Amanda (Collins) Diefenderfer ’09: Founder of Big Red Marketing
“I always knew my marketing major would lead me directly down the career path I belonged on,” explains Amanda (Collins) Diefenderfer ’09, founder of Big Red Marketing. “But I also knew that by majoring in English, as well, I would be feeding my passion while developing strong writing skills that would help me succeed at my career.”
Seven years since her graduation, it is obvious that Amanda had a clear vision of her future.
Before she has even reached her ten-year reunion, Amanda has not only gone into business for herself but has gradually brought along four employees to help her serve California clients from the wine, lifestyle, and tourism industries.
When asked about her proudest career accomplishment to date, she points not to one big moment but a hundred little ones. Her pride, you see, is in the satisfaction she feels in sitting down with each of her clients to determine the unique resources they bring to a partnership intended to bring both parties a fun and rewarding business experience.
“There are so many marketing packages you can select from a dropdown menu these days that are intended to be one-size-fits-all but wind up falling short. It is really gratifying to sit down and listen to a client’s goals and carefully assess their means to achieving them,” Amanda explains.
By understanding each one’s needs, her team is able to strategize a customized plan that mobilizes her staff to do any or all of the following: design a website and social media platforms, create a logo, craft written copy, plan events, and leverage Big Red’s relationships with media outlets to gain more exposure in each client’s respective industry.
There are goose-bump moments every time it all comes together. “To see that one person’s passion combined with our services can really bring a dream to life is incredibly rewarding,” Amanda says.
In launching Big Red Marketing – whose name is a nod to the Big Red Vineyard her family owned in Paso Robles when she was growing up – she is serving a Central Coast community that is already dear to her.
Returning to the tightknit community after graduating was entirely by design. In fact, a big reason she chose to attend Santa Clara was because she felt the campus mirrored what she learned while growing up.
Amanda explains, “Santa Clara is big enough to give you the sense of a real university experience, but small enough that you can’t feel anonymous and fall through the cracks because you run into people who care about you so often.”
Another aspect of the University that impacted her was the depth of the connections she formed with some of her professors. “My English professor Jill Goodman Gould, in particular, was someone who really shaped who I am and who I want to be,” Amanda explains. “She was a kind mentor to me when my father passed away during my junior year. She allowed me to finish her course in a way that let me reflect and process my loss, which had a big impact on my ability to move forward.”
As she reflects back on her days on campus with her best friends who would eventually become the bridesmaids that were by her side as she married fellow Bronco, Joe Diefenderfer ‘03 (whom she met at a Central Coast alumni event) she is grateful for the whole Santa Clara experience.
“It holds a special place in my heart. There were hard times, for sure, but I was surrounded by the greatest community of peers that made this one of the best times of my life. Even though we are now scattered across the country, we continue to gather regularly due to the deep connection we made at Santa Clara.”
For more information about Big Red Marketing or to get in touch with Amanda, visit bigredmktg.com.