Digital Marketing Strategy: How to Get More Retainer Clients with Mark Sneider

Do you want to discover how to get more retainer clients for your marketing agency?

Did you realize that more retainer income will not only make your business run smoother, but it will also significantly increase its value?

Retainers are where it’s at, and, with the right strategy, you can increase retainer fee income.

In today’s episode, I interview Mark Sneider, President of RSWUS.

In this interview, you are going to hear Mark and I talk about:

  • the biggest opportunities that he sees for agencies in 2013
  • how agencies can increase their recurring revenue from retainers
  • how to get started with an inbound marketing campaign
  • how to automate your inbound marketing
  • and so much more…

More About This Episode

The Bright Ideas podcast is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to discover how to use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively grow their business.

It’s designed to help marketing agencies and small business owners discover which online marketing strategies are working most effectively today – all from the mouths of expert entrepreneurs who are already making it big.

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An Interview with Mark Sneider

Trent Dyrsmid: Hi there Bright Idea hunters! Welcome to the Bright Idea podcast. I’m your host, Trent Dyrsmid. And this is the podcast for business owners and marketers who want to understand how to use online marketing and sales automation to massively boost their business.

And on the show with me today is the fellow by the name of Mark Sneider and we’re gonna have an in-depth conversation specifically geared to agencies and some strategies and tactics that Mark uses with his clients to help them grow their business. So Mark is a 25 year veteran of the consumer packaged good and advertising and marketing and services industries here. And he’s MBA from the J Kellogs school of Business at Northwestern where he majored in marketing and economics. And he now runs a firm called RSWUS. Mark, thanks very much for making the time. Welcome to the show.

Mark Sneider: Great! Thanks Trent, happy to be here.

T: So for folks who are listening to this who maybe don’t yet know who you are, please tell us just briefly who are you and what is it that you do.

M: As you mentioned I’m Mark Sneider. In 2005 I started a business exclusively focused on helping agencies when they business. And so our sole purpose is really to help marketing service firms of any type or size find a good qualified opportunities that fit within their sweet spot where their core strengths lie and set the table for them, make sure they’re adequately prepared going into these meetings. And then where we can help them move those opportunities closer to close by coaching and counseling them. Giving them perspective that they may not otherwise have. Often times agencies operate in somewhat above a vacuum and not really fully understanding kind of what makes them different in the eyes of the marketers that they’re reaching out to. And so we see a big part of our world as being kind of that objective set of eyes that deals with lots of different agencies of all types and sizes and can provide some good perspective that can help these agencies better position themselves and better move through the new business pipeline.

T: I know when I was running my technology services firm you’re so head down in writing your to do list everyday and emails everyday. It’s very very easy to lose that kind of higher level objectivity to see hey, is my act sharp? Am I chopping down the right trees? Am I even in the right forest? So it sounds like you’re uniquely positioned to help agencies get a better view and ultimately get better results. So with that in mind I wanna really talk about opportunities that you see and then I’m gonna ask you some questions about some of the things, some of the actual tactics that agencies can use, they can listen to this interview and then they can use some of these tactics to help their business move forward. So for 2013 and I read I think you did a survey, I don’t remember the name of the survey off the top of my head but it was a fairly lengthy and detailed survey and there’s lot of good info and I’ll make sure I’ll put a link to it in the post where this interview is, but you talked about opportunities for 2013. So where do you see some of the biggest opportunities for agencies to pursue in the coming year?

M: You know I mean obviously the social digital space is growing and changing day away. Marketers seem to be getting more sappy in terms of their understanding of how they should be playing in the space but there’s still a lot that’s not understood on the marketers’ side.

T: Give an example.

M: Well just think it really will stand to not understanding how to strategically make the right choices and play in the right spaces, okay. And there are lots of tactics out there and there are lots of things that come and go that are hot but agencies that can stand up and help their clients will get the opportunities more broadly. Help them understand how to effectively integrate online marketing with offline tactics. And then I think the other challenge and opportunity that the challenge as marketers are also being pressed the better to justify their expense in the social and digital space. And so it’s those agencies that come to the table and showcase their ability to provide the analytics.

