Dion Marketing is on track to have its best year yet as far as gross earnings and a robust, growing client list. Located in Jacksonville FL, the firm has been recognized locally as well as having a global presence in advertising, marketing, public relations, and design.
While Dion Marketing specializes in the attractions industry with theme park and waterpark clients in tourist destinations across the county, in more recent years, the woman-owned and women-operated company has diversified its client base such as nonprofit organizations and a variety of industries including manufacturing, health, service and education.
“After the pandemic, we realized that expanding the industries of our clients would put our company in a more stable growth pattern,” explains Julie Dion, founder and president of Dion Marketing. “Covid literally shut the doors to more than half our client’s businesses. That is when we realized that our success was contingent on our clients’ ability to operate, forcing us to look at other verticals to align with.”
At the end of 2020, Dion Marketing secured global nonprofit Operation Smile as a client for public relations, marketing strategy and social media services. Dion Marketing’s scope included focusing on creating rich content and securing positive news stories for this global, non-government organization (NGO) who has helped over 300,000 children receive safe surgery across the world.
Now, Dion Marketing is the agency of record for several nonprofits including Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, Gabriel House of Care, and Impact Christian Academy. In addition to providing marketing services, they have secured national, regional, and local PR coverage for raising awareness and increasing donations. Dion’s public relations services also include crisis management, reputation management, online editorial event submissions and media monitoring. They have found success using social media to communicate and engage with the media. “We think what sets our public relations services apart from other firms is our ability to use social media to influence and effectively reach the media,” continues Julie. “Our young team grew up with and has a deep understanding of social media, and our firm was founded at the same time businesses started using social media, making us sort of like pioneers of the industry.”
In addition to diversifying its client base, Dion Marketing has become an SBA-certified WOSB company. Businesses with a WOSB certification can participate in federal funding programs and opportunities to bid on contracts, which Dion secured a piece of business with the U.S. Army this past spring. Dion has also met all the requirements to be a Google Partner and Meta Business Partner. “A lot of boutique firms like us outsource digital advertising, but I am proud that we do all the work in-house,” explains Julie. “Account Director Kellee Zimmerman has led our digital team for the past 6 years and continues to excel, keeping our agency on the cusp of digital advertising technology.”
While 2023 will most likely be Dion’s most successful year on record, every year has seen growth. After a stellar year in 2017, Dion Marketing relocated from its barely 1000 square-foot Jacksonville Beach location to an expanded office complex that the firm purchased relocated its headquarters at the beginning of 2018. Located at 2014 Mayport Road, the overhauled refurbished new digs sit on almost an acre with 180 feet of road frontage, two office buildings and over 3000 square feet of office space.
Business growth made this move not only possible but vital to make room for the expanded team of marketing professionals at Dion Marketing. “It’s hard to believe that 6 years have passed by since moving to Mayport Road,” said Julie. “We love having more space, and it has allowed us to continue to expand as our client continues to grow each year.
While the diversified client list has helped solidify Dion’s growth trajectory, the attractions industry has always been Dion Marketing’s bread and butter. One of the firm’s newest clients is Quassy Amusement and Waterpark in Waterbury, Connecticut. When Quassy’s marketing and PR director of 30 years retired at the end of the 2022 season, Dion Marketing was hired to fill big shoes. Quassy is one of America’s oldest and iconic theme parks celebrating its 115th anniversary this year. Kokomo Joe’s, which is a large, family entertainment complex in Missouri, also signed on Dion Marketing as they have launched new attractions and park upgrades in 2023.
Because of its extensive experience working with a variety of theme parks, waterparks and family entertainment centers across the country, Dion Marketing is known as a leader in the attractions industry for marketing, producing top marketing awards of excellence for clients including Best Social Media, Best YouTube Campaigns and Best Email Marketing. Julie is a speaker on various marketing topics at International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA) annual conventions, World Waterpark Association’s (WWA) annual symposiums, as well as other industry-related conferences across the country. She was also Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Leader for the Transportation and Logistics Council in 2015.
“Although being marketing experts in the attractions industry and diversifying our client base in recent years has attributed to the company’s success, building and maintaining a strong team of marketing professionals who have aligned with the company’s culture is the reason my company continues to thrive,” explains Julie. “Each team member contributes to the greater whole of what we do on a daily basis as well as what we have accomplished over the years.”
Tune in to MTC Podcast for visionary Martech Trends.