Neil Stephen searched for a long time to find the place to start his marketing company, This Is Marketing. When he came across their now-office space on 99 Portland Street, he knew he found the place it would be the perfect spot to launch the business.  

Since starting up This is Marketing six years ago, Neil and his team has helped small- and medium-sized clients turn their respective unique stories and values, and help them develop an emotional connection with the public. The company connects clients with opportunities they might not have known existed and finding tactical ways to accentuate their brands’ differentiating values.
“True branding is all about authenticity,” Neil says. “It’s helpful to have a third party that knows how to ask the right questions to help you rediscover your business’s mission and what sets you apart.”
But recently, Neil has been helping out in a different way.  
He has partnered with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada in their Man & Woman of The Year campaign to help end blood cancer and raise awareness of the cancer diagnosis and detection gap in our current COVID-19 pandemic situation.  
Neil admits he was hesitant about taking on the challenge because he did not have any clear personal connection to blood cancer. But after an eye-opening conversation with the people at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, it became clear to Neil that this was an issue that needed to be addressed.  
He was inspired by the Society’s focus on what is coming in the horizon, noting that it is especially important here in Atlantic Canada where our population skews older. He also cautions that we need to be keeping an eye out not just for our elderly, but for all our loved ones.
“If [your loved ones] do feel any sort of symptoms, encourage them to make an appointment because there’s lots of reasons not to these days,” Neil says.  
In this initiative, Neil is offering what he and his team does best in exchange for your donations. You and your organization may benefit from the marketing services they’re offering such as a Creative Brainstorm Session, an SEO Keywords + Tactics Report, and a Full Brand Refresh. They are even selling tickets to Andy Hay’s Quarantine Kitchen Experience. 100 per cent of the proceeds are donated directly to Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada to help end blood cancer.  
Even as he looks to the future, Neil’s desire to help is palpable.  
He says big picture success for This is Marketing would be contributing to the growth of the Nova Scotian economy through providing clients with good marketing, branding, and growth strategies. In achieving this Neil hopes this would build an increased appetite for national and international purchasing or procurement of Atlantic Canadian products.  
This Is Marketing team continues grow as well, as they now have six full time employees and five part-time employees – a stark difference from the three-person team they had when they started. They are now building a studio in Downtown Dartmouth, and Neil wants use this as a home in downtown Dartmouth for creative people to do cool things together and do fun creative projects.  
The team at This Is Marketing, located at 99 Portland Street.
Neil acknowledges that he is still catching up on getting to know Downtown Dartmouth more, but he loves the tight-knit community atmosphere.  
“It has the heart of a rural community right here in the urban core,” Neil says. “To me, that's the best of both worlds.”  
He is especially fond of the people of the district. As Downtown Dartmouth continues to grow, Neil hopes the district maintains the balance of investment growth and economic improvements while also creating and preserving spaces for the people who have made downtown what it has been.
Neil’s affection for the district could not be any clearer, saying, “I believe that downtown Dartmouth is the best place to live in Atlantic Canada.” 
Learn more on how to help Neil raise awareness and end blood cancer by visiting the This is Marketing website. (https://www.thisismarketing.ca/end-blood-cancer)
Profile written by Raf Peligro

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