Marketing Werks Reviews

Updated March 15, 2015
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2.6
74 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Jay Lenstrom
7 Ratings

Pros
  • I learned a lot while I was at Marketing Werks (in 4 reviews)

  • Great place if you just graduated from college or are looking to get into the marketing industry (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • its a tough business and sometimes work life balance is hard to achieve (in 5 reviews)

  • You have to work your way up to a full-time job position (in 7 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. Great company to work for

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Marketing Representative in Jersey City, NJ
    Former Employee - Marketing Representative in Jersey City, NJ

    I worked at Marketing Werks

    Pros

    They pay on time
    They pay good $
    The events are fun to work

    Cons

    I actually cannot think of any cons for Marketing Werks

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    All of the managers I worked with in the past were great to work with.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. great way to get trained & proper experience.

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

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

    Pros

    competitive pay, proper training. Everyone is on the same page to get the task at hand accomplished. Real team spirit.

    Cons

    field work is fun & engagement, but office environment is young & clicky.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Promote from within.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful

    Will the last one out please turn off the lights?

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

    I worked at Marketing Werks full-time

    Pros

    Good roster of clients
    Great location

    Cons

    Massive loss of talent since acquisition
    Unfavorable match with corporate ownership
    Directionless leadership
    Untrustworthy corporate management
    Unfriendly to work/life balance needs
    Low pay compared to industry, particularly in lower positions
    Dismantled culture
    Uncertain future

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    What was once a flourishing independent company has been nearly completely drained by the company's new corporate overlords, Crossmark. While Marketing Werks certainly had it's warts prior to the acquisition, this is now an entirely different company and should not be compared to the pre-acquisition organization of the same name.

    At the time of the acquisition Crossmark made promises that they were not going to fundamentally change the company nor would they be looking to make significant personnel changes. Now, within 18 months of that speech nearly everyone who was responsible for MW's explosive growth in the mid 2000's through early 2010s is gone. A few very solid people remain, but most have either been forced out, laid off, or just saw the writing on the wall and left on their own. The result has been such a failure that those most responsible for the disastrous changes have been let go as well. This leaves MW with a very uncertain future. I would proceed with caution as a potential employee or client.

    As you're reading reviews be sure to note if the reviewer is a Brand Ambassador, Tour Manager, or other position outside of the HQ. All respect to those valuable positions, but the view is very different from there. Also, note the date of the review. If it's prior to late 2013 it's talking about a different company with completely different leadership.

    What's been a complete dismantling of Marketing Werks has been a boon for agencies all over Chicago as the very best talent has fled that sinking ship. There are several very solid people still there, though I'd be shocked if they're not looking for the door. If you're hiring it's a great place to scoop up some talent.

    I genuinely expect that within 3-5 years Marketing Werks will either cease to exist entirely or will be absorbed completely and re-branded after losing 50%-75% of it's annual revenue.

    It's been a great ride, but the party's over. Someone hit the lights.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. I've had great experiences working at this company overall.

    Current Employee - Tour Manager in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Tour Manager in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Marketing Werks

    Pros

    They offer opportunities for leadership within the field. It has allowed me to grow tremendously and become superior at multi-tasking and problem solving.

    Cons

    It is tough to climb the ladder. Everything is about timing and you have to proactively seek work with the company or they will not call you. I'm told they pay less than other competitors, however I do not know this for certain.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Keep your great field managers close. Other than that keep up the great work!

  6. 2 people found this helpful

    Looks great from the outside, not so much on the inside.

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

    I worked at Marketing Werks as an intern (less than a year)

    Pros

    Pretty social company. There is a company party in the summer, members of the company get together in sport leagues around the city, and whenever there is a huge sporting event (i.e. World Cup) there is an office party to cheer on U.S.A.

    They are one of the very few companies that I have come across that pays interns.

    Cons

    Communication breakdown throughout. Makes promises but can't keep them. Doesn't acknowledge hard work and dedication. A revolving door company - a lot of people with whom I knew and worked with are no longer there.

