In 1995, while the Space Shuttle Atlantis was docking with the Russian Space Station, the first Jumanji movie was showing in theaters, and Ebay was launching the first online auctioning website, MDT Marketing was founded. In a pre-digital world, MDT started off as Custom Cuts Printing, a decidedly analog business.
As we plow ahead into a new decade, we decided to pause for a brief chat with MDT’s executive team to hear their reflections on MDT’s past, present, and future.
A Reflection on Core Values
Question: 25 years of continuous business is a tremendous milestone. Through all of MDT’s successes over the years, what are you most proud of?
Mitch Talenfeld (CEO): I feel a lot of pride in many ways and great fortune to have had such long-term success. But I am most proud of the people we have helped, the sector we have chosen to do business in, and our team. Without a strong organization and strong people behind us, none of what we are doing would be possible.”
Gary Thorup (VP Operations): You know, so many organizations come and go. They rise quickly, then burn out. Corporate stability and longevity doesn’t get the same praise as explosive growth, but it’s so much more important. I’m particularly proud of hitting this milestone because I can’t think of a better metric to quantify MDT’s core values and focus. We value stability, for our clients and our team. 25 years in business truly reflects that.”
A Reflection on Dynamic Stability
Question: How has MDT needed to adapt and change over these last 25 years in order to grow?
Mitch: We’ve embraced dynamic stability. It wasn’t until recently that I was familiar with that phrase, but it’s what we’ve always done. We become absolute experts in the products we provide, but are always aware of and exploring new approaches that can enable us to improve. A perfect example: When we started in 1995, all we did was custom cut prints for newspaper inserts & mailers. Yet today we’re a leader in digital advertising and data management. We’re delivering solutions I never dreamed possible back in the early years. Beyond that, we’ve focused ourselves on serving a greater cause. I cannot tell you how a focus on helping people improve their lives through education has impacted our passion and commitment to becoming a better business every day.
Alex Guerino (VP Marketing Strategies): So I actually started working with MDT on the client side. We were buying some of MDT’s earlier technology software. It was cutting edge stuff at the time. Now I’ve been here for 10 years and I can say from experience that innovation is just a part of the culture. I can think of a number of new solutions over the last couple of years, like EnrollBoost and Chatbot that grow organically because the team sees a value in something and they run with it. It’s that innovative spirit that allowed MDT to grow through some major changes over all this time, and it’s what will make us successful into the 20’s“
A Reflection on Our Team
Question: Clearly, MDT is a different company than it was in 1995. What makes MDT successful today?
Mitch: Our team. We’re nothing without our team. Our success is not one person, one client, or one amazing campaign; we are the sum of our parts. In fact, the average tenure of current MDT staff is over 8 years! I can’t even tell you how proud I am of that. We hire the best and brightest, and we do our best to build an environment where they can thrive and grow.
“Alex: I agree. MDT seeks the best of the best. The hiring process is arduous to ensure the candidates fit the cultural values of MDT Marketing. And I didn’t even know that about our staff tenure, but that’s amazing. You don’t normally see that, especially with marketing agencies.
Gary: I agree too. We have a talented and diverse team of experts who make everything here work. And Mitch, he’s the guiding light. We tease him cause his head is always in the future, but the ideas he comes up with gives the team a goal to focus on. And the team always rises to the challenge. I’m proud to be a part of that.”
A Focus on the Future
Question: We’re moving into a new decade. What do you think these next 10 years have in store for MDT?
Mitch: You mean, next 25 years! 50 years! 100 years! I won’t pretend to predict the future with any accuracy. But here’s what I know. I know that the changes we’ll see in technology over these next 25 years is going to significantly outpace the rate of change over these previous 25. And these previous 25 years saw more change than the previous 200! That concept is scary and overwhelming, but very exciting. I know that MDT will stay committed to its mission and continue to innovate. It’s our commitment to those core values that will help us realize continued success into the future.
A very Happy New Year to all. Here’s to a successful 2020, and beyond.