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Amanda Slavin, CatalystCreativ (New York City, NY)

Amanda’s company started as a community design firm and morphed over time to what they are today, a combination experiential agency/brand consulting firm. The company activating customers into brand loyalists, into ambassadors, into advocates, so that they can grow their business, helping brands transition passive customers to active participants in shaping their brand’s story. Amanda’s Dad, a big sports fan, forced her to watch every sport when she was growing up. Her background is in the...


Down the Social Media Rabbit Hole: Fine-Tuning for Your Target Audience

Dean Browell is Co-owner and Executive Vice President of Feedback Agency, a market research firm that uses hands-off observation of online behavior coupled with behavioral analysis by data scientists (psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists). When people are in focus groups or other situations where they are aware of being observed, their behavior changes. By not engaging their audience, the digital ethnography research team is able to get a rich body of authentic, unadulterated...


How Small Agencies Can Climb to the TOP: Focus, Training, and Collaborative Journeys

Pete Nicholls, Director of HubDo, the only 100% wholesale-only Platinum HubSpot Partner, talks about his company’s purpose: to help smaller (1 to 5 employee), inbound (mostly B2B) agencies grow and to deliver client success. As a partner for HubSpot partners, HubDo has identified areas where small and start-up agencies typically have problems—marketing the agency, the sales process, service delivery, and growth issues, such as hiring staff and managing finances—and provides the tools,...


Analytical Creatives Solve Problems

Krista Ankenman, Cofounder and Vice President of Client Services at Tank New Media, a digital marketing agency that treats the internet as an activity hub, with everything else marketing pouring into the website. Tank New Media became a HubSpot partner in 2015 and works primarily with manufactures in the B2B world. experience how clients’ customers are experiencing their brand sales how are the messages resonating with their customers service how is their service department dealing with...


When You Stop Believing in Advertising, Brand by Experience - The INBOUND Series

In this interview, Adrian Ho, CEO of Zeus Jones, talks about how his company collaborates with clients on the simultaneous development of products and their branding—specifically by integrating service and experience into product design, facilitating customer engagement with the client, and developing ways to make it easier for customers to do business with the brand. Food and health-care-related companies are key verticals for Zeus Jones. What is a marketer to do when s/he stops...


Gaming the Web: How Google’s Search Engine Got Smarter

Daniel Russell serves as COO of Go Fish Digital, a cutting-edge marketing agency serving small, medium, and large companies and providing everything digital except video and email marketing. In this interview, Daniel, an attorney, explains how law school provided him with not only “a business background,” but also “the rules of the game.” He notes that Bill Slawski, Go Fish Digital’s Director of Research, is also an attorney. Bill studies Google’s patents for insight into how Google is...


Focus and then Go, Go, Go!

Greg Williamson, director with Concentrate, a Platinum HubSpot partner, is all about focus. He identifies his company’s mission as, “to help companies focus,” because “that’s the secret to good marketing.” In a country where sheep outnumber people 7 to 1, technology has become the third largest industry—and that technology is Concentrate’s chosen niche. Converge works primarily with companies exporting technology to Europe and the US. Greg feels the key to success is to “choose a small,...


Win-Win Point-Pricing How To

Jessica Miller, Vice President of Services for PR 20/20, explains how her company, HubSpot’s first agency partner, builds and implements services around HubSpot’s marketing automation software. Focused on B2B clientele, the PR 20/20 team often serves as a full extension of a client’s marketing team . . . and helps its clients “think through more than just marketing.” Jessica spoke at HubSpot’s Inbound 2018 and covered the details of point pricing, where PR 20/20s clients are billed for...


Conversational Marketing

Remington Begg, Chief Remarkable Officer of Impulse Creative, runs his company according to a “compass” with four business tenets: a strong sales message, a strong marketing message, a great foundation, and design and development. Because the South Florida real estate market is “hot,” half of his team is remote—he wants to hire the best, not just what is available locally. He feels he has T-shaped employees—specialized, focused experts who can also understand and communicate with their team...


Networking that Works

Anna-Vija McClain, CEO of Piccolo Marketing (Nashville, TN), serves as President of Nashville’s chapter of Women in Digital and spoke at HubSpot’s Inbound 2018 (Boston, MA) on using relationships to grow your business. Her Inbound presentation, “Networking That Works: The Proven Formula for Sales Follow-up,” covers personal branding, the “give value to get value” principle, selecting and building quality relationships with the right people, and guidelines for follow-up frequency. Anna-Vija...


