- Work/Life Balance
- Culture & Values
- Career Opportunities
- Comp & Benefits
- Senior Management
I worked at Millward Brown full-time (More than a year)
Exposure to large brands
Everyone has different experiences and there are many sides to the story but I would warn against working at the Norwalk MB. On my team the people had a distinctly rude and blunt personality. I was repeatedly bullied by upper management with comments such as "Do you want to work here?" and "Did you even try?"( I assure you I was a strong performer with a positive review). In fact, I was even called a "baby" when I cried in front of a manager once, which is an extremely inappropriate response for a manager. Also a manager was talking to a coworker about me on a internal messages and messaged me instead, a silly mistake but none the less rude and cruel. One person on my team would keep track of my work hours and tell my boss whenever I left early even if I came in at 7:00AM in the morning (the phrase "do you" does not exist here- everyone is in everyone's business). Additionally, I was called a "liar" by upper management when I made an honest mistake and had no training and was just confused and used the wrong document as a reference. To summarize this is not a safe or welcoming environment. I would describe it as hostile and cruel.
The environment is not one you can grow in for all positions perform the same task. I equate it to being on an assembly line and you are continuously putting the muffler on a car. when you become a VP you get to polish the muffler then sell it:)
There is little learning about marketing or advertising you just learn the MB way. It is a dead end job unless you are committed to performing copy testing at MB or Ipsos for the rest of your life.
Training is minimal and happens extremely late if at all. In their job application, they promise training but in my time there I was trained once and it was after 8 months of working there.
Mangers are too busy to teach you anything. Whenever I had a meeting with my manager he would rudely make me wait while every 5 minutes he responded to emails. Again the people here do not know how to be managers and are self centered jerks.
The negative stereotype of market research personality pervades here. They are inconsiderate and not self aware but do anything to get the job done. They are not trusted advisors but instead afraid of their clients and franticly going through the motions to answer requests a soon as possible. Additionally, they do not have the knowledge of advertising to be trusted advisors.
Management is untrained and does not have leadership qualities.
If you are lower level your opinion does not matter even if you have a good idea. In this organization everyone's voice is not equal.
There is little work life balance. I often worked 12-14 hours one day of the week and worked on weekends too. Because you are working long hours your hourly pay is very low compared to if you worked only 40hrs per week.
Managers like to micromanage you because you do not have ownership of your own projects so all your work is passed off as theirs.
Rarely do you receive positive feedback or reinforcement. Their culture focuses on the negative and disciplining you so you fit their ideal. aka drink the koolaide
Work life balance and culture does depend on your client and the projects you have going on at the time. People are often overwhelmed and ask for help with very few volunteers. However I would suggest against volunteering because people there do not understand that you are helping them and will inevitably make more trouble for you. Yet they do say "Thank you" after they complain.
I would not say the environment is competitive because you rarely move up in a position but I would say that everyone is watching and very judgmental. Most people are extremely uptight. Everyone acts as if something is up you know where, preventing them from sitting comfortably in their desk chairs.
If you think this is an ad agency you are wrong. Though I would say the work is collaborative (but micromanaged- rarely work together work is passed down) and slightly creative it is the MB way or the highway and at a low level you are doing things the way your manager wants.
No mentorship program
Everyone is overwork and overextended that they are very focused on themselves and their tasks. For example as part of being new I had to shadow someone in another department. After 2 months of trying to arrange this because it is mandatory, the person I was supposed to shadow told me she was too busy and passed me on to someone who worked for her. People are not generous or flexible with their time.
Again everyones experience can vary but this was a true disaster of a work experience.The Cons out weigh the pros.
Advice to Management
Do not force fun to change the culture. Forced fun is not fun
Allocate some of the budget to training, especially training manager on how to be managers leadership is extremely flawed
R-E-S-P-E-C-T your employees
Be less uptight
Create a work life balance
I worked at Millward Brown full-time (More than 8 years)
-An okay place for young, energetic, optimistic recent college grads who don't know any better and who don't expect to earn much to get their start in the cut-throat, over-worked world of Market Research.
-Company offers healthcare benefits (albeit with high deductibles).
-Company offers a 401k plan with okay matching.