We represented an agency that ultimately won the Jack in the Box business and they won that business and large part because they were able to help Jack in the Box take the step back and understand where the consumers were gathering their information how they ought to be playing in those specific spaces. They had an offline agency that was doing a fine job for them but wasn’t doing a good job of integrating with social and digital so they were looking for this new agency to help them establish that integration. And then they were also short on the analytics and understanding how to monitor the social space and make that data actionable for their business.

So I think that marketers are becoming savvier because of knowing the right kinds of questions to ask agencies and I think the agency, it’s not just the agency that isn’t playing in the social and digital space with a great deal of depth that that risk today. It’s agency that isn’t looking at it more broadly and strategically to help the client effectively operate in that space and integrate with offline. And then also understand how to measure the effectiveness and respond to these measurements on going.

T: So what I’m hearing you say is one of the biggest opportunities is if you run an agency and you’re not yet big in the digital space, you’re not actively pursuing social media services to your clients, and then giving the deliverables so the measurements, the metrics that you can get, because everything that happens online, the beauty of it is it all happens with clicks and whenever you get clicks there’s a ton of data that you can get. Coz I know I use this on my business. You can very easily see your campaigns this was working this wasn’t working.

M: Right exactly.

T: With that in mind which services, coz I know one of the things and I might be jumping ahead of my questions but that’s okay, one of the things that I read in a report from hubspot was one of the biggest challenges that agencies face is unpredictable revenue. And of course one of the easiest ways to solve that is to get retainer income. So what are some of the services that you think hold that the agencies listening to us may or may not be delivering but probably should be delivering and could be generating recurring revenue for delivering those services?

M: That’s a tough one. I think it’s specific services.

T: Like content creation or social media management or those that I’m kinda thinking.

M: Social media management is fine. It’s certainly establishes kind of reoccurring presence of that agency within that client’s space. The challenge with that is it is overhead intensive for the agency. They need staff to support their clients so it certainly is a good entree. It’s a good way of establishing some sort of reoccurring sustainable relationship. I think that, I don’t know that there is kind of one thing that agencies can necessarily offer to guarantee kind of that on-going retainer relationship other than becoming more of the service sort of the lead agency that’s kind of guiding the overall strategy and developing consistently new campaigns and so forth.

T: What if an agency went to their client and they said “I don’t know exactly what campaigns and what strategies will provide you the results that you need but I know exactly how to find out what campaigns and strategies and that’s accomplished by it seems thru split testing an a b and all that kind of thing”.

M: Sure.

T: Coz I had a conversation with Jay Baer. I think I interviewed him about a week ago from and probably most of the people listening to this may know who Jay is. And that was one of the questions that I asked him and I thought that was a great answer because it shifted the burden or the risk of how long is it gonna take. If I’m the client how long is it gonna take this agency to figure out thru all these testing that they’re gonna do of various landing pages and ways of driving traffic and content generation. How long is it gonna take them to find out what really works for me. Well if I agree to have them on retainer that’s their risk and I know what my costs are gonna be and therefore they’d become more of a partner to me. Do you think that’s, to me that seems like it would be like a good conversation to have, is that something that?

M: Yeah I mean that sure, I think that’s fine. I think it’s one piece of the whole puzzle. Split testing and your a b testing and your social media management, I mean certainly it’s an important part of it but it’s one piece of it. So I think it’s the value that an agency can bring to a client is much bigger than I can figure out how to find the right message within the digital and social space that’s I think much bigger than that which is let me show you how to make all of these elements work effectively for you and consistently for you. Because it isn’t just about digital and social that ultimately is gonna drive every business. Yeah I think it’s a fine entry point and I think it’s a good conversation to have but it’s not necessarily the be all end all for every single client and I think that again I think that the challenges are much broader than just how do you message in the social space. It’s how do you become integral part of your consumers’ lifestyle in every weight of connection with that consumer. And that is the social and how you’re messaging and how you’re touching them at each decision point along that process but it’s also how do other platforms you did into what’s happening in the digital space and vice versa.