When the Presentation “Platform” is a Stage: Speaking Your Message

Kenny, Cofounder and CEO of ThreeSixtyEight, presented Assembly Required: Why Your Small Business Should Have An Event Strategy at the Hubspot Inbound 2018 marketing conference on September 5 in Boston. In this interview, he talks about hosting events as an outstanding way to create positive customer experiences—to pick up new clients, grow accounts, retain talent, and position your team members as leaders. Kenny also discusses the power of eye-to-eye contact and the distancing effect of...


Niche Down and Thrive

When Joe Apfelbaum, CEO and Founder of Ajax Union, a B-to-B digital marketing agency that early on serviced over 1,100 with as many as 400 active accounts, realized he’d grown a business he didn’t want to run, he ramped down his agency. He defined his “ideal customers”—those who were investing in the top of their funnels, valued strategy, and understood the value of nurturing the lead from the top of the funnel to the bottom line. His tips? Pick a niche, go deep, and have a solid strategy....


What’s in Your Toolkit: Two (former) Computer Engineers Talk Marketing

Anand Thaker, CEO and Founder of IntelliPhi, cohosts the Talking Stack podcast and contributed to the now 6,829-company MarTech Landscape Infographic. Intelliphi develops strategies, technology, and training for cognitive and data enabled marketing, sales and customer support. Martech marries marketing and technology, creating, managing, and using digital tools to to automate tasks, facilitate data-driven decisions, measure marketing activity impact, and drive more efficient market spend....


Building Traction to Capture Giants

Justin Lawson, Cofounder/CEO at JJELLYFISH (New York City/Boston), a customer development firm for early-stage enterprise startups with between a million dollars to $20 million in revenue, explains how his company enables sales teams to move beyond the warm prospects of friends and family and “hunt very large game.” JJELLYFISH analyzes sales processes, identifies customers, and then builds comprehensive, executable business sales playbooks with simple to understand, targeted value...


Great Marketing Message . . . but How Will Your Customers Find You?

Rev Ciancio, three-time agency owner, went from being a Yext superuser for his restaurant clients—ensuring the accuracy of digital information about their brands—their name, address, phone number, hours of operation, menu, handicap-accessible bathroom information—to his position as Director of Industry Insights at Yext (New York City). In this interview, Rev explains that, while people in hospitality knew that customer service was important, they often failed to understand the importance of...


Personalization: The Future in Advertising

When Peter Reitano and Jeff Goldenberg, founders of Abacus Agency, (Toronto, Canada and New York City) an Ad Tech/agency hybrid that specializes in Facebook and Instagram advertising, they saw problems in the traditional agency model. They reverse engineered their organization from a vision of what a future agency would be like, noting that, in today’s fast-paced technology world, you can’t build for today, because, by the time you get the work done, what you have will be out of date—you...


Premium Creativity Results: A Strong ROI for the Client, Profit for the Agency

Blair Enns, CEO of Win Without Pitching (Kaslo, British Columbia) and author of The Win Without Pitching Manifesto and Pricing Creativity: A Guide to Profit Beyond the Billable Hour Blair Enns is Founder and CEO of Win Without Pitching, a company that trains creative agencies on how to win business without giving away their most valuable product—their intellectual property—in getting that business. Blair authored two business books that have proven to be transformational for many creative...


Building Blocks for a Strong Agency: Your Clients, Your Employees, Your Partners

Greg Brock, CEO of Firefli, a digital strategy company based in Roanoke, Virginia, discusses the changing digital marketing landscape. When digital first started, it negatively impacted traditional marketing channels, but it also “wowed” people—the results were measurable. Entrepreneurs and start-ups flooded into this “magic” niche . . . and huge media companies followed when they saw the potential in that space. Greg provides an experienced overview of where digital marketing started and...


When More than a Little Knowledge Can Be Dangerous

Jeff Katz is CEO of Definition 6, a 20-year-old content marketing and digital agency working with a high-profile, household-brand-name client list. D6 creates content and the technology that allows brands to deliver and measure the effectiveness of those messages and has won both treasured client recognitions and a plethora of EMMYs, ADDYs, TELLYs, and WEBBYs. Jeff joined D6 in 2000 as president and chief operating officer and oversaw the cultural and functional integration of...


Collaboration Rule #1: Bet on the Jockey, and Not on the Horse

Tom Nassr is CEO and Cofounder of Checkmate Digital (New Haven, Connecticut), a design and development agency that works with startups and company subject matter experts to build marketable digital products these startups can use to solve specific problems and generate income. These projects range in size from a single piece of software to complex, integrated systems. Before working with a company, Tom conducts candid, in-depth validation discussions to determine the likelihood of project...