What ‘The Coegi Way’ Means to Me

What is ‘The Coegi Way’?

At Coegi, the workplace culture is defined by a set of shared values, also known as ‘The Coegi Way’. ‘The Coegi Way’ emphasizes four core principles that are standard to the everyday practice of attitude, approach, service and culture.

The attitude at Coegi is “hard work beats talent when talent does not work hard.” This means that employees have enthusiastic determination, engage in responsible communication, hold a desire to be the best, and take pride in their workmanship.

The approach at Coegi is “the difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.” Employees drive this approach by having a strong attention to detail, implementing data into projects, delivering beyond client’s expectations, and celebrating achievements.

The service at Coegi is “nobody raves about average.” At Coegi, employees strive to go above and beyond by being transparent with clients, providing quality insights to campaign performance, and optimizing results based on performance, while working collaboratively towards client goals.

The culture at Coegi is “excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude.” Employees at Coegi carry out this expectation by respecting peers, enjoying coming to work, giving back, and showing ambition

What ‘The Coegi Way’ means to me

‘The Coegi Way’ is more than just a set of principles in my work life. It aligns with my values and reminds me of my motivations and goals on a daily basis. I try to apply each of the core values to my work each day by turning associations of those values into specific work practices.

For the value of attitude, I always go into my work with a positive, learning mentality. To begin my day, I read industry news and take notes on trends I believe to be important or timely. I use these notes when doing additional research, or content writing. I uphold this enthusiastic attitude knowing that I am putting my best effort forward in my task load.

Because I am an analytical thinker, I can easily relate to the approach value because it emphasizes the importance of attention to detail. I am able to naturally identify key details in campaign reports and research articles. When working in programmatic, I would conduct daily reports on pacing to make sure that campaigns were spending appropriately and in a timely manner. Additionally, I would create insights for reports by portraying a story with the metrics I found. I did this by explaining the importance of the metrics and what could be changed in campaign strategy to better optimize budgets. The purpose of close attention to detail is to provide clients with the best possible outcomes towards their business objectives.

The value of service focuses on the quality of work produced. To ensure I am producing quality work, I collaborate with team members in my department to review and revise the content I produce. As a former programmatic specialist, I would consistently monitor and adjust campaigns based on current results. In reporting, I would give transparency to key metrics and their effect on the client’s business objective. Being a strong communicator is something that I have always strived for, to ensure clear feedback and collaboration in my work. ‘The Coegi Way’ has helped establish constant communication as an everyday practice in my work.

The Coegi culture value reminds me to consciously engage with team members daily. Whether I’m working online or in-person, I make an effort to communicate with my coworkers. I try to assist them where I can, or just chat with them about personal matters. I’ve always felt a strong connection with my colleagues, because I know employees at Coegi share the same values and want to help each other succeed. Part of engaging in this culture is giving back to one another, which I execute by reviewing the work of others, and creating content to share among employees. This is a key component to Coegi’s success as a collaborative and high growth workplace.

The Coegi Way is more than just a set of principles in my work life. It aligns with my values and reminds me of my motivations and goals on a daily basis.

How it influences my work and outlook at Coegi

My outlook on work has changed since starting at Coegi because of the values they have introduced into my work life. Being surrounded by people who share similar core beliefs and values in my workplace motivates me to be the best version of myself and continue to grow and learn within the industry. Not only do I feel confident in my work strategy and results, but I have a remarkable satisfaction for it as well. I go into work everyday feeling positive about what I am accomplishing and the people around me. I look forward to seeing my future growth at Coegi and in my professional life by carrying out the values of attitude, approach, service and culture.

How to Make Brand-Agency Relationships Last

Avoiding missteps that impact the bottomline.

Account Strategy Director, Danielle Wesolowski, discusses the mindset of agencies and the importance of putting client needs first through a strategy centered on togetherness and collaboration.

Brands, have you ever felt the frustration of receiving a media plan or creative from an agency that was completely different from what you had envisioned?

Agencies, have you ever hung up after a client call feeling completely blind-sided about the direction and expectations for your campaign?

