At a Glance
Stephanie Atkinson, CEO and Founder, Compass Intelligence
Focus Areas: Smart Cities, Business Technology and Transformation, 5G, Future of Work, IoT, Mobility, Emerging Technology
Thinkers360 In-Depth Profile & Portfolio: Stephanie Atkinson
Latest Content: Brand New You, Brand Matters
Thought Leader Interview
Thinkers360 thought leader interviews profile prominent members of the Thinkers360 community who embody the power of ideas in their work. In this edition, we speak with Stephanie Atkinson, CEO and Founder of Compass Intelligence, LLC, a market research and advisory firm serving technology companies for more than 14 years.
Ms. Atkinson also founded vMarque.com in 2020 to help small businesses become digital, mobile, and virtual. She is an author and contributor to CIO.com, an industry influencer for IDG Tech, and has been quoted in numerous trade publications including CNN Money, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CEO Magazine, among others. She also volunteers for the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship at Texas A&M University.
She chairs two invite-only conference summits including IoT Exchange Smart Cities Summit and Enterprise Exchange Summit. She also serves as an executive advisor to Texas A&M’s Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution Department. Ms. Atkinson holds a B.S. in Industrial Distribution from the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University (College Station, TX), and an M.B.A. with a concentration in Management of Technology from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She was recently featured in the Thinkers360 article Special Report: 150 Women B2B Thought Leaders You Should Follow in 2021
Thinkers360: Tell us a bit about your background and areas of expertise
SA: My name is Stephanie Atkinson and I have been running Compass Intelligence, a tech market research and advisory firm, for 15 years. I am also the founder of vMarque, a marketing and branding firm supporting small businesses through websites, branding, logos, graphics, and small business tools. I also recently founded and became the President of Elevate Our Kids, a non-profit to help bridge the digital divide in U.S. K-12 schools by fundraising and providing laptops/devices to students and schools in need. I serve on the board of a few organizations, am a mentor to women engineering students, volunteer at a few STEM related efforts, and am active with a few initiatives and programs at Texas A&M University. I am a speaker at big tech events, author research pieces and articles in the tech arena, and am seen as an expert in mobile, IoT, smart cities, and other emerging technologies. I focus on the end-user perspective and provide realistic corporate strategy and marketing services to my clients.
Thinkers360: What are your current responsibilities and what’s a typical day look like?
SA: I am responsible for developing relationships, communicating key trends and insights, sharing newsworthy and thought-provoking tech related strategy and go-to-market intelligence, and am focusing heavily on technology for good. I am responsible for sales, marketing, operations, leadership, project-based planning, modeling/forecasting, client communications, survey research and developing the methodology and plan for each project. For the non-profit (elevateourkids.org), I am responsible for leading our board of directors and members to facilitate collaborations and coordinating our efforts to get equipment to under-resourced schools in the states. For my marketing firm (vMarque.com), I am responsible for the all services, coordinating with our contractor team, and putting the ideation plans together for clients. I have been self-taught in graphic design and creative for marketing projects.
Thinkers360: What’s the favorite part of your current role?
SA: Giving back and making a real difference is the most rewarding part of my job. Having so many intelligent and networked friends and colleagues makes this job a delight and keeping those relationships alive is what gives me hope about really promoting technology for good. Advocating for STEM education, supporting K-12 students in access and equipment, and mentoring high education students and initiatives is what is the most exciting part about my career.
Thinkers360: How do you utilize Thinkers360?
SA: I explore news, insights, and market information on the Thinkers360 platform and also explore what my colleagues or other colleagues are covering in related or adjacent markets. It is always nice to understand who the thought-leaders are across various facets of the industry and to follow the pulse of various markets.
Editor’s Note: See Stephanie’s Thinkers360 In-Depth Profile & Portfolio.
Thinkers360: How do you like to work with brands who wish to engage you as a thought leader?
SA: Each client is unique and so we generally have a few planning meetings to explore needs, wish lists, projects, and priorities. We then align the needs and priorities with our services and narrow down ways to work together. Our clients then decide on whether to do things on a one-time project basis, set up a longer term retainer of services, or invest in a number of services including access to research reports. Our marketing/branding clients (vMarque.com) are a bit different but follow a similar pattern and the services depend on whether they want to rebrand or start from scratch in terms of branding, logo, website, collateral, and other marketing materials. For Elevate Our Kids, we are open to collaborating and working with other technology firms making a difference and supporting K-12 education. In addition, we seek to work with large corporations that want to be a part of supporting kids in remote learning through distribution of laptops.
Thinkers360: What’s your main advice for upcoming thought leaders?
SA: For the younger generation of thought leaders, you have to make your own path through the expertise, sharing of knowledge and being active in all your communities of interest. Never stop being active…you can do things for profit, volunteer, give back, and be present in so many facets of your industry. But the minute you stop being active, you are forgotten…in order to remain relevant you need to participate, keep learning, be coachable, and listen to your clients as they are the real force in disrupting the industry and transforming digitally.
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