Jason Therrien of thunder::tech
Meet Jason Therrien, founder of thunder::tech
, an integrated marketing agency that provides services in web, graphic design, interactive media, video, public relations, social media and advertising with 35 employees across the country. Thunder::tech specializes in marketing mid-market brands and organizations.
What sparked the idea for Thunder::tech?
About a decade ago, we were witnessing the decline of the traditional advertising model and at the same time seeing an explosion in the amount of communication channels consumers could engage in. I thought there had to be a better way for a company to engage an agency that could provide a more holistic marketing approach -- selling solutions versus one-off services. Today at thunder::tech, we can solve client issues with the right mix of advertising, communication, digital and branding because these skill sets are all in-house.
What role does social media play in your services?
Social media is such a fascinating area for thunder::tech. We wrote our first social strategy for a client to address their consumers discussing their products on message boards back in 2002, before we even thought of two-way digital communication as social. Today, thunder::tech offers social media services in a variety of formats, from strategy and training to social advertising and app development.
We use social media for our own business, and it has provided solid returns both on new business development and employee recruitment. It’s a long-term approach, and that’s what scares a lot of businesses, but it’s the way consumers are evolving and every organization will have to address it at some point.
What do you enjoy most about MidTown?
We love that MidTown has creative and cool spaces that are an excellent driver of a creative culture. The neighborhood is centrally-located and near many interstate exits, but is a lot more affordable than working in a high rise. And our parking is free.
How does the “sans-cubicle” philosophy in your office foster creativity?
Our sans-cubicle environment fosters creativity by enabling easy collaboration between team members and departments. It’s an office style that you see a lot of out on the west coast, and it’s been a huge driver of allowing us to be integrated with our services versus walling (both literally and figuratively) them off from each other.
What does your office do to build loyalty or blow off steam?
I’ve been a big believer in the power of culture from day one of thunder::tech. Culture starts with the types of people you hire, the rules (or lack thereof) that you run your company by, the tools that you provide team members to do their job and the amenities that you provide. We host happy hours and office parties, always have two kegs on tap for Friday beer::30, and have a roof top deck that we grill out on.
We provide many educational and professional development opportunities, have a bike club made up of a half dozen team members that commute in the warmer months together and we are testing a subsidized lunch program right now.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting a company in Cleveland?
Do It! Get out there and network and learn from others who have been through the journey. There are so many great resources in town for entrepreneurs here, there’s no excuse not to launch your idea.