Troy Tieszen and Justin Harmon, managing partners of Bismarck’s Known in 60 Media marketing firm, make a great team. Troy is the geek-speaking guru of all things digital, and the congenial Harmon oversees the sales side of the operation.
The two met in Bismarck a year and a-half ago when they both worked for Townsquare Media, a national company that owns five local radio stations. Tieszen was digital sales manager; Harmon, an account manager.
Known in 60 was literally born over drinks when Tieszen, 43, asked his younger co-worker to join him after work at McKenzie River Pizza. Harmon, 35, remembers it well. “I thought we were just going to have drinks as colleagues when Troy confessed to me he was looking to start a business—an advertising-marketing firm—and he discussed some of the things he wanted to do,” he recalled. “Then he flat out said he wanted me to come with him.”
“Justin has a real go get ‘em attitude,” said Tieszen of his partner. “A lot of businesses, when they start out, have an idea, but they don’t know how to finish it up with the sales side.”
Much of Tieszen’s background is in website design, and he’s seasoned in social media, broadcast and print marketing. Harmon has a background in law enforcement, having worked as a deputy sheriff for Burleigh County. He was also on the dive team, SWAT team, and, later, put in charge of maintaining the fleet. His transition to marketing was not as incongruent as it would seem, according to Harmon.
“Maintaining the fleet, I was involved with the business side of the department, meeting with vendors, and negotiating contracts,” said Harmon. “I began to perceive myself more as a business person than a law officer. Besides, law enforcement, especially on the streets, is a people-to-people business.”
The official inaugural date for the firm, which brands itself as a digital marketing company, was June 24, 2015. The agency already has an impressive list of clients. “The Bismarck business climate is still booming and there’s room in the marketplace for us,” said Tieszen. “”Right now, with our knowledge base, we’re poised to grow.”