Commonground Marketing

  www.discovercg.com
  www.discovercg.com

Commonground Marketing Reviews

Updated November 19, 2014
Updated November 19, 2014
13 Reviews
2.8
13 Reviews
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Ahmad Islam and Sherman Wright
3 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1.  

    Great Culture, Poor Leadership

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Commonground Marketing full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    - Great Culture, and lot's of fun...especially with experiential events.
    - Very diverse, you'll find nearly every ethnicity everywhere you turn and make great friends
    - Very laid back work environment
    - Great flexibility to work from home
    - Great talent in that agency. You'll find some gems with amazing personalities

    Cons

    - POOR leadership skills from senior level management.
    - Underpaid
    - No agency processes or structure. Literally a sink of swim environment
    - 0 investment in junior level employees (there's an extreme shortage of junior level employees.
    - Account runs it, pushing the creative envelop to clients is rare
    - You'll wait FOREVER for a promotion because senior level management don't invest in their staff's growth and development. It's damn near every man for himseld

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Hire more junior level employees, invest in their development, and LEARN how to manage them properly (or don't hire them at all)
    - Implement yearly employee evaluations.
    - Continue to build on the fantastic work culture in place.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2.  

    Great culture, but difficult to produce good work

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Commonground Marketing as a contractor (less than an year)

    Pros

    Agency culture is awesome. There is a great diversity of people and the office really is a fun environment. I never dreaded going to work. Lots of experiental work, which means tons of cool events to attend.

    Cons

    Working at a multicultural agency has its drawbacks. On top of the many creative restrictions that carries, most of their clients are huge clients. Account rules at the agency and are more interested in selling any work rather than good work. The agency does not treat its employees well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat the employees better. Now that there are plenty of clients, focus attention on doing good work for them.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  3.  

    A roller coaster

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Commonground Marketing full-time

    Pros

    Opportunity, excitement, & blue chip clients. CG is what you make it. If you work hard and give your all, you will shine. Hard work gets noticed.

    Cons

    fast paced, you have to be sharp and on your game to survive. But I believe what doesn't kill me makes me stronger. Long hours are a realty. However, being at other advertising agencies, this is no surprise. It's 2014 and we compete in a global market. To not have to kill it everyday would be naive.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Remember that many employees have given their lives to help grow the agency. They've sacrificed time with their families and loved ones to help grow the agency. Don't forget all the sweat equity.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
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  5.  

    Great culture, great people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Commonground Marketing as an intern (less than an year)

    Pros

    Really amazingly diverse (age, gender, race). Lots of highly talented people and opportunities to learn and contribute on some great projects. Really team-oriented and collaborative efforts all over. Tons of great events in and outside of the office, whether it's through clients or just internal stuff.

    Cons

    It's rapidly growing and new hires aren't necessarily going to the departments that need them most. Sometimes work-life balance is nil. There is a lot of talk about being able to flow in between departments but that hasn't been my experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Develop some more process. There are growing pains right now but CG can be a great place to work.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6.  

    Exciting, energizing environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Account Manager in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Commonground Marketing full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    The agency has many Blue Chip clients that look great on your resume. If you work hard you can easily stand out.

    Cons

    Difficult to develop as a more junior level account person since Sr level account staff is very disengaged and quite poor at leadership

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stay in touch with the employees hire more better client service leaders

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7.  

    Lack of communication and direction

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Commonground Marketing full-time

    Pros

    Cool office space
    Friendly people
    Big accounts

    Cons

    Lack of junior-level employees
    Lack of communication within teams and among departments
    Account teams run creative
    No office culture/not a fun work environment/endless open gossiping

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This agency could be more successful if there was fluidity of communication amongst employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8.  

    It has potential, but it lacks respect….

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Commonground Marketing full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    -Great people
    -Great culture
    -Room to be creative
    -A good place to start, not a good place to grow

    Cons

    -Senior management (some not ALL) don't look out for their team. Some are notorious for throwing their team under the bus to save themselves
    -Low pay (No one gets paid well…with the exception of owners and their closer personal buddies)
    -Little room to grow or be promoted

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    -Be upfront with your employees. Let's be honest, parties, bottles and photos with celebrities don't pay the bills. Do they pay yours?
    -Stop over promising and under delivering! Don't promise bonuses and pay raises when you know they will not be distributed.
    -Don't insult the intelligence of your employees. Some of the practices are complete acts of blatant disrespect. As if people don't know they are getting paid below market salary and being pacified with temporary fixes.
    -Appreciate the work your employees do. It is their work, blood, sweat and tears that keeps the company going. Don't just say "Thank You", MEAN IT!

    CG has the potential to be one of the best multicultural agencies in the history of marketing and advertising but somewhere along the way, the CG family culture and values were lost. Get back to the spirit that started the company. It will take you a long way.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Great Potential

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Creative in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Creative in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Commonground Marketing full-time

    Pros

    Cool people. Laid back atmosphere.

    Cons

    Founders are former Account Executives, so it's no surprise that the AE's run this place. Too many new business pitches. Too much client pandering. Work/life balance is pretty much nonexistent.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stand up to your Clients. Stop pitching new business every week, maintain current accounts. Hire the help you need and not just a long line of perma-lancers. Create an opportunity for growth and development for your creatives. STOP LETTING AE's DICTATE CREATIVE. Try to do work that can win a creative award and not just the mediocre BS that's produced to simply satisfy client obligations. You're making money, it's time to do great work. LIVE UP TO YOUR POTENTIAL.

    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    I worked in the creative department for three years.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Art Director in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Art Director in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Commonground Marketing full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    There are a few people who work there who are gems. I do not know why they work there.

    Cons

    The partners are selfish, egotistical and unmotivating. They spend company money on fancy hotel rooms, lots of trips, and brag about it on social media--all while salaries are low, vendors don't get paid, and and employees are overworked.
    Extremely long hours, they only care about meeting unreasonable client demands, not at all about the people who work there and this causes intense burn out and really rude and cranky employees.
    The rude and unprofessional behavior is never addressed, employee reviews are never given, and neither are raises.
    They started me out on a below-average salary and over the course of three years gave me zero raises or bonuses. Working well into the night was not uncommon.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    This isn't the Ahmad show. You are dealing with people's lives, health, and families. Its your job to take care of the people who are making you rich.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11.  

    A Rollercoaster

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Commonground Marketing full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Strong staff
    Fun, driven and intelligent people

    Cons

    Poor cash management
    High turnover
    Long hours for creative people

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Seek to have actual practices match image you are attempting to convey.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

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