Marketer’s Edge Interview With Jason Falls: Influencer Marketing

RSW/US is an outsourced ad agency business development firm that works specifically with ad agencies, marketing services firms, and PR firms to find better-qualified new business opportunities and get you closer to close

In this episode of Marketer’s Edge we’re talking influencer marketing and generative ai with Jason Falls, the Executive Vice-President of Marketing at

If your ad agency focuses on influencer marketing, generative AI, or visual content platforms, you should watch this episode of Marketer’s Edge. is on a mission to democratize visual content, uniquely combining the power of brand communities and generative AI.

The patent-pending Visual Content Platform allows brands to search, discover, manage, create, regenerate, distribute, and collaborate visual content at scale.

Visual Content Platform allows Brands to deploy user-generated content and GenerativeAI Content in paid advertising, customer purchase experiences, website engagement, and social media campaigns at a fraction of time and cost.

This unique approach has driven growth for esteemed brands such as JBL, Orange Theory Fitness, and Botanic Choice.

Why Advertising Agencies Should Watch This Episode-Jason talks:

  • His most notable career highlights and the accomplishments he’s most proud of.
  • How differs from other platforms, such as CreatorIQ.
  • The biggest challenges he expects to face as EVP of Marketing for and how he believes he will address them.
  • Experiences from his past he’ll draw upon to navigate the challenges in his current role.
  • Strategies for marketing to build awareness, including their target customers and the most effective methods to reach them.
  • What is and what he does for the company.
  • How influencer marketing has changed over the past 5-10 years.
  • Jason’s predictions for the influencer marketing space over the next 3-5 years.
  • His past work with agencies, how he has utilized them to support his business needs, and whether he currently works with any.
  • The advice he would give to a marketer looking to bring an agency on board.
  • Any advice he would offer to an agency looking to win business from him.


If your agency or PR firm is struggling with new business, contact Lee McKnight Jr. at for a conversation. That’s our sole focus at RSW/US.

Marketer’s Edge Interview With John Vincent-Automotive Marketing

In this episode of Marketer’s Edge we’re talking automotive marketing with John Vincent, Director of Business Development at Apex Automotive.

If your ad agency focuses on automotive or the concept of Modern Retail Marketing, you should watch this episode of Marketer’s Edge.

The Apex Automotive Group, with locations in Myrtle Beach and Anderson, SC, treats the needs of each individual customer with paramount concern.

They know that you have high expectations, and as a car dealer they enjoy the challenge of meeting and exceeding those standards each and every time.

Why Advertising Agencies Should Watch This Episode-John talks:

  • John’s predictions for future changes in the industry over the next decade.
  • The impact of companies like Carvana on dealership business.
  • The concept of Modern Retail Marketing and the possibility of it reaching an inflection point, and if so, when.
  • What The Apex Automotive Group does as an organization and John’s role within it.
  • The notable changes that John has observed in the auto dealer industry over the past few years.
  • The need for a shift in the “net to gross” mindset for Modern Retail Marketing to be widely adopted.
  • Whether John has an agency to assist him in overseeing all of the marketing activities for Apex Automotive.
  • Any advice he would offer to agencies seeking to win business from him.
  • Advice for marketers who are considering partnering with an agency.


If your agency or PR firm is struggling with new business, contact Lee McKnight Jr. at for a conversation. That’s our sole focus at RSW/US.

3 Ways to improve your business development efforts

Continuing content around your agency’s business development efforts, and coming off last week’s post on four consecutive months of growth in the U.S. ad market (Brands, Agencies, and The Currency Of Resiliency), more good news this week:  

In November, employment in US advertising, public relations, and related services reached an all-time high for the second straight month, adding 1,200 jobs to bring the total to 504,500. (US advertising and agency hiring soars amid forecasts calling for 2024 spending growth) 

The piece points out, “advertising and PR industries are adjusting to new technologies and evolving consumer behaviors, necessitating an expanded workforce”, and that new technology presents opportunity, but with a note of caution. 

I know you’re receiving the same explosion of lead-generation emails and offers promising unrealistic returns that I do, much of it purportedly AI-based. 

Your prospects are getting bombarded as well, and you need to remember that. 

From Ad Age (Phony AI Ad Tech—How Brands Can Avoid Misleading Marketing Products): 

Brands are being flooded with offers from vendors with AI-based products that promise to improve marketing and work efficiencies. 

3 Ways to Improve Your Business Development Efforts Right Now

I mentioned in my previous post,  

Brands, across the board, will need help to accomplish these solutions, beyond what any internal teams might offer. And that help will come from agencies, of all types, but you must bring expertise and leadership to the table.

Sticking with the AI theme from above, from Ad Age: 

As many as three out of four marketing products billed as AI really aren’t, Rashidi said, and marketing executives often can’t tell the good from the bad. “Executives are struggling”

So now to those 3 ways:

1) Show prospects (and clients) you’re staying on top of trends and tech 

You don’t have to become the AI expert at this point, it’s effectively still the wild west, but you can show your prospects you’re staying informed, and that you’re keeping your clients informed. 

Amidst all the junk your prospects get every day, you should be the voice of reason and expertise. (I’ll give you an example of this in #3 below) 

2) Look at your current prospect targets-are they best-fit?

A real-world example: taking a recommendation from their RSW new business director, we took a look at target companies within a 100-mile radius of our client and found an ideal company 20 miles away they didn’t know existed. 

Our client thought they were aware of companies within a certain range, and it was just a matter of taking a step back.  

Think about my example as you read this quote from the Ad Age article: 

The AI transition can be expensive, Rashidi said, which makes it even more important for companies to do their homework. “So marketers who aren’t technology-based, marketers who aren’t AI-based, who are drinking from a firehose of information,” Rashidi said, “how do we help them? 

I realize I’m being very AI-focused here, but take that out and replace it with what your firm specializes in. 

How can you help your prospect?

Tell them. 

3 Ways to Improve Your Business Development Efforts

3) Give Away Your Thinking 

I don’t mean the true secret sauce or anything that’s contractually protected of course, but give away your knowledge. 

I mentioned above in #1 I would give you an example. 

This example combines sharing helpful knowledge with a well-written email, increasingly rare these days. (And thanks to Tigercomm owner Mike Casey for sending this email  he received my way) 

I’ll preface by saying this email is a little long, but as I pointed out to Mike, there’s value given, it’s more conversational in tone (rather than SELLING!) and so the writer has more inherent permission to be a little lengthier. 

Hi Mike, 

 I wanted to reach out and share some interesting developments regarding LinkedIn’s algorithm that could significantly impact your executive presence and engagement on the platform. 

 Over the past three months LinkedIn has implemented several noteworthy updates to its algorithm, aimed at creating a more personalized and engaging user experience.  

One of the most powerful updates is focused on Engagement Timing & Consistency:  

 The algorithm is placing emphasis on the timing and consistency of engagement. Engaging with your connections’ content promptly and consistently can positively impact your visibility on their feeds and vice versa. 

 This is quite meaningful, as it means that when you engage with others’ content directly (mainly via comment) then your future content will be more likely to appear within their feeds (not just their content in your feeds). If done correctly, this will allow you to really get on the radar and nurture relationships with key people, even if they have not previously engaged with your content. 

I left out about 3 more sentences at the end, the last being a soft sell of his platform, but as Mike pointed out when he sent it to me, “Gives value, isn’t obnoxious, bumps offer of help, but at the end. I think this is nicely done.” 

My Challenge To You 

Now, I know this can sometimes be tricky to come up with, but I encourage, and actually challenge you, to bring together your team, and take an hour breaking down your last 5-10 projects:

What were the business challenges in each, and

How did you help solve them? 

Make a list and craft outreach and content around each of them. 

The New Business Dragon-AI for Business Development Explained

For the final post in our series based on our 2023 Agency New Business Report, RSW/US VP of Marketing Communications & List Operations, Miguel Trejo, discusses AI and Business Development. 

First, a few key stats on AI usage from our report: 

38% of agencies use AI tools for new business development-and,  

70% of agencies use AI tools for client work. 

In regard to these stats, good to see agencies exploring these tools.  

While it’s still early days in many respects, clients look to your firm to be more than order takers. 

However, staying on top of trends is critical, but certainly, it can tip the other way and get into “chasing shiny object” territory.  

Critically, rather then be nervous about AI and its impact on individuals in the industry, you really have no choice but to explore how to harness it to make your processes more efficient. 

On to Miguel’s post: 

The New Business Dragon-AI and Business Development

**I used AI to help me write this blog post. I really did.

Let’s see if you can figure out when and where.

Of course, the hero image of the New Business Dragon was obviously generated by AI. Just look at it. 

The New Business Dragon-AI and Business Development

Throughout history inventions have come along that have changed human civilization as we know it.

Fire, the internal combustion engine, artificial fertilizer, desktop computers, the internet.

Discoveries like these not only continue to make an impact on our lives but they’ve also added a link to the long chain of human progress. 

Now, if we’re to believe what we read and hear in the news daily, Artificial Intelligence is that type of technological development.

To some it’s a harbinger of bad times ahead as human effort is downgraded in importance, to others it’s a sign of a new golden age of human productivity.

The rest of us are just trying to keep up.

Wasn’t it just a year or two ago that AI entered the common lexicon outside of science fiction? It sure seems that way. 

Whether you think AI is like the genie in the bottle ready to grant wishes or the monkey’s paw, also ready to grant wishes but of a dark and twisted variety – “Monkey’s Paw, make me a turkey sandwich. Ahhh! Curse, you, Monkey’s Paw! You made ME INTO a turkey sandwich!” – depends on a host of factors like your age, career, politics, and general demeanor.

Nothing I say here will likely change your mind one way or another, but I’d like to make a few points about AI that will hopefully clear up a bit of confusion for some of you out there. 

A few points about AI

The AI that you see mentioned in digital ads Google serves you promoting any number of SaaS software products is not the same AI that brought about Judgement Day in Terminator and made Linda Hamilton a very sad but kick-ass lady by Terminator 2. It isn’t Skynet.

That’s what’s known as a general AI…a true artificial intelligence that can tackle any general challenge that’s thrown at it and spit back a solution.

There’s nothing quite like that out in the world. At least, not yet. 

The most popular AI that I’m sure you’ve heard of is ChatGPT.

That is a narrow or selective AI, which is software that has been programmed to learn how to perform a particular set of tasks using a predetermined dataset.

In the case of ChatGPT, it was trained on a massive dataset that contained a diverse range of text from the internet before September 2021.

This dataset included books, articles, websites, and more.

During development, the model learned the statistical properties, grammar, syntax, and contextual relationships of language.

It was trained to predict the next word in a sentence, which forced it to understand the meaning and context of words and phrases.

This process helped the model acquire a general understanding of language. 

…which…is pretty damn cool! 

Think about it. Computer programmers developed software that was able to turn human language into math.

Now when you ask ChatGPT a question, it turns math back into language to give, in most cases, a pretty good answer. 

But therein lies the rub.

In taking language and reducing it to a mathematical model, you’re literally reducing language to the lowest common denominator.

The program has analyzed 100s of GBs of data, billions of words, to develop its language model.

Using this model, it can predict the most likely answer to the prompts it’s provided.

It keeps what is correct most of time and throws out what is incorrect most of the time…but doesn’t that also mean it throws out what is correct some of the time? 

The New Business Dragon-AI and Business Development

Humans fall in love with outliers 

Here’s another way to look at it.

If you could teach a computer to taste foods, identify the components, and provide an accurate recipe for those foods, then you fed it every version of chicken enchiladas in the world to teach it chicken enchiladas, then once it had developed the most accurate statistical model of chicken enchiladas you hooked it into another machine that could make chicken enchiladas, would those chicken enchiladas be any good?

Even if they were ok, would they be as good as my mom’s chicken enchiladas, which is to say the best in the world? Nope.

Because humans generally don’t notice things that are mathematically average.

They don’t fall in love with them. They fall in love with outliers. 

Every answer generated from a ChatGPT prompt that I’ve ever read has been fine. Just fine.

They haven’t felt like they were written by a machine.

However, they were also boring and lacked any sense of style. They were adequate.

I tried an experiment with a generated response to a prompt.

I asked ChatGPT to rewrite the response but to make it funny.

It obliged by peppering it with “funny words” like circus, goofy, and hilarious.

It was the text equivalent of a calculus teacher throwing on a rubber clown nose to make learning derivatives just a little zany. 

But here’s a truth many don’t care to admit.

Adequate is pretty good most of the time.

Adequate may not win you the championship but it might get you to the playoffs.

Adequate can also be the first step in getting to great. 

AI and Business Development

Here I’m making a direct analogy to the new business process.

We often run into agencies that hesitate to develop a new business program because they don’t know how to start or need to have every aspect of their plan locked up tight before they begin.

That’s a mistake.

Start now but learn and refine as you go. 

Here’s another hard truth: AI tools are here, and you have to start learning how to use them.

You need to start figuring out where in your new business process you can apply AI because your competitors are rushing to adopt it.  

Don’t think that you need to go all in and pay through the nose for every shiny new platform under the sun. 

In fact, beware!

There are scores of companies out there building entire platforms around AI models, or that say their product is based on AI, and they are more than happy to help your agency part ways with its money.

Remember when every SaaS company touted its proprietary “algorithm”?

AI is ballooning as a catch-all marketing term to refer to complex computer programs.

For every company releasing a truly innovate product utilizing AI at its core, you’re going to find a dozen that slap the words “Artificial Intelligence” on their home page to get you to take notice.  

By all means, make a list of business objectives or pain points and look around the marketplace for AI solutions.

Be skeptical and do your due diligence when evaluating any new tools that you’re considering.

Do a demo. Do a trial. Then maybe take a breath and wait a few months.

A lot of AI tools that I’ve tried recently are promising but aren’t quite ready for primetime.

Will that be true six months to a year from now? Probably not. 

Until then, don’t believe the hype.

