Accept No Limits: The 3Q/DEPT Manifesto
Published: April 15, 2021
Author: Rob Murray
When David Rodnitzky founded 3Q/DEPT in 2008, he built an agency on a strong cultural foundation — one that truly cares about client success, gives its employees incredible opportunities, and simply tries to make a positive impact on everyone — in everything we do.
Guided by the “3Q Way,” as outlined in David’s 2014 “3Q Culture Manifesto,” the agency has grown to become the largest independent growth marketing agency with nearly 400 team members spanning search, paid media, SEO, creative, data intelligence, and more. While the promise, mission, core values, and focus David outlined in his original manifesto remain central to 3Q/DEPT and our success, I am honored that as CEO it is now my responsibility to ensure we stay true to our founding roots, while leading our team, clients, and the industry through the next phase of growth.
The best companies never stand still — they keep moving and evolving. They get comfortable with the uncomfortable. As Billy Beane famously said in the movie Moneyball, “they adapt or die.” And that’s just what we are doing at 3Q/DEPT.
Over the last 12+ months, we have spent time examining our business — from our services and methodology to our mission, values, and focus — in the context of today’s new normal. We’ve transformed our leadership team, expanded our offerings, and implemented new technologies to automate and scale efficient growth for our clients. We have also looked in the mirror to ensure we’re creating an inclusive environment and business, where every person has an opportunity to succeed and feels like they belong.
Through the process, I have seen a central truth emerge about our team and business — we accept no limits.
3Q/DEPT is a growth marketing agency that helps businesses turn performance into growth, transforming brands into market leaders. We disrupt the status quo and empower clients to capitalize on opportunities, break through barriers, and create a new game to drive and sustain market leadership. We have evolved and led the industry with an agile spirit and innovative best practices — from search, to managing performance media, to scaling all media models to accelerate growth.
We recently launched a game-changing approach to our work, the “3Q Digital Growth Model.” Now, we are also sharing an evolved manifesto which highlights our evolved promise, mission, values, and focus.
I am so proud to be redefining the future of our industry with you — a team of fearless innovators that live to create unfair advantage, who are committed to paving the way for our clients and the industry as the leading disruptive growth marketing agency.
Working together, the market is ours to transform, lead, and own…
Our Promise: Accept No Limits
Accept No Limits is central to 3Q/DEPT’s mission and values, purpose and promise. It’s our rallying cry and it bleeds through the DNA of the agency — in each employee and in every step we take or decision we make. It means we are always pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, always looking to break through barriers, and always being fearless in our client approaches and media strategies. It’s our promise to employees, clients, partners, investors – anyone we interact with.
As 3Q/DEPT moves into our next phase of transformational growth, here is my promise to employees:
- We will hire bright and intellectually curious people.
- We will provide you with the best training in the world.
- We will give you incredible clients to work on, and team members to work with.
- We will support you through a flexible work environment and amazing benefits.
- We will create a culture that’s inclusive, where every person feels like they belong.
The 3Q/DEPT leadership team and I are fully committed to fulfilling these promises, but in order to do so, we also need help from you, as our employees, to deliver on this promise:
- Be Curious: Challenge the status quo.
- Accept No Limits: Break down any barriers you face.
- Care for Yourself, Your Clients, and Your Communities.
- Embrace Everyone: Diverse perspectives make us all better.
- Be Courageous: Share feedback to help us improve.
Our Mission: Become The Leading Disruptive Growth Marketing Agency
When 3Q/DEPT was created, it was founded with the mission to help companies achieve their aggressive growth ambitions by accepting no limits – which remains true today. We work with some of the savviest emerging brands, market-leading household name brands, and have a rolodex of stories where we’ve really made an impact on the growth of our clients and employees. As I reflect on that, it’s really special.
The focus of our mission is to continue to deliver for demanding, growth-oriented clients by paving the way as the disruptive growth marketing agency that turns performance into growth, transforming brands – and talent – into market leaders.
We capitalize on opportunities and break through barriers with transformational media approaches to accelerate growth. Our ambition is to help our clients lead by creating a ‘new’ game – not playing the old one – that will drive market leadership and sustainable advantage. And this mission applies both to our client partnerships as well as our employee talent and culture.
Our Core Values Evolved
As with our promise and mission, 3Q/DEPT’s values have also evolved. When I joined the agency in 2019, our values had remained unchanged for 5+ years amid acquisitions, growth investments, and rapid expansion into a company with 10 locations and almost 400 employees globally.
