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Cultivating Culture: The Key to Success in Your Digital Marketing Agency

Antonella Saravia

1 month ago

Company culture is integral to running a business as a full-service digital marketing agency. Happy employees make for good business. 

A Gallup analysis shows that companies with high-level engagement are 21% more productive than those with lower engagement. 

At White Shark Media, we’ve noticed a difference in day-to-day operations. High esteem and thoughtful processes set the tone for how our teams interact, approach work, and how eager they are to serve our clients.

Understanding Company Culture

Organizational culture refers to the way an organization operates. Every organization, from schools to businesses, has its way of doing things. 

At our agency, we see it as the intentional effort made by all employees, from leadership to new members, to foster a positive, inclusive, and values-driven environment.

It’s not just a “nice-to-have,” but as we’ve seen the benefits, we’ve come to understand that it is a strategic imperative for digital marketing agencies or any other business.

We can create a supportive and thriving environment where our team can overachieve, clients can trust, and the business can grow.

What is the culture at White Shark Media?

Our culture stems from the following three values:

CARE: This focus shapes our interactions with each other and guides us in thoughtful management.

CREATIVITY: This pillar aims to empower our employees to thrive. 

We designed our offices to honor this pillar. We have open-space offices, a cafe, a terrace, and brainstorming spaces. We want people to enjoy where they are, what they are doing, and who they are doing it with. Investing in this creates an eagerness to contribute.

DRIVE: We understand the responsibility of cultivating excitement in our teams. We want them to feel rewarded for their work and excited about the present and the future, fueling our growth.

These values help our teams feel that we're not just building campaigns. More is being cultivated where they spend their day. Together, we're building lasting relationships, making a difference, and shaping the future of digital marketing.

What are the fundamental principles at White Shark Media?

A few fundamental principles are the foundation of our operations and guide our approach to serving clients, nurturing our team, and driving growth. 

Below are some of those principles and examples of how we exercise them:

People at White Shark Media
  • Client-centric approach: Training for the product team occurs monthly or more frequently, ensuring that we are, in fact, providing expert support to our clients. 
  • Innovation:We maintain 6 weeks of yearly Leadership reinforcement to develop forward-thinking decision-makers and practices. 
  • Data-driven insights: Our team has weekly SWOT sessions where campaign reviews draw data insights and best practices to share across the organization.
  • Open communication: We have semesterly Shark Briefs, during which the entire company gathers to share stats, wins, and testimonials.
  • Continuous L&D: Each month, we offer product team training and plenty of ad-hoc and role-specific skill-based courses on various online platforms.
  • Team Building: We have themed Monthly socials! We recognize the importance of creating connections beyond the work station and make sure we celebrate special occasions with social gatherings.

Strategies for Cultivating a Positive Culture

Cultivating a positive culture is a strategic priority at WSM; below are some considerations we keep to foster a supportive, inclusive, and values-driven environment for our team.

  • Values Alignment: We value our team members' understanding and embrace our core values of CARE, CREATIVITY, and DRIVE. From recruitment to performance evaluations, we prioritize hiring individuals who align with our values and actively demonstrate them in their work.
  • Leadership Support: Our leadership team plays a pivotal role in shaping our company culture. They lead by example, embodying our values in their actions and decisions. Our leadership prioritizes open communication, transparency, and employee well-being, setting the tone for a positive work environment.
  • Recognition and Rewards: We celebrate our team’s achievements quarterly and recognize the contributions through various rewards programs. Whether it's a simple shout-out during team meetings (Monthly Company Huddles) or formal awards ceremonies (Outstanding Sharks), we acknowledge and appreciate our team’s hard work and dedication.
  • Professional Development: We invest in our team's growth and development. We offer leadership programs, product training, mentorship opportunities, and many educational resources. By supporting their professional advancement, we empower our team to reach their full potential and stay motivated in their roles.
  • Work-Life Balance: We take a very agency approach and prioritize the well-being of our team by offering flexible work arrangements, remote work opportunities, and hybrid in-office/from-home work arrangements. A healthy work-life balance is essential for employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention.

Hire people who fit the culture

A Forbes post on corporate culture references a study that reveals how important it is to match a potential candidate to a company’s ways of working. The report shows that 91% of managers prioritize candidate alignment with the company culture over their skills and past experiences.

Hiring individuals who align with our company culture is essential for maintaining our positive and cohesive work environment.

To filter potential candidates and ensure there is a cultural fit, we focus on several key factors:

  • We assess candidates' alignment with our core values.
  • We use behavioral interviewing techniques through situational questions to gauge candidates' past behaviors, actions, and decisions. 
  • We evaluate candidates' ability to work effectively in a team environment. 
  • We assess their communication style, collaboration skills, and willingness to support and contribute to team goals. 
  • We look for genuinely passionate candidates in the digital marketing industry who are eager to learn and grow in their roles.

Our culture has been vital to our growth. It’s proven that motivated employees who feel valued are engaged and care about their contributions, which is why so much of our internal efforts go into keeping it thriving.

There is only one company with people, meaning there is a direct correlation between employee satisfaction and how this translates to client retention, brand reputation, and our ability to stay innovative and succeed in this highly dynamic and changing industry.

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