Personally I think while the content management component of this and the social component of it are important and that’s where consumers are controlling the conversation. You gotta be there and you gotta be a lead in that. You can’t be so far wrapped up in that and so concerned about that that you lose sight of other things that are going on in the conversation outside of that social space. So I think that smart agencies are gonna be those agencies that not only can bring that expertise on the table socially but can also help those clients that more broadly about their consumer and how they live and how to best connect with them at any given touch point.

T: So kind of the difference between tactics and then strategies?

M: Yes I think that it is that and I think being able to stay ahead of the curve in terms of what’s current for its value. I think the more an agency can convince a client that they understand the broad implications of not just how social and digital operate and how we need to play their massive share but again how that affects and how it interfaces what other elements of what they’re doing. And that isn’t just taking it one step further. It’s not just the marketing space but it’s the sales space and it’s the taking it to an extreme. But it’s the internal communication and how your ambassadors from within your organization embrace that. So yeah I mean it’s an important part of the whole social piece of it and it’s certainly that agencies need to be on top of it but I think that there are lots of agencies out there.

I just got off the phone with a social digital agency client of ours who was approached by a prospect and asked. I have social and digital agencies calling me all the time and they’re all claiming all the things that were just talking about here in terms of a b testing and all that kind of good stuff. But tell me in a one page powerpoint slide what makes your agency different. What other things can you bring to the table that can help me as a client know that you guys are thinking bigger than just this one piece of the puzzle. That’s not diminishing the importance of social but we can’t get so wrapped up in the social space to think that that’s all there is and that’s what’s gonna knowing that as an agency is what’s gonna help me set myself apart long term.

T: So there’s a kind of thought that comes to mind as I’m listening to you because if again I remember running my company when it came time to building a business we had to have a way to get our foot in the door but if you’re trying to sell everything in the beginning it’s like way too much of a conversation. So the concept of helping, coz there’s these tactics to get you to the door and the buzz these days is definitely social and I think to a great degree content marketing as well which I don’t so much see as social but it’s more about thought leadership. And I know that in my research on you one of the things that I think you’re trying to do and you could correct me if I’m wrong is through your ongoing blogging creates some thought leadership and wouldn’t it make sense then that if agencies want to be able to talk about the big picture with their new clients or yeah I would say their new clients coz that’s so much of a conversation to have with a brand new client, if they’re starting to put some time and effort into that thought leadership won’t that position them well.

Coz you just said with the agencies what makes you different than all these other agencies, if someone’s been reading your blog and you’re writing really great content that demonstrates that you have skills, experience and expertise in that area I gotta think that because when people buy stuff whatever it is they’re gonna buy there’s a certain number of questions they wanna get answers to before they buy it. And I know in my experience you can knock a lot of those questions through simply having a blog and sharing really great quality content coz people will consume it and they’ll go “oh that agency’s pretty smart with respect with strategy and branding and so forth because I’ve been reading about it.”

M: Sure sure. Yeah without question I mean the programs that we manage in RSW part of these programs is constructing what we call VA or value added email program. Most agencies are not really good at developing their own content and the old cupboards children syndrome where they do a great job of making the shoes for their clients but pretty crappy job of doing it for themselves. So we try and develop content for agencies to help position them as thought leaders in their space but the space that we’re typically choosing is not necessarily expert in the digital social space. That could be a component of it but it’s an expert in the sector or industry that we’re going after. So it’s an understanding of the trends and issues facing that industry and it’s an understanding of the consumer that operates in that space and how to best connect with those consumers coz marketers wanna know that you get them and that you are a thought leader in their world but obviously they also wanna know that you have the skill sets tactically and strategically to be able to kinda carry them forward.