In early 2020, we took a step back to reassess our values. We involved the whole company to help define what is most important to our collective organization. And while some of our values didn’t change at all, we did evolve a few to reflect the world we now live in — as well as our culture — more authentically. We introduced the core values (below) to the team in July 2020 and in addition to the roll-out, have also launched a values recognition program as a way to celebrate our employees.
We are accountable: to ourselves, to our teams, to our clients. We are proactive, we communicate clearly, and we follow through. This means that we hit deadlines; we address and account for mistakes as soon as we discover them; we acknowledge when we can do better and assertively pursue improvement; and we seize initiatives with both hands. It also means, especially in 2020, that when we recognize we can’t do everything, we own the need to raise a hand and ask for help.
Act for the Greater Good
We lead with empathy and teamwork. During good times and bad, we are committed to supporting each other, our clients, and our communities. I can proudly say that 3Q/DEPTsters have lived this value in many different ways — we’re covering for each other when times get tough; we’re supporting a handful of non-profit organizations with digital marketing help as part of our 3Q3% initiative; and we’re going the extra mile to look for opportunities to improve performance and build growth for each and every client.
We value everyone’s ideas and opinions. Our hiring, communications, and promotions practices reflect our belief that diverse perspectives continue to push us and our clients to find new ways to lead. This covers all dimensions of difference: race, gender identity, age, parental status, ability, sexual orientation, and more. We train and evaluate our managers on their ability to foster a psychologically safe environment for their teams, and we regularly hold town halls or discussions to promote understanding of others’ backgrounds and experiences.
Accept No Limits
We are intellectually curious and resourceful. We constantly challenge the status quo to find or develop innovations that drive breakthrough opportunities. We proactively work to discover or develop the next big market advantage for our teams, our company, and our clients. We commit to telling truths, breaking barriers, and disrupting. Accept No Limits is our “disruptive” rallying cry to break through barriers to grow personal, professional, and business leadership for our team and our clients.
It took a lot of work to redefine our values – and ensuring these values cascade across the organization is incredibly important to me. As an organization, we need to be accountable to ourselves and to our clients. We need to act for the greater good in every decision we make. And we need to be inclusive, both as an organization and as an industry.
Inclusivity is a point I cannot stress enough. It’s proven that diverse organizations are more successful from a financial standpoint, but to me, what’s most important is creating an organization where people feel a true sense of belonging — where people really know and feel their purpose — and that is achieved by looking beyond just our demographic makeup to the experience employees have throughout their journey at 3Q/DEPT, and is part of our promise to accept no limits.
Our Focus: Culture, Clients and Operations
The shift to digital has been happening slowly over the last decade or so, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, that was rapidly accelerated. Thankfully, as our name implies, 3Q/DEPT already operated in a digitally focused and flexible environment – we offered (and still do) flexible PTO and work schedules, work from home options, and already had the technology infrastructure in place needed to shift to a fully remote workforce once lockdowns hit. We’re much stronger operationally today, and because of that, we were able to weather through the pandemic better than most.
To achieve our mission and goals, our key areas of focus going forward are:
The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard to navigate. No if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. But it also created opportunities for us to optimize the way we connect internally through weekly, quarterly, and monthly team or company-wide meetings. It also created an opportunity to revisit and refresh our employee benefits to address the unique and changing needs of our remote and diverse team. We also made an industry-wide commitment to improving DEI&B and have hired a leader to reassess our policies and partnerships to ensure equity. DEI&B is one of my top priorities and areas of focus (or as my team likes to say, one of my ‘blue dots’).
The industry is evolving rapidly – digital media continues to get more complex as new mediums, networks, and formats are introduced on what feels like a daily basis creating a more competitive landscape. As the industry evolves, we will continue to evolve with it, and introduce experiences and options for clients that meet their needs today and in the future. Our Growth Model is a great example of that — and I look forward to scaling its impact across our organization and client programs to disrupt the performance landscape as a whole in the coming years.
3Q/DEPT is set up to excel operationally – we have always worked in a hybrid-remote model, and it’s been refreshing to see the rest of the business world following suit in this ‘next normal’. However, as mentioned before – there are always opportunities for growth. We will continue to identify technologies to automate processes, enabling our teams to deliver growth for our clients and our business in new and innovative ways — while achieving personal career growth as well.
Our renewed promise, mission, values, and focus set the stage for what’s ahead…
Now, it’s up to each of us to be fearless in our approach, as we capitalize on the opportunities, break through barriers, and drive market leadership for our clients and our business.
Accept no limits and we will change the game to lead… for our team, our clients, and the industry.