Square 2 Marketing Reviews | Glassdoor

Square 2 Marketing Reviews

Updated December 3, 2018
41 reviews

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3.1
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Mike Lieberman
30 Ratings

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  1. "A Great Experience With A Strong Team"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Copywriter
    Former Employee - Copywriter
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Square 2 Marketing full-time

    Pros

    I worked at Square 2 Marketing as a copywriter and had a wonderful experience. The people who work at Square 2 are incredibly bright and most approach their work with a truly collaborative spirit. I felt respected and supported throughout my time there, and was given the resources I needed to succeed.

    One of the things I appreciated about Square 2 is the company's commitment to transparency. Senior management took a lot of care to openly communicate the company's strategic and financial progress on a regular basis. HR made an effort to give employees regular opportunities to share frustrations and openly communicated plans for addressing the feedback.

    Cons

    There were a few holes in my onboarding process but leadership has already taken steps to improve. They actively sought out my feedback and have created a few key resources that significantly improved the process.


  2. Helpful (3)

    "High hopes that faded into the abyss"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Square 2 Marketing full-time

    Pros

    Square 2 Marketing is very process oriented. If you’re a junior marketer and you need structure and want to cut your teeth at an agency, this is a great place to start. You will outgrow it however, very quickly if you like to color outside the lines at all.

    Given the small size of the company, they’ve done a solid job setting up HR processes, like quarterly reviews and annual raises. While unlimited vacation is a nice selling point (available after you’ve been employed for one year), the fine print is you can only take 10 consecutive days off. The 401K matching is a nice perk as well.

    Cons

    From my own personal count, since September 2016, there have been 32 people that have left the agency. Roughly 45% were fired or “laid off” and 55% resigned. That’s not an awesome track record for any company that is only 45-50 in size to start. Turnover of at least one person per month for 2.5 years is exceptionally high, even for an agency. The result is that the environment is chaotic and employee moral suffers. They’ve acquired at least three companies in the last 3-5 years. There is no one left from at least one acquisition and there is only one person left from one a few years ago.

    Another red flag is the disconnect between the founders, leadership and management teams.
    The founders are looking to build a large agency for their own egos on the backs of their management team, who is so burned out they can’t manage the rest of the team effectively. Buying agencies and trying to integrate the people into the existing team is tough for everyone. It’s a money play for the founders – they want to show a large revenue number so they can ultimately sell the agency.

    The company focuses on SMBs. Mostly on the S side of SMB. With a lot of clients, you’ll be working directly with owners of small businesses that know nothing about marketing and were sold on services by a founder who promises the moon when they can only afford a fraction of a star. It’s often an uphill battle from the start of an engagement. I’d ask about client turnover in addition to human resource turnover if you’re seriously considering a job here.

    Finally, despite their desire to show a broad range of services, they don’t have the understanding, expertise or client base to succeed. They are solely inbound focused and they can’t seem to get off that hamster wheel.

    Advice to Management

    Look at your data. Can you really have an effective and cohesive team with such a high turnover rate? Is your HR dept adding value and a strategic part of the team? How is the acquisition “strategy” working out? They might want to review the definition of insanity.

    Owners need to get out of the day to day management of the company, or fire half the managers and actually do the job full-time so they understand what needs to be done and can have some empathy for what the team deals with day in and day out (and they’d increase their abysmal profit margin).

  3. Helpful (2)

    "Come Invigorated, Leave Defeated"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Square 2 Marketing full-time

    Pros

    The best part about Square 2 will always be the people that roll up their sleeves and do the hard work. The team is passionate, creative, fun and smart. I had some great laughs with this crew. The team is the hardest to leave, hands down.

    If you need a process to operate, this is the place for you. There is a process for anything and everything. There's a process for the process. This of course can create a clear roadmap for who, what, when, where and why (more on this in "Cons"). If you can learn to respect the process and find a way to customize it to your needs without stepping on anyone's toes, you'll be fine.

    Work-from-home and schedule flexibility are both ideal for those who are self-starters, independent and motivated employees.

    Unlimited vacation will likely perk your ears up (if you can ever take it).

