PowerPlayer: Mike Mota
Friday, August 07, 2015
Tell us about how you became a leader in the marketing and advertising community?
As the VP of Sales for a local advertising agency Mediapeel, I helped secure Alex & Ani as an account when the company was still in its infancy and then assisted in delivering a creative way to market their story to the consumer. It was a big bet and a wonderful experience.
After 8 months, I was a key component in setting up the acquisition of Mediapeel by Alex and Ani and the creation of Seven Swords Media.
Seven Swords Media grew to be recognized as one of the fastest growing agencies in the country (ranked by INC 500). Our team was instrumental in taking Alex and Ani from sales of $1 million to $225 million and brought Seven Swords from $500,000 to $22 million in just a few short years. We created conditions that allowed us to employ 35 Rhode Islanders. Contributed to national creative campaigns, including Super Bowl spots for three consecutive years. Helped secure additional clients the likes of Benjamin Moore and The Smithsonian Institution. I then founded my company, ATOM Media Group (AMG) - which is my name spelled backwards - in 2014.
What are the three biggest issues facing your firm, either locally, nationally, or both?
GROWTH: Being able to keep up with demands of a rapidly expanding client base, including multiple, often simultaneous deadlines and otherwise staying ahead of an ever steepening creative curve.
RESISTANCE TO INNOVATION: Our industry, despite its core creative component, is resistant to the change AMG represents. It’s not easy finding the perfect employee that understands our culture.
THE CHOICE TO BE TRADITIONAL OR CUTTING EDGE: Almost on a daily basis I’m asked if AMG is a traditional agency OR one devoted to cutting-edge ideas and practices. My answer: YES! AMG marries the best tried-and-true practices of our industry with daring new concepts; as a result, the totality of AMG is greater than the sum of its parts.
A typical day starts with a phone call to my COO on the drive into work to review pending business. Once at the office, I typically have an “all hands” meeting to discuss initiatives, hear any problems and hopefully inspire the AMG staff to have a great day. As the day progresses I meet one – on – one with clients, meet with prospective clients to diversifying our portfolio, and reach out to vendors. Most importantly, I make a point to reach out to each client personally everyday; because that’s the way I do business. I always end my day by spending time with my son and fiance, making sure he continuously smiling, is the most important task of my day.
What are the challenges you face in continuing to be successful, now that you have launched a new advertising agency?
One of the biggest challenges we face as an agency is finding new talent to meet the needs of our growing company. Rhode Island has nine Colleges and Universities that develop talent, that end up leaving the state once they graduate because of lack of opportunity. It’s up to local business owners to find ways to help develop talent in R.I. instead of exporting talent.
To be a successful agency we need talented hardworking people who are committed to living in and working with client in Rhode Island.
Tell us something nobody knows about you.
I have a Master’s Degree in Education. I was an elementary school teacher for third and fifth grades, and received my degree to be a principal. In college, I wrote and published a children’s picture book.
Here are a few quick questions:
Role model: My Mom and Dad who both taught me hard work. They came to this country when they were 12 and 13, respectively. They had to go right to work to help their families. Each morning they woke up at four o’clock to go to work to take care of my sister and I. We watched my parents sacrifice everything so their children could have a better life. I am who I am today because of their hardships and sacrifices.
Best Business Person in RI right now: Giovanni Feroce. I watched him and worked with him to grow Alex and Ani from a small company that nobody knew, to a billion dollar brand. It was his genius that made such a meteoric rise possible, and I was able to take his vision and help make it a reality. I now watch what he is doing with BENRUS to create a muti – billion dollar lifestyle brand. His loyalty to his friends and employees and his love of Rhode Island are like nothing I have ever seen before. He is a visionary entrepreneur who is willing to risk it all. I look forward to assisting him once again.
If you could have dinner with anyone in the world today, who would it be? One person I would be excited to share a meal with is Robert Iger, CEO of Disney. As a creative person, I find Walt Disney World to be a very inspiring and special place for me to visit. Being able to gain perspective through the eyes of Robert would be amazing.
