Here are some of the most common questions we get asked by prospective clients. We hope you find this helpful as you explore working with MDR.
Where are your offices located?
While our main office is headquartered in Corpus Christi, our team is concentrated in three main cities: Houston, Corpus Christi, and San Antonio. By having team members in the localities we serve, we can swiftly respond to local client requests.
Need to reach us? We’re only a phonecall away.
Corpus Christi: 361-883-6327
San Antonio: 210-445-3564
What does MDR stand for?
MDR is an acronym that stands for the last names of our founders: Fred Dotts and Mo Morehead, and our Principal & Chief Creative Officer, Stephen Rybak. We’ve been in business for almost 50 years, and have decades of experience meeting ambitious goals and making the impossible possible.
How big is your team? What are their areas of expertise?
We’re a group of 25 marketers with one mission: we’re obsessed with making the brands we represent rockstars in their industries. We bring decades of hands-on experience and a wide background in all disciplines of marketing, advertising and media. Our team offers our clients a diverse mix of seasoned and talented industry professionals as well as gifted next-gen up and comers. We also happen to be a fun group to work with.
3 Service Areas
We’ve worked with clients across Texas and beyond and many of our projects have required knowledge at the national and global levels. We have tenured full-time staffers strategically positioned in Houston, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi. We’ve also established a vetted network of esteemed agency partners and seasoned collaborators for special project needs.
Our work has garnered us hundreds of awards over the years. These awards recognize exemplary work at the local, regional, national, and international level.
We marry the strength and wisdom of a seasoned agency with the energy and passion of a startup. It’s our commitment to innovation and a genuine love of what we do that’s forged the strong and lasting bonds enjoyed with so many clients over the years.
Credentials and Certifications
Certifications include, but are not limited to:
- Google Ads Search Certification
- Google Analytics Qualification
- Google My Business Basics
- Google Tag Manager Certification
How many years have you been in business?
MDR has been serving Texas and the world for almost 50 years. We started small, but over the years we’ve grown (and our clients have grown too). Today our agency is 20 people strong, representing disciplines in fields like content, graphic design, film and television production, and web development.
When you bring on a new client, what's the process like?
We start by identifying our target consumers and how they make purchases, then work backwards. We aren’t just looking for adults 25 to 54; we want to know our targets audiences’ behaviors, where they live, and their hobbies. Do they have any passions or needs we can meet and what drives their decisionmaking process?
Once we understand that—creatively, the sky’s the limit. The “methodology” becomes a fluid creative process, because we have the best designers and writers at the helm. The kind who dig deeper to make sure it’s not just beautiful creative, but that it’s YOURS. It makes sense, it hits hard, and it will achieve what we all want—a solid brand with happy customers who will pay to come and see you again and again.
Our holistic and integrated hands-on approach from concept to launch to reporting is what sets us apart from most agencies.
As we begin planning, we work backwards from our end goal and consider the customer journey from end to beginning. During this process we treat all media channels the same and rely on data and research to help provide insights that allow us to make informed decisions on what channels and touchpoints will best meet our goals throughout the customer journey.
Throughout the life of a campaign, we monitor all channels and consider the full picture of how each channel drives customers through the funnel. It’s important when decisions are made based on data to continue to monitor all aspects to pinpoint how even the slightest changes can impact lower funnel tactics. Looking at data across all channels and understanding the story it tells is one of the most important skills in media buying, and one you truly learn from years of media buying and analyzing.
Does an agency take longer to respond to my requests?
When working with a full-service agency like MDR, you’ll typically get a much faster response than you would if you hired a marketer or freelancer. Agencies are made up of teams that work in concert to make sure your brand is always positioned in the best light. If you need something, you’ll have a dedicated account executive that can route your request to the appropriate person. If there’s an after-hours emergency, we’ll see to it that you’re taken care of.
At MDR, it’s our job to be there for you when you need us. One of the benefits to working with an agency are the layers of support that will always be there for you. As personnel at our firm changes, this will in no way impact your business. Your campaigns and deliverables will still go out on time, and you won’t be solely dependent on one person to manage your brand.
Learn more about working with a single full-service ad agency
Why do I need to pay for an account manager?
Account managers are more than just an agency point of contact, they’re your advocate, someone who will make sure you’re always taken care of. They take your calls after hours and coordinate all advertising channels, so that all of your marketing stays on-brand no matter what the medium.
Your negotiated contract with MDR covers the cost of the account manager, but it also includes all the marketing in your contract. This may include things like billboards, TV spots, print materials, and of course, your website. Because all of the costs are included, it’s not like you’re paying extra for unnecessary services.
How will I know I'm priority if your agency has several larger accounts?
