We’re hiring for 4 positions

 

We have four immediate openings for an energetic and experienced people who are passionate about excellence and like to have fun at work:

  • Market Director – Greater Tampa Area
  • Website and graphic designer
  • Art Director
  • Marketing Assistant

 

Below are the job descriptions:

 

Market Director – Greater Tampa Area

Marketing Department Inc. is a Michigan-based B2B agency expanding to the Tampa area. We seek a connected business development specialist to help grow business opportunities with area manufacturers.

The ideal candidate for this position understands the basic principles of marketing , will quickly grasp the agencies key value proposition and be able to network the agency to potential clients. He/she will work directly with the agency CEO and be supported by excellent strategic, creative, digital and production teams in Michigan. Ultimately, the Market Director will open doors for the agency and then act as a key account liaison. Marketing Department is strongly committed to having business serviced by someone located in the greater Tampa market. The person in the position will be expected to:

  • Grow and manage business
  • Work with clients and Michigan office to develop strategies and execute related projects
  • Manage projects to deliver exceptional and highly strategic work
  • Attend networking events and professionally represent the agency to the Florida market

The agency is targeting advanced manufactures and tech companies that have demonstrated the urge to grow or need for marketing services

This position is flexible in both schedule and pay is based on experience. Anyone making a full-time commitment will have access to

  • Excellent healthcare insurance
  • Unlimited time off
  • 3% match into a retirement program
  • Work from home (optional)

We’re looking for the right person and will structure a salary package to meet their needs. Compensation for the position will include sales incentives that scale with lead generation, then become a $20 per hour minimum for necessary account management work with the clients brought to the agency.

Anyone interested in applying for this position, please submit a resume and cover letter to Karyn Olsson, CEO. Please email resume to assistant kim@marketingdepartmentinc.com.

 

 

Graphic/ Web Designer

The ideal person for this position has experience and portfolio of both print design and web projects.  If you bring positive and creative energy to your work, thrive in a busy office environment with like-minded peers, and enjoy challenging design work, consider joining the team.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE GRAPHIC and WEBSITE DESIGNER.

  • Design and layout for print and web
  • Build and maintain websites
  • Conceptualize creative ideas and layouts
  • Establish and design materials using knowledge of layout principles, design concepts and best practices
  • Prepare and organize files for printing
  • Reports to the VP Strategic and Creative Services

COMPENSATION/BENEFITS. This is a full-time position offering a flexible schedule of 35-40 hours/week.  In addition, we offer a starting wage of $18.00 or more per hour, based on your portfolio and experience; health, dental and medical insurance, a retirement plan with 3% company match, and an energizing, modern work environment located in the heart of downtown Houghton.

WHAT YOU NEED TO SUCCEED AS OUR GRAPHIC and WEBSITE DESIGNER.

  • Possess a passion for perfection, impeccable attendance record and an exceptional work ethic.
  • Previous experience as a graphic designer covering all aspects of artwork preparation and printing with emphasis on website design required.
  • Self-taught designers are encouraged to apply. A degree is not required.
  • Proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign), required.
  • Proficiency with WordPress and web design processes, required.
  • Basic understanding of SEO in the design process required.
  • Patience and commitment to excellence while working with staff and clients to create and execute graphic/website design objectives.
  • Skills such as video, photography, writing, animation are a plus.
  • Portfolio of design/web projects, required.

INTERESTED? Apply online at mdi.hirescore.com

DEADLINE TO APPLY:  October 18, 2019 at 4pm ET

 

 

Art Director

The ideal person for this position has experience and portfolio of both print design and web projects. Exceptional candidates have a portfolio that also includes video and other digital projects. If you bring positive and creative energy to your work, thrive in a busy office environment with like-minded peers, and enjoy challenging design work, consider joining the team. 

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ART DIRECTOR.