    Fun events with the team.

    Cons

    There's a lot of talk about "transparency," and while the work is put in to appear transparent, it eventually feels like you're stuck in the twilight zone. At every corner, you run into the same issues, the same promises are made, and the same outcomes emerge. Some will tell you to come to the table with solutions instead of complaining about the problem, which yes, is good advice, but only when you have adequate resources and the support needed for this effort.

    There is a serious problem with the ideal vision vs actual vision. There are members of upper management who would like to steer the ship in the right direction (this is where the transparency "effort" comes into play), but at the end of the day, their hands are tied. These individuals are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They want to make the changes they know need to happen, but can't. It's a shame because they could do a lot for the company and its employees if they were only given the reigns. Owners are $$-driven, contentious & egotistical, they are not people-driven – So this then becomes the type of clients that are attracted to S2. The sales process is put in a tailspin resulting in confusing proposals, promises made that cannot be kept and clients that are not a fit for the company whatsoever.

    The process hinders and completely binds creative and strategy tightly, which returns a "meh" result. I have seen what this team can do once freed from the shackles of process and budget, and the results were stellar. If only that was a constant. And it will never be because the A-players who contribute in this way will always leave.

    The team is tired and overworked, screaming for help and support yet get none because the bottom line is far more important. Hitting billable targets becomes the most important job. At first, you care a lot and you try hard because you believe you can help make the change; then the frustration comes and you fight for your sanity; finally, you succumb to the negative energy and become complacent and dream of days when you were a more passionate marketer and human being.

    High potential employees are not nurtured or mentored adequately and viewed as hard to manage (because at the end of the day, they will need to be paid more and that is a problem). While others that don't put in the hard work float by, for reasons unknown. Opportunity for growth sometimes emerges, so long as you don't expect a competitive salary.

    Run away.

    Advice to Management

    "Clients do not come first, employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients."

    Do not hire or sell solely for $$$, particularly when a strong reputation comes along with it.

    Evaluate the need/desire to be the smartest in the room – Give someone else that opportunity. Empower your team. Care about them. Stand up for them.

    Be authentic and open up more – be human; break the barriers down between teams and leadership.


  4. "Mom ~ Marketer ~ Motivated Employee"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I have worked at Square 2 Marketing for almost 4 years joining the organization after having my first child and transitioning from another company that did not understand work/life balance.

    Joining the S2M family has allowed me to work with a variety of teammates, both remote and on-site who are experts in their specialities. These team members have truly become more like family with their honesty and openess, always willing to share their expertise which helps us all grow into better marketers.

    Throughout my time ample opportunities were presented to myself and others allowing for growth within the organization. These opportunities are just one way that management acknowledges the hard work and strengths of their employees.

    In full transparency, three years in I began to feel stalled in my role, but instead of just packing up and moving on, I was able to speak openly and honestly with management and leadership making them aware of my struggles, challenges and what my career aspirations were. They stayed in close contact with me and when an opportunity arose for me to transition into a different role I was made aware despite being on maternity leave at the time. This really proved to me that I was being heard all that time and not just being listened to.

    But wait there's more..

    As I transitioned back from maternity leave and into my new role S2M offered me a unique (and I think unheard of opportunity) to bring my baby with me to work for the first few months. Having my child with me has made the transition back to work and into the new role so much more manageable, less stressful and unexpectedly has allowed me to foster new relationships with team members that otherwise might not have happened.

    Cons

    Things are fast-paced but this is an agency folks. I don't think there is one agency out there that this isn't the case. If you want a slower pace then perhaps agency life isn't for you.

    Sometimes lower hours are needed based on the workload, but that is offset with the flexibility to work from home and unlimited vacation after the first year.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to provide the level of transparency, opportunities, and openness that you have been and the team will continue to grow and thrive within the organization.


  5. "Most positive on-boarding experience!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Marketing Consultant in Bend, OR
    Current Employee - Marketing Consultant in Bend, OR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Square 2 Marketing full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    An amazing and collaborative team, a very organized process and workflow/ They're constantly innovating and striving to improve things. I have never felt more welcomed by a team during an on-boarding experience.

