m a big Martha Hoover fan, so I’m pretty much signed up for anything she does.
Whenever we talk to account executives, we seem to end up asking about logic versus creativity. You seem like a very organized person, but also creative.
I’m definitely both. I enjoy the creative side of things a lot, and I have so much fun sitting down with clients to dream up ideas that will differentiate them in the market. But I’m logical, too. I like to keep things buttoned up, I like to make timelines. I’m also very steady Eddie—there’s not a lot that can rattle me.
What about when they killed off Marissa Cooper on The O. C.? Because honestly that was pretty upsetting.
That was really sad. I didn’t start watching The O. C. until my junior year the summer I lived in Bloomington, and I binged the whole thing in three months because my roommate owned the entire series. Season three was just really rough, and then the whole thing ended abruptly. It was disappointing.
What are you looking forward to about working at Well Done?
I’m such a relationship-focused person—I feel like that’s my way of making an impact in the world, by building good relationships with people and fostering them. Working in account service, that’s going to be such a huge part of what I do, and I’m really excited about that.
With an agency like this, there are so many wheels spinning at any one time, and that brings so many opportunities to learn, especially from the people here. I’m looking forward to challenging myself, and growing in this industry.