Marsden Marketing’s non-traditional staff makes sure there is A lot of time for play
By Cherese Cobb and Lisa R. Schoolcraft
Working in a creative field, meeting with clients and facing deadlines can be stressful.
But Marsden Marketing in Buckhead has some non-traditional “employees” that make sure everyone has a good laugh once in a while.
“We have a core group of dogs that come into the office two to four times a week — Popeye, Hemingway, Louis and Ozzy,” says Nadine Melo, content marketing specialist at Marsden Marketing. “Then we have the group that comes every now and then — Tango, Stella, Murphy and Gypsy. We have one cat, Coco, who also comes to the office every now and then. That brings us up to nine animals. We used to have a Great Pyrenees, Henry, who used to come every day, but he and his dad recently got a job at Roadie, and now he’s becoming a rising star at that office. I have to admit I miss my dear Henry terribly.”
All the office pets have their own personalities, she says. “For example, Henry, my beloved white fluff, was quiet, friendly and the best door greater ever.
Hemingway acts tough, but he’s really afraid of everything. He immediately hides under my desk whenever the A/C turns on. Louis is super energetic and affectionate. He also loves eating water, if you can picture that for a moment.”
Ozzy, the black doodle, is “head of security because he’s always alerting us of any stranger that may be lurking about,” Melo says. “It’s hilarious because he has a loud bark but doesn’t really do much after that. And then there’s Coco; she runs the place. Not only is she an independent boss kitty, but she also makes sure that the dogs know not to mess with her.”
Marsden is an open concept office, so there aren’t any animal-specific zones, she says. But the office does have some doggie beds so their furry friends have places to rest when they get tired of playing and having fun.
Melo says there is no screening process for the office dogs or cats, “but we encourage our employees to select certain days, either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. Otherwise, it can get pretty crazy.”
And since Marsden is a B2B marketing firm, “it’s easy to get wrapped up with keeping up with client demands and projects that we forget to take time and enjoy the simpler things in life,” Melo says. “Like a dog chasing its tail for a good two minutes or watching one of the dogs make funny noises and faces as they sleep. Having our four-legged friends around helps with that. They make the day twice as fun and work much less stressful.”
And there can be some laugh out loud moments, she says.
Recently, Popeye, Hemingway and Louis were running in circles in the conference room, Melo says. “Talk about hilarious! Or how the other day, Louis wanted to play so bad with this rope toy, and he ended up pulling me on my office chair throughout the office. We ended up laughing for a few minutes.”
The office pets also help break the ice with clients, “especially when we are onboarding a new client,” she says. “They are usually the first ones at the door to greet them, and we’ve only ever had positive feedback from our clients when they do come in.”
Marsden certainly doesn’t require employees to be pet owners. In fact, Melo doesn’t have one — “although I do plan on getting a furry little friend in the near future,” she says. “However, you do have to like and get along with the animals if you plan on working at Marsden Marketing as they are in the office every day. What we look for in a future Marsden Marketing employee is that they must have a solid understanding of digital marketing best practices and principles along with a friendly and curious disposition.”
Marsden employees also gather donations for the Atlanta Human Society since Amanda Foushee, a demand generation specialist at Marsden, is a foster there.
Melo can’t imagine her job without pets.
“As an individual, I find that having the animals in the office is essential to creating a casual, friendly and engaging environment where people don’t feel like they are always pressed for time,” she says. “The reality is that agency work is fast-paced, but having the animals in the office helps mitigate the stress that comes with the territory. As an agency, we definitely do follow the ‘work hard, play hard’ ideology, and the dogs/cats play into this as well. They help us take time away from the day-to-day and provide spontaneous moments where we can bond and build friendships with our coworkers and clients alike. In corporate environments, you have to do team-building events to get people together and build camaraderie, but with pets in the office, this happens naturally.”
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