  • Create and Supervise design and layout for print and web
  • Manage design project deadlines
  • Build and maintain websites
  • Conceptualize creative ideas
  • Understand how to design within brand standards
  • Prepare and organize files for printing
  • Reports to the VP Strategic and Creative Services

COMPENSATION/BENEFITS. This is a full-time position offering a flexible schedule of 35-40 hours/week.  In addition, we offer a starting wage of $25.00 or more per hour, based on your portfolio and experience; health, dental and medical insurance, a retirement plan with 3% company match, and an energizing, modern work environment located in the heart of downtown Houghton.

WHAT YOU NEED TO SUCCEED AS OUR ART DIRECTOR.

  • Previous experience as a graphic designer covering all aspects of artwork preparation and printing with emphasis on website design required.
  • Experience managing creative processes and projects.
  • Possess a passion for perfection, and an exceptional work ethic.
  • Self-taught designers are encouraged to apply. A degree is not required.
  • Proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign), required.
  • Proficiency with WordPress and web design processes, required.
  • Basic understanding of SEO in the design process required.
  • Patience and commitment to excellence while working with staff and clients to create and execute graphic/website design objectives.
  • Skills such as video, photography, writing, animation are a plus.
  • Portfolio of design/web projects, required.

INTERESTED? Send resume to kim@marketingdepartmentinc.com

DEADLINE TO APPLY:  October 18, 2019

 

Marketing Coordinator

The ideal person for this position has experience bringing positive and creative energy to your work place, thrive in a busy office environment with like-minded peers, and enjoy challenging work, consider joining the team.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE MARKETING COORDINATOR.

  • Work with the VP Strategy and Creative and assist the Account Manager on various projects
  • Purchase media when needed
  • Work with suppliers to deliver final work to clients
  • Answer phones with energy
  • Assist visitors and clients who visit the agency
  • Coordinate meetings and events
  • Support CEO with various tasks

COMPENSATION/BENEFITS. This is a part-time position with flexible hours offering a starting wage of $12.00 per hour, based experience and an energizing, modern work environment located in the heart of downtown Houghton.

WHAT YOU NEED TO SUCCEED AS OUR MARKETING COORDINATOR.

  • Energy and excitement
  • Exceptional verbal communication skills
  • A good sense of humor
  • Ability to use Outlook email, Calendar, Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Organizational skills
  • Willingness to learn and work with others

INTERESTED? Send resume to kim@marketingdepartmentinc.com

DEADLINE TO APPLY:  October 18, 2019

A workplace plan for millenials, bean bags and the CEOs they drive bat-shit crazy.

Millennials have earned a reputation for being entitled, selfish and lazy. Companies struggle to manage this generation, which seems to spend most of their workday hiding behind electronic communication and social media. CEOs regularly share with me that they feel millennials lack focus, struggle to work full workweeks, and are way too optimistic. This is driving business leaders absolutely bat-shit crazy. The War on Talent and this topic of millennials is actually the biggest challenge for some businesses right now.

But I can’t help asking myself if workplace millennials are just the new version of my generation (Gen X) and whether they’ll soon be complaining about the generation after them.

 

The irony here is that the same generations who relentlessly whine about millennials are the same people who created them. So you’d think we could undo what we have done. Instead, companies are trying to solve these workplace problems with beanbags and flextime. Yet businesses are frustrated because they can’t retain young employees and millennials don’t feel successful.

 

So, how do we fix this gap?

Determined to understand this nagging issue for myself and my CEO friends, I went on a fact-finding mission and reviewed several pieces of incredible research on this subject. I came to one simple idea:

 

COMPANIES NEED TO START LEADING, GUIDING, AND MENTORING MILLENIALS.

Millennials grew up in a vastly different world than earlier generations. They enjoyed a stable economy, a lifetime of technology and information at their fingertips, and schedules

created by us, their parents.

 

We accuse them of having a weaker work ethic, but they’re also bright, worldly, ambitious, creative, and far more polite than their older peers. Millennials are actually pretty amazing people who could ironically teach older generations a thing or two. I learn something new every day from our awesome millennial team.

 

This generation is our future and our soon-to-be leaders. They just don’t know – what they don’t know. It’s our responsibility to mentor them, toughen them up, and teach them the value of a dollar, all while respecting their very different value system…one that we created for them.

