In 2022, The Martin Group launched DIMO (pronounced DEEMO), an internal initiative that empowers our associates to embrace the meaning of the acronym “The Difference is Making One.” We believe small changes can make big differences. While this has always been part of The Martin Group’s culture, our executive staff and integrated teams worked to create an internal brand that represented the true fiber of our fabric. This month, the team sat down with two of our Difference Makers, Marley Gleason and Frank Conjerti. As hosts of our internal podcast, and dedicated DIMO supporters, we asked them to sum up DIMO for those who aren’t yet living it.
TMG: What does DIMO mean?
MG: In short – the difference is making one (ha). But really, it’s a guiding principle that we’ve adopted. It initially started as a focus on non-profit work, but then became more of an overarching guide for our agency to help direct our culture and focus. It’s a way for us to ensure we are aligned with the values of our staff, our clients, and the evolution of the agency. To “make a difference” is to use the partnerships and the platforms we have to make sure we’re putting good into the world through our work.
TMG: How is the agency making a difference?
FC: We aim to put an emphasis on a collaborative atmosphere. This might look like support across departments internally, making sure that our offices are connected despite being physically separated. Or, externally, it includes supporting community efforts, listening to our associates’ charitable requests, and hearing what’s important to them. It’s also about putting what we do into perspective with an increased emphasis on work-life balance. It’s celebrating family milestones, and ensuring we are supporting staff even when they are off the clock. We believe that the smallest things can have the biggest impact, and we want to make sure these details are accounted for.
Externally, we have prioritized impacting the communities we serve through volunteerism (donating time, money, resources, attention, and spotlight). We also strive to do the very best work for our clients who, quite literally, feed (via Food & Beverage services), clothe (sports/lifestyle), keep well (healthcare), educate (education), look out for financially (financial services), and serve our fellow New Yorkers and other residents. Again, we want to make a difference through every action we take, even if it’s subtle or in the background.
TMG: How are you exemplifying DIMO throughout your workdays?
MG: The team has made an active effort to keep up with the needs of The Martin Group’s associates, and prioritizing what’s most important to them, while expanding upon the vision of the agency. To marry these two, we’ve developed new ways to keep our associates engaged, and our clients happy. Some of these look like continuing hybrid work schedules and expanded flexibility through technology, as well as making sure that each client is truly benefiting from our integrated work model.
FC: Other cultural changes we have emphasized highlight the culture through an internal podcast, our innovative sponsorship of men’s and women’s soccer club FC Buffalo, in-office happy hours via our traveling bar cart, creating internal resource pages for associates to access, and having quarterly agency-wide check-ins to discuss goals, ask broad questions, and update each other on wins across our platform.
TMG: Why is DIMO important to you?
FC: Liking the place you work is important. While that feels like a simple notion, it takes a consistent effort and strong leadership to accomplish. It’s critical to The Martin Group that we are creating a space for our associates that is more than just “selling a product.” We want our teams to believe in the work we are executing, while keeping a level of self-awareness that our work in advertising isn’t necessarily lifesaving. We want to be able to support our friends, colleagues, and neighbors however we can using the resources we have access to. Everybody wants to feel like the work they do is impactful. When we make small changes through our client relationships, our culture, and the industries we serve, we feel like that’s something we can be proud of.