So what we do in RSW is we talk about thought leadership or we basically give it away. We try and help agencies create better business programs for themselves. So we talk about tactics and strategies and we showcase an understanding of the issues going on in the space. And so we try and employ the same strategies for our clients in our program by writing content or finding interesting insights that we can share with their prospects that show them that they get it and they’ve got current and valued thinking that they can bring to the table. So clearly the content creation is an important part of building that thought leadership. Now that said you can’t just rely on that to win the day okay. Because just part of this part of the findings in the study we just completed was marketers still value traditional means for outreach by agencies and they learn about agencies via traditional means like phone and email and mailings. And so our programs and the program we employ for our own business is to integrate consistent messaging across multiple platforms whether it be mailings or phone calls or emails and sitting underneath it is the thought leadership component of it that starts with the blog but activates and then engages consumers or prospects. We don’t just let it sit.

So yeah I mean the social piece is critical. We rely on it very heavily for our programs and for our own business but I believe that a smart agency is gonna be a real value to a client if they can come in with great entry point, what you’re saying, but I would favor an agency that comes in and talks social and the value of content creation but talks about it in the context of how maybe ultimately we can help you think about how to integrate this program or this initiative across other platforms or across how to use it to better activate your sales force or help engage your internal employees or whatever. So can be a great tactic to open up a door but I think the agency that’s gonna really differentiate itself is one that can let that prospect know that they’re a bigger thinker and that they have the techniques available and the analytics available to them to effectively analyze and react and respond to what it is they’re doing.

T: One of the things that you mentioned and that Jay mentioned in my interview with him and he’s mentioned in the book The Good to Great refers to it as the hedgehog strategy. And it’s the intersection of 3 circles and the common thread was pick a specific niche. Like to say that I wanna be the best marketing agency in Houston is tough to do. But to say I wanna be or we are the best marketing agency for accounting firms in Houston someone could own that space or for biotech firms or autobody shops or whatever niche you wanna be. Do you see many agencies specially the smaller ones, are they spending too much time trying to be everything to everyone and in essence being nothing to no one? Or do you see them getting really nichy like there’s a sale cap I wanna go after just this one niche and I’m gonna own this space because it seems to me you’re gonna have a much more strategic conversation when you know the space that well. You get a lot more referrals. You get a lot more thought leadership. But they’re afraid but what if I’m just doing it for accountant what about all these other people that are just gonna magically just come and knock to my door and they’re not gonna be accountants. I might lose that business.

M: Yeah definitely. I mean the tendency is to try and be everything to everybody and you nailed it, it’s a fear of missing an opportunity. But when we manage programs for our agency clients we’re not suggesting that the agency completely change its face but we do have that agency zero in on specific spaces and really zero in on showcasing expertise within a specific single or limited multiple sectors. Because you can’t be everything to everybody. And if you try to just be a generalist agency across all sectors you’re gonna look like everybody else. So I think that the caution is getting too narrow in your focus.

We had an agency client where we were, basically the agency was zeroed in on service marketing expertise and there were certain group of sectors that we were targeting where we were targeting kind of the unique perspective of that. We brought to the table the agency and only playing in the service sector and we were very successful in opening up opportunities for this client. They hired an outside consultant to come in and evaluate kind of where they were going and the consultant recommended that they narrow their focus even more into a very specific, it was like an engineering sector or something along those lines. And the problem with that is that suddenly their universe shrunk, one, and the problem was the opportunities in terms of the dollar volume of business that presented themselves within that sector was very limited.

So yeah definitely a proponent of zeroing in and you don’t have to, you can zero in and also not be in a position where that random stray thing sort of pops in, you can take those things and still live a life of showcasing expertise and insights within specific sectors. What I mean by that is we have agencies where they play in multiple sectors but they have couple of core areas maybe in health care and finance and we will build programs and communicate to those prospects within those sectors as if those were the only areas that we operated effectively in. So there’s a way of kind of playing both worlds sort of thing but definitely you need to focus if you’re gonna be able to differentiate yourself.