For the 'churn and burn employee':
-No raises or cost of living increases, company-wide, in the past 7 years for non-senior management employees.
-Politics, politics, and more politics. Unless you're 'in' with the 'in crowd' you can expect to be passed up for promotions or advancement, every time. Part of 'being in' is agreeing to drink the Kool-Ade ideology which is destroying the competitiveness of the company.
-Your manager determines your fate, not you. Get stuck with an unpopular manager and you can expect to go nowhere fast.
-Attempting to expand your role by taking on new responsibilities will only hurt you. People in other departments are protective of what they do and will see you as a threat; well established inter-departmental combativeness promotes an 'us vs. them' mentality within the organization.
-Most departments are isolated, with upper management completely clueless to redundancies or even the basic purpose of some departments. As such, some tasks are assigned to the incorrect resources.
-Hard work goes unnoticed and any accolades go to your department head or VP, not you.
-Employee recognition is virtually nonexistent and unrewarding.
-Employees are expected to work long hours with little to no basic compensation for extra work/consistently staying late.
-Pay range is low for the industry.
-Employees are treated as liabilities based on simple metrics. In essence, you're nothing more than a set of numbers, and you are treated as such, especially over time.
-Job security is non-existent. Employee purges regularly occur every 36-48 months on average, culminating usually during Q2.
-New employees can expect quick burnout due to inadequate staffing levels and high stress caused by massive workloads coupled with inadequate training.
-No incentive for employees to go above and beyond the call of duty; instead, great amounts of energy go into protecting one's job for fear of being let go at a moment's notice.
-No incentive, no advancement, no meaningful training, no recognition, no raises or bonuses, no professional growth = a very high rate of turnover. Go figure.
For the company:
-Extremely out of touch, secretive and arrogant leadership at the most senior management levels.
-Middle managers and team leaders (the employees who actually do the work) are often ill prepared to handle direct reports and have no formal management training. They typically also do not collaborate with other managers or team leaders, so no shared learning occurs.
-A stunning lack of industry innovation on virtually every level of the business, years behind many smaller, more nimble competitors.
-An equally stunning lack of information security permeates the company.
-Technology infrastructure is job none; the average employee uses desktop equipment that is well over 4 years old and largely unsupported. Network resources are abysmal, with absolutely no thought put into fixing basic access issues, adding much needed drive space or updating server infrastructure.
-MB uses a business model that is fundamentally broken despite being rebooted (with much fanfare) 3 times in the last 15 years.
-MB off shores US jobs to inferior India-based companies that have higher turnover rates than onshore MB itself.
-Seniority is a very, very negative thing at MB. The longer you're with the company, the larger the bull's-eye is painted on the back of your head for termination.
-MB HR is hostile towards employees who are lower than director level and only engage regular employees if they are not performing well or about to be fired.
-MB HR is also inept at performing the most basic roles expected of HR in a large company. Ask a question about benefits and expect to be sent to a third party website or be handed a basic slick sheet.
-Upper and senior management is unbelievably disconnected from the average employee and doesn't have any idea as to how most departments operate in the day-to-day environment that they themselves have created.
-The results of internal all-company surveys are often flat-out ignored by senior management; employee advice falls on deaf ears, no matter how loud or often it is given or how sensible and practical the outcry may be. As a result, senior management comes off as pompous and arrogant as well as out of touch with the basic realities of running an effective company.
-The company culture has turned overtly negative over the past several years, pitting the 'haves' against the 'have-nots' (meaning virtually anyone who isn't director level or above--and HR is the police force that ensures this unjust company hierarchy remains intact). As a result, employee morale remains at a disastrously low level and has begun negatively affecting client relationships. Yet, MB continues to strive in establishing itself as a 'premium brand' and therefore justify higher costs for relatively poor services and overall value.
In essence, MB was once a great company that cared about its employees but now seeks to liquidate as many positions as possible while still somehow turning a profit. The only real opportunity belongs to those employees who can consider themselves part of the 'protected elite'. The average employee remains an inconvenient necessity and a means to an end, for the time being.