    Cons

    No cons to think of currently.


  6. Helpful (7)

    "Awful leadership, dishonest"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Square 2 Marketing full-time

    Pros

    Cool people to work with as co-workers.

    Cons

    Terrible leadership that puts on a good show at first, mislead new employees about everything from benefits (which are awful), job opportunities and salary.

    Advice to Management

    Stop lying, be honest and treat your employees better.


  7. Helpful (5)

    "Not so much."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Square 2 Marketing full-time

    Pros

    Your coworkers will be very smart and (mostly) be why you stay. You will learn valuable skills, especially if you are just starting out. Remote work is possible, but waning if you live near the Philly headquarters. Work hours are flexible (somewhat).

    Cons

    Take pretty much everything they say with a grain of salt, because it's usually laced in some type of falsehood, whether it was planned that way or not. This goes for progressive work/life balance talk, internal process improvement goals, and promises of promotions and bonuses. When the carrot is being dangled, beware. More often than not, they can't back it up.

    Because of high attrition rates and poor financial planning, the skeleton crew of remaining resources is maxed out and sucked dry. Room for innovation and progress goes out the window every time, as does new hire training. Having a career path goes bye-bye, because work often exceeds capacity. Stress levels are often unmanageable and even health-damaging. Rudeness is not uncommon, adding an unnecessary fear-based "cut throat" mentality to the mix. (Bullying, verbal abuse, and subtle manipulation all have recurring roles in this drama series.)

    Hard-working employees eventually rediscover their self-worth, reckon with the weak, debilitating mentality of a toxic work culture, and leave. The cycle continues, ad nauseum.

    Advice to Management

    Stop pretending there's some great divide between you and your 40 employees?

  8. Helpful (10)

    "They would rather have cheerleaders than hard workers."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Square 2 Marketing full-time

    Pros

    There are some truly talented people that work at Square 2. You get to work remote a few days a week.

    Cons

    This is the worst place I’ve ever worked. Everyone is overworked. When you identify a problem or a better way to do something, it’s best to keep your mouth shut (and probably look for another job.) Otherwise, you’ll be labeled as “negative” or “not a team player.”

    You will never get a raise, despite what anyone tells you. And, the pay is not comparable to other marketing agencies.

    People at Square 2 say all the time that “team equals family,” but my family has never treated me as dispensable.

    Advice to Management

    Value the people that work hard, and stop wasting what little money you have on parties no one wants to go to.

    This is a business – be professional. People appreciate transparency when there are issues, instead of being blindsided by mass firings.

    Unfortunately, this review will probably be buried by PR fluff reviews coerced out of the management team. However, if this keeps even one potential employe from taking a job here, it was worth it.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Sales Associate"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Square 2 Marketing full-time

    Pros

    Relaxed Fridays: leave early and they buy you lunch.

    Cons

    My work load seemed to be office busy-work.

    Advice to Management

    Not too much room for creativity at a lower position. Would have liked my voice to be heard a little more.


  10. "Pave Your Way"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Square 2 Marketing full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This company is very appealing to those that are hungry to make an impact. Simply put, if you want to make things happen, there is nothing stopping you. There is plenty to you get done, all you have to do is to find interests, show initiative, stay up to date with the industry, and have a willingness to innovate. With a wide range of talented individuals at your disposal, no idea will go unchecked, putting you in a very unique environment.

    To further back up the above paragraph, I came into the agency with limited marketing experience and they gave me the keys to find my way to help the company and our clients as best as could (with obvious guidance). It really can't be stated enough how much of this opportunity can be what you make out of it.

    The benefits and unlimited PTO are really great incentives, but should not be the only reason you want to come work here. Think of them as tokens to the hard work you will put in.

    Cons

    My biggest con would be the constant, "moving in 1,000 directions" that goes on here. That is agency life, though, and can be overcome with a positive attitude.

    I can't really think of many true cons, I am leaving on my own account to a natural next step in my career progression. Simply put, if you are hungry for opportunity and want to pave your way in the marketing world, come work at Square 2.

    Advice to Management

    Continue to develop and educate employees to fit the ever changing industry.