Meet the Marlins: John Allen, General Manager

John Allen has been with Big Marlin Group since the beginning. As our General Manager, John takes an active involvement in the day-to-day happenings around the office. With a firm belief in quality customer service, John is always willing to go above and beyond for not only our clients but also for all of the Marlins. Whether he’s sitting in meetings, DIYing an upgrade in the office, or driving the espresso train, John is always looking for ways to help others grow and sharing his entrepreneurial spirit.

What is your experience and background?

“I have 29 years of marketing experience, and I started in large corporate media. I was hired as an entrepreneur to build a marketing company within the traditional media company.”

“But my first real marketing job was after college, I started a co-ed water volleyball sports bar. This is where I learned how to market, how to advertise, how to run a business. I had to learn how to be a unique and different marketer because that [a co-ed water volleyball sports bar] is a truly unique selling proposition.”

Is there a difference between marketing then and marketing now?

“At the end of the day, it’s really not that different, not even between digital marketing and traditional old school newspaper or TV. The same terms are used, just differently. What we call DAM (data asset management), just used to be called “metrics”. At the end of the day, we are trying to get engagement. We wanted engagement then, and we want engagement now.

I don’t think we use different tools or channels than we used to, compared to TV or newspaper. We put up a whole bunch of content, stories, pictures, blogs [on social media] to do what? Stick an advertisement in front of it. In the old days, with newspaper, we would write horrendously long stories that people would read, and we would stick advertising in front of it.

Nothing has really changed, it’s more the delivery that has changed.”

What is your favorite part about BMG?

“My favorite part is teaching people to be entrepreneurial. A lot of times people think being entrepreneurial means they just build their own business, start their own company or they are their own boss. But I think the true basis of being entrepreneurial means you can look at what you did yesterday, and think, “I don’t want to do that again, I want to do it differently so I can get a better outcome.”

Challenging people within our group to learn more and to do more, that is the exciting part for me. Because the more each one of us does that, the company by virtue grows in totality of those efforts, which is how we stay out front of the competition.”

What is one thing you want people to know about John Allen?

“I have a different way of doing business. I love humor and I love to have fun with what I do. I am deadly serious about business, but I like to have fun while I do it, and I think that is the part that I love for people to recognize.

Most people see the outward, front-end part of what I do to make the company more enjoyable, more palatable because, at the end of the day, work is still a four-letter word.”

What is one piece of advice you have for your readers of this article?

“When people ask how they can be successful, I think I would tell them to be curious.

When you are curious about things, whether it is the job function, process, a client, or why you’re doing what you’re doing, you do a better job because you are more interested. It might make you better at the position you’re in, or you might find out about something else you really want to do, so be curious.”

Is there anything else you want people to know about you?

“The thing I get asked often is about the culture we have. That’s the big thing I would love for other people to realize. We have a responsibility as a company and it is always to enrich your shareholders, or the principles, or yourself, but there are many ways you can enrich people.

Having a good culture is horribly important, where people feel like they are listened to, that it matters if they come to work, that their work product helps the company do better, and I think that is the responsibility every owner has. I love to see other people that take on that responsibility and do well with it, because I don’t think a lot of business owners do.

I think it [having a good work culture] helps yourself as an owner and the equity of the company to make sure your employee team is just as happy. That means you really must believe in them.”

If you want to learn more about John Allen, Big Marlin Group, the culture, and what makes us one of the best digital marketing agencies in the business, contact us today!

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