T: So let’s say there’s somebody listening to this and they’re thinking “you know that kinda makes sense but I’m not ready to change my whole corporate website and make it all like I’m just gonna be the agency for accountants”. Is there any reason why they don’t have a separate website which is completely and totally geared and optimized for SEO as a matter of fact for accountants in Houston as an example? And then they’re kinda have their company branding down on the bottom and they can still have their main website but for that particular niche as they’re trying to gain traction for that niche maybe their using this other site which is still the about page is still all about their firm and their principle and so forth. Is there any reason why someone couldn’t go that approach?

M: No I mean there’s no reason why they couldn’t go that approach. I don’t know that they necessarily have to in order to effectively play in a specific space. And I don’t think that marketers necessarily are managing a search right now for a major healthcare institution up in Michigan and these guys are not necessarily just interested in finding agencies that operate exclusively in the hospital space. I think there’s value in perspective that agencies can bring from different sectors but that said we’re looking specifically for agencies that have a core expertise in the hospital system space that can bring the insights and the knowledge. But there’s definitely some trade offs. If all you play is in the hospital space that’s all you know and there can be some limits to the broadness or the vastness of your thinking. You played in different industries yourself and you bring experiences from those different industries that can help you think differently about a sector than somebody who only, it’s like we’re talking about agencies and how they think what’s different really isn’t all that different.

I will never forget one of the first presentations I ever made back in 2006 in Kansas City to a group of 20 agencies and gave them all the overhead projector transparency and I asked them to write down their elevator pitch. And 19 of the 20 we’re different because we’re strategic and we work hard and our clients really love working with us. And so that’s the risk in only operating in one sector. Not suggesting that there’s not value in it coz clearly becoming expert in an area thus that marketers wanna know that you understand their space and you can bring value and you can be forward thinking but I don’t think you have to change your agencies face completely to reflect that sector in order to convince the marketer that you know your stuff and you can help them better than an agency who doesn’t present themselves that way.

T: Okay. Alright I’ve got lots more questions for you. I wanna get the listeners some clues to hear what’s coming up. Next I wanna talk a little bit about inbound marketing. We’re gonna talk about some of the tools that you’d suggest that agencies use. And then coz we’re already closing on an hour, if we have time I wanna talk a little bit about developing more business from existing client. So I think we’ll probably run out of time before we get through all of that. I’ve got even more questions on that but I don’t think we’re gonna have some time for that today.

I know that in my research on you or I should say my producer’s research on you before this were some conversation points around inbound marketing. And in your survey there were some agencies that felt that inbound marketing was effective and there were some agencies that felt that inbound marketing wasn’t effective. I’m interested so the perspective for the question is this, I’m an agency, I wanna get more business for myself, should I be using inbound marketing and if so what should I be doing?

M: Yeah inbound marketing is definitely a great tool to use. I think the challenge I’ll just give you some background and perspective. I became a hubspot partner about six months ago on the agency search side of our business because I’m reaching out to marketers trying to get them interested in our agency search model. And the intent of that partnership was to see to what degree kind of the higher order inbound marketing program could significantly change the dynamics in terms of inbound leads and do business ultimately for that business. And the ultimate goal was to see if what we were doing for our agencies on RSWUS side of our business is related to content generation with the goal of trying to create some inbound activity, if there was something more that we could be doing that we weren’t already doing for those programs. And what I found is that there is value in stepping it up but for an agency to assume the responsibility of trying to develop the amount of content that they needed developed for themselves and the time that it takes to manage a program effectively, it’s challenging.