Misalignment between brand and agency teams can quickly build into frustration. How can we avoid the missteps that build tension between agency and brand teams and minimize the resulting efficiency losses that impact both companies’ bottomline? The work must start within teams so you can then develop clear collaboration between brands and agencies to support strong marketing strategies and positive collaboration.

Coegi has an internal framework surrounding everything we do called the Coegi Way. There are four pillars: attitude, approach, service and culture. Looking through this lens, let’s explore how to build successful brand-agency relationships.

What ‘The Coegi Way’ means to me

‘The Coegi Way’ is more than just a set of principles in my work life. It aligns with my values and reminds me of my motivations and goals on a daily basis. I try to apply each of the core values to my work each day by turning associations of those values into specific work practices.

For the value of attitude, I always go into my work with a positive, learning mentality. To begin my day, I read industry news and take notes on trends I believe to be important or timely. I use these notes when doing additional research, or content writing. I uphold this enthusiastic attitude knowing that I am putting my best effort forward in my task load.

Because I am an analytical thinker, I can easily relate to the approach value because it emphasizes the importance of attention to detail. I am able to naturally identify key details in campaign reports and research articles. When working in programmatic, I would conduct daily reports on pacing to make sure that campaigns were spending appropriately and in a timely manner. Additionally, I would create insights for reports by portraying a story with the metrics I found. I did this by explaining the importance of the metrics and what could be changed in campaign strategy to better optimize budgets. The purpose of close attention to detail is to provide clients with the best possible outcomes towards their business objectives.

The value of service focuses on the quality of work produced. To ensure I am producing quality work, I collaborate with team members in my department to review and revise the content I produce. As a former programmatic specialist, I would consistently monitor and adjust campaigns based on current results. In reporting, I would give transparency to key metrics and their effect on the client’s business objective. Being a strong communicator is something that I have always strived for, to ensure clear feedback and collaboration in my work. ‘The Coegi Way’ has helped establish constant communication as an everyday practice in my work.

The Coegi culture value reminds me to consciously engage with team members daily. Whether I’m working online or in-person, I make an effort to communicate with my coworkers. I try to assist them where I can, or just chat with them about personal matters. I’ve always felt a strong connection with my colleagues, because I know employees at Coegi share the same values and want to help each other succeed. Part of engaging in this culture is giving back to one another, which I execute by reviewing the work of others, and creating content to share among employees. This is a key component to Coegi’s success as a collaborative and high growth workplace.

Approach: Empower and Align Teams

Approach your collaborative marketing strategy like a chess board: assess the field of play and then implement your strategy. Both brands and agencies must enable their teams to do great work. To enable means giving people the power to take action, but also giving strength and confidence.

While strong teams value individual contributors, they must work together cohesively as a unit to win. As an agency, each person on your team should be providing the same experience to the client no matter who they talk to. If a different answer is given depending on who you ask – the team needs to be realigned. The same goes for in-house marketing teams and executives. If the marketing manager or CMO approves a campaign and strategy, but the CEO enters the conversation at the last minute and vetoes key creatives or channels, this can cause major issues. Internal teams must be empowered to make decisions while understanding overall goals before they can effectively work with external partners.

Service: Understand the client’s needs

Agencies build lasting and trusting relationships with brands when they demonstrate a strong understanding of the client’s needs and provide tactical plans to act on those needs and deliver impactful solutions. The expectation we set for account team members at Coegi is, 

“An individual should be able to demonstrate a full understanding of their clients’ business needs and translate this knowledge into an actionable cadence of strategic and tactical plans leveraging the strengths of integrated digital communication channels to deliver consistent, differentiated and valued customer experiences.” 

This is crucial because 30% of marketing professionals surveyed believe not understanding their brand completely is the top barrier to successful brand-agency relationships, according to eMarketer.

We often take client requests and run with them, especially in performance media, where campaign activation is very both agile and ever-evolving. When possible, facilitate more discussions before the tactical phase to really understand client goals first and define the best way to reach those together. For example, when a client gives you a specific target audience, talk through the justification for focusing on that audience, explore other potential options, and ensure their plan is optimized to reach their goals and aligned with your capabilities as an agency.

