Honoree Headshot

Eric Watkins

President
Abstrakt Marketing Group

Location: St. Louis, MO
Founded: 2009
Industry: Marketing

The grass is greener wherever Eric Watkins waters it.

Starting with Abstrakt Marketing Group in 2012 as an unpaid operations intern, Watkins is now president. No stranger to hard work, Watkins is the first to admit that his career path has been anything but a smooth, 70 mph interstate.

“In order to succeed, to be better for both the organization and yourself, you can’t just go through the motions every day,” he said, adding, “I realized that you have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

Based in St. Louis, Abstrakt Marketing Group is a B2B lead generation company and business growth agency. For the last 12 years, it has offered multi-channel marketing solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses looking to grow through pipeline lead generation, marketing services and salesforce consulting. Watkins’ contributions have been vital to the company’s success.

His role in restructuring the partner sales division enabled the employee count to increase by 140%, and since his start in his role as president, the company’s revenue has gone from $17.7 million to $21.5 million, a 21% leap in only 2 years. Still, the 2018 recipient of Workforce Magazine’s Game Changer award for his contributions to Abstrakts culture remains humble about his achievements. A titan in his industry, Watkins attributes much of his success to those who helped him to become the leader he is today.

“All of the leaders that I have been lucky enough to work with have one thing in common — they care for other people, and when you have an interaction with them, they always make you feel important,” Watkins said. On a mission to coach and advise the people around him, Watkins said,

“As a new leader I constantly felt my credibility in the role was determined by how much I could help my team operate. As I continued in my career I realized the true measure of a leader is how well their team operates without them.”

But rest assured, Watkins is not going anywhere but up.

“I plan to continue to challenge myself and my organization to constantly push the envelope on sales development. Sales Development is constantly evolving, and in order to be the leader in the industry we need to constantly be researching and evaluating the latest trends and technologies,” Watkins said. “A bigger company means faster growth, more opportunities, and more avenues for growth for our team members.”

He added that Abstrakts growth creed sets the pace.

“You do not come to Abstrakt to relax, you come to Abstrakt to accomplish more and be better than you were when you walked through the doors on your first day,” he said. “Our team members are going to make mistakes, they’re not perfect, no one is, but as long as you take the experience you are given and you are professional, you are going to be a better individual and in turn our business is going to be better as a whole,” he said.

“And always chase discomfort. It’s how you grow.”

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Honoree fun fact

Eric is passionate about philanthropy and spends his free time finding ways to give back to his community.

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