Our professional visit to The Mad Box in Milan demonstrated several interesting aspects of running a fairly new company, characterized by a use of younger and innovative employees, as compared to the older institutions based on tradition we had previously seen. Based on an impressive list of clients and apparently a strong local reputation, it is clear that The Mad Box is a successful marketing firm despite its contrasting atmosphere. For me, the three primary aspects that stood out were the atmosphere, age of employees and means of advertising used by The Mad Box group.
One of the first and most interesting things I noticed at The Mad Box was their use of space and the friendly environment the management had created. For example, there was an outside area where employees could play table tennis or smoke as well as network during breaks. Also, they worked on large tables, with no division between spaces, in a friendly or almost family-style environment. However, to contrast this, when we visited UniCredit Bank, their office space was characterized by cubicles and division with less room for networking and collaboration amongst employees, which from my perspective made The Mad Box a much more modern and inviting place to work. Although the difference in sector between banking and marketing could also play a role in this discrepancy between two fairly new corporations, it is still interesting to see two completely different environments while each company still experiences their own success.
Second, it was quite interesting to see the average age of The Mad Box’s employees, as compared to everywhere else we have visited. When I first noticed the young age of the employees, I was quite skeptical that this strategy may be beneficial for reaching younger audiences, however I was unsure if a work force this young could create advertisements that were appealing to older generations. However, based on their initiatives of LED advertising and modernizing the marketing sector, it is clear that catering to older generations is not the focus at The Mad Box.
Finally, during the question and answer session, I found the means by which a marketing firm goes about advertising particularly interesting. For me, it makes perfect sense that within the Milanese and Italian markets, they can rely on word of mouth as well as just the fact that they produce quality advertisements as well as results. However, I was more interested in the means by which they plan on expanding into a more globalized group. When this question was asked, for the first time of our professional visits, I was shocked that they do not plan on expanding globally and seem quite content with the market share they hold in Milan. This aspect of their plan demonstrates that of a small corporation that is still in the development stage (as we learned in international business) and lacks the capital or need to expand, but will once it becomes fiscally desirable.
In all, the professional visit to The Mad Box was rather shocking to me, because the office set up and demographics of the company certainly did not parallel any other corporation we had seen and although their plans for expansion were not necessarily impressive, they did match that of the international production life cycle theory. In terms of future prospects, I believe that The Mad Box has excellent prospects for success due to the inviting and collaborative atmosphere it exhibits.
By: Nicholas Adams, Forum-Nexus 2014 alumnus