So, if you are fresh out of college, full of energy and want to get your foot in the door of a world-wide market research company AND you believe you have the internal fortitude to handle a lot of stress and grief at low pay and with even less recognition, then by all means give MB a go. If you are an industry professional who is experienced in your field and looking for career advancement, however, then MB is nothing more than a dead-end and should be avoided at all costs.
This is clearly a company that is making a concerted effort to fail in every imaginable way, and to its credit, it is at least succeeding in that effort.
As a footnote, reviews that give this company more than 3 stars are outright lies and nothing more than thinly veiled attempts at feel-good PR which is manufactured, no doubt, by members of senior management and their HR lapdog cheerleaders. Don't buy into it.
Advice to Management
Senior management at this point can not be expected to somehow right this sinking ship of absolute disaster. The damage caused by ridiculous and at times conflicting business models over the years have taken their toll, and another reorg isn't going to solve anything. There exists only an extremely improbable chance of ever being able to bring this company back to a respectable level, let alone as a 'premium brand' within the industry at this point. In the meantime, the best and brightest minds will continue to flee the company in droves as fewer and fewer numbers of cheap and inexperienced labor tries to refill the already disenfranchised ranks of unmotivated employees.
I have been working at Millward Brown full-time
Training, Innovation, Local Office Culture
Compensation, Staffing always well behind curve of business
Advice to Management
Compensation needs to be reviewed
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I have been working at Millward Brown full-time (More than 10 years)
The people-- they are sharp, kind, knowledgeable, fun
Always working to improve
Try to be transparent with staff on changes
Hours can be long at times especially at end of year
It can be a very demanding job at times, quite tiring
Advice to Management
Connect with reports on a personal level
Work to have more fun together as a team
See everyone as equals
I worked at Millward Brown full-time (More than 5 years)
The culture of your individual team will drive job satisfaction. I spent time on several teams during my time with MB, in multiple offices and found this to be true; some teams are churn and burn, catering to client whims while others are more focused on the long game. I was very happy on teams that fit the latter description. Your experience is what you make of it but a good manager and teammates are crucial.
After the major reorganization of 2012, there was a noticeable decrease in management listening to employees. It felt like we were finally getting back to 'pre-SDE' in 2015, just in time for another global reorganization, beginning in 2016. I hope management can keep the positive momentum because MB was on it's way back to being the pinnacle organization that it once was before this latest announcement.
Advice to Management
Listen to your employees; not just the ones on high-revenue accounts but those who make the high-revenue deliveries happen. Lack of merit increases and 'required' mediocre performance reviews is really demoralizing to those in Operations when it's Ops that make your deliverables happen.
Great job for people who like task-oriented jobs and wearing many hats. They try to establish a sense of camaraderie and people are friendly.
Busy reporting seasons will require a lot of overtime and people are expected to go above and beyond to be considered a team player. Very metrics oriented, so personal growth, raises, job quality or any other way to evaluate you as a person or employee is distilles down to a number. Hard to maintain work-life balance.
Advice to Management
Stop accommodating and encouraging the development of bullies and inflexible people and then promoting them to management. It doesn't help with overall morale.
I have been working at Millward Brown (More than 3 years)
We work with an impressive data asset with power to help many ecommerce and digital marketing organizations. Lots of smart people with a passion for their work.
Growing pains linger and innovation is flat. The marketplace is moving faster than the company.
Advice to Management
Listen to your clients and prospects. Do your job. Figure it out.
I worked at Millward Brown (More than 3 years)
Some great people...some. Maybe a good starting place for entry level if they get good mentors. Stepping stone to better places.
Upper management is unaware, doesn't care and are prima donnas. Very reactive to issues and unwilling to change. Technology is behind and the market research is not the best. Consultants..no...data pushers yes. LOW PAY
Advice to Management
Get back to a higher standard of market research excellence. Get rid of some upper management who have been there too long and those who play up and drink the kool-aid.
I have been working at Millward Brown full-time (More than 5 years)
Great people, good local management (Chicago)
Parent company overlords, questionable upper management
Advice to Management
Get new people into top positions
I worked at Millward Brown full-time (More than 3 years)
benefits; PTO, flexibility in working remotely/across offices
Demanding clients, morale seems to be split amongst employees
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