This article first appeared in the Summer 2021 edition of Enterprising Women Magazine.
When Kris Martinez launched her marketing agency in 2004, she had no idea that Martinez Creative Group would become a trailblazer of creativity. Based just outside of Chicago, MCG designed and developed agriculture’s first seed guide app, which helped farmers select the right seed for their farming needs. From there, MCG went on to design a project estimator app for an international ceiling manufacturer, which in turn led to a jetting calculator to help customers determine the best jetting propulsion products for their manufacturing needs.
Over the past 17 years, MCG has garnered awards of every kind, including the security industry’s highest honor of Best Overall Marketing Campaign for 2 years running for client Stanley Security. Martinez has been a speaker for Crain’s Chicago Business on how to foster growth among women-led businesses and was honored as an Enterprising Woman of the Year Champion by Enterprising Women Magazine in 2018.
Whether clients need a website, mobile app, social media campaign, or a video series, finding unique solutions is the sweet spot for MCG. “Everything we do is custom, and every solution is as unique as each of our clients,” says Martinez.
As the creative director, Martinez leads her web and video teams to fulfilling their clients’ visions and has learned to lean on her team’s varied expertise. As lead web developer, Adam and his team have managed all of MCG’s web and digital projects since the beginning. “Adam keeps us current on the constant changes at Google, WordPress, and all of the current web security platforms,” says Martinez. “If you have an online presence, it’s critical that your site stays secure. It’s a space that’s constantly evolving, and I’m happy that we’re able to offer our clients the most up-to-date recommendations.”
Over the years, Martinez has seen her business through tremendous growth and crushing loss and has learned to reduce risk by serving a range of industries. “While we always celebrate the successes, it’s in the losses where you really learn,” says Martinez. “From a business perspective, having our clients leveraged across a few key industries helps to mitigate our risk when markets turn and world events happen.”
Martinez loves the way her experience with clients in different industries provides a fresh perspective to every client MCG serves. “A lot of industries have a tendency to look inward and directly at what their competition is doing,” she says. “From a creative standpoint, thinking outside the box always keeps things new and interesting.”
Just as important as creating compelling visuals is the writing – from technical to conceptual – that goes into every project. In 2020, Martinez completed her MFA in Creative Writing and Contemporary Media from Antioch University Los Angeles. “We live in a fast-paced world where you’re constantly competing for attention,” Martinez says, explaining her decision to pursue her Master’s degree in creative writing. “Being able to convey our client’s messaging in a matter of seconds is critical. The window to grab them seems to get smaller every day.”
Kris Martinez is Owner and Creative Director of Martinez Creative Group and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles.