People Come And Go, But Culture Is Enduring


final photo12 weeks ago, I received two important phone calls within 24 hours. The first call was a full-time job offer at a logistics firm in Columbus; the second, an offer to be the Spring Marketing Communications intern at Marketing Works. A few days ago, I was asked what made me choose the temporary internship over a full-time job, a question I had long awaited. My answer? The culture.

Peter Drucker once wrote “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” While Marketing Works has fantastic marketing strategy (and you can read about it in our blog here), the culture is what I believe truly drives this organization. The moment I stepped out of my final interview, I knew I wanted to be a part of this culture. I wanted to be a part of the Marketing Works family.

Culture can be defined as an evolving set of beliefs, values and attitudes. Many an organization can state their business is based on values or beliefs, but none more than Marketing Works. In this group, with these people, the four core values are what you live every day. These values: We get it. We Care. We do the right thing. We do what it takes. are evident in any strategy, project or conversation within the walls of our building.

The first week of my internship, I was lucky enough to sit down with Sandy and Brenda, president and CEO of Marketing Works, respectively, to interview them for a blog post. The original topic for the post was how the women-owned status impacted Marketing Works. Within minutes, however, the conversation turned to the topic of culture, and it was incredibly evident that both Brenda and Sandy live and breathe the values of Marketing Works.

When asked about her favorite part of Marketing Works and working in the agency industry, Brenda said it was the relationships and the atmosphere. “Most people say we’re very real, and I feel like that’s true. If we mess up, we admit our faults and fix them; not everything is going to be perfect, and that makes for a real atmosphere. This is more than just work, these are relationships that will be lifelong.” We get it.

Sandy mentioned many of the challenges she and Brenda have faced on the way to becoming a leader at Marketing Works. “If you roll up your sleeves and work hard, you can do anything,” she emphasized. “There’s a lot of meaning and fulfillment that comes from helping people you touch: clients, staff, anyone. We do what it takes.

Brenda and Sandy were very eager to share more about the core values and how they are implemented in daily life. “Integrity is huge,” explained Sandy. “Do what you say you will, and do what’s right.” She further explained that our values are not only for show, but are also implemented daily. “That’s how we first felt comfortable about going into business together. It’s about being true to yourself and your client, being a steward of your client’s wishes and money.” We do the right thing.

I asked Brenda and Sandy about the biggest accomplishments in their lives, and, not surprisingly, both had to do with helping others. Brenda is extremely proud of her kids and Sandy believes her greatest accomplishments are all the people she’s had the privilege of working with. “I know that my purpose, our purpose, is to enrich other peoples lives,” Sandy explains. “It is my desire to look back and know that I’ve made a difference in everyone we’ve touched, and enriched their life in some way.” We Care.

Culture is everything; culture is paramount. In 1926, Winnie the Pooh said, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” I’ve been so lucky these past 12 weeks for everything I have learned and experienced, but mostly for the relationships made. Thanks to everyone at Marketing Works for a great Spring! I cannot put into words how grateful I am for the opportunity, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.


Matt Balzer • June 5, 2015

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