    As an intern I was looking to work my way up internally and eventually become an Account Coordinator much like my direct supervisors. I Was told by many that the company usually hires people that have gone on the road first to ensure that Account Coordinators would have an understanding of what Tour Managers/Coordinators deal with. I went on tour because HR had neglected to communicate to myself and my team that I could not extend my internship due to the internship program changes made by upper management. This occurred a week before my internship was suppose to be completed, I also had no Idea of my internship end date until a couple weeks prior. I went on the road, had a successful tour, and that was that. No invite to return, no follow up about future openings, nothing.

    Poor management, not a great place to work your way up, and below average compensation.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful

    Beneficial experience for a beginner, but not the best timing to start a career.

    • 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 Marketing Werks (less than a year)

    Pros

    - Great location, office amenities and technology
    - Potential for large responsibilities
    - Young and "social" atmosphere
    - Comfortable, relaxed work environment
    - "Work From Home" benefit
    - Fantastic company to learn the basics of agency life

    Cons

    - The Crossmark-Marketing Werks merge has caused a lot of setbacks; it's evident that there are a lot of individuals at Crossmark in charge of the transition that are taking over without considering how it affects Marketing Werks itself. LOTS of changes still to come in this transition.
    - Major budget cuts have eliminated a large amount of positions
    - Unorganized
    - Not much motivation
    - No sense of urgency
    - Complete lack of communication
    - High turnover

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    At the very least, it is essential that communication be improved between all levels of leadership.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. Good for temporary quick cash but you are just a machine to them.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Promotions Assistant in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Promotions Assistant in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Marketing Werks

    Pros

    Decent pay but that's about it.

    Cons

    They assign you a temporary on site manager that is very rude and acts like he is better than you. The onsite manager I hd did nothing but eat candy and play with his phone while periodically tells you to do labor the faster.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9. 4 people found this helpful

    Repetition Ruined a Company With Great Potential

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

    I worked at Marketing Werks (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great location in the city
    Independence working on your own tour

    Cons

    Marketing Werks started as a creative national touring company in 1987 when the idea of experiential marketing and giant trucks driving to cities was fresh and new. However, Marketing Werks never moved past that and continued for the next 25 years to produce the same type of tour over and over again.
    The stale creative that gets pitched over and over again has driven new clients away and killed current contracts. If this was 2013, I would talk to you about the great company culture and how a talented team still makes a driving tour work. However, the purchase by Crossmark has gutted most of management and everyone with experience is quickly leaving.

    This is not a company you want to get invested in long term. If you are fresh out of college and need something marketing related on your resume then I don't blame you for considering a job application here. However, they also canceled their internship program so I don't foresee many opportunities for fresh faces to get into the company as well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    You're losing clients and talented employees because you are trying to apply 1990s tactics to 2015 situations. Innovate or die is not just a fun thing that is said in magazines and this change needs to start with the growth/new business team first. Until you get out the past , you are going to keep hemorrhaging.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10. 2 people found this helpful

    If you are there, get out now. If you are thinking of going there, dont.

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

    I worked at Marketing Werks

    Pros

    Creative Freedom.
    Located in downtown Chicago.

    Cons

    Low pay compared to industry standards
    No senior leadership whatsoever
    Extremely high turn over rate from employees
    Sinking ship

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Unless you are in the right group of book club friends, or you for-go any type of personal life (no relationships at all) you'll never succeed here. The place use to be a great agency, with a wide variety of clients. Its going down hill fast as Jay Lenstrom has completely crapped all over himself as a leader. Crossmark changed everything upon their purchase of the company and its just a sad state of affairs there. Continually laying off long standing employees since no new business is coming in (down more than 15% in 2014 alone). Clients are taking notice and leaving as well as the best employees are all leaving on their own due to horrible management or are just being let go because no one knows how the hell to do anything there anymore.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. Terrible company!!!!!!! I'm quitting never again will I work in marketing!

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

    I have been working at Marketing Werks

    Pros

    No pros at all! Terrible experience working with this company!

    Cons

    I was brought into this company from a co-worker at another job I have. I have not been paid yet for work I did 4 months ago! My point of contact Alice is SO unprofessional and rude!!!! I can't stand this company I'll never work for a marketing agency again now! I'm learning to be a wedding planner never looking back on this awful company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Train your employees better and stop holding onto the BA's pay!!!!!

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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