For companies looking to hire a marketing agency, making a decision is usually dependent on accepting certain tradeoffs. You can either get the boutique provider that’s energetic and responsive to your needs, or go with a bigger outfit that has more resources and a recognized brand name.
Strunk Media Group has tried to eschew that binary choice, and it’s proving to be a winning formula. The American firm prides itself on providing the full menu of options that clients need, from website design and digital advertising to print and billboard marketing. But the eight-employee team also conveys a unique, playful attitude that’s in line with its young, tight-knit staff. “We’re different on purpose,” says co-founder and CEO Matthew Strunk.
Since its inception in 2015, the agency has already garnered over 40 clients who have bought into its “all of the above” message. Based in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, a town in the United States with just over 5,000 residents, the burgeoning company has found success by recognizing trends and finding creative ways to adapt.
“There is no doubt that the marketing industry will continue to transform with the evolution of the internet, but successful and proactive marketing professionals evolve with it,” says Strunk, who continues to serve as a U.S. Air Force reservist, even as he steers the company through a period of swift growth.
“While traditional advertising methods are still relevant, Strunk Media has been using online methods such as Facebook advertising, Google AdWords, YouTube, Pandora commercials and ringless voice drops delivered directly to consumer cell phones,” he says. “These methods have proven successful through higher impression rates, more involved customer engagement and specific targeting capabilities.”
Whereas marketing companies are sometimes seen as places where creativity is valued more than strategy, Strunk and his team are trying to meld the two. Each marketing campaign is created specifically for the needs of a given client and based on extensive research, he says.. For example, customers who hire the group for digital services receive a web audit that addresses weaknesses in their internet presence, something that helps the agency design a targeted action plan.
Realizing a Dream
In 2017, Strunk Media took home not one, but two Stevie Awards at The American Business Awards in New York City. The firm earned the Silver Stevie for “Startup of the Year” in the Business Services category and a Bronze Stevie for “Veteran-Owned Business of the Year.”
“As a new company, winning the Stevie Awards has given Strunk Media Group validation that its marketing methods are working,” Strunk says. “These awards are the first nationally-based recognition Strunk has received, which is a tremendous accomplishment.”
“Recognition from these awards will grow awareness of our brand, helping it meet new potential clients and become a better-known company,” he added.
For all the acclaim the company has received in a short period of time, the company nearly didn’t get off the ground. Strunk recalls having to think twice before leaving a steady job overseeing marketing for a local auto dealership.
“The biggest challenge we faced was gaining the courage to leave safe careers and risk everything for a business that could become amazingly successful or be a tremendous flop,” he says. “It’s easy to talk about your dreams, but implementing action to achieve those dreams takes an immense amount of energy, time and money. But once our plan was in motion, the needed energy to continue pushing forward has not been lacking in the slightest.”
In Strunk’s case, starting a new venture involves an added challenge: having a CEO who could be called into active military duty on short notice. Strunk says he’s tried to develop a team that’s as committed to the organization’s success as he is, something that will certainly pay off should his reserve unit ever be deployed.
“Each member of the company cares about delivering the highest quality work for clients while pursuing innovative ways to obtain new business and help the company grow,” he says.
Building chemistry amongst employees is a key part of that enthusiasm, and it’s something staff members try to do outside the office as well, whether it’s a weekly happy hour or a team lunch.
“These casual bonding moments help the team get to know their co-workers, strengthening the Strunk bond,” he says.