When we commit to a new client, we don’t do so half-heartedly. At MDR, regardless of budget, everyone gets our same passion and dedication to growing your brand from our team of talented experts. Your digital, print, and media campaigns will all be on-brand. We’ll also be crunching the numbers with periodic reporting on the success of your campaign, with insights that will help you optimize our future efforts.
You’ll also benefit from having a dedicated Account Executive who will be your advocate and main point of contact, routing all of your requests to the right person. When you join our family, you’ll benefit from the same white-glove treatment all our clients receive, with no exceptions.
Don't agencies add a lot of fluff and extra expenses?
An agency is a highly-skilled coordinated team that has one mission—you! You’ll benefit from having a creative team design your brand from the ground up. Each person on that team is an expert in his or her field, and that expertise is what you’re paying for. When you hire a marketer, he or she may not be an expert and may plan your marketing based on hunches and feelings. An agency makes its recommendations based on analytics and data.
That being said, there’s truly no “fluff” in an agency budget. When you hire an agency, you’re hiring a skilled and experienced team to manage your brand, and that’s what you’re paying for. In terms of ROI, agencies get better results dollar-for-dollar than hiring a marketer or team of marketers.
What’s the difference between hiring a marketer vs. a full service agency? Read More
How do you set your fees?
We understand every client is unique. We would work closely with
you in the first thirty days to determine a phased approach to execute the deliverables our rationale will recommend after our discovery process.
MDR uses a blended rate (one fee for all job functions) since most job functions in our agency overlap due to our collaborative environment. We have also found this to be the most fair and efficient way to get compensated for our time while being cost conscious for our clients, rather than billing different fees for each service or experience level.
Our hourly rate is based on the following factors:
- We calculate overhead
- We look at the expertise of our staff
- We constantly monitor past jobs to gauge our efficiency
- We evaluate the market to ensure we remain competitive
Hourly rate multiplied by number of hours estimated per project scope.
Our retainer relationships begin with a minimum 6-month term. They allow client to pay for unspecified agency services often at a bulk, pre-sale rate, reserving time spent on your projects and allowing for strategic advice and creative consult on new or emerging projects as they develop. This option also enables client to establish monthly budgeting for agency services and fees across the contract period.
Do you work with in-house teams?
This is possibly our favorite way to work with our clients. We enjoy finding that perfect balance where we serve as brand stewards for and with your team. We enjoy working with clients who are open with their goals, hands on in the creative and planning process and honest in feedback and communication. With many of our most successful clients, we have weekly information and idea sharing sessions to make sure the internal and external communications align.
Read how MDR celebrated the career of one of our long-time clients
What is branding, and how can it work for you?
Branding is the creative presentation of your business as it appears in print and online. It’s the look and feel of your business, one your customers are sure to remember. Branding design includes everything from the font and colors, to the imagery, logo, signage, and so much more.
At MDR, we build your branding from scratch, starting with the basics like font and colors, and then build out from there. Eventually this will include things like your website, logo, signage, menus, and so much more. All your assets, signs, and digital media will all look the same, and you’ll be sending your customers a consistent message. That’s the benefit to going through the branding process, and there’s no better company to do it than MDR.
Why is branding design important?
Branding design is important because you want to communicate the same message to your customers at every interaction. Just like you wouldn’t leave the house with mismatched clothes; you don’t want your media, signage, or website to look different from each other. Making sure everything has the right look and feel is part of the branding process, and it’s something you don’t want to ignore as you start or grow your business.
MDR has been successfully creating winning branding for businesses of all kinds for 50 years. Some of our clients include the USS Lexington Museum, Nueces Electric Cooperative, the American Bank Center, and NavyArmy Credit Union. Our methods and strategy are tested, proven, and above all—they get results for our clients.
Social Media Management
Why is social media management important?
When you interact with your customers online, a major part of that interaction happens over social media. Because social media users all have differing opinions of your business, responding to those opinions—both good and bad—can play a major role over how the public sees your business.
But social media management involves more than just dealing with compliments and complaints, it’s part of a larger strategy to amplify your brand on your most active social networks; and drive sales to your growing business. That’s where we can help. MDR has been managing our clients’ social media presence since the dawn of the technology, and with every pivot throughout the years, we’ve developed strategies that bring home wins for our clients.
What does social media management include?
Social media management involves analyzing social media audiences, orchestrating a strategy for the creation and analysis of content that is relevant and tailored for each channel and audience, and engaging and listening to those audiences.
Some social media management activities include aligning social media objectives with overarching business goals, conducting primary and secondary market research, identifying and targeting target audiences, creating and scheduling meaningful content that resonates with target audiences, monitoring social media campaigns, tracking channel performance, optimizing campaigns, and so much more.