I am inspired by how they have accomplished creating their world – one that millions of people love to visit.
Related Slideshow: 25 Ways to Support Small Businesses in RI
Grab a Snack
8 Bowen’s Wharf, Newport
Signature almond butter toffee hand-crafted in small batches with the best ingredients. Almonds, sweet cream butter, pure sugar, salt and dark chocolate are skillfully piloted through heat and cold to create a classic treat you can’t resist.
Shop for Dad
39 Warren Ave, East Providence, RI
Not sure what to get dad for the holidays?
Go out together and be entertained at East Providence’s Comedy Connection where local and international acts like Norm MacDonald, DL Hughey, and Carlos Mencia are currently set to perform!
Shop for Someone Special
180 Pleasant View Ave, Smithfield, RI
Get that special person in your life a gift to remember this holiday.
AC Jewelers can create custom wedding bands, engagement rings and even has a selection of pre-owned Rolex’s and other fine jewelry to suit any taste.
Photo: AC Jewelers
Shop for a Difficult Buy
14 Imperial Place, Providence, RI
Do you have someone on your list that is very hard to buy a gift for?
Try giving them a different type of relaxing experience with Emerging Energy Acupuncture they offer acupuncture, massage, and herbology services to sooth the body and the mind.
Grab Some Lunch
1357 Hartford Ave, Johnston, RI
In a rush? Luigi’s Restaurant & Gourmet Express offers authentic Italian Cuisine that is already prepared and ready to eat at your request!
Sit in or take your meal on the go.
Photo: Luigi's Restaurant and Gourmet Express
Even More Lunch!
156 County Rd, Barrington, RI
If you’ve got a hearty appetite and love Thai food try Tong D Restaurant for lunch during your shopping excursions.
Tong D has an amazing selection of spicy curry, savory rice, and delicious noodle dishes and even offers vegan selections.
Participate in and Event
801 Greenwich Ave, Warwick
Small Business Saturday Shop RI at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The event will feature over 100 Rhode Island Small Businesses and vendors including entrepreneurs, artists, Farm Fresh RI, Social Venture Enterprises, veterans, and minority-owned businesses.
Get Ready for a Night Out
9 Pier Market Pl, Narragansett, RI
Spa Thayer will have a special on gift certificates: buy one gift certificate and get one 50% off any combination of services.
Don’t forget to book yourself and appointment this Saturday to freshen up after a long holiday weekend, and enjoy 10% off in spa credit.
Grab Yourself a Treat
21 Charles St., Wakefield, RI
Get some retail therapy at Sweenor’s Chocolates and take home a treat for yourself, and your loved ones - but mostly yourself.
Choose from their assorted boxed chocolates, fudges, and sugar-free candies.
Photo: Sweenor's Chocolates
Improve Your Space
444 Boyds Ln., Portsmouth, RI
Grab some fresh blooms this holiday from Mello’s Farm and Flowers Center.
The family owned and operated business also offers poinsettias, trees, and wreaths to decorate your home with this holiday.
Photo: Mello's Farm and Flowers Center
328 Atwood Ave - Cranston RI
Second Time Around Sports has plenty of new and gently used sports gear for the athlete in your family.
They also offer special deals on ski and snowboard goods in store - perfect for winter sports during their race to black Friday event which extends all weekend.
Grab a Drink
95 Eddy St, Providence, RI
The Eddy is one of the coolest places to grab a cocktail before you make your rounds for the weekend.
Enjoy a signature creation like their “Orange Julius Caesar”, “Solera Flare” or “Up All Night…” cocktails made fresh and don’t forget to grab a bar snack!
Photo: The Eddy
60 Dorrance St, Providence, RI
The Dorrance has an ever-changing cocktail menu and is just a stone’s throw away from other bars like G Pub, Circe, and Congress.
The Dorrance is the perfect spot to start the night right and grab some seriously tasty bar food like their Rhody Calamari, and Duck Confit and Pumpkin.
Photo: The Dorrance
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