I mean I’ve got an agency client on the RSWUS side who has been operating with hubspot for a while and whether they took it to its holistic stand or not I don’t know. I know they were blogging 4 times a week and all the things that were supposed to be doing but at the end of the idea they just ran out of energy and they had existing client relationships they had to manage and things just got in the way. So I do believe that content development and creating some sort of whether it’s an automated process to communicate with prospects with the goal of trying to establish more inbound leads, whether it’s that or like we do right now in the RSWUS side for our own business. I have a guy who heads up our sales and social for the business and he is kind of like my human hubspot I call him because he’s writing posts, I’m writing posts, we get people downloading surveys or calling those people. It’s agencies that we’re reaching out to so they’re a little more receptive to the content that we’re pushing out. The need is very well defined and clear in terms of business offering and what we can do for an agency.

So I think it’s important for agencies to have content and to activate that content. I’ve wrote a post couple of years ago that got under the skin of some social folks because I talked about social marketing inherently being a passive medium. And my point was it is if all you do is write it and you let it sit or you write and you don’t think about kind of what you’re writing and how you can use social for SEO or about activating it, pushing it out to prospects. How it’s gonna only have limited value. So I think content creation is critical for agencies because they can use that content then in a lot of different ways. In pushing it out to prospects and using it to bolster SEO so it is important but I think that certain agencies that are wholly committed to kind of the higher order inbound marketing program can do it. I think if they’re offering it specific enough it can definitely be a value but I think it has some challenges. I think it’s right for agencies to look at inbound for clients and using inbound as a tool to help clients. But I think the agency offering it’s a time so amorphous and has so many different ways in which it can help a client that it’s tough to really use it and have it in another shelf being the effective tool to drive business.

Coz the difference that I’m seeing between agency search in RSWUS is that I’m managing the agency search hubspot program and I’m writing 4 posts a week and I’ve got the work flows going and all that kind of good stuff. And I’m getting people downloading stuff and I’m getting reports on who’s clicking up things. I’m not doing a great job of it coz I’m the guy managing a following up of those people coz I have a company I have to run where as we who manages who’s my human hubspot, his job is when people download stuff, call them, follow up with them, stay in touch with them and so he’s much more active on that front than I am. And I think that’s where agencies must be prepared to carry it to that level on their own. That’s where the challenge. That’s where it breaks down for me. I think that so.

T: Something I wanna offer to yourself and to anyone that’s listening. I interviewed a fellow by the name of Peep Laja who runs agency, you can get to that interview at All of their new business comes solely from the blog. He got 50,000 visitors to his blog on the first month. He doesn’t write a lot of posts. In the interview and obviously his particular strategy may or may not work for everyone. I can’t tell you exactly what his agency’s focus is but in the interview you’ll get it all. It worked very very well within the sphere of what he was trying to accomplish. And so I wanted to make sure that people are aware that that’s another resource that they might wanna check out.

M: Yeah absolutely.

T: Alright so I’m gonna finish with this one last question and then get you to tell where people can get a hold of you and so forth. Coz you’re kind of a long answer guy so I don’t think we have time for a few more. But maybe this one is a short one then I’ll ask one more. But in terms of, and I know you’re gonna mention probably hubspot coz you’re partner, tools that agencies could or should be using to help manage the whole I call it life cycle of the lead. You get a lead by one way, shape or form. Maybe it’s from your website or a reporter or whatever. That lead needs to be nurtured to the point when they’re ready to either call you or be called and say yes and become a customer.

And then there’s a whole other phase of client side marketing that happens after that, but what are some of the tools that you would suggest that people use to try? Coz we’re all, especially small business owners, we’re all over worked we don’t have enough time, work work work, and so I’m a big fan of automating that. I call it the sales funnel. I’m a big fan of automating the sales funnel and letting people raise their hand and tell me what they’re interested in. But what are some of the tools that you use for that?

M: Well yeah I mean for our programs it’s not rocket science. It’s a matter of consistency and consistency in messaging and consistency in the outrage and we use all platforms. We use content and blogs that our clients are writing and we’re pushing those out.

T: Is there any specific software tools that you’re using? That’s more what I’m going after.

M: No.

