Prior to opening its doors in 2008, Group 7even founded Michelle Andres had spent her storied career in major cities and at large agencies, including FCB Draft (Chicago), Young & Rubicam (Detroit), and KCS & World (Chicago). When she and her husband returned to NWI to raise their family, Michelle noticed a gap in the market. Andres stated, “There weren’t agencies that could do all a company’s marketing from A to Z under one roof. I wanted to fill that gap and offer Chicago-level talent to the businesses of NWI.”With nearly every client, Group 7even serves as an outsourced marketing department. Some agencies focus primarily on design, or their niche is strategy. At Group 7even, strategy serves as the foundation, and all execution is run through the filter of that strategy. Group 7even does it all. As a result, every day looks a little different at Group 7even. One day the team is brainstorming ad concepts and creative execution. The next they are at a video shoot. And after that, they may be creating marketing strategies and working spreadsheets to measure a client’s results. To add more to the mix, Group 7even serves a myriad of industries from manufacturing to hospitality to financial institutions and everything in between. It’s one of the things the G7 team values – no two days are ever the same, and they take pride in knowing that their work meets marketing needs and helps companies achieve their business goals.
Although the G7 team are experts in marketing and advertising, they are also students. With an industry that changes constantly, they have to be on the forefront of all new techniques, trends and innovation. When Group 7even opened, digital media wasn’t even on the radar, and now it’s a huge part of marketing. Continuing education is a priority in order to stay ahead of the curve. Every day the team is learning something new.
Recently, Group 7even was again named the best ad agency/marketing firm in northwest Indiana. Andres said, “Our clients typically get really involved in voting for us. That’s why this particular award is such an honor. When a client is voting for you, you know you have cemented a great relationship, and they value what you bring to the table. Clients become like family, so them stepping up to vote means so much.”
COVID-19 & GROUP7EVEN
As a relationship-based company, the Group 7even team was initially concerned about what isolation would mean for their day-to-day operations and touch points with clients. However, technology like Microsoft Teams helped ease the transition. Since all files and work live in the cloud, accessing projects and working collaboratively was not an issue and the transition was seamless. Taking care of clients during the quarantine was not the hard part. The team environment is huge part of what makes G7 a great place to work. Andres expressed concerns that she be able to maintain that throughout the quarantine so that the team could still flourish.
“We would have what we called ‘water cooler talks,’” said Andres. “It would be 15 minutes a day when everyone would get on a Teams meeting, and we would chit-chat about things we would have typically talked about in the office.”
That strategy worked well, and the team didn’t skip a beat!
Now that the pandemic is over (hopefully!), and everything is back to normal, G7 has transitioned back nicely to the office environment. In fact, Andres has purchased a building in downtown Valparaiso that will serve as Group 7even’s new office space beginning in October of 2022. The new digs will provide a much larger conference room, more offices to accommodate growth, and a permanent home (no more packing and moving!).