40 Under 40 Class of 2008

Michelle Abdow

Age 35: Owner, Market Mentors

Once Michelle Abdow got her feet wet in marketing, she had to dive in.
“My big debut was working for a broadcast group in Eastern Mass.,” said Abdow of a role that included helping the company place media buys in other markets and otherwise target its dollars. “I also worked in the restaurant business; whenever we had big campaigns we were able to see immediate results from it, and I decided I really liked the field. It’s very rewarding to help clients.”
It’s even more rewarding to do it while calling the shots, which Abdow has done since launching Market Mentors, a West Springfield-based marketing and advertising firm, in 2002. “We’re a full-service marketing firm; we do all aspects of strategy, media buying, design services, public relations — everything to do with marketing and advertising.”

Succeeding in a world as fast-moving as advertising, one in which players need to stay on top of trends, if not ahead of them, requires a broad approach to reaching customers, said Abdow.

“Some companies call themselves full-service, but they’re really not. We truly are full-service; we can help with any type of buying, any aspect of marketing. We subscribe to Arbitron and Nielsen Media Research, and we have our fingers on the pulse of current ratings data. That’s a big expense for us, but I believe firmly in having access to resources like that if it helps our clients.”
In addition, she said, “we have an in-house writer, graphic designers, a complete creative services team. If we’re going to help people grow their own businesses, we need to invest in ours, and have the right people in place.”
Like many of this year’s Forty Under 40, Abdow balances work and home responsibilities — she and her husband have two children — with a healthy dose of community involvement; she’s on the boards of the Salvation Army and the Springfield Technical Community College Foundation, donates PR and advertising for the Shriners Circus, and helped bring back back the Coats for Kids program in Springfield, among other efforts.

“I believe it’s very important to give back to your community,” she said. “I live here, I operate a business here, and I’m raising my family here. I also encourage my employees to get involved in something they feel they can wrap their arms around. We really need it.”
That’s Abdow, always making a pitch.
Joseph Bednar