Consulting from Copper Country

Local firm provides marketing communication across nation

Daily Mining Gazette/Grahame Jaehnig Top: Matt Monte, founder of Monte Consulting Co., displaying a website his company created for an Atlanta-based engineering services company. Bottom: Matt Monte, founder of Monte Consulting of Houghton, in the studio of his company, looks over the Copper Country Strong website he designed and built immediately after the flooding of June 17, 2018

HOUGHTON — It may be a little-known company on the street, but Monte Consulting was formed in 2001 by Matt Monte, whose website states that in those years, the company has developed innovative solutions that help its clients meet and exceed their business goals.

“The work that we do is marketing and marketing communications,” Monte said. “We work in all kinds of media, but the bulk of our work would be getting them branding, logos, strong design work, messaging: how do we talk about the business, what’s the language we want to use, that best conveys the value of the work that they offer?”

Monte then supports the client with photography, video, website development, brochure design, even trade show work.

“We offer (services for) a wide range of needs, depending on their situation,” said Monte. “Some companies need a sign, and that’s it. We’ve had clients where we’ve done the logo and that’s it. That’s all they need right now, for a few years, until they get going.”

Monte said the first client his company worked with was Thermo Analytics, in 2001, when they were first incorporated. They are still a client, he said.

Monte said his company supports most of the local technology companies.

“Meaning, we help them with their marketing,” he explained. “In some cases, we might do just a piece of that, and in other cases, we would do more or less everything.”

For example Monte just launched a new website for Stumper Industries, a company located in the Industrial Park near the Houghton County airport. Stumper designs, manufactures, and markets tree stump grinders.

“I would say that within the world of marketing, we have a niche or two where we do well,” said Monte. “In other words, we support local businesses of all kinds, but once you get outside this region, we would support primarily technology businesses.”

A few of Monte’s clients are Fortune 500, he said, but they generally hold the company to gag orders, which means he cannot discuss the work, nor even mention their names.

“That’s fair,” he said, “but it’s not as much fun as talking about it.”

Monte recently helped rebrand an engineering services company based in Atlanta, GA., Mason-Gray. How Mason-Grey learned of Monte is directly connected to the June 17, 2018, Copper Country flooding.

“We donated the website Copper Country Strong, after the June 17 flood,” Monte explained. “We put that together rather quickly, got it out the door, and supported some of the search optimization to get it high on Google, so when people searched for the storms, the website was at the top of the page.”

Creation of the website was in collaboration with Adam Johnson-donated photos to use, Monte said. Erin Smith of Michigan Technological University generated a lot of the initial content, then, from Finlandia, Michael Babcock did a lot of the tracking down of the day-to-day information, then published it on the Copper Country Strong website.

“The founder of Mason-Grey is from this area,” said Monte. “He saw the Copper Country Strong website, and reached out to us as the ones who had created it, and said ‘what can you do to help us?’ so, that was a positive outcome from the storm. You never know what’s going to happen.”

Monte said it is probably the highest trafficked site his company ever built. It was fascinating, he said to watch the statistics real time.

“There would be 10, 12, 20 people on the website at any given moment in time,” he said. “There are still some of us who are trying to help develop some of the lessons learned out of that. Erin Smith in particular, had a front-row view of that, and John Stone, who was doing a lot of coordination of volunteer efforts. He coordinates emergency response for the hospitals. He has related experience and expertise, and it was his personal effort and his hours that coordinated a lot of that.”

Monte has a background in engineering from MTU, including a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering, an ME in environmental engineering from Michigan Tech, then he did two years of doctoral work in rhetoric and technical communication. He also studied German and Japanese. He is a former employee of both Ford Motor Company and General Motors, often as a liaison within technical environments, but it was getting people to collaborate and work together and sort of making things happen in technical environments is where he most often ended up, he said.