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5 people found this helpful  

Experience and culture NOT for everybody. Good stepping stone to next position.

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Culture & Values
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Engagement Planner/Strategist  in  Southfield, MI
Former Employee - Engagement Planner/Strategist in Southfield, MI

I worked at The Mars Agency full-time for more than a year

Pros

There are a handful of really great people at Mars. Unfortunately, the incredibly high churn over with strong innovative thinkers (due to corporate culture and stagnant personalities/movement) makes it difficult to truly make an impact. Work/life balance is the great, as many departments leave right at 5:00 (however- flexibility and working from home are sub par).

Cons

Culture:
Inspiration: Mars is not a place that instills passion. Although I believe that a handful of people truly are pushing for that (until they are burned out by the politics of the rest of the agency). Even if you are truly a go-getter, it becomes difficult after a while to feel like you are valued and actually making a dent.

Work/Life: It is the first agency that I have worked at that doesn't follow a play-hard/work-hard philosophy. Meaning, your hours are set... but there is little room for flexibility (don't even think about leaving 30 minutes early without a family or errand related excuse...even if your work is done). Work from home is far and few between. When sick, you are are required to take a sick day and not given the option to work from home. Fridays have company happy hour... but it is mandatory. If you do not attend you are required to work and are not allowed to leave early. For some, this 8:30-5 is ideal. My personal opinion is that it breeds mediocrity as a good majority of people complete shut down.

Vacation: Mars' vacation policy for a 'mid-size' agency is not very good at all. No summer Fridays. No time off between Christmas and New Years. Employees receive ONE floating holiday.

Benefits/Pay: NO 401K match. Benefits are on par with other agencies (with the exception of many Publicis Groupe agencies). Maternity Leave is decent.

Career:
Goals/Obj: In my personal experience, the engagement group (formerly the digital department) was not given goals or objectives until recently. I worked for OVER a year and consistently asked for benchmarks and never received. Not sure how other departments are run.

Digital: Digital at Mars is absolutely non-existent. If you are looking to either learn digital or have come from a digital background you will be extremely disappointed. Digital EXECUTIONS in the past year are nothing more than banner ads with a very minute sprinkling of ShopKick, ONE mobile game, digital coupons. If you are looking to regularly do websites, social strategies/content, apps, mobile sites, augmented reality, etc... Mars is NOT the place to go. Yes, I think they have come leaps and bounds... from doing nothing. Formerly a digital member, the department was completely removed less than ONE YEAR of my hire date.

Engagement: The new "Engagement Strategy" department of Mars has the potential to change the internal landscape and how clients understand activation. However... I have little confidence that it will evolve from anything more than media tactics and rationale due to internal client service leads and extremely poor management/leadership at the director level of engagement planning.

I can speak very little about other departments. I know that there are many people that thoroughly love Mars for their stability and 5:00 pm end time. When interviewing with Mars, I would ask a few key questions. If you are happy with the answers, then I absolutely believe that this is the place for you. If not... then move along.

Q: What EXECUTIONS in the past year has Mars done at retailer that incorporate digital? Can you show me examples. What is the percentage of digital in the past year (outside of banner ads)?

Q: Can you show me an example of strategy (both planning and engagement) that Mars considers Best in Class... in the past 6 months?

Q: What is the most creative concept that Mars has sold in and has been executed?

Q: Can you describe methodology of how strategists come to Hypotheses?

Q: In your opinion, what brands did a great shopper marketing job that integrated digital?

Q: What blogs/reading material do you read regularly?

Q: What do you think 'digital' is? Can you give me an example of great digital work sans shopper marketing?

Advice to ManagementAdvice

Focus on retaining some of the great talent that you have. Don't be afraid to "trim the fat" from employees if they aren't following the same vision that Mars is trying to move towards... even if they have been part of the company for a decade.

Doesn't Recommend
Neutral Outlook
No opinion of CEO

Other Reviews for The Mars Agency

  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    As a former employee, I worked for MARS for years and was laid-off as though I didn't matter.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Designer  in  Southfield, MI
    Former Employee - Designer in Southfield, MI

    I worked at The Mars Agency full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Awesome co-workers and gained great friends. Co-workers work well together and work hard and fast. Flex-time for employees and very accommodating to family schedule.

    Cons

    Management SUCKED horribly. They put you in a certain work box and there is no way to get out unless you are a managers "pet or favorite". No advancement and training for employees to stay on the cutting edge.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Let your workers progress and stop keeping them in your own personal box.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  2.  

    I Love MARS!

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

    I have been working at The Mars Agency full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    MARS is a really smart, shopper marketing agency with a rich roster of blue chip clients - so there are a lot of opportunities to work on different accounts with different types of projects and different client problems to solve. As a Strategic Planner, I couldn't ask for anything better.

    I also love that MARS does lots of little things to make it a fun and fulfilling place to work. For example, nice breakfasts the first Friday of every month, various volunteering opportunities, fun events for the opening day of baseball season. I even get emails on my birthday from several of the most senior leaders of the company. It's a little thing but it means a lot.

    Cons

    Like any ad agency, it can get busy at times, but there is also lots of work-life balance days too.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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