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50 Best Workplaces of the Year 2020

An Interview With Zach Thompson, MediaSmack Co-Founder and CEO: ‘By Understanding and Working Closely With Our Clients, We Integrate a Product That Is Aligned With Their Specific Business Goals’

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“My focus is to empower my employees so that they can master what they do every day.”

In today’s ever-changing climate of technological advances and rapidly shifting algorithms, mastering the relevant facets of a successful marketing campaign can be arduous and downright time-consuming. MediaSmack is a boutique-sized firm that successfully represents dozens of medium to large-scale businesses across the country.

The firm was incorporated in 2013 and is headquartered in Frisco, Texas.

Zach Thompson, MediaSmack Co-Founder and CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Q. Effective SEO means you rank high. Sites that rank high are targeted by competitors who want a slice of the SEO pie, which means you’re always on your toes. How do you manage to keep yourself ahead of the curve?

Effective SEO is about more than ranking high. It’s about finding a niche for your marketing to strengthen. But, MediaSmack continues to grow, learn, and evolve. There are too many fly-by-night companies that change everything they do after reading one new SEO article on the internet. We do not do that. We do a lot of A/B testing, and because we work with clients all over the United States, we have a better understanding of what works.

Q. You could update all your content and website features and still not find that your site has improved. Is it possible to promise results?

You can never guarantee results. You cannot promise a client that you will get them to number one on Google, but you may know that certain models work and can contribute to a successful campaign. We are transparent with our clients about what is working well for their campaigns and what needs tweaking.

Q. Business owners trying to compete in this highly competitive market usually find themselves facing a dilemma with their digital marketing campaign. How do you help them find the right tool that they can use and focus on?

Most business owners know about search engine optimization, pay-per-click, and social media. But what do they know and how old is that information? It is easy for business owners to get too focused on what they know and continue down that path, but digital marketing is always evolving. What worked yesterday may not work today, and that is something we always try to communicate with our clients. There is not one tool for success in a competitive market; it takes a culmination of tools

Q. Tell us about your content development. What are the factors that will contribute to the engagement level?

Content development generally involves topic research, keyword research, and competitor research based on a client’s geographic location and target audience. A lot of different factors can contribute to the engagement level. A few examples include SEO optimization, sharing it on social media, where you post the content and topic relevance.

Q. ‘When people are having fun, they work together better and they produce better work.’ How do you interpret this saying?

More than just having fun, a positive work environment and culture is what is going to make a company successful. If my staff is united as a team with a common goal, respect for each other, and camaraderie…that is success to me.

Q. Growing the company based on employees’ passions must be the priority. Do you ask your employees what they are interested in doing and how they would like to see their career unfold?

I like to think that I do. My focus is to empower my employees so that they can master what they do every day. I want them to feel confident when making their own decisions for their respective departments. If there is not a clear path, let’s make one -- we have in the past and we will continue to do so.

Q. A good workplace stresses teamwork while still encouraging individual achievement and creativity. Does your company follow the same strategy?

Definitely! We get the entire team together for strategy sessions about individual campaigns to bounce ideas off of each other and build each other up. When you are so honed in on a certain campaign, it can be really helpful to have that outside perspective from your teammates.

Q. Trust is a difficult attribute to measure and a delicate dynamic to maintain. How do you maintain this with your employees?

I am open and honest with my employees, which opens the door to honest communication both ways. I go to bat for my employees and I think that builds trust with them.

Q. What does the future hold for MediaSmack and its employees? Are exciting things on the way?

The sky’s the limit. COVID-19 has presented its challenges, but it has also been a great time of self-reflection for our company. We have been able to spend time investing in ourselves by analyzing and improving our marketing strategies, internal processes, and departments. As for now, I think a lot of businesses will be looking at advertising, and that is where we come in.

Zach Thompson, a Dynamic Leader: In His Own Words

I am the CEO and co-founder of MediaSmack. I oversee the strategic vision and growth of MediaSmack, our clients, and staff, but I also really enjoy being involved in day-to-day client strategy, data analysis, and solving complex SEO issues.

A little background on me -- I am originally from Texas. I went to college in California and have a degree in Business Strategy. MediaSmack was co-founded in Sacramento, but since then, I have moved back to Texas, and MediaSmack is now headquartered in Frisco. Outside of work, my two biggest hobbies are coaching and giving back to the community. I coach football, basketball, and track for both my sons’ and daughter’s teams, and I am a school board member and youth sports organization board member.

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