Culture: Meet Clients Where They are Comfortable

Translate your culture as an agency or team to your client. Find similarities and ways to connect with brand teams to allow for both cultures to show and play off each other. Ensure you are opening the right communication channels to make your client comfortable whether it be group Zoom meetings, one on one phone calls, or short emails.

Keith Schwartz, CEO of Bounteous, quotes, “It’s really about forming a partnership where you can leverage the best of both organizations. Mature business leaders understand that having a partner that has knowledge capital about their industry and innovative trends creates a lot of value.”

MediaCause article issues a warning, “ if you don’t establish a partner relationship from the start, you’ll more than likely forever be treated as a vendor.”

Never underestimate the importance of relationship building to gain trust with your client and go beyond that vendor relationship to become a true partner. Give them space to talk candidly about problems, ideas, and goals. Provide honest feedback to each other. You can gain so much more from the client and understand their true needs if you create these open communication opportunities.

 

Never underestimate the importance of relationship building to gain trust with your client and go beyond that vendor relationship to become a true partner.

 

To sum everything up, my advice is simply this: slow down and start collaborating.

For additional thought starters, take a few minutes to think through these questions and create a game plan to improve your brand-agency relationships today.

1) Where do you find the biggest challenges in understanding client needs?

2) What are the biggest barriers to developing strong and trustworthy client relationships?

3) What would you like to do differently to enhance those relationships?

Optimizing Hybrid and Work Anywhere Models for Your Organization

How we work should inform the who, what, where, when of our work – rather than vice versa.

Some HR departments could be making a critical mistake applying an office schedule that is most convenient for the executive team to the whole organization.  It is clearly easier to keep tabs on employees when they are in the office on the same days each week, but that doesn’t necessarily optimize outputs for different departments or functions.

There has been a lot of focus over the past two years on where we work: remote, in-office, or a hybrid model. What has gone less examined, at least in my news feeds, is HOW we work. How does the location we are in, the people we are surrounded by, and the type of tasks we are completing, affect how we work and the output we are creating? How we work should inform the who, what, where, when of our work – rather than vice versa.

When examining how I work, I have fought desperately throughout my career to move away from the urgent and towards the non-urgent but important.  This is the ‘blue ocean’ strategy within your organization, even within your own day.  I encourage this practice with my employees because it’s the place where you are most likely to begin to build their ‘own agenda’ based on your understanding of the company’s needs.  In my experience, it’s where I get the deepest, least distracted work done.

As an organization, how can you ensure you are implementing policies which will allow your employees to do the same within a flexible work-anywhere model? 

Build accountability through trust and communication

Many large and traditional employers are threatened by the idea of work-anywhere policies. How will I know if my employees are actually working? The root issue here isn’t about the work environment, but about accountability and trust. Managers need to stop tracking meaningless metrics (ie. mouse activity and hours online) and start looking at actual output. Our VP of Marketing, Ryan Green, advocates for, “being transparent and evaluating people based on the quality of their work and not the quantity of time they’ve logged in”. This allows employees to focus on important-but-not urgent work rather than prioritizing small check-list items to project a sense of productivity. Establish clear expectations, assign responsibilities, and set reasonable deadlines while giving your team flexibility in the output. Set your basic “measurement framework”, then allow employees to deliver outcomes in a way that works for their personal style. 

Encourage flexible communication styles

Both managers and employees need to be especially attuned to communication styles.  If over 90% of communication is non-verbal, then less in-person interaction will inevitably challenge robust communication. Video conferencing helps a lot but isn’t a complete substitute.  Time still needs to be given to in-person interaction, including casual interaction and conversation, even if it is less frequent than the traditional office environment.

Balance attention to detail and ambiguity 

Managing a remote workforce will inevitably lead to a degree of ambiguity.  However, this increased ambiguity can spur creative thinking and allow people to have more ownership over their role and responsibilities. On the other hand, vague directions and goals can leave people feeling lost and unmotivated, so it is important to maintain a healthy balance. At Coegi, we have brought in a project management tool to lay out tasks, deadlines and shared progress updates across teams. This allows greater transparency but prevents constant calls and pings between coworkers about project status. 