 

I challenge my fellow business owners to ditch the beanbags and come up with a better plan.

 

  1.     Assign workplace mentors
  2.     Listen to millennials’ ideas with an open mind
  3.     Shake up routines
  4.     Ditch the annual review and provide constant feedback
  5.     Promote your company’s values
  6.     Provide opportunities to expand industry knowledge
  7.     Encourage creativity and innovation
  8.     Increase your professional development budget

 

I’ll wrap up with a simple message for baby boomers and Gen Xers: Please stop complaining. Millennials were raised in a much different world than us. Instead, start to guide and mentor them so they have the opportunity to experience successful business. Challenge them. Let them fail. Help them back up. Let them live on their own. And when they learn all you have to teach them; they will take us to a higher level than where we are today.

 

Data Breach Communication Playbook

Are you ready for the fastest-growing business crime in the Upper Peninsula – and the world?

 

Creating a crisis communications playbook for cyberattacks

You’ve been hacked and now it’s going public.
Are you prepared for this?
What’s your response plan?

 

Your customers trust that you’re taking every measure possible to protect your personal and confidential information. In the U.P. we feel safe and protected living in a remote and safe part of the world. Living here makes it easy to forgot how quickly, easily connected and vulnerable we are to the rest of the world.

Living in the U.P. can make us feel immune to the problems plaguing global financial institutions, retailers, and social media platforms. Your customers trust that you’re doing everything possible to ensure that information is kept secure. However, despite the size or location of an organization, no company can be 100% immune from a breach.

Whether it’s email hacking, ransomware, account stealing or any other number of activities — businesses are under constant threat from cyber attackers. Cyberattacks are the fastest growing crime in America, and they are increasing in scale, sophistication, and cost. The question is no longer if a cyberattack will happen, but when.

Last year, more than 50% of the 28 million businesses in America reported a data breach. About half of those attacks targeted small businesses. While some companies found themselves covered by insurances or reported only minor losses, extreme situations forced over 280,000 businesses to close their doors. Poor communications cost 1.5 million organizations to lose the trust of loyal customers, which they may never regain. This means that 3,500 U.P. businesses will be effected by a cyber attack in 2019, 35 of which will lose customer loyalty or worse, close their doors.

Over the past year, I’ve had conversations about cybersecurity with more than 100 businesses across the Upper Peninsula. Of the small handful that have a plan, most admit to not having the right systems and training in place to support their organization — Yikes. Regardless of explicit awareness of the risks and skyrocketing damages to companies who have suffered a cyberattack – which is expected to reach $6 trillion by 2021 – crisis plans are still taking a back seat for many CEOs.

Recently, a new client of ours was the target of an attack that affected thousands of customers. They didn’t have sufficient resources in place to quickly communicate information to their customers or keep them informed. Even if they had, the client didn’t know what to say – or what not to say. Instead, their customers learned about the breach through the most reliable sources — Facebook, gossipers, and Twitter complainers (yes, sarcasm).

While we helped get them through the crisis, this became an unforgettable learning experience for the entire organization.

My goal is to provide companies with a practical and minimal playbook to increase customer loyalty and trust in the event of an attack. With a basic game-day plan in place, you will be less vulnerable to losing customers and more likely to keep their trust.

 

The Playbook

In the event of a hack, the most important thing is to communicate proactively and transparently.

  1. Assign a crisis communication leader.
  2. Prepare up-to-date contact lists & message distribution plan. Develop a plan that allows you to gather employee, customer and media contact information within an hour. This plan may include writing up instructions of how to export data from your CRM or point-of-sale system. The list should consist of email addresses and cell phone numbers – the quickest method of communication. Other relevant information includes mailing addresses for a post-event letter explanation.
    (please note: we’re not suggesting that every breach requires media or public communication)
  3. Call center. Develop a plan that includes the quick set-up of a call center to address customer concerns in either inbound or outbound calls. Provide the call center team with a set of talking points (provided by the lead, public relations firm and possibly reviewed by an attorney).
  4. No matter the severity of the breach, there is a certain level of messaging you can prepare ahead of time. You’ll add the specific details of the breach and recovery plan when the event strikes. A seasoned writer and communicator can help ensure holding statements and messaging meets the needs of your organization and your customers.
  5. Simulate an attack. Remember elementary school fire drills? The same goes for cyberattacks. Whether you hire a company specializing in cybersecurity or develop a simulation on your own, practicing responses to an attack is crucial to your real-life response.

