by Kara Coyer

Mid-morning and halfway through the work week, Rose Thron still appears fresh-faced and enthusiastic.  She practically hums with energy as she moves through the Melbourne headquarters of her company, Marketing World Specialties, and sees to her daily business.  “I love my job,” Thron says with a genuine smile.  “It has been wonderful to work with the people I do; I have been very blessed.”

Thron’s enthusiasm and appreciation shows.  Marketing World has a low staff turnover rate, and many of the sales representatives and office personnel have been with the company for years – some since the very beginning.

Humble Beginnings

“Marketing World was founded in 1989.  We started without a business plan and without much money – a true shoestring budget!” Thron explains with a laugh.  “You could not do that today.  But, Shelly [Anderson] and I had strong entrepreneurial spirits, and when you are starting a new business, spirit is what counts.”

Anderson and Thron founded Marketing World at a time when not many local companies that specialized in promotional goods existed.  They believed they had found a niche to fill and began their business in a small office space.  They only had two desks, a phone, a filing cabinet and the money in their own pockets as startup loans.  Their first year was tough, but did not come without rewards.

“Our first order was matchbooks for a little pub on Lake Washington Road,” Thron remembers.  “It was around $100, but we were so excited you would have thought it was a $10,000 sale.”

Their business picked up, and by the end of the year, Marketing World had landed key large corporations as clientele.  Today, they have expanded to include satellite offices in Kissimmee, Tampa and Iowa, and represent Fortune 500 companies, government entities, nonprofit organizations, small local businesses, and budding startups alike.

Branding Your Business

“We have been consistent in our services and products, and have maintained a wide range of clients from a wide range of industries,” Thron adds.  “We really pride ourselves on being a trusted extension of our clients’ marketing departments, and on producing results that help meet their business objectives.”

To achieve these goals, the entire Marketing World team works together in weekly brainstorming sessions to develop solutions to individual client’s needs.  They also attend several promotional products trade shows every year to stay up to date on the latest trends in the industry.  “Every time we receive new products in the mail, it is like opening presents,” Thron gushes.  “We get excited and start thinking, ‘Which client would love these?’ and, ‘Which event could use these?’’’

What are the products?  Just about anything imaginable.  Marketing World is in the business of branding businesses and boasts over 1,000,000 products in their inventory.  For example, the pens at the bank, the calendars in the mail, the water bottles and binder clips at trade shows, and even the embroidered polo shirts at the office are within the Marketing World realm.

Marketing World has supplied materials for some of the largest trade shows in the country and gifted in-kind donations to nonprofits to help promote their causes.  “We treat all of our clients like they sit on top of the Fortune 500, and we love seeing each of them enjoy the products we provide them with,” Thron says. “We want them to become long-term business relationships.”

Looking Forward

Many of the names on Marketing World’s current client list date back to its inception in 1989, and the business remains strong today.  But what about Marketing World’s future?

“In 10 years, I see us expanding into different markets like the Jacksonville and Miami metro areas, and increasing our national sales team,” predicts Thron.  “In fact, I think it is safe to say we will double our business.”

Thron’s ineffable optimism has been such an underlying force in her business, it is contagious.  Everyone in the Marketing World office, from the Vice President, Pat Ryan, to the veteran Account Manager, Sandra LeBlanc, is enthusiastic about the company – past, present and future.  With long-standing client loyalty and an energetic sales team, Marketing World is well-positioned for future growth.