To celebrate Women’s History month in 2019, we are dedicating a space in our blog to share some interesting stories from the female professionals at Strategic Marketing. Discover why we are so fortunate to have such an amazing group of women as part of our advertising agency.
Vice President and Founder Mary Murphy grew up in Texas and worked her way up in the radio business before founding Strategic Marketing in 1992 with her husband Terry Murphy.
How did you get to the position you have today? Can you share your professional story?
My first job was when I was in fifth grade. My father was an insurance agent in central Texas, and he paid me 25 cents an hour to clean out boxes and boxes of expired insurance policies in a dusty storeroom over the course of about three weeks. I worked there through high school and summers, so I learned a lot about insurance. While I was in college, my father bought several radio stations, and I dove right in after graduation. Several years later, he started a bi-weekly newspaper, and I served as assistant editor. I also worked a short time at a small ad agency and worked for one of my cousins in our family’s real estate business. When I moved to Palm Beach County, I landed a position at a radio station here and eventually moved to the corporate office. All of this experience gave me a broad base of knowledge to do what I do today.
How hard was it to get in the job market when you first started?
I was pretty lucky since my dad always had a place for me in his companies, I was able to gain a lot of skills that were in high demand.
Was working in the Advertising and Marketing industry always on your radar?
My degree is a BBA in Management, but I took the required marketing courses as well as some marketing electives, so I was already quite interested in this field before I went to work in radio.
What are some characteristics of a great leader in your perspective?
Vision, the ability to build a great team, and to deeply care about the members of the team. I don’t know who originally said this, but it’s true, “people don’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Any life lessons that you learned in your career that you believe helped you to make it where you are today?
My father-in-law always said, “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” There were some really crazy times early on when Terry and I were working days, nights and weekends, while also raising a family. Some days, it was complete chaos. But we worked through it, and it’s paid off. When opportunity comes knocking, be ready to open the door!
Do you believe in the power of diversity?
Absolutely. One of the most interesting things about living in South Florida is that almost everyone is from somewhere else–including me–and we all bring unique perspectives, experiences and skill sets to the table. As marketing people, we have to tailor our messaging to diverse groups of people. What resonates with one segment of the population may completely miss the mark with another segment. Having a diverse team at Strategic Marketing helps us to do our best work for our clients.
Do you think that women in leadership make any difference in your organization?
Well, as the Vice President, I like to think so! I hope that our team knows that my door is always open to anyone who wants to pop in with a question or to discuss an issue or even a personal problem. The only stupid question is the one that doesn’t get asked!
In this fast-paced market, people are always trying to do things better, faster and smarter. Can you share how you made a project more efficient and less expensive?
About 10 years ago, we migrated to a new accounting program, which has not only saved us many hours of time and maybe hundreds of cartons of paper, but has allowed us to increase our volume without adding staff. Also, our payment process to vendors is much more efficient than before.
What’s your superpower?
Proofreading…. I often catch mistakes that other people miss. The superpower I would love to have would be to meet someone and instantly know their story, what their life has been like, what makes them tick, their passions and their challenges. This would be extremely helpful when interviewing candidates for positions at Strategic Marketing!
Any advice for entrepreneurs that want to partner with Strategic Marketing?
Learn from our experience. Over these 27 years we have accumulated a lot of knowledge and have a very good sense about what works and what does not.
How has your career background contributed to your good work at Strategic Marketing today?
Pretty much all of my experience prior to founding Strategic Marketing has funneled into what I do today to some extent.
How would you describe your working style?
Multi-tasking…I can jump from developing a TV script to reviewing financial reports to writing a legal contract to screening resumes and much more in any single day. I prefer to try to focus on one thing at a time, start to finish, but life doesn’t happen that way. I’m also a night owl, and do a lot of things after dinner when it’s quiet and I can concentrate better. Like right now–it’s 10:52!
Are there any companies run or founded by women that you would like to have as a client?
As a Texas girl, I am very fond of Southern cuisine, and one of my favorite local restaurants is The Regional. I think Lindsay Autry would be a fun client to have.