GAME DAY

  1. Assess the situation.Here are a few questions to have on hand and ready “in the moment”
    When did it happen?
    Is the crisis real or perceptual?
    What is the scale?
    Who does it impact?
    What are we doing?
    How will we keep people informed?
  2. Draft a press release and talking points. Using the prewritten talking points and the facts to draft a press release and talking points which can be tested with people on your management team. Keep in mind that everyone’s talking points are little different:
    a. Website/social media
    b. Call center script
    c. Employees
    d. Customers
    e. Media/stakeholders
  3. Direct customer notification. Once you understand who was affected by the breach and the severity, immediately contact the impacted customers. Inform them on how they may have been affected, let them know what you’re doing to rectify the situation, and inform them where to find updates. If the situation is dire, you should consult your public relation or legal teams before sending out a communication. Once you share information with customers, consider it public and the likelihood of it going to the media or viral on social media is high.
  4. Public notification. In some unique cases when a special media announcement in necessary, you can use traditional news and social media to expand your messaging. It’s critical to only use your press release as a method of communication. Remember that whatever gets published in the news and on social media leaves a digital footprint for future customers to see.
  5. Post-game results. In the days to follow a breach, it will be evident how the breach occurred and the impact on customers. Review what went wrong, and how you can improve your crisis communications. This reflection offers an opportunity to share the facts and story with employees, customers, and stakeholders.

 

 

BRAND PERFORMANCE

Rethinking what your small business measures first.

I hope that by the time you finish reading this post, you are convinced to make measuring brand performance your first and most important business measure. Of course financial statements and sales performance reports are important, but not as much as your brand. Why?

Because your brand is everything. If your brand is performing well, your financial statements and sales reports will reflect that success.

First, let’s get one thing out of the way. Let’s define “brand” because there is so much misunderstanding over this word, especially in small business. Much of this confusion stems from varying definitions. My version, not far from many others, looks like this:

Brand: a company’s personality and reputation, which is measured by its ability to attract customers who fall in love with them and in turn purchase their products and services over and over again.

Just like people, your small business can gain a reputation based on your business personality. Here’s a simple “life” example: if Bob dresses sloppily and is always short with people, and he will likely gain a reputation for being someone who doesn’t care. Bob will never make friends and likely not perform well in life. While Susie, who is always well dressed and wears a smile, will have a larger network of friends and likely perform better in life.

The same goes for small businesses. If Company A has messy, outdated and dirty customer environments and employees who are sluggish and unhappy, Company A will likely have less bottom-line success. If Company B has clean, updated environments that are consistent with a modernized online presence and happy, engaged employees, Company B will have a stronger, growing bottom line. Not to mention that Company B will also attract better employees as a result.

Measuring Brand Performance

It’s important to spend time defining and building your brand, but you also need to measure it. Measuring your brand is critical because it allows you to make strategic changes when needed.

Brand performance isn’t measured just by what happens before the purchase. Sure, it’s important for people to recognize and engage with your brand, but the work doesn’t stop there. The brand experience has to last and inspire loyalty. In fact, I could make the case that the repeat sale is the most important metric in determining how your brand is performing.

There are several other important metrics that bigger companies with bigger resources use to determine how their brands are performing. Overall brand perception and brand preference are two examples.

Although such data is extremely valuable, collecting it often requires varying levels of investment with market research companies, or having internal staff dedicated to customer service and feedback research.

So what’s a small business to do? For the sake of practicality, I’d like to offer a simple suggestion — a starting point — so you can begin measuring your brand performance right away: ask your customers how you’re performing. Yup…it’s that simple.