Redefine work/life balance 

Creating work/life balance doesn’t just mean having a life outside of your job. Josh Waitzkin, in his book, The Art of Learning, emphasizes the importance of taking breaks and developing a short routine to refresh and focus throughout the day. I’ve found that implementing these small breaks during the work day can have a huge impact on my productivity, mental clarity, and overall state of mind. With flexible and hybrid work models, we can reframe the standard workday and let employees have greater ownership over their day to day routine.

At the end of the day, you cannot force good culture. Instead, do the work to create an accountable environment with strong frameworks set in place. From there, employees and managers will inevitably create organic culture and transform your company from within.

Why Work Location Matters, But Not as Much as You Think

A lot of attention of late has been focused on the binary choice of work from home vs. work at the office.  Many companies have split the difference and advocated for a hybrid work model, in the name of flexibility.  And for good reason… when they survey their employees, opinions split vastly by age, gender, parental status and seniority.  But this isn’t a binary choice, as many knowledge workers have the power to work not just from the home or office, but from anywhere.  It is not just executives anymore that have the luxury of typing thought pieces from an airport lounge between flights or finishing new business presentations over a nightcap at the hotel bar.  The definition of the ‘office’ is changing for many, with co-working spaces or coffee shop networks replacing a stand-alone office space dedicated to a single company.

Work from anywhere isn’t new.  Our friends at Zapier have been doing it since their inception in 2011.  It doesn’t take an expert in workplace psychology to see some of the potential benefits, like commute times. However, people that work exclusively from home experience the highest level of employee exhaustion, compared to in-person or hybrid employees, according to a study from our partners at TinyPulse that surveyed over 700 HR professionals.   For creative workers, inspiration and creativity often don’t come by staring at the same four walls all of the time, whether at the office or at their homes.

A Work-Anywhere Policy Doesn’t Have to Mean Fully Remote 

Forrester estimates that, post-pandemic, only 18.2MM people will be eligible to work from home 100% of the time, which is less than 12% of the US workforce.  Many companies are opting for a hybrid model to meet somewhere in the middle. Working from anywhere is a “people first, place second” mentality that translates trust and value to employees from a corporation.

Forester Inc. Work Location Comparison
Use The Lessons of 2020 to Create Your Anywhere-Work Strategy, Forrester Research Inc. Nov. 17th, 2020

 

What ‘The Coegi Way’ means to me

‘The Coegi Way’ is more than just a set of principles in my work life. It aligns with my values and reminds me of my motivations and goals on a daily basis. I try to apply each of the core values to my work each day by turning associations of those values into specific work practices.

For the value of attitude, I always go into my work with a positive, learning mentality. To begin my day, I read industry news and take notes on trends I believe to be important or timely. I use these notes when doing additional research, or content writing. I uphold this enthusiastic attitude knowing that I am putting my best effort forward in my task load.

Because I am an analytical thinker, I can easily relate to the approach value because it emphasizes the importance of attention to detail. I am able to naturally identify key details in campaign reports and research articles. When working in programmatic, I would conduct daily reports on pacing to make sure that campaigns were spending appropriately and in a timely manner. Additionally, I would create insights for reports by portraying a story with the metrics I found. I did this by explaining the importance of the metrics and what could be changed in campaign strategy to better optimize budgets. The purpose of close attention to detail is to provide clients with the best possible outcomes towards their business objectives.

The value of service focuses on the quality of work produced. To ensure I am producing quality work, I collaborate with team members in my department to review and revise the content I produce. As a former programmatic specialist, I would consistently monitor and adjust campaigns based on current results. In reporting, I would give transparency to key metrics and their effect on the client’s business objective. Being a strong communicator is something that I have always strived for, to ensure clear feedback and collaboration in my work. ‘The Coegi Way’ has helped establish constant communication as an everyday practice in my work.

