Technology and social media are changing the business world and MarketStar is changing with it.
The international company is based in Ogden and has over 1300 employees worldwide with 800 of those employees being based in Utah. Two offices are located in Ogden – its original location which opened in 1988 on 2475 Washington and it just opened a second Ogden office on 24th and Washington in the Wells Fargo Building. There is a third Utah location in South Jordan. There are 100 other “field” employees scattered through the United States and 400 international jobs located in Mexico, Ireland, Spain, Malaysia and India.
“Sales as a service” is the theme MarketStar operates under, offering a variety of sales solutions for some of the world’s leading businesses like HP, eBay, Google and Pinterest. “When you are a big company ready to expand, eventually you will want to outsource for growth,” MarketStar Director of Marketing, Phil Mickey, said. That’s where MarketStar comes in. “We are not a call center. We hire experienced sales professionals to sell brands like Pinterest to medium, small and large businesses,” Mickey said. Often times the sales teams gather leads, acquire customers and offer business solutions in all ways, he added.
MarketStar was founded in Ogden in 1988, and the business has kept its roots here for many reasons. “This is where the business is,” Mickey said. “Ogden is a vibrant community with great people and an evolving job market. It has a dedicated labor force,” Paul Grant, MarketStar’s Chief Revenue Officer, said. The other perk of staying in Utah (and Ogden) is that the cost of living is low and the standard of living is high, Mickey said. Employees are loyal but also see the value of gaining experience and getting the job done.
Mickey pointed out that many young career-minded people join the MarketStar team to gain experience and then move on to other jobs, but then often return to management positions after they have gained that experience. Chief Operating Officer Keith Titus is an example of that, Mickey said.
With technology changes, MarketStar has worked hard to stay current with advertising and sales trends. It’s no secret that digital advertising is huge. Both Mickey and Grant said they are growing by leaps and bounds in that area and that businesses are seeking a skillset ready to lead out in digital advertising and so that’s what they are doing.
“That is where we are growing and finding good success. It’s an exciting new area,” Grant said. They have created new and large teams to handle growing accounts like Pinterest. They have teams of up to 60 employees each with accounts like Pinterest, ebay and Glassdoor. “These are well-known internet properties where we are seeing those growth opportunities, and we are taking them,” Grant added.
Mickey pointed out that the digital advertising wave isn’t the first wave of change MarketStar has seen over the years. “We have always had to ride different waves and change our business model for who we do business with and how we do it,” Mickey said. With the decline of brick and mortar retail businesses, MarketStar has had to pivot quickly and change its focus to meet the needs of online businesses, but they’ve done it and their employees have stepped up their game to do so.
MarketStar tries to focus on helping people to launch their careers and that’s how they can pivot so quickly because they can hire fresh faces with fresh ideas and give them their start. “Right now we have a 70 percent millennial workforce. It’s a youthful workforce,” Mickey said. “The tenure of our employees has a cyclical nature,” he noted. It works well because the teams need to be able to change to meet the needs of different clients. “We need a solid workforce and a diverse workforce,” Mickey said.
It’s been an interesting time too because universities aren’t offering a degree in advertising technology yet, Grant pointed out. So their employees have worked to learn and get up to speed on what is needed.
In addition to working hard, MarketStar also believes in having an active presence in the community. It’s one of their four pillars which also includes spirituality, family and career. They have an annual event called “pack the pantry” where employees donate food items so local school kids don’t have to go hungry. In addition to local service, they also participate in the company global day of service where all the MarketStar employees across the globe take half to a full day to participate in a service event. “These are the same values the company was founded upon,” Grant noted. “It provides a more balanced work experience so we have not just better employees, but better people.”