Here are a few questions to ask your customers and clients. It’s important that you go to the source — the answers to these questions are far too important to guess at on your own. They can only be answered accurately by the people who experience your brand.

On a scale of 1 (failing) to 10 (exceeding expectations) how are we doing?

  • How well did our product or service meet your expectations? If you answered less than 10, please tell us what we should have done to earn a 10.
  • How well did the delivery of our product or service measure up to what we promised? If you answered less than 10, please tell us what we should have done to earn a 10.
  • How do you like our product or service? If you answered less than 10, please tell us what we should have done to earn a 10.
  • How likely are you to buy a product or service from us again? If you answered less than 10, please tell us what we should have done to earn a 10.

Your survey can be distributed electronically or on slips of paper at your place of business. The questions can be customized to address any concerns or weaknesses you feel you may have in areas such as staffing, customer experience, quality improvements and operations. Just remember to keep the survey short and your questions clear.

A survey allows your customers to communicate their thoughts and experiences directly to you, giving you the confidence you need to make more accurate and strategic decisions. Keep in mind that answers with an average ranking of less than 8 need immediate attention.

Measuring your brand can be intimidating, expensive and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. The key is to use the resources you have — your customers — and to commit to doing the work.  I guarantee that the effort you put in will only help that all-important bottom line.

 

 

Strong Culture Leads to Stronger Sales

Although awareness of corporate culture has been around for decades, it has only become a common point of discussion in the past few years. To some extent, the phrase has become another new bit of business jargon and lost its true meaning and purpose. However, this influential concept is inspiring some companies to review — and share — their values, organizational goals, strategy, and structure.

With the unique challenges of attracting talent to the Upper Peninsula, our companies need to work even harder at defining and promoting corporate culture. There are indications that companies who have a unified company culture are more successful.

Why?

  • Culture plays a role in attracting and retaining talent. When consumers buy new cars, they will search all brands, makes and models until they find a vehicle that feels right. In today’s “war on talent,” companies need to think about creating chemistry in the workplace in order to boost their appeal.

 

  • Culture increases customer loyalty and sales. Customers of companies with strong, well-defined cultures have loyal, happy employees. Employees who are happy at work create positive customer experiences. Happy customers create more revenue.

 

  • Culture provides direction for employees. A strong corporate culture also drives employee behavior. For example, if “creativity” is a priority in your corporate culture, then employees will participate more in developing solutions and ideas that will continue to improve products, services, and yes — the bottom line.

 

Your competition is focused on culture.

Just like market share, your competitors are likely chasing after the same talent you are. So it’s important to sell your culture to compete for talent, the same way you sell your product or service. Companies who sell culture first and the actual position second are more successful at recruiting.

Companies in the Upper Peninsula, especially those competing nationally for talent, have to work a little harder. We must move beyond selling just our company culture to also promote the U.P. lifestyle in order to attract talent. For the right employee, the U.P. culture is a bonus. Those employees will be happier at work as a result.

Embracing Millennials

I am a Gen-Xer and grew up in a business world where new job decisions were driven by health benefits, 401K packages, and salary plans. Professional millennials have completely different motivations. And let’s face it…they’re the ones driving the future of today’s workplace.

Traditional structures and communication styles are not appealing to millennials. But you don’t need beanbag chairs and ping-pong tables to attract young talent. This generation prioritizes culture over salaries. They want to feel trusted and have flexibility. Companies that successfully compete for millennial talent offer other benefits, like unlimited PTO, schedule flexibility, and options to work partially from home.

Millennials are forcing companies to think harder about culture. Those companies that don’t embrace this generation will experience shortages of talent, which leads to shortages in sales and profits.

Is It Time for a Culture Audit?

Have you decided that a new focus on culture is a priority? Then maybe it’s time for your company to undergo a cultural audit. Here are some steps that we take to perform audits for our clients:

We help you understand your current culture. We start by conducting research to understand your company’s current status and define where the culture is now. We accomplish this two ways:

  1. Blind survey to all employees. We have these on file, so please feel free to call our office. We’re happy to email you one for free!

