Our 13th Anniversary: Innovate By Day’s Origin Story
As Innovate By Day celebrates its 13th anniversary, let's take a moment to reflect on the company's origins and journey since 2010.
Since its inception in 2010, Innovate By Day (IBD) has been creating conversations and communities in the digital media and cultural industries as a full-service digital marketing agency. The company founder, Deb Day, recognized the potential of social media and utilized it to build her business. Our expertise is crafting engaging stories that resonate with diverse audiences, from leading networks and government organizations to corporate clients and media productions.
As Innovate By Day celebrates its 13th anniversary, we'd like to take this opportunity to reflect on the company's origins and journey:
Innovate By Day’s story starts in the early 2000s with our founder, Chief Strategist and CEO, Deb Day. Initially a producer and director, Deb aspired to channel her passion for these roles into something greater. As a community organizer and connector of people and ideas, she saw the potential of social media to connect film and television fans with creators, spark conversations, and build meaningful discussions and communities. Her vision came to life with a soon-to-be-launched TV series, Rookie Blue, co-created by Morwyn Brebner, Tassie Cameron, and Ellen Vanstone. It was coined as a new generation’s cop show, served straight up with a twist of danger, sex, and high-stakes drama. It followed five officers from their first day on the streets – as they were plunged into the world of big-city policing, where even the smallest mistake would have life-or-death consequences.
Several weeks before the series was to premiere, Deb was approached by the producers and asked what she could do to support the series to help build the audience. Deb binged all ten episodes over a weekend. She loved the series and saw its potential to resonate with audiences. She crafted an engagement strategy tailored to the show's target audience, impressing the Canadian Television Network, Global TV, now owned by Corus Media. Leveraging the cast and co-creators in her strategy, she collaborated with ABC's Digital and Engagement team, who shared her excitement for the show's potential and developed a plan for digital events with the cast that would happen in tandem with the episodic releases.
The series premiered on ABC in the US and Global TV in Canada. They kicked things off with a few online “live” co-watching chats with the cast, the creators and the audience. The digital engagement initiatives far exceeded their expectations. By the end of the season, the Facebook page had over 70K active fans. Live Twitter chats with the cast trended consistently, and one event was so popular that it “crashed” Twitter. Deb quickly realized she needed to expand her team beyond herself and add others with skills that complemented her own.
Deb established IBD with three core tenants: Listen, Engage, and Respond. To develop digital marketing strategies, understanding the needs of our clients’ different audiences is critical. This includes both B2B (business-to-business) as well as B2C (business-to-consumer).
One of the company's early advantages was Deb's production background and deep understanding and respect for production protocols, the creative process, and the importance of narrative. It enabled IBD to relate to its initial client base–film and television producers–and thrive as a company. As a result, showrunner and producer Tassie Cameron deemed the company as “the storytellers that the storytellers hire,” which is a tagline and badge of honour we still have today.
As a values-led digital marketing agency, we excel at understanding people, culture, impact, and community. We focus on finding creative ways to meet our audiences' needs, with the mindset that it's not about transaction but communication. We aim to build authentic and long-lasting relationships between companies and their audiences, leading to success. We are prepared to take calculated risks, innovate, and try new things while always proceeding with intention.
Our business has changed throughout the years, always retaining our core tenets of listening, engaging, and responding while evolving how we do things. We have expanded our mandate and industry verticals to businesses and organizations outside the cultural industries, including government, not-for-profit groups, and other values-aligned companies. What remains constant is our commitment to doing great work, putting the audience at the centre of a plan, and keeping great storytelling at the heart while continually evolving our team’s expertise, improving how we operate and staying ahead of trends.
From Rookie Blue to now, IBD has remained committed to its vision of innovation and community-building. As we mark 13 years, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who has contributed to this extraordinary journey–from our dedicated team to our wonderful clients and the supportive community around us.
Thank you for being an integral part of our ongoing story. Here's to many more years of innovation, collaboration, and success together.
Click here to learn more about Deb Day and the rest of the Innovate By Day team.
Written by Jessica Mendoza (She/Her), Digital & Social Media Specialists at Innovate By Day.