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Tracy Petrucci


 Tracy Petrucci Class of 2007

Global Business Marketing Track

Business Owner

Petrucci Marketing

Please briefly describe your career path since leaving CSUSM
I basically fell into my own business on accident. I was helping my mom in her business throughout college and afterwards, and got some side projects through that which led to more referrals which led to me growing an agency over the years. 

Please tell us about your current organization
I have a digital marketing agency with 8 team members. We specialize in Facebook ads, social media management, email marketing, and influencer relations. 

Tracy Petrucci
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Please tell us about your role
I am the CEO and my role has evolved a lot mostly in the last two years as I shifted from doing a lot of actual project work to managing a team and training, trying to get the things from inside my head out into a tangible format they can learn from. This has been a hard shift because I don't have a background in this and I often miss sitting and quietly working on Facebook ads. However it's great learning and growing and always being challenged. I like to create a culture where everyone is appreciated and we have a really down to earth team so there is no drama and just good people doing good work.  

What is your favorite part of your job
The most rewarding part of my job is seeing results come in from our attention to detail. We are really thoughtful in our approach with small businesses, and we are often fixing the work of other companies who are less "boutique". To see the amount of money being spent on ads with the lack of creativity always frustrates me. To get our hands in and turn things around, helping these business owners stay viable and thrive, is a great feeling.

Are there any important lessons you have learned during your career
I remember reading How To Make Friends and Influence people toward the beginning of my agency growth. I used to think, "I am so busy, I don't have time to chit chat or check on people or add emojis to text messages to add feeling/context" but I realized that is an integral part of keeping a team happy, feeling important, feeling valued, and appreciated. At the same time, I've also had to separate out personal feelings when it comes to someone moving on in their career. While it doesn't happen that often and that makes me feel lucky, it happens from time to time. I used to feel really let down, like I couldn't make them happy enough and all my energy and effort to create a positive work environment was for nothing. I have gotten over that and have really grown to realize that everyone is their own person on their own path and they have to discover where they see their career going. There are two main things going on - you have to enjoy your actual work, and you have to enjoy the people and culture. It's hard to have one without the other. All I can control is the environment and the way I treat people, and try to hire those who are confident they want to be in marketing. If someone realizes the work is not their favorite, no amount of positive environment will be satisfying. 

Do you have any advice for students or alumni
People always ask me how I "made it" and all I can say is it's really hard work. I've made sacrifices, and still do, that I'm not even proud of. I have no concept of self care or a work life balance, but I'm aware of that and trying to figure out how to work that in. I got where I am by doing a lot of learning for very little money. It gave me experience, it got me connected, it gave me clarity on my strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately led to my success. A lot of people say they won't do work if it's not this perfect condition. Perfect client, perfect amount of money, and so forth. That's totally fine and I respect people who have the freedom to set those boundaries. I had to do what I had to do, and that included taking less than ideal projects. I'd never have it any other way because through that I was always busy, always working, and always growing. And guess what? Now I can say no to whatever I want if it's not a right fit, and believe me, I do!