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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.


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.








On Generosity, Integrity, Raising the Goal, and Doing it NOW!

Joe Soltis, CEO, ChoiceLocal (Cleveland, OH) Joe Soltis is CEO at ChoiceLocal, which Joe describes as “the top performing franchise growth engine” with a “money back guarantee.” The agency offers a wide scope of services for franchisors and franchisees of over 50 brands, enabling them to provide “Fortune 500 level customer service, results, strategy, and ROI on the franchisee level” for a “small and medium size business price.” Large clients might be parent companies of franchise...


How to Bring the “Little Guy” to the TOP

Rafi Arbel, President, Market JD (Chicago, IL) Rafi Arbel is President at Market JD, an internet-based advertising that focuses its work on “increasing visibility” for small law firms specializing in personal injury and workers’ compensation cases. With the kind of clientele the agency serves, the written content has to be extremely precise and accurate. That’s why the firm currently employs 3 attorneys. Rafi is one of them. The agency provides websites, search engine optimization,...


Why Citizen Branding?

Robin Raj, Founder and Executive Creative Director, Citizen Group (San Francisco, CA) Inspired by Marc Gobé’s book, Citizen Brand: 10 Commandments for Transforming Brand Culture in a Consumer Democracy, Robin Raj, Founder and Executive Creative Director at Citizen Group, started his agency in 2006 to work with entities committed to meaningful and measurable pro-social impact. His agency’s proposition is that organizations build brand value when they “walk their talk” and operate in ways...


A Colorful Review of the Possibilities of Paint

Susan Britton, Owner/ Principal Creative Director, Britton Marketing & Design Group (Fort Wayne, IN) Susan Britton is Owner and Principal Creative Director at Britton Marketing & Design Group, a branding boutique agency that focuses on strategy, design, and helping its color-trended consumer goods clients better brand and market themselves. Sue started her career at Vera Bradley and rode a 9-year growth boom where things changed so rapidly the company had to reinvent itself every six months....


Making Small Business Personal and Successful

Amanda Parker, President and Owner, Collective Alternative (Indianapolis, IN) Amanda Parker is President and Owner at Collective Alternative, a full-service agency that focuses on growing small, mostly local businesses. She started her agency 14 years ago to bring together her background in strategy and development, experience as the Vice President of Marketing for a homebuilder, and passion for Mom-and-Pops, new home construction, and small, home-service businesses. Typical agency clients...


Page One or You Don’t Pay

Kevin Roy, Co-founder of GreenBananaSEO based in Beverly, Massachusetts Kevin Roy is the Co-founder of GreenBananaSEO, a full-stack digital ad agency, best known for search engine optimization but also providing paid media, Google AdWords, Facebook, and programmatic display services. Over the years the team has developed a number of internal systems to keep up with the work, including 24x7 online ordering system that funnels agency orders to his team and creates a workflow. Kevin says the...


Nonfiction Dreams: Science Fiction to Reality

Mardis & Phnam Bagley, Creative Directors & Founding Partners, Nonfiction Design (San Francisco, CA) Mardis and Phnam Bagley are Creative Directors and Founding Partners at Nonfiction Design, a company that started originally as an industrial design firm but morphed into a future-focused studio. The studio works with startups, Fortune 500 companies, and governments to solve huge, complex problems and “change the world for the better.” Phnam says all of their clients are long term and...


Engaging Experience Design through Technology

Josh Goldblum, Founder and CEO, Blue Cadet (Philadelphia, PA and New York City, NY) Josh Goldblum is Founder and CEO at Blue Cadet, an experience design studio with around 30 employees in Philadelphia and 15 in New York. Twenty-odd years ago, Josh worked in-house at the Smithsonian Institution, producing digital products and integrating technology into physical environments. Unfulfilled because big projects only came around every few years, Josh left and freelanced for a number of...


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion . . . Why? No . . . How to Make it Happen

Jennifer Brown of Jennifer Brown Consulting based out of New York, NY Jennifer Brown founded her namesake Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consulting agency 20 years ago. The agency develops top-down DEI strategies and training programs for medium-size to large companies; sets up effective, well-aligned affinity groups within those companies; and promotes inclusive leadership through educational initiatives. Jennifer is a frequent keynote speaker, both virtually and live. She presented...


Virtual Influencers – How to Grow Gen Z Followers with Tech

Shep Ogden, CEO and Co-founder, Offbeat Media Group (Atlanta, GA) Shep Ogden is CEO and Co-founder of Offbeat Media Group, an agency that helps “some of the biggest brands in the world figure out how to use TikTok, Web3, and meme marketing to reach Gen Z customers. Originally, the college friends who started the agency owned and operated an Instagram account, Humor, which drew four million followers . . . and a lot of interest from brands that wanted to partner with the account. The agency...


