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The Marketing Agency Leadership Podcast

Business & Economics Podcasts

Conversations with Leaders and Founders of Marketing Agencies, sharing wisdom on how they built their company, lessons they wish they knew when they started, and marketing and agency strategies for the months and years ahead.

Conversations with Leaders and Founders of Marketing Agencies, sharing wisdom on how they built their company, lessons they wish they knew when they started, and marketing and agency strategies for the months and years ahead.


United States


Conversations with Leaders and Founders of Marketing Agencies, sharing wisdom on how they built their company, lessons they wish they knew when they started, and marketing and agency strategies for the months and years ahead.








Strategy Rules!

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...


How to Suck at Sales and Charge More Money

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...


When Consolidated Agencies are Not a Holding Company

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.” Even though he is acquiring agencies at a fast pace, Tim says...


Fast-track Facebook Sales Acceleration

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. These...


Old Agency Flexes with a Focus on New

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. Early advertising, Jamie says, “was much more informational” than today. As advertising evolved, information had to be packaged with some entertainment and hooks to get...


Franchise: Focus, Scale, and BOOM!

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. The goal? “To create an ecosystem that . . . helps us generate more business for them, . . . turn(s) those leads into customers, and then...


Branding for Fast, Disruptive Growth

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. Tribu serves...


Utility, Meaningfulness, and Relevancy . . . Aha!

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 as 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. Leeann says the agency makes small budgets work “much...


Never-Ending Stories and Beyond

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. Typical clients are B2C premium consumer goods providers, B2B clients, and professional services (legal,...


Visions of Success

Lisa Vielee is President at Well Done Marketing, a 15-yer-old full-spectrum, strategic, creative, and technical agency that provides design, branding, content marketing, public relations, and digital strategy services . . . but not traditional media-buying. Lisa claims this small, independent agency is unusual for its size in that it has a full web development team and can “go straight from web design to UX, UI, and development, testing, and then continue with ongoing maintenance web...


Deep Diving to Sell What’s Hard to Sell

Heather Isch is CEO and President at LKF Marketing, a B2B-focused full-service marketing communications company that specializes in working with manufacturers with complex, often highly technical products and complicated sales channels; governmental agencies working on regional economic development; and local community-focused arts organizations and nonprofits (the agency’s give-back “passion” projects). Heather describes the process of getting to know LKF clients as a “deep dive” – into...


Calming the Chaos of Agency Operations

Karl Sakas is an Agency Consultant and Executive Coach at Sakas & Company where he consults with, coaches, and trains marketing agency owners struggling with various challenges related to their teams, their clients, and their services. His focus? To guide agency owners through risky decision-making, help them overcome constraints, enable them to grow profitably to the next level, and to make them “better bosses.” Karl has a strong agency operations background and has worked with agencies...


Innovating with Imagination and Intelligence

Paul McDowall and Catherine Clark were neighbors when they founded ClarkMcDowall, a 21-year-old agency that with “intelligence and imagination” architects growth for “visionary companies.” Originally starting with big clients Catherine “inherited” from her previous employer, the agency had to put in effort to bring on the startups and mid-size companies that keep an agency nimble, fresh, and entrepreneurial – where there is a higher chance of “getting stuff done.” Paul says the agency’s...


Removing Friction

Ken Magma Marshall is Chief Growth Officer and Managing Partner at RevenueZen, an agency focused on helping high-growth-oriented B2B, SaaS, and professional service brands generate more demand and leads through SEO, content, and LinkedIn . . . to get real leads that actually convert. Ken started his agency four-and-a-half years ago. His first milestone was developing a successful, process that worked and that he could pass onto another person with his SOPS and get the same results. Instead...


Moving Quickly

Josy Amann is Co-founder at Media Matters Worldwide, an analytics-driven, brand-power-focused omnichannel media buying, and planning agency serving B2B and B2C clientele. In 2005, Josy and her co-founder left a large agency where they had been providing media buying and planning to start Media Matters – with no money and a two-pronged plan – to get their own clients and to freelance with other agencies. Their first client was a “gift” from their prior agency. Josy says referrals sustained...


Push-Pull Transformations Drive Rocket-Ship Growth

Julie Koepsell came into Horizontal Digital as President of the North America division in December 2020 at a time when, due to Covid, the company was “fully remote.” Horizontal Digital is a 17-year-old global, “experience forward” consultancy that puts people at the center if its efforts by creating deeper, end-to-end-connected, seamless, relevant, and personal customer relationships that boost client ROI. Because Horizontal is a boutique consultancy, clients get a “very high touch...


Capitalizing on Opportunity and Fixing What’s Broken

Ten years ago, Ryan Frederick, became a partner at AWH, a now 26-year-old firm that builds net new software products, solves data problems, and integrates systems across platforms and products (phones, the web, Internet of Things [IoT] devices). The client mix is split in thirds: Funded startups building disruptive products to capitalize on unique opportunitiesMidmarket companies (manufacturers, distributors, or nonprofits/social enterprises) who don’t have much technological knowledge or...


Storm Survival Strategies

In 2006, Angie and Will Scott, COO and CEO and co-founders, started Search Influence as a technically oriented search, social, and digital marketing agency, supported with tracking and attribution, and demonstrating value across very complex systems. Challenged at the beginning to find people with the needed skills, the agency outsourced its production work and developed an intensive training cycle and “robust” documentation for new hires. Will claims that, to this day, the agency’s...


Holistic Alignment and When Do We Stop Lying?

Scott Couvillon is CEO and Executive Strategy Director at Trumpet Advertising, an agency that strives to create purpose-aligned, believable ads. Scott says that companies succeed with their advertising, not only because their creative product promotion is compelling, but more so when the ads “compel an honest connection between a person and a brand.” Scott says there is a lot of talk in the advertising industry about purpose. What is more important is “What do you do with it once you’ve got...



Mary Patrick is CEO and Managing Partner at Jasculca Terman (JT) Strategic Communications, a 40-year-old public affairs firm that provides issue education and crisis management and builds support for its clients’ controversial legislative, regulatory, and public policy issues. Over the past few years, crisis management has been close to 50% of the firm’s business. “Topping the list” over this past year were Covid and social issues, but the agency’s scope is broad: workforce and labor...