Bill Durrant, President at Exverus Media (Los Angeles, CA)
Bill Durrant is President at Exverus Media, a paid-media agency (TV ads, print advertising, sponsorships, and other types of media) that serves culture-creating, growth-stage brands. The agency’s focus is not so much on big-budget, long-term brand building as it is on consulting with clients and recommending “how best to invest” to produce significant, trackable, and measurable short- to medium-term results.
1984. Maybe ’85. Take a 26-year-old art director who loves her work. Put her in a big agency where she is surrounded by middle-aged white guys. Strangle the agency’s creative work with politics and bureaucratic overhead. Ask a simple question, “How long can this last?” Sue Kruskopf’s answer? When both the employer’s and her futures looked bleak, it was time for change.
Beth Trejo is CEO at Chatterkick, a digital marketing agency that focuses on using social media platforms to connect businesses in a “real way” with their customers and drive to their businesses forward. Beth warns social media is complex. Time is everything on social and companies do not have the luxury of crafting content and sending it through committee approval processes. She cites studies that show that “about 80% of all businesses are not responding to their social media messages” – they only look at Facebook Messenger, skip the other places messages come in, and potentially miss out on big opportunities.
Brandon Edwards CEO of ReviveHealth (Nashville, TN)
Brandon Edwards started his career in the issues management / crisis / grassroots / public affairs-focused healthcare division of a multi-industry, multi-practice Santa Barbara agency. In 2009, a toxic rift developed between Brandon’s growing medical services division and the rest of the faltering agency. Brandon and his division associates bought out their piece of the business and formed ReviveHealth. It took almost 6 years to go from being issue based to what it is today – a full-service. integrated, all audiences, all channels firm serving B2C, B2B, and B2P, the business to physician/provider side.
Bant Breen, Founder and Chairman, Qnary, New York, NY, (with offices in Spain and Australia)
Bant Breen is Founder and Chairman at Qnary, an agency that focuses on optimizing and growing the executive online presence because, as Bant explains in this interview, “Every executive has an online footprint and that footprint matters,” especially for large organizations. Bant believes it takes more than telling a brand’s story through advertising or brand messaging to effectively market a brand. “People don’t want to talk to companies,” he says. “They want to talk to people.” The reputation of an individual executive and what he or she stands for and says impact people’s perception of that executive’s company/cause/enterprise, the professional and personal opportunities the executive will get, and the opportunities the organization will receive. When executives “tell the story,” that story becomes dimensionally deeper, richer, and more complex.
Will Cady, Global Director of Reddit’s KarmaLab at Reddit, working out of Los Angeles, CA
Will Cady is the Global Director of Reddit’s KarmaLab at Reddit, which he describes as a platform of more than 100,000 different, intent-driven, purpose-driven communities representing 100,000 distinct cultures . . . and an “incredible petri dish of niche subcultures that are emerging and influencing or becoming mainstream culture.” He says that “people go to Google to search for information . . . and to Reddit to search for what other people have found.”
Sandra Fathi, Chief Strategy Officer at Affect, Acquired by Gregory FCA (New York, NY)
Sandra Fathi is Chief Strategy Officer at Affect, a public relations, marketing, and social media agency that focuses on B2B technology, healthcare, and professional services. The agency clients range from “startups to large multinational publicly traded companies.” B2B tech includes such things as “cryptocurrency, data, cybersecurity, supply chain and logistics, mobile application development, and cloud computing.” Healthcare includes healthcare IT, devices, MedTech. and services but stops short of highly FDA-regulated areas. Clients’ products tend to be complex but further challenges for the agency include multiple decision-makers and multiple considerations.
Steve Connelly, Founder of Connelly Partners (Boston, MA)
Steve Connelly started Connelly Partners (the defiantly human agency) in 1999 after he, as President of another agency, decided that the next time he got shot in the head, it would be by his own hand. For the first 6 months, his startup operated out of loaned office space in the backroom of another agency, Partners & Simons, Connelly Partners grew to cover all disciplines through acquisitions and organic divisional spinoffs. Today, the agency has a 42,000 square foot office in South Boston, and satellite offices in Dublin, Ireland and Vancouver. The broad, international range of the agency’s B2B and B2C clients range in size from very small to large. The agency even supports low-cost or pro bono services for creative opportunities.
In this interview, Rob chats with Steve Denker, who gives his perspective on what he looks for when “working with agencies.” In the mid-90s, Steve worked for Aramark at Fulton County Stadium/Turner Field, managing relationships with the brands and products that were part of that stadium experience. He observed how fans interacted with Coca-Cola and highlighted opportunities for Coke to increase sales and strengthen the link between the experience and the product. Coca-Cola liked his approach and brought him onboard to develop the experiential look and feel of Coca-Cola in a wide variety of venues.
Amy Balliett, Founder and CEO, Killer Visual Strategies (Seattle, WA)
Amy Balliett is Founder and CEO at Killer Visual Strategies, an agency that specializes in visual communications design – creating such “products” as info and motion graphics, data visualizations, virtual reality, and interactive content. An Inc. 5000 company for four years in a row, Killer, now part of Material, has won over 30 excellence in visual communication awards. Clients include such Fortune 1000 companies as Amazon, Boeing, the Discovery Channel, Edwards Lifesciences Corporation, and Microsoft.