Ken Ungar, President and Founder, Charge (Indianapolis, IN)
Ken Ungar is President and Founder of Charge, a sponsorship consulting agency that strives to help sponsors and properties supercharge their sponsorship results.
Ken describes sponsorship as “a B2B or B2C relationship where two parties promote each other, but one party, the sponsor, pays the property for the right to use their logo, their name, their image.” “Property” may be real assets, such as a public venue, a sports team, an athlete . . . or it may be digital or virtual, as in the case where one organization sponsors another party’s email campaign.
Avi Kumar is Founder and CEO of Kuware, an almost 14-year-old business that bills itself “as a full-service agency, but a little bit more focused on strategy than actual implementation.”
The shift away from “traditional marketing services and taking customers as they came” started 5 years ago. Today, the agency works with clients who want to put some strategy behind their efforts and are less concerned about the agency providing implementation. Avi says it was very difficult when the agency first made that transition to, while it was trying to grow the business, turn away customers that did not have a strategy focus. Current clients not only need to be willing to work with Kuware’s fractional CMO to develop a strategy . . . they also have to be ambitious about “big growth,” have funding or be ready to move to the next level, or to be invested in brick-and-mortar with a solid, fixed budget. When all the pieces are In place, the agency can say, “Get the whole package. We can really move you to the next level.”
Matthew Hunt, Founder, Automation Wolf (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Matthew Hunt built and sold two agencies over the past decade. Automation Wolf is his third iteration.
In his second agency, after losing almost two years of momentum because he never “got around” to marketing his own business, he hired another marketing agency to promote his agency. Although he was not completely satisfied with the result, he says, “80 percent done is better than not done at all” and his agency finally gained momentum and grew.
In this interview, Matthew explains his understanding of what a lot of agencies don’t understand – that clients are “not looking for a do-it-yourself model or a done-with-you model” and “not looking to coach-and-consult it.” He claims, “They’re looking for done-for-you model.”
Kevin Urrutia, Founder, Voy Media, New York City, NY
Kevin Urrutia is Founder of Voy Media, a “growth marketing agency” focused on helping marketing executives grow their online businesses – but not from the “ground up.” Voy Media does not help companies that want to get started in online marketing, build clients’ businesses, or act as any client’s marketing team. Instead, the focus is on scaling successful client companies and taking them to the next level, moving them from 6 to 7 to 8 figures in monthly sales . . . and doing it fast.
Tim Ringle, Global CEO, Meet the People (New York, NY)
Tim Ringle is Global CEO of Meet the People, an “international family of unified but independent agencies.” In the three months since its inception, Meet the People has acquired 3 agency brands. Tim has bigger plans. He intends to bring in a total of up to 15 agencies, reaching from Canada and the US to Europe and Asia. “We have 400 people in North America right now. We want to be 2,000 people in at most 18 to 24 months globally.”
Jamie Michelson, President and CEO, SMZ Advertising (Troy, MI)
Jamie Michelson is President and CEO of SMZ Advertising, a Detroit-based agency that started in 1929, producing and distributing jeweler artwork ad kits. These ad packages, delivered as a monthly subscription service, provided graphics to promote and showcase jewelry and were used in catalogs and newspaper advertisements.
Adam McChesney, Owner and Partner, Hite Digital (St. Louis, MO)
Adam McChesney, Owner, and Partner at St. Louis, Missouri franchise of Hite Digital, a service digital marketing agency with 15 locations. Adam’s agency provides logo design, branding services, website design, search engine optimization, paid advertising, and recently launched Hite CRM, a technology-based software based on GoHighLevel’s white-labeled CRM.
Sara Helmy is CEO at Tribu (tribe in Latin), a 20-employee digital marketing and branding agency that prides itself on “building tribes for the brands that we serve.” Sara, with a passion for SEO, started the agency ten years ago with about $6,000, no outside funding, no debt . . . and for the first three years, doubled-down, boot-strapped, added things over time, and eventually morphed the agency into a branding powerhouse with close to $3 million in service revenue this year.
Leeann Leahy is CEO at VIA, a full-service advertising agency/communications company and winner of AdAge’s 2019 Small Agency of the year. Via‘s 100 or so employees work their creative magic to unleash growth for such name brands like Arm & Hammer, Unilever (ice cream novelties Klondike, Good Humor, Popsicle), Perdue Chicken, and CarGurus. The agency has a few clients in Maine . . . a lot more nationally . . . and even some that are global.
Matthew Berman, president and co-founder of Emerald Digital (New York, NY and New Orleans, LA)
Matthew Berman is President/ co-founder of Emerald Digital, a full-service data- and creative-driven digital marketing/ public relations agency that specializes in generating quantifiable leads and sales by:
Mapping and generating consumer-journey-stage-specific touchpoints across multiple digital channels,
Developing and delivering personalized, consumer-journey-stage-specific content.