T: No particular. Okay. So you’re a hubspot partner. How does hubspot fit in to, coz I haven’t used hubspot. I use infusionsoft and I know that for me infusionsoft does a very good job coz I can create all these campaigns and have emails go out and they all have links and they go to various landing pages. And depending upon what people click and what people watch, what forms they fill out I can segment my list. I can have automatic additional campaigns get fired off because they clicked on this link which inherently told me they were interested in whatever topic that link was about. Does hubspot do something similar to that?

M: Hubspot has the technology and platforms to enable its customers to do that, yes.

T: It does.

M: So obviously you create the content so that’s again just I think that’s the biggest challenge for agencies. Frankly they need somebody to create the content for them. That’s again part of what we’re looking at. Hubspot of course can reuse that platform to help dial up the outbound activity to increase inbound activity for the program. And I think the answer is yes but it’s yes with a caveat which is if you have the resources and the time to put the program together correctly and effectively. Because if you do it half ass it’s not gonna work for you.

And it sounds like what you’re doing is the right way to be managing it and probably this agency that you referenced is doing it correctly. I don’t know what they’re offering is but I think that if an agency wants to jump into something like that they need to know that they need committed resources to develop the content and manage the intricacies of the program in order to effectively do it. I mean I could use a marketing assistant full time dedicated to hubspot and writing content and developing things that we can be pushing out. So I think that’s my only caution. I think it’s a great, conceptually it’s a great way to go and it is the right thing to do. And it needs to be part of every program. You just got to go in with eyes wide open knowing how much time you’re gonna need to commit to it if that is the sole means by which you are going to generate leads, okay.

Our programs don’t just rely on inbound. We are reaching out to prospects via phone, email and twitter and activating blogs that our clients are writing and hosting surveys on their behalf and then pushing that content out. And getting inbound leads but not just relying on those inbound leads to find opportunities for clients.

T: And that’s something I should comment coz maybe I didn’t make that clear both for my own purposes and Peep’s purposes. One of the things that I spent a lot of time, coz a lot of people, I know I did this when I first started blogging with my previous venture. You know you create all this content but it’s like a tree, if you chop down a tree in the forest will everybody hear it?

M: Absolutely.

T: No. You have to put a lot of time into promoting your content.

M: Absolutely.

T: So if anyone’s listening to this thinking I should just create 4-5 blog posts a week. I would say no you don’t wanna do that. You might wanna create one really good one per week because 99.9% of the world hasn’t read it yet.

M: Yeah right.

T: And so there’s a lot of value in figuring out well who owns the community where my audience hangs out. First of all know who your audience is and then figure out who owns the community and then just go to the community owner and say I have some content that I think that your audience would really find a lot of value in. And have your marketing assistant or whomever is on your team spend probably 4x time promoting the content as it did to create the content the first place. So when I say inbound I don’t mean that people just magically show up and find all of your stuff. What I’m talking about is putting your thoughts and your strategies and your ideas on your blog and then doing everything you can to get people to that blog so that they can see that you’re an expert and they will want more from you.

M: Right. And that 4x the effort is what folks, agencies need to recognize if they want to what we’re calling is inbound as a means by which they’re gonna build a business. Because it takes a lot of outbound whether it’s promoting or whatever it is you’re doing, in our case it’s calling, tweeting and emailing in compliment to any content we’re pushing out. So whatever the means is again it’s not just if I post then they will come. So that’s how I grew up in there.

T: Okay. So I wanna give you the opportunity and I don’t know if you can. Hopefully you can think one off the top of your head coz I did not put this in my questions before. I don’t think I did. Is there a particular success story that you’ve had with a client recently that you wanna maybe talk a little bit about in case there’s people listening to this who are thinking maybe I might like to work with Mark but they might need a little bit more information. Either if there’s a case study on your blog that you wanna point them to or there’s something you wanted to talk about. I just wanna give you the floor to do that for a few minutes.