 

  1. SWOT Session. Without the CEO or managers in the room, we assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of working in your company’s current environment. SWOT sessions are much more effective when conducted by a trained facilitator. Otherwise, these meetings can turn into a “bitch-fest.”

Once we’ve collected the survey and SWOT data, we analyze it to understand what current employees enjoy about their jobs, so that we can leverage that in promoting and further defining the corporate culture. It also provides some insight into issues that need to be corrected.

We help you further define and refine your corporate culture. Once you better understand your current culture, many things will become obvious. You will learn what to preserve, what corrective actions should be taken, and how to further define and communicate your culture.

Every business has unique values. But too often they aren’t consistently promoted, especially internally. Culture must be promoted in the workplace and supported by a written plan. The plan should outline behavioral expectations, values, regular measurements, employee recognition programs, and frequent communication methods.

For example, if you decide that “world-class service” is a part of your culture, then you should have specific benchmarks, definitions, and communications in place that remind employees and customers what “world-class service” looks like. Furthermore, you should formally reward and recognize employees who exemplify this quality. 

Measure. Measure. Measure: There is no “right” culture. But you do need to be relentless about gaging yours and focusing on continuous improvement. With some clients, we conduct follow-up employee surveys once or twice a year and publish the final results to the entire staff. The majority of the time, we see improvements and celebrate them with all employees.

Bottom line: companies that have a consistent set of values and a strong, well-articulated company culture have happier employees. That translates to winning talent and increasing revenues. It’s up to you to decide what’s important for your company to succeed. But in our experience, if you want to be competitive for both market share and talent, consider starting inside, with culture.

New regional brand initiative, “Innovation Shore”, seeks input from the local STEM community.

HOUGHTON, MI (December 13, 2017) Michigan Technological University is taking the lead on a region-wide community brand project and seeks input from people working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The purpose of this new brand, Innovation Shore, is to position the community as a high-tech region to attract STEM-related talent and business to the Upper Peninsula. The survey takes about five minutes and can be accessed at www.InnovationShore.com. It will close on January 20.

“There is incredible innovation happening throughout our region — we just haven’t done a great job telling the world our story yet,” explains Karyn Olsson, CEO of Marketing Department, Inc., the agency hired to guide the branding process. “The survey results will provide us with ideas and inspire stories of the talented people who work and learn in STEM fields while highlighting our tech companies and university research.”

Once the survey has been completed, the initiative will convene a small local group of people who work in STEM-related companies or universities to provide input as the brand develops. The branding work is expected to be completed and launched early in the summer of 2018.

Ian Repp, Director of University Marketing and Communications at Michigan Tech encourages employees, managers, students and business owners who work in STEM fields and live in the Upper Peninsula to respond to the short survey. “We’re looking forward to the development and implementation of a strong community-driven brand that will promote the stories of innovation throughout our community. The survey results will help Marketing Department Inc. position our region as a viable place for entrepreneurs and STEM-related businesses.”

To learn more about the project, the community is encouraged to attend the next Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance (KEDA) monthly meeting where representatives from Michigan Tech will present the project and some preliminary results from the survey. That meeting will be held at Finlandia University’s Finnish American Heritage Center at 7:30 am on January 10.

About funding for this project

This project is made possible by a grant from Defense Manufacturing Assistance Program (DMAP), a program funded by the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment, which is administered through University of Michigan.

 

Media Contact

Karyn Olsson, CEO

Upper Peninsula Marketing Department Inc.

karyno@marketingdepartmentinc.com

(906) 483 – 2000

 

About Marketing Department Inc.

Upper Peninsula Marketing Department Inc. (MDI) is a full-service woman-owned agency located on Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. MDI works closely with advanced manufactures and tech companies in the region who are looking to increase market share, find new markets or recharge their brand. The model and process is proven with a 10-year track record of growing companies.

MDI is also very active with many economic development projects and understands the strategies need to strengthen the Upper Peninsula economy.