What's the difference between web design and web development?
Web design and web development are similar terms, but they have very different meanings.
“Web design” refers to the visual layout and structure of your site’s pages, and may include some HTML and CSS, but never any programming. It’s a representation of the look and feel of your website, but it’s not the finished product.
“Web development” is the process of taking the layout created by the web designer and turning it into code, completing all the programming logic that makes the website function the way it should.
At MDR, we utilize both web design and web development when we contract with a client to build a new website. We start by figuring out the branding and then create a website design that matches the branding, so that we convey the same message across all channels. Once our client approves the website design, the development team gets to work. We take the design and recreate it on the web, pixel by pixel.
Once the design team and development team are satisfied the site meets expectations, we pass it back to our client for a final review and approval. It’s a process that’s led to successful campaigns for the many clients we’ve had over the years, and we’re confident it will work for you.
Why should I hire a marketing agency to do my website when I could hire a freelancer?
By hiring a freelancer to do your website instead of a marketing agency, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to develop a true cohesive strategy that will set your brand on the path to future success. While freelancers cost less, they don’t have the same skill level and resources that a full-service marketing agency does.
When a freelancer builds your website, it looks the way they think it should. Often times, there’s no design team behind it, and no research or data goes into the development process. You also cannot guarantee the skill level of your developer, should you hire one off a freelancing site. They could be at the beginning of their career or lack the skills you need for a successful project.
These are the risks you’ll face if you go with a marketer as opposed to a true full-service marketing agency. It’s far better to go with a highly qualified team of experts for your next project, as it will save you time, money, and hassle, while also creating a product that will pay dividends over time.
How can I know my information is being held or treated confidentially?
At MDR, we protect your trade secrets and proprietary data. Our employees may share some of this data with each other in-house, but only with other employees that need to know. This way we limit how much data is entrusted to our staff and how many people are looped in.
When your website launches, we will have hardened it with using the latest security technology to ward off malware and cyber attacks. This service is included in the cost of your build, and it takes the guesswork out of managing your site’s security.
Does MDR work with mass media?
As a full-service marketing agency, we have media specialists that have expertise in all forms of mass media: radio, TV, streaming, you name it! When planning how to get your message out there, we strive to fully research your target audience. We take a deep dive into your analytics, and from there we see what media strategy will work the best for you.
Our media plans are never set in stone and never limited in revisions. Advertising/media should be fluid and agile at all times, as you continue to gain valuable insights from your analytics. It’s a constant process to create optimal and laser targeted precision. That’s where true value is realized.
Our media team is involved in every step from strategy, planning, buying and reporting, giving us the full picture so we can truly optimize your budgets across all platforms. This results in a truly comprehensive media buy. We aren’t just focused on optimizing one tactic for a lower CPA, we’re optimizing your entire campaign for the best value and performance.
MDR won big at the American Advertising Awards 2020. Read more.
What is your media buying strategy?
We take a holistic approach to purchasing media, but at the end of the day, it all has to result in positive ROI for you.
To do this, we need connected measurement and optimization of the entire media investment – ensuring channels further up the purchase funnel are given credit for their contribution. It’s no longer just about click-thru rates and conversions to define a successful media buy.
It takes an approach that accounts for all marketing and non-marketing influences. Not just offline and online media, but the role of other marketing activity, such as pricing, promotions, and competitor strategies. We also consider external factors like the weather and economy.
How do you report on the success of a campaign?
Customer journeys are increasingly complex, and that’s one of the few things that won’t change. Evaluation techniques must reflect this, and data is the key component of this process. By obtaining a detailed, 360-view of the customer journey, we select and optimize different channels accordingly –understanding the various roles each media channel provides, potentially saving millions in the process and ensuring a bigger, better ROI.
We also look to data for insights in consumer trends. MDR not only sees and understands these trends, our seasoned and active team knows how to adapt and change placements to take advantage of even the slightest shifts in consumer behavior. We share these data discoveries with key stakeholders immediately to empower them to also consider adjusting, thus further maximizing efforts across the board.
It takes an approach that accounts for all marketing and non-marketing influences. Not just offline and online media, but the role of other marketing activity, such as pricing, promotions, and competitor strategies.
Learn how we helped one of our biggest clients during the Big Freeze of 2021
Does MDR do drone videos?
Yes! MDR does drone video production with an FAA-licensed pilot who is also a video-production guru. Not only can we get the shots you’re looking for, we have the production skills to make your project come out looking polished, professional, and epic!
We’ve created a separate business called 11th Floor Studios that handles much of our video work. Stop by to see how we can help you with your next project.