Catalyst Online Reviews

Updated Jan 10, 2020

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2.9
53%
Recommend to a Friend
45%
Approve of CEO
Catalyst Online CEO & Co-Founder Beth LeTendre (no image)
Beth LeTendre
22 Ratings
Pros
  • "Better work-life balance than some other agencies if you get on the right account(in 9 reviews)

  • "You can expect to learn a lot very quickly here at Catalyst even though you know nothing about paid search when you first came(in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • "Your hard work will not be rewarded easily, as GroupM focuses on time sitting in a chair over your actual input to the company(in 6 reviews)

  • "the company has been around since 1998 and the first-ever performance reviews were in 2012 and not tied to salary or raises)(in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Helpful (1)

    "The Most Exciting Agency To Work For"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Catalyst Online full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Great practice and collaboration among all teams; work cross-functionally is encouraged. New ideas are valued; you get the change to actually implement them, if and when feasible. Initiative taking is always noticed and rewarded.

    Cons

    Catalyst functions as a start-up, which creates constant opportunities for development and growth. If embraced, this can be turned into a benefit and not a downside! Catalyst ROCKS!

  2. "Great Learning Experience"

    4.0
    Former Employee - Digital Marketing Manager 

    I worked at Catalyst Online full-time

    Pros

    Got to work on large accounts and got tons of experience in a short amount of time

    Cons

    Office is located in Boston, which made my commute difficult.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "A Sinking Ship"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Catalyst Online full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    - Friendly co-workers that are easy to chat with. - Being part of GroupM means you get decent benefits and exposure to some of the best brands in the world. It also means you have access to tons of trainings. (Even if Catalyst doesn't do them) - The SEO practice is growing and has strong leadership behind it. If interested in SEO, this might be the place for you to start if you can deal with the issues. - Office is in a nice location. - Better work-life balance than some other agencies if you get on the right account.

    Cons

    - The media practice has been trying to expand beyond their paid search niche as they want to compete in the new omni-channel digital world. However, they are failing to do as they aren't hiring the right leadership and have no idea how things actually work. (digital, programmatic, ecommerce, etc.) - The clients at the Catalyst off aren't that great. Lots of dry, mundane work on unexciting brands. - Severe lack of transparency. Leadership will lie straight to your face. - Leadership doesn't listen to the employees who actually manage the accounts. They view you as an inferior and then when things blow up low key blame you, even though it was because they avoided the issue. - Company continuously expects you to have the skills and do the jobs of multiple people as they are too cheap to hire account managers, PMs, group directors, etc. There was literally an email that admitted that ADs and managers were now having to do GDSS work. Don't expect to get promoted though- they won't pay for it. Maybe a $1k yearly raise? - No company culture. While the co-workers are friendly, there's nothing done to build relationships in the work place. The company cut drinking, the summer party, etc. There's barely even any events with vendors anymore. You get all of the agency drama and workload with none of the perks. - No ethnic, cultural, or socioeconomic diversity. The office is 90% upper-middle class white people.

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  4. Helpful (1)

    "A Fun, but Uninspiring Place to Work"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Catalyst Online full-time

    Pros

    -Several smart, passionate people -Decent, if uninspiring corporate office, located in the heart of Back Bay -As part of GroupM, great benefits -Relaxed agency environment, with drinking every Thursday - Big clients as part of GroupM, the largest media network in the world - Opportunity to learn a lot

    Cons

    -Some uninspiring coworkers: there are too many people that see the job as just a paycheck, and do not care that much for the work. Many people have skated by from their time on an easy going, big client and are not up to par with their titles. So you may not be working with the best of the best. - Lackluster leadership: There is a plan to move back to direct business, however, there is no real vision. The new business team has failed to win any significant business and there have been several lay offs on the higher level over the last couple of weeks. WPP has allowed the company to exist for now, as they have relied on NYC business to remain profitable. There is an insistence to only focus on Search/Social, when the market is moving towards buying across ALL digital channels. This is a hard sell in a media agnostic world. -No real room for advancement: If you are a hard worker, you may find yourself more knowledgeable than some of the people that have skated through during easier times to obtain a higher rank. Your hard work will not be rewarded easily, as GroupM focuses on time sitting in a chair over your actual input to the company.

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  5. "Sr. Partner"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Catalyst Online for less than a year

    Pros

    Search and Social Activation Practitioners are very very talented. Middle management is solid, cares about their employees and foster talent.

    Cons

    Executive staff is powerless to influence any decisions within the holding company, GroupM. They also perpetuate operational silos and with redundancy. Coupled with the low level of understanding of the service their business actually provides this is an exercise in frustration if you are a go-getter that is looking for career advancement.

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  6. Helpful (1)

    "SEO Manager"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Organic Search Manager in Newton, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Catalyst Online full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    A few good people I've met at Catalyst. A few were even knowledgeable and genuinely tried to do good work, which was surprising given that many deliverables were lacking quality in some fairly substantial ways. A good place to get started, then get out asap. run! this organization is not a keeper.

    Cons

    Learning and development opportunities are a complete lie. Initiative is not really recognized nor rewarded. Good performance is not rewarded. Promotions are not based on merit and generally lack transparency. Lies and promises are common place. Total lack of standards, zero training, people are mostly not on the same page.

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  7. Helpful (3)

    "Trainwreck"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Group Director in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Catalyst Online full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    Outside Catalyst Boston, within the holding companies, they seem to try. Politically, within GroupM they seem to have some sway. But that's the most upbeat thing I can attest to.

    Cons

    Where do I start? Inept leadership Dishonest leadership Bilking clients for understaffed accounts Questionable ethics Human Resources is a laughing stock within GroupM

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  8. "SEO Project Manager"

    3.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Catalyst Online

    Pros

    The upper management team is surprisingly avalable

    Cons

    At the time I was working there, some mid-level management wasn't the best

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  9. Helpful (1)

    "Myopic leadership with no vision or strategy. a service organization that cannot keep up with industry trends."

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Search Director in New York, NY
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Catalyst Online full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Health Benefits but not worth staying for the potential of moving to other functions at GroupM but unlikely cause so many accounts have left.

    Cons

    Poor pay not competitive. Disjointed ill informed and uninspiring executive leadership from Managing Director up driven by a myopic CEO who cannot lead thru good or bad times

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  10. "Terrible"

    1.0
     
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Catalyst Online

    Pros

    There isn't anything positive to report.

    Cons

    Overall, terrible management and leadership.

Found 62 reviews