Meet Roberta Kiphuth, President of Detati Digital Marketing

Q: What does being a member of NAWBO Silicon Valley mean to you?
RK: For me being a member of NAWBO means being a part of a group of strong, independent and innovative business women. Learning and sharing with them has been extraordinary.

Q: How has NAWBO Silicon Valley helped you as a business owner?
RK: It has made me a better leader and business owner by being able to tap into a larger brain trust of other business owners to get insights and support with business issues and challenges.

Q: What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?
RK: Detati Digital empowers small business to thrive by helping them build sustainable marketing programs for growth and revenue generation. We focus on 4 core foundations (brand, website, social, content) and then integrate marketing automation tools to help them scale.

Q: What made you choose this type of business?
RK: Most of my clients when I started my own agency were small businesses who struggled with finding the time and resources for marketing. As a small business owner, myself, I understood their challenges. As the agency grew more of our clients were corporate and enterprise companies in high tech. After many years in that space, I realized that the experience I gained in working on corporate marketing initiatives could be helpful to small businesses. Doing marketing right can have a huge impact on a small business. Because small businesses helped me get started and I love working with them, I now use my marketing expertise to help them do the things I did not know when I started out.

Q: How did you get where you are today, and who/what helped you along the way?
RK: I started with my own business when I was 25. I just knew that I would not thrive in a corporate environment. As I built my business and network, I tapped into mentors and other business owners for advice and support. A few years after starting my agency, I met another business owner who eventually became my current business partner at Detati. He was a huge supporter when I was starting out and continually encouraged me to think bigger and not be afraid to fail.

Q: What is unique about your business?
RK: One of the things that makes Detati unique is that we have two owners with different expertise and experience. Together that has allowed to work with some great high-tech clients, not as an “agency”, but really as an extension of their teams. We have technical expertise and the design/marketing experience to understand the technology quickly which means we need less time to get up to speed.

Q: To what do you attribute your success?
RK: Constant learning and growing as a leader, marketer and business owner. Being open to offer support and get advice from other business owners and friends. The biggest attribution is not giving up when times get tough, but persevering.

Q: What has been the role of luck in your success?
RK: I don’t believe in luck. I believe that you get back what you put into the world.

Q: How do you achieve work-life balance?
RK: I do work a lot, but it is my choice because love helping my clients succeed. I also volunteer time in the community as well to get away from the office. I am currently on the Board of Directors for a local non-profit, have served on the board for the California Music Center in San Francisco, have worked as probono attorney in San Jose and have volunteered at the Humane Society. In my “personal” time I spend time riding horses, (particularly dressage training), taking walks along the Bay, enjoying art & music and watching hockey.

Q: What have you learned about leadership, entrepreneurship and mentoring others?
RK: I have learned that leadership is something that needs constant development, especially if you have employees. Not only do I need to be working on my leadership skills, but I also need to support and mentor my employees in developing their leadership skills. As far as entrepreneurship, I am learning that it is a true commitment, you have to love what you do and even embrace those things you hate doing — for me that is things like accounting and taxes. You have to be willing to fail fast, learn and move on.

Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
RK: First, don’t compromise on your standards. Not to fit in, not to get ahead. Second, find mentors or leaders to add to your network — people that you admire, look up to and can talk to who will be your biggest fans or supporters.

Q: If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
RK: Same advice as above, and if it was someone starting a business -- don’t be afraid of failure, use it to move forward.

Five Things About Roberta Kiphuth

1. If you could meet anyone famous past or present ... who would it be and why?
I am not sure there is a single person...meeting Leonardo Da Vinci would be amazing because he was a scientist, artist, astronomer – all around brilliant man. I am distantly related to Benjamin Franklin, so I would be great to meet him. Present day I think Oprah Winfrey would be a choice because she embodies a true entrepreneurial spirit, rising from adversity to success and still maintaining a general sense of caring, gratitude and humbleness despite her level of fame.

2. Can you tell us one of your passions in life?
Horses. They are magnificent spirits.

3. How do you deal with stress?
By maintaining a positive mindset as much as I can. Business is cyclical, so things go up and down. I have to remind myself that even though things may be slower, or maybe really hectic and stressful, that it will eventually even itself out. Ice cream, massages and trips to the beach help too.

4. Is there a place you always dreamed of visiting?
I am a huge art, music and architecture fan so a dream of mine is to spend a year in Italy, Greece and Spain touring old historic sites and museums.

5. What’s the best advice anyone’s ever given you?
To stop doubting myself.

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