Chief Visionary Officer
The Marek Group
Location: Waukesha County, WI
Industry: Marketing Execution and Software
Tami Marek-Loper said one of the most important words in her vocabulary is “why.”
“It promotes thought-provoking conversations with clients that bring trust and consultation to our relationships,” said Marek-Loper, chief visionary officer for The Marek Group. “It helps me challenge employees to fix the root cause of our issues and not the symptom. It challenges my curiosity about technology as a driving force to be pioneers in our industry. It shapes how I view the world and my place in it as a woman, business owner, entrepreneur, wife, mom, sister and daughter. I am driven by problem solving so invoking ‘why’ into every conversation helps me think at the highest levels to put the best solution in front of every challenge.”
Marek-Loper was 30 when her father died suddenly, and she and her younger brother decided to keep their dad’s business, The Marek Group, and run it on their own. The Marek Group is a marketing execution and software business with a national footprint.
Marek-Loper is the solutions architect for the company and has used her technology background to craft complex solutions for some of the firm’s largest clients. This has helped the company land national contracts and move from a local provider to a regional provider and now a national marketing execution firm.
In 2002, Marek-Loper recommended to her partner and brother that the company buy a digital agency in Minneapolis to give Marek the credibility to have strategic conversations with marketing leaders looking for MarTech solutions. They bought Brandspring Solutions and over the course of the last decade have transformed that agency into an SaaS platform offering similar services in the cloud.
“This philosophy has been the backbone for future acquisitions in direct marketing, promotional products and incentives,” the company said. “By looking to those industries, we gained instant credibility, allowing our existing clients to think of us as not just their printer but a service provider that can build solutions to increase marketing ROI.
“Print, promo, mail or whatever the tactic is just a consequence of what we do. We help our clients scale profitable growth and whatever that looks like five years from now, you will find us there.”
Marek-Loper likes to cite the Starbucks Third Place concept as a guide for how she wants to grow The Marek Group. Focusing on customer needs is essential, she said. Ultimately, though, success comes from drive and hard work. She and her brother are driven to make their second-generation business succeed, even as so many others statistically fail.
And she’s not afraid to put in the work. As Marek- Loper likes to say, “Potential and a couple bucks will buy you a cup of coffee!”
Tami was a distance swimmer (self-tourture) and was on the state-winning Arrowhead High School State Championship team in 1987 as a freshman. She went on to swim varsity all four years of high school and had top 10 finishes at state each year. Now, she is a baseball Mom and has no time to swim!