The Coegi culture value reminds me to consciously engage with team members daily. Whether I’m working online or in-person, I make an effort to communicate with my coworkers. I try to assist them where I can, or just chat with them about personal matters. I’ve always felt a strong connection with my colleagues, because I know employees at Coegi share the same values and want to help each other succeed. Part of engaging in this culture is giving back to one another, which I execute by reviewing the work of others, and creating content to share among employees. This is a key component to Coegi’s success as a collaborative and high growth workplace.

At the end of the day, companies need to stop being afraid of work-anywhere models.

At the end of the day, companies need to stop being afraid of work-anywhere models. If you set strong frameworks from an organizational level and empower employees with the tools and ability to reverse engineer their work to be optimal for them, work-anywhere can work, well, anywhere.

Coegi Recognized as One of Adweek’s Fastest Growing Agencies

We are incredibly honored to announce that Coegi was ranked one of Adweek’s top 75 fastest growing agencies in the US and around the world. After the uncertainty of the past few years due to the ongoing pandemic, this recognition is especially meaningful for us. We know it was difficult for many to see growth in such an unpredictable market and changing workplace environments, but we are proud to see that the dedication of our staff and data partners allowed us to continue to support and lift up our clients. Coegi’s strong culture made up of hard-working, passionate individuals allowed us to learn, grow and ultimately thrive as an organization during one of the most unpredictable years in history.

Our President, Sean Cotton, shares his thoughts on why Coegi was able to still grow during this time and what it means for our staff and our clients.

What Makes Coegi a Great Place to Work

What ‘The Coegi Way’ means to me

‘The Coegi Way’ is more than just a set of principles in my work life. It aligns with my values and reminds me of my motivations and goals on a daily basis. I try to apply each of the core values to my work each day by turning associations of those values into specific work practices.

For the value of attitude, I always go into my work with a positive, learning mentality. To begin my day, I read industry news and take notes on trends I believe to be important or timely. I use these notes when doing additional research, or content writing. I uphold this enthusiastic attitude knowing that I am putting my best effort forward in my task load.

Because I am an analytical thinker, I can easily relate to the approach value because it emphasizes the importance of attention to detail. I am able to naturally identify key details in campaign reports and research articles. When working in programmatic, I would conduct daily reports on pacing to make sure that campaigns were spending appropriately and in a timely manner. Additionally, I would create insights for reports by portraying a story with the metrics I found. I did this by explaining the importance of the metrics and what could be changed in campaign strategy to better optimize budgets. The purpose of close attention to detail is to provide clients with the best possible outcomes towards their business objectives.

The value of service focuses on the quality of work produced. To ensure I am producing quality work, I collaborate with team members in my department to review and revise the content I produce. As a former programmatic specialist, I would consistently monitor and adjust campaigns based on current results. In reporting, I would give transparency to key metrics and their effect on the client’s business objective. Being a strong communicator is something that I have always strived for, to ensure clear feedback and collaboration in my work. ‘The Coegi Way’ has helped establish constant communication as an everyday practice in my work.

The Coegi culture value reminds me to consciously engage with team members daily. Whether I’m working online or in-person, I make an effort to communicate with my coworkers. I try to assist them where I can, or just chat with them about personal matters. I’ve always felt a strong connection with my colleagues, because I know employees at Coegi share the same values and want to help each other succeed. Part of engaging in this culture is giving back to one another, which I execute by reviewing the work of others, and creating content to share among employees. This is a key component to Coegi’s success as a collaborative and high growth workplace.

The Importance of Empowering Employees in the Workplace

Within the last year, workplaces have accelerated into a digital world. How we communicate, work, and live have changed dramatically. The year that was labeled “exhausting” by the Washington Post, was also the year that people grew and re-evaluated their needs within and without the workplace. So, right now, what exactly do employees value the most? According to recent 2021 studies, flexibilityabstract ways of measuring productivitygrowth opportunities, and recognition are among some of the top needs from employees. Finding an employer that can adapt to these needs not only improves the lives of its workers, but also its quality of work.

The implementation of these variables leads to overall happier and invested employees. Flexibility is the new normal. In fact, 88% of knowledge workers say that when searching for a new position, they will look for one that offers complete flexibility in their hours and location.” In 2020, employees proved that working remotely can be just as effective as working in the office. Now, people have a choice to match their work with their lifestyle, and workers need that flexibility – especially after experiencing it for a year. This empowerment improves employees’ wellbeing and willingness to work, and in return, employees will be more invested in their company. As for the day to day work, individuals are wanting a more collaborative way of measuring results. For example, 86% of employees said they would prefer to work for a company that prioritizes outcomes over output.” This goal drives companies to focus on the final result vs the amount of time it took to complete. It empowers employees to focus on efficiency since time spent doesn’t always equal the quality of the result. As an employee continues to drive high quality results, they need internal opportunities to work towards. “Organizations that want to retain their talent need to help employees identify their next internal opportunity so they don’t feel that the only way they can progress their career is to look externally.” Such opportunities could include an internal open job board, promotions, a new assignment, or connecting employees with other people or teams that could help them reach their goals. Results deserve to be recognized, and when they are, employees appreciate it. In fact, Giving well-deserved recognition increases self-esteem, enthusiasm and boosts morale.” That personal support can carry along to a team, a department, and an entire company. Positive reinforcement can drive a team to excellence when done authentically and consistently.

The company I currently work for, Coegi, has not only listened to what  employees need to feel empowered, but have also implemented our highly supported ideas. Personally, the flexibility provided to me has been wonderful. After I graduated college in May, I wanted to travel to Austin, Texas and explore a new city; however, I was unsure about remote options. After speaking with a few people in the company, they were flexible enough to make this happen for me. In response to their willingness to work with my personal goals, I feel extremely invested in the company and have a desire to show my appreciation through my work and relationships within the company.

Coegi also does a great job encouraging growth and learning within our departments. The conversation to grow and try out new roles started when I first began working as a part-timer that involved learning about other departments, checking the internal job board, having a choice in the types of clients we want to work on, etc. That encouragement to learn also relates to how we interact on a day-to-day basis. The team I am on currently has many different options outside of the office to  support one another. We use “appreciation gifs” to say thank you when needed on our tasks. We also have company wide “cheers” for when someone goes above and beyond. This positive feedback has encouraged our company to work hard and always recognize the pieces that fit into our bigger goals.

How Other Members of the Social Team Feel Empowered at Coegi

Anissa: Social Media Specialist

“In my short time at Coegi, I have been continually impressed with how the company and its employees support each other every day. It is so uplifting to work at a company that values and actively promotes teamwork, collaboration, and continual learning. I love how the team recognizes others achievements and hard work so we can all celebrate and uplift together!”

Julia R: Social Media Specialist

“Over the course of my year working at Coegi, I have been empowered with a flexible schedule, positive feedback, and a voice in my role. However, the most important aspect is my supportive team. Ever since I began working, I picked up on the uplifting and supportive culture that is present both online and in person. This dynamic has encouraged me to have the confidence to take on new challenges and relay that encouragement to other people on my team.”

Casey: Social Media Specialist

“My time at Coegi has shown me that with a strong team, anything is possible. Everyone at Coegi wants one another to succeed. My team has helped me to gain confidence in my own abilities as a digital marketer.”

Rachel: Social Media Specialist

“Since I have started at Coegi, I have felt empowered through the support of my colleagues. Everyone is willing to help at any time, and it is a teamwork-oriented environment. I know that my teammates respect my opinions and are willing to work together to achieve our common goals.”

Alyssa: Social Media Campaign Assistant

“Although I have only been working at Coegi for a few weeks, my experience has been nothing but positive. Everyone is more than willing to assist with the transition and support my progress within the company.”

Creating an empowering environment in the workplace has proven to be extremely beneficial to the well-being of each employee and the quality of work in response. Flexibility, growth/measurement opportunities, and recognition are just some of the variables that empower employees. As we continue to navigate through 2021, it is important to continue this open conversation about these topics and find ways to support each employee.

 

Written by: Julia Read, Social Media Specialist

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