Designing Organizations for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Minal Bopaiah, Founder and Principal Consultant, Brevity & Wit (Silver Spring, MD) Minal Bopaiah is Founder and Principal Consultant at Brevity & Wit, a strategy and design firm dedicated to “designing a more equitable world.” The original focus of Minal’s agency was on graphic design. Today, the agency provides full-scale, full-service, human-centered graphic design; strategic marketing and communications; and the application of behavioral change science and organizational development to...


Marketing Long-Cycle B2B Tech

Mike Maynard, Managing Director and CEO, Napier Group (Chichester, England) Mike Maynard is Managing Director and CEO at Napier Group, an agency focused on marketing technical products to technical audiences. Clients include major companies selling semiconductors, industrial automation systems, cellular communications infrastructure, complex software, and even a baggage-handling system manufacturer. The customer “audience” for these products is “super-targeted, super technical, and . . ....


Public Relations Power Plays

Annie Scranton, Founder and President, Pace PR (New York, NY) Annie Scranton is Founder and President at Pace PR, a media relations shop that partners with its clients to discern and achieve goals through getting its clients “featured in the media.” Annie believes that traditional media (television) is still strong and its real-time immediacy “brings credibility to a person or a brand” in a way that “holds a lot of meaning and is different from a newspaper article or a digital article or...


Small Businesses and Nonprofits Win with Organization, Strategy, and Personality

Emily Heck, Owner and Founder, Evergreen Strategic Communications (Indianapolis, IN) Emily Heck, Owner and Founder at Evergreen Strategic Communications, started her agency in the fall of 2019. With no job in sight and no career plans, she started meeting with people, chatting over coffee, and trying to figure out her next chapter. Emily picked up some freelance marketing projects from a former co-worker and networked more intensely. Her business, helping nonprofits and small businesses...


Marketing to Keep the Kitchen Open: Profitable Hospitality in a Pandemic

Robin Blanchette, CEO and Founder, Norton Creative (Houston, TX) Robin Blanchette is CEO and Founder at Norton Creative, an agency focused “narrow and deep” on restaurant and hospitality branding. Their primary client base includes multi-unit operators, mid-size and larger chains, and franchises. They also work with independents . . . but never with conflicting brands or direct competitors in the same time frame. Over the eight years of its existence, the agency has worked with over 150...


When It Ain’t Your Grandma’s SEO

David Finberg, CEO, Peaks Digital Marketing (Denver, CO) David Finberg is CEO at Peaks Digital Marketing, an SEO and lead generation firm that focuses on a comprehensive, aggressive approach to “addressing all seven areas of an SEO campaign to get ROI rolling as early as possible.” Clients range from small, local businesses to major enterprises. Today’s solutions must be comprehensive. Peaks Digital’s fractionalized team operates as a cohesive unit and integrates multiple areas of...


How to Apply AI to Email at Scale

Erica Salm Rench, Chief Operating Officer, (New Orleans, LA) Erica Salm Rench is Chief Operating Officer at, a company that supports marketers, business owners, and large associations by applying AI to generate automated, smart, personalized email newsletters. Rasa’s mission? T0 better inform the world through relevant content. Clients import their subscribers. Rasa plugs in subscribers’ super-relevant content – their own blogs, their own LinkedIn company page, their...


Structuring for the Personal Touch

Flynn Zaiger, CEO, Online Optimism (New Orleans, LA; Washington, D.C.; and Atlanta, GA) Flynn Zaiger, CEO at Online Optimism, started his agency on a laptop in 2012 by reaching out and offering SEO services to the 6 companies where he had interned while he was in college. Today, his remote, across the country staff of 23 supports businesses with “everything they do online” – social, search, SEO, SEM, and website design. Clients are small- to medium-sized businesses (5 to 500 employees) that...


Thought Leadership and Case Study Niching

Erik Jensen (Salt Lake City, UT), Co-Owner and Chief Strategy Officer, Predictive ROI (La Crosse, WI) Erik Jensen is Co-Owner and Chief Strategy Officer at Predictive ROI, a remote-first firm that helps “agencies, coaches, and consultants plant their flags of authority and monetize that position.” In this interview, Erik addresses the difficulties service businesses may encounter in developing a “position of thought leadership”: Poor discovery and development processes.Failure to treat...


Media Relations for Technology: Marketing the Science Fair

Donna Loughlin, is President and Founder at LMGPR, a public relations agency that works with “emerging market players and visionaries” to help them build out their Leadership (the “L” in the agency’s name), Momentum, and Growth. Key to this effort is researching the client’s “story” and the drivers for the client founding the business. The client/agency relationship typically takes a minimum of a year to launch and continues, in some cases, for up to 8 years until the client goes through its...