Through an office tour and outing to The Game Bar & Grill and Canal Park Stadium, Downtown Akron Partnership and JLL chatted with Josh Gordon, president and partner, and several staff members of Full Spectrum Marketing on how they’ve adjusted to their downtown home at 222 S. Main St. (former O’Neil’s building) since moving in August 2017.

Tell us about Full Spectrum Marketing

Josh: What we specialize in and start with is websites because that’s where customers and prospects start. If you’re evaluating a company or organization the first thing you’re going to do is check their website. Historically if you look at how websites are built, technology companies build a shell and then you send your content to them, or just use your old content. You wouldn’t think of a brochure like that. And a website is the most important marketing material you have. That’s how we built FSM - we’re going to build a great website for you that looks great, tells your story and builds your business or organization. We’re going to do it through storytelling, artistry, coding ability, project management capabilities, etc. Then we’re going to drive traffic to that website as much as we can.

We’re proud of the successes we’ve had with digital marketing. We do a lot of paid and organic search marketing, conversion optimization, technical SEO, social media and content – all that fancy buzzword-type stuff. But if you need a billboard on Rt. 18 because that’s where your customers are, we do that too. Our job is to build your business. Let’s start with a website to get your story down and then drive traffic to it. That’s where our clients have seen the most value in what we can accomplish for them.

Talk about the importance of culture building in your workplace

Josh: You’ve got to love what you do and who you do it with. To me, if you just stay true to those two things, you’ll probably be okay. I love my team, they’re awesome. They’re so fun and energetic and smart and they’re just a joy to be around. And I love doing what we do. I love building what we get to build and working with the companies we do.

If you’re a nonprofit, for-profit or whatever and don’t have the resources to go with a big agency, but the smaller template-style vendor/shops aren’t right for you either, you are who we want to serve. The people, businesses and non-profits that have a great story and deserve to have it told at a high-quality level, but have never had the ability to get it done. That’s what we love to do.

What’s your favorite feature in the new office?

Kelly Cecora, account manager: I love the way the office is structured because everyone has their own separate space. There are many times throughout the day that we do a creative breakout session or we get into a meeting or we’re just doing a quick brainstorm on a whiteboard, it never feels as if you’re in a cube farm or a silo. It’s really a collaborative and creative environment.

Josh: Our meeting space. I just love it. We set it up for a Donuts & Digital workshop we did for non-profits, and we have client meetings in there, and we’ve had brainstorms with 25 people at four different tables as well. The tables are all on rollers so they can just move all over our space. If you want to be collaborative, or if you just want to go think or map out a whole website on the whiteboard, it is a truly creative space.

Is it easy to find talent in Akron?

Josh: I’ve been fortunate to have worked in downtown Akron before and we’ve never had a problem recruiting people. It’s one of the reasons I love coming to Akron. If you look at the people on our team, they’re amazing and accomplished: they’ve worked in New York, written best-selling books, and now they work in Akron at FSM. I think that’s one of the great things about our community that people don’t understand. It’s like our buildings. They look a certain way on the outside and you get in there and say, “Wow, this is amazing.” That’s how we are as a community; if you care to look deep enough you’ll be really impressed. We’re Silicon Valley, but we just wear it differently.

Have you connected with the University of Akron?

Josh: We’ve also taught some classes at Taylor Institute on digital marketing. We’ve interviewed students for possible positions that may open up. They have extraordinary students over there. What the Taylor Institute is building is really impressive. Since we do a lot of websites, we have a partner right across the street for any testing that needs to be done for user experience or user interface. They have all the eye-tracking and experience tracking software for websites. And it’s all right here in Akron.

What were the big drivers in your decision to be downtown?

Josh: Personally, it was like coming home a little bit because I’ve worked downtown a lot. But our space is a great space. We’re in the middle of it all. We’re between this awesome park [Lock 3] that has concerts every Friday night and the ballpark. We’re walking distance to either end of town, great restaurants and places like the Akron Art Museum. We’re in the middle of everything that’s happening in downtown Akron, which is pretty great.

What has been the response from employees as a response to the transition of being in downtown?

Nichole Terrett, account manager: I love it. I’ve worked in downtown Akron for almost my whole career and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Josh: There’s just a lot to do and it’s all fun and interesting stuff. One of my favorite things to do is walk to the Akron Art Museum for Free Thursday. A few of us on the team toured the whole museum by visiting every other Thursday and spending time in each wing until we made it all the way through. You can’t do that in a lot of places.

Do you use the Towpath Trail?

Mike Salvi, vice president, partner: Absolutely. I just walked it yesterday.

Nicole: We just realized there were rental bikes at Lock 3. I love riding bikes on the Towpath, but it’s a pain to haul my bike down here, so now there’s a place to rent for free right downstairs.

What’s unique about downtown Akron?

Josh: The history. It’s a pretty amazing history. For example, Spaghetti Warehouse was part of BF Goodrich’s original headquarters for the global company when he moved here from Buffalo. Now it’s a Spaghetti Warehouse, that’s pretty cool. I’m sure every big city has a version of that story to tell, but it’s not as intimate as it is here.

What do you see as downtown’s next move?

Josh: I see a lot of mixed-use stuff happening. The Law Building, The Bowery and CitiCenter hotel are exciting projects. I think just having more people downtown is going to help the larger businesses in the community, and by extension it will help a business with FSM, too. It will help larger businesses relocate people here and that just makes the whole town feel more vibrant and have more energy. We have a ton of good energy now, and we just need to double down on that. Building the facilities that enable it is great. The right stuff is happening, but everyone just wants it to happen faster.

What does Akron need more of?

Josh: Businesses that need websites and great digital marketing!

 



 


As part of DAP and JLL’s initiative to identify companies that are Making it Happen in Downtown Akron, we are highlighting three Class A buildings in the downtown neighborhood along with information about them.


222 S Main (O’Neil’s Building)

 

Availabilities:
3rd Floor – 27,608 SF (full floor)
4th Floor – 5,582 SF

Did you know in 1928 as part of a promotional flight Goodyear landed a blimp on the roof of the department store to show the practicality of an “air yacht”?






AES Building

 

Availabilities:
2nd Floor – 21,097 SF
3rd Floor – 2,343 SF & 2,640 SF
6th Floor – 22,167 SF
7th Floor – 36,807 SF

Did you know in 1962 as the first American to orbit the earth John Glenn’s silver space suite was built by BF Goodrich as part of this complex?





Akron Centre Plaza

 

Availabilities:
5th Floor – 3,829 SF & 4,279 SF

6th Floor – 1,381 SF
7th Floor – 2,519 SF

9th Floor – 14,303 SF (full floor)

Did you know that as home to FirstEnergy’s HQ and the Chase tower that Akron Centre is home to more than 1,500 employees a day?