10 Years a PMGer: Mari Andersen Diaz, Client Strategy Director
Mari Andersen Diaz first joined the PMG as a college intern and rose through the ranks to become a client strategy director, tasked with ensuring media excellence and innovative strategic planning for some of the company’s most iconic retail brands. This month, Mari celebrated her ten-year service anniversary at PMG, and to celebrate, we asked her a few questions and reflected back on her experiences at PMG and her journey from college intern to PMG’s senior client leadership team.
I started at PMG as an intern back when I was a student at Texas Christian University and couldn’t even legally drink yet. On my first day, I remember getting login credentials to Google AdWords, now Google Ads, along with an assignment to update site links before I even knew what a site link was. If memory serves correctly, PMG had just undergone its first office expansion, with a wall knocked down to bring natural light into the office. Everyone was so excited that we had windows now. Of course, as we now know, it would be the first of many walls to be knocked down as the company expanded.
My role has evolved nearly as much as the company has. From SEM intern to media manager for search, social, and display, and now a director overseeing client strategy, I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of many different teams, channels, and strategic initiatives during my time at PMG. My experience in media management was before our proprietary marketing intelligence platform Alli formally existed as it does today, and many tasks and projects, like client strategy, media execution, deck building, analytics, and reporting, had to be done from scratch or by hand. Sometimes, I think back and have no idea how we did it all without the current Alli automation and workflows. As a client strategy director, I’m incredibly lucky to have had these experiences (even if it did end in a lot of late nights), so I can better understand the ins and outs of what goes into media management and execution across channels.
The most exciting achievement over the past ten years was playing a role in starting our PMG Austin office. Our presence in Austin began in my apartment, which later moved into a WeWork, and eventually, over the course of three office evolutions, we have our current space that opened downtown earlier this year. It’s incredible to have had a hand in starting an office, forming our office culture and traditions, and having the support of the PMG leadership team through it all. Another achievement was being named a 50 Under 30 by The Drum during a time when I was doubting my career and, truthfully, wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay in this field for much longer. Having members of PMG advocate and nominate me for the award really helped build up my confidence and solidify my decision to further my career in marketing.
Without a doubt, it’s the people. I’ve made some of my best friends at this company and even met my now-husband, so it’s safe to say that my coworkers have greatly impacted my life!
This is a tough one, considering I met my husband here, but I have to say, I’ll always think back to the early days at the PMG Austin office when we were figuring out how to create our own office culture and traditions. We were in such a small space together and definitely had our fair share of frustrations with a small co-working space in WeWork, but it felt like that group always had each other’s backs, and at the end of the week, we were always able to laugh about the silly things and enjoy each other’s company during our Friday happy hour. Another memory that comes to mind is our early PMG holiday parties at Travaasa in Austin, Texas—it was truly the best of times.
I’ve always felt like PMG was a bit of an underdog, but as our profile has risen, I’m excited to see how we do now that we have a lot more name recognition and higher expectations to maintain. I’m hopeful that it means we’ll also continue to attract even more diverse talent and grow in a meaningful way without sacrificing what makes us great.
That I’d be here for so long—I’m kidding, obviously! I wish I knew that my best work would happen when I was prioritizing my own mental well-being and setting the right boundaries between work and my personal life.
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