BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week: Steven Marsho

Name: Steven Marsho
Title: Partner
Company name: Jigsaw
Company address: 710 N. Plankinton Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203
Industry: Advertising, marketing and digital media
Number of employees: 22
Family: Joan Schramka (wife) and Blaise (nine-year-old son)

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?  

“Stayed true to our goal of making every person in the agency digitally savvy.”
What’s new at your company?

“One is a person, Curtis Smith. He’s another strategically-minded, highly-awarded creative director with national brand experience, working on accounts like Disney, Bud Light and Sears. Another is a new client, Visit Milwaukee. We are in development of their summer campaign as you read this.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?  

“We will continue to invest in the greatest asset our company has, our people. We will further expand our digital capabilities in advertising, Web development and emerging media in order to remain ahead of trends, not behind them.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?  

“I don’t see any more challenges ahead than we have already met. In comparison to starting this company eight years ago in possibly the worst economic climate possible, this year should be easy. I suppose making sure we implement our vision for next year is a challenge, but it’s also our opportunity.”
What’s the hottest trend in your industry?  

“All things digital will continue to be the hottest trend. Data analysis and measurement that lead to ever more targeted advertising. The continued proliferation of devices to advertise on. And media, such as Vine, that didn’t exist the year before. But none of these things mean anything without original ideas that break through the clutter.”

How do you make Jigsaw stand out in a very crowded marketplace?

“By staying true to our core principles: transparency, listening, collaboration, social integrity and focusing on creating a great customer experience.”

Do you have a business mantra?  

“Yes, I’ve adopted it from my business partner. ‘Do the right thing and success will follow.’”

What Jigsaw project are you proudest of and why?  

“We created an amazing 45-foot interactive experience for one of our clients’ new cancer center—the Hope Wall. Using a stylus and a tablet, visitors to the grand opening could write what ‘hope is’ to them in the fight to overcome cancer. Their answers were instantly recreated on the wall and added to all the other messages on an ever-changing color-field. That content was then migrated to the Web as a more permanent experience.

A project of this type had never been done before. In fact, it was so innovative that Adobe invested in the project by providing programming, equipment and personnel. Without their support, it wouldn’t have been possible.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?  

“Many years ago, I attended a board meeting at one of my previous agency’s largest clients. I was sitting toward the front of the room when one of my contact lenses popped out of my eye. I was blinking and winking trying to determine what happened. I guess the president of this national brand wondered as well because he stopped in the middle of his important presentation to the board to ask me, ‘What the heck is wrong with you?’ Fortunately, I recovered from the incident and went on to lead the account for many years.”

How do you maintain work/life balance?  

“The truth is I don’t. I love what I do, and as a business owner, I think of work most of the time.” 

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