View From Here - May 2021
By Kerry Guard
In the April View From Here, we mentioned that in May we were to going to share our updated Vision with the team. Which, we did and now I’d like to share it with you.
The MKG Marketing Mission
When Mike and I started MKG Marketing in 2011, our tag line was “measurable media”. We wanted to start an agency where we could measure how our marketing efforts impacted a brand’s bottom line. Which is why we started working primarily with technology companies and still do to this day.
When it came to developing a holistic mission almost 10 years later, we came back to that tag line. It’s still a core part of who we are. It’s also timeless. Marketing leaders will always want to know how their marketing efforts are impacting their bottom line.
Another element we discovered is that building lasting relationships with our marketing leaders is important to us and part of our DNA. We know this because we have several brands and/or marketers right now that we’ve been working with for 4 - 6 years.
We’ve been able to achieve this through clear, transparent communication (and results obviously!). Of course we talk about what’s going well. But, we also pull back the curtain;
- What challenges are we facing?
- What ideas did we try and did they pan out like we hoped?
- Why are a report’s numbers down, how did we contribute and what we’re going to do about it?
Here’s the other thing about transparency as it relates to Digital Marketing… Advertising is not transparent. Buyers don’t want it because it’s intrusive and at times creepy. Advertising is fighting an uphill battle against ad blockers and subscription models to stay alive. Why? Because buyers always win. Listening to our customers is important now more than ever. If advertising is going to survive it has to adapt. A big part of adapting is being transparent.
Transparency at MKG has to transcend beyond our client relations to our client’s customers which is why it’s officially part of our mission:
_We help complex b2b brands get found via transparent, measurable digital marketing. _
Our Core Vales
We’ve had core values since at least 2013. There were three, Honesty, Integrity, People (HIP). Then they evolved in 2015 to People First, Exceeding Expectations, Selfless Pride, Big Picture, and Fearless.
Mike, myself, and our Managing Director (Jenna Hasenkampf), completed an exercise out of the Traction Framework. We each took 3 - 5 employees and wrote down characteristics about them. Then we found themes of that tied us all together.
This value has withstood the test of time. It was part of our original HIP values in 2013. It has evolved. It was originally a reminder that Mike and I need to always take care of our people to ensure they have work/life balance, a paycheck, benefits, and a place of belonging. In 2015, it was still very much this. If we stay focused on taking care of our people our people will take care of our clients. In the last few years this has evolved to be about everyone in the organization taking care of each other through:
- MRI: most respectable interpretation… don’t jump to negative conclusions or take things personally. Think about where the other person is coming from and have empathy.
- Team Pride: NO PERSON IS AN ISLAND! It’s easy to feel this way, especially as a remote first company, but remembering we’re all people who sometimes need help makes us feel connected
Given 2020 and the pandemic, this as expanded beyond our team to our clients. Our clients are people too who are more than marketers with families and lives. How can we, as MKG, support our clients so they feel heard, seen, and not like an island?
Remember in 2013, honesty and integrity? Well guess what? That’s encompassed by one word… Transparency. Fast forward to 2021 and thanks to the Traction exercise, we’re bringing it back! It’s still fundamentally part of who we are. Also, it’s in our mission. It felt appropriate to double down given both of these reasons.
To us, transparency means,
- Be Reliable: Set clear expectations and follow-through with team members and clients to build trust and accountability
- Be Honest & lead with integrity: We own up to mistakes and bring ideas for solutions, we value the long-term partnership over the short-term discomfort
- Build trusting, long lasting relationships: Through consistency, accountability, and result-driven work we form connections that last
We have had this value since 2014 and it hasn’t changed too much by design. It’s simple. In order to achieve measurable results, we need to remember what they are and look up, out and forward towards them at all time.
Up Hold The MKG Standard
This came out of the traction exercise. Our team takes great pride in their work. Client’s see that and have come to expect it. As we grow, we need to ensure new employees look to the people who’ve been here and build upon their great work.
Head over to our values page to read the full descriptions.
Our three year vision
As part of the full vision we also shared how we plan to grow in the next three years. What new roles do we need? How do we organize into teams so we can scale?
Virtual Assistant: The integrity of being a mostly flat organization still stands. It’s important to us that our clients work directly with the experts building the plan and pulling the levers. However, there are everyday, repetitive tasks that our people get bogged down in that keeps them from staying focused on the Big Picture, which is why we’ve brought in help! This also allows us to pass those repetitive tasks back to you, our clients, at a lower cost per hour. WIN WIN!
Strategy: Someone to REALLY see the big picture across our service lines and into what other channels our clients are running. How does SEO, Digital Advertising, and Analytics impact and enhance what our clients are already doing across social, PR, email, and more?
Group Director: This is a full on supporting role. Someone behind the scenes that makes sure their teams have what they need to be successful, from Goal Trackers (see April View From Here), to periodic 1:1 check-ins, to stepping in when an Account Director is out for an extended period of time and more!
We’re pretty excited about all these new roles and opportunities for our team and clients!
To infinity, and beyond!
There are several other elements to the Vision Tracker we presented like our 10 year goal, marketing plan, and rocks (also known as goals). We hope to share the full vision with you someday. For now, these are the key elements that are changing and we wanted you to be in the know.
Thanks for joining us on the journey and we look forward to the next three years in growing with you.
In the meantime, check out the latest season of our podcast, Tea Time With Tech Marketing Leaders. Be sure to subscribe and get Season 8 as soon as it’s available!
See you next month,