M: Yeah if you were to ask me 3 years ago what we do I would tell you that we were on the business of finding qualified leads and helping agencies better position themselves. And today when I’m asked that question I answer it by telling prospects that we’re in the business of helping agencies close business. So we have to bring the opportunities to the table. We have to help the agencies better position themselves. We have to be developing the content.

But we have a client that’s been on board for 9-12 months. This gentleman took over the agency from his father a couple of years ago. Brought us on board to help him build his business. One of the first opportunities we opened up for him, he asked us if we would review his presentation that he planned on giving to his prospect. And we agreed because that’s a big part of what we do. We review parts and pieces of proposals and presentations and it was awful. I mean there was nothing in there about the prospect. There was very little in there. We’ve been talking a lot about thought leadership. Nothing in there about thought leadership. No good reasons why this prospect should consider this agency. So we gave him some very hard to swallow but honest feedback on how to improve his presentation. And not only getting end up winning this piece of business but our new business director who represents him sits in on his presentations as webex presentations and he’s like a changed man in terms of the confidence that he has going into this presentations.

And really zeroing in on the needs states of the clients and talking about things that matter to them and not just being another agency that’s pounding your chest and talking about how great you are. And I think the biggest compliment that he received that he passed on to us was that his whatever 70 year old father who run the business for 30-40 years said that hiring RSW was the best decision that he had made since taking over the business. And I think that really is a testament to not only our ability to create opportunities for this agency but also to bring value beyond what he brought us in to do. And that’s helped him become a better sales person and better understand kind of how to approach the prospects that he’s going after.

T: That’s a fantastic story. Thank you for sharing that. So if someone is listening to this and they would like to get a hold of you, what’s the easiest for them to do that?

M: Dropping me a line at or you could just simply visit our website at and there’s contact information or resource to contact us there.

T: Okay terrific. We’re I think in the order of an hour and I try to keep these interviews to about the length that someone could consume in the commute to and from work depending on how long their commute is. I think there’s a lot more things that we could talk about so you’re welcome to come back on to the show anytime you like. Thanks very much for making the time to be on the show with us today.

M: Thanks for inviting me. Appreciate it. Take care.

T: Alright take care.

Get to the show notes for Mark and I’s interview where you can get the transcript and other things that we talked about. Just go to And the other thing I wanna briefly tell you about is the massive traffic toolkit. If you go to and enter your email address you’re going to get instant and free access to the massive traffic toolkit. So what is that? It is a compilation of all of the smartest traffic generation strategies that have been shared with me by my previous guests here on Bright Ideas. And the best part about this toolkit, you do not need to be an SEO expert to be able to execute the strategies that are shared in the toolkit. So go to

So that’s it for this episode of the Bright Ideas podcast. I’m your host, Trent Dyrsmid. Thanks very much for listening. Please do me a little favor. Head over to iTunes and leave a 5 star feedback for us and leave a rating rather and leave some feedback. Coz whenever you do that it helps the Bright Ideas podcast get more exposure and the more people that are able to watch or listen to the podcast, the more small business owners that we can help to discover how they can use online marketing and sales automation tactics to massively boost their business. Thank you very much. I’ll see you in the next episode. Take care.

About Mark Sneider

marksneiderMark Sneider is a 25 year veteran of the consumer packaged goods, advertising, and marketing service industry. Mark earned his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Business School at Northwestern where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Mark obtained his undergraduate degree in Marketing from Miami of Ohio.

Sneider started his career serving clients at DDB Needham in Chicago prior to attending Kellogg. Prior to starting RSW/US, Mark was General Manager for AcuPOLL, a global research consultancy. Sneider worked in Marketing for S.C. Johnson, Andrew Jergens, and O-Cedar Brands.

Sneider has been invited to speak at numerous Agency events and network conferences including the 4A’s, TAAN, and MCAN.  Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes.

When not working, Mark coaches select soccer, teaches Sunday school, and runs. Mark is married and has three teenage children.