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When the idea of Burst Marketing and Smith & Jones working together came about, the first thing that the principals did was sit down and talk about each company’s core values. Surprisingly enough, they were eerily similar. Both companies felt strongly about the importance of core values and the value they bring. The number one asset a company has is its people—core values give people something to stand behind and help both employees and clients understand what’s important to the company.  Our core values define us and what our agency represents. We work hard to incorporate them into our everyday actions and recognize those who exemplify them.

We sat down with Dave Vener and Mark Shipley to talk about what core values mean to them.

Get It Done Right

We are not perfect by any means, but we strive to get things done right the first time around. When something has to be re-done time after time, effort, energy and motivation disappear. In order to make our clients happy, we admit to our mistakes and fix them to exceed their expectations. 

Additionally, our principals encourage us to try new things and if we fail, there’s little chance we’re going to get a demerit. Instead, we’re admired for making a mistake and rising above it.

Trust & Respect

We believe that trust and respect go hand-in-hand with company culture. To build a strong team, you need to work together and trust and rely on one another. Trust that you’ll bring your best to the table, and treat one another with respect. It’s a give and take that’s beneficial to each person in the agency. This core value helps us create a community of strong, esteemed employees.

Be Happy

Be happy is simple. Bring your smile to work and leave any negativity at the door. A miserable attitude is contagious and does not go over well in an agency setting. Maintaining a positive work environment is critical here. We spend more time at work than anything else, so enjoy what you do and be happy!

Disclaimer: there are days when the stress level is high and the air is tense. It’s hard to be happy, but we work through it.


There are a lot of creative, strong minds working here at Burst and Smith & Jones. And everyone brings different ideas and experiences to the table. The more we collaborate, the better work product we have. To us, collaboration means no divas or prima-donnas, but a team of rockstars who come together to create something unique. We know, it’s a little mushy, but we inspire each other.

Of course, collaboration with our clients is an important part of our work process, too. Together, we can create virtual teams to tackle planning, budgeting, strategy and creative executions. We’re all on same team, working to accomplish the same goals.

Know Your Shit

“This one is my favorite because it has an explicative in it.” -Mark

Without sugar coating it, we are expected to know our shit. It’s about a lifelong thirst for knowledge and always working toward being better than yesterday. We’re human and we make mistakes. But, sometimes the greatest lessons come from mistakes. 

Luckily for us, we work with people who have been in the advertising industry for a long time — and we learn and appreciate their knowledge every day.

From our client’s perspective, it’s important they know they hired an organization with expertise and have confidence in us.


Our core values shape our agency and make us better at what we do. What are your core values? Can every employee name them, or more importantly—live up to them?