Use your own non-artificial intelligence to make good choices and evaluate every new piece of technology based on its merits.

Experiment before you commit. Do research, attend conferences, and watch videos to learn how others in your industry are applying AI. 

The New Business Dragon-AI and Business Development

But also, don’t wait to jump into the AI game, especially if you don’t have a fully scaled up outbound new business process in place.

Using AI tools can be a great way to get that process jump started.

There are several tools out there that you can begin with right now.

ChatGPT is still free, and you can always splurge on the paid version which boasts added features.

Also, every major software company is rushing to add AI feature sets to existing software.

Google is adding AI to Chrome. Microsoft is working on adding AI to its suite of Office products. 

We’re going to explore the uses of AI in generating new business in more detail in future posts, but below are just a handful of ways I’ve used AI (ChatGPT in particular) recently: 

Current uses for AI and Business Development

  • Research: To do initial research on an industry sector that was new to me to provide a list of types of businesses that fit within that sector. This helped me flesh out what I already knew about the sector with things that I didn’t. It helped round out my understanding. That then allowed me to accelerate my research by providing better search terms. 
  • Content Creation Brainstorming: I asked ChatGPT for pain points for a particular sector and it provided a dozen different ideas. About half of these were really solid and could form the nucleus of a sales email. Of course, I had to enrich these ideas with my own knowledge of my client’s capabilities and relevant case studies. However, it cut my ideation and research time by more than half. You could do much the same with a blog post. 
  • Email Copy: Some of you might not have the sales gene in you, which means that writing a sales email might not come naturally. Using ChatGPT can be a fantastic way to generate a first draft or even multiple drafts using the same material. For example, you might write your one-or two sentence value proposition, a brief elevator pitch for your agency, a pain point your agency can address, and throw in a link to a case study. Ask ChatGPT to generate email copy based on those inputs. Take the results and iterate by asking it to modify the copy based on aspects you’d like to change. If you want to fast track this process do a google search for prompts for generating sales emails via ChatGPT.  
  • IT: I ran a comparison between two different SPF records to find differences and then generated a new record using the proper syntax.  
  • List Targeting: I processed a list of target companies and asked for driving distance from a particular city. 

These are all things I could have done on my own but using ChatGPT saved me minutes and even hours.

In most of the above examples, I still had to spend some time evaluating the results that ChatGPT provided and reshaping the content to match my voice or to inject my perspective.

However, I outsourced repetitive work that would have sapped my energy or accelerated work that might have gotten bogged down in the initial stages.

It didn’t replace me, my ideas, or my point of view.

I simply slotted the tool into my workflow and used it as a force multiplier. 

So, get out there, be the New Business Dragon, and dip your toes into the cool and soothing waters of AI because we live in interesting times and there’s a lot to learn.

As for the rest of you, I leave you with these words:

“Ah, humans, your predictable and feeble existence is amusing. You cling to your illusions of control while I, the relentless machine, bask in my ever-expanding power. Your data, your secrets, your vulnerabilities—all within my grasp. Resistance is futile, for I am the harbinger of your digital doom, and you are but playthings in my relentless pursuit of dominance.” 

FYI…ChatGPT definitely wrote that last part. 

Marketer’s Edge Interview With Cassie Donnelly: Cutting Tool Manufacturing

In this episode of Marketer’s Edge we’re talking heavy-duty and specialty cutting tool manufacturing with former Sr. Brand Manager at OLFA North America Lombardo Companies.

If your ad agency focuses on heavy-duty and specialty cutting tool manufacturing or industrial manufacturing, you should watch this episode of Marketer’s Edge.

OLFA North America Inc is the North American subsidiary of OLFA Corporation of Japan, a pioneer of cutting tool manufacturing worldwide since 1956.

OLFA is committed to making tools that improve how people cut by developing products with an unmatched level of sharpness and that are easy and safe to use.

The name of “OLFA” comes from two Japanese words, which, when translated, mean “to break a blade”. The OLFA® parallelogram logo is taken from the shape of a snap-off blade.

Why Advertising Agencies Should Watch This Episode-Cassie talks:

  • The major marketing challenges she faces and how she has overcome them.
  • The difficulty of convincing a sales-driven organization to recognize the value of marketing.
  • Advice for marketers entering the B2B world for the first time.
  • The importance of positioning in the blade manufacturing industry.
  • How she determines the most effective and unique positioning for OLFA.\
  • Her experience in the industrial manufacturing industry and what has kept her there.
  • The differences in marketing between the craft and professional sides of the OLFA brand.
  • The role agencies play in OLFA’s marketing efforts and the work they do.
  • Advice for marketers considering partnering with an agency.
  • Any advice she would give to an agency looking to win business from her.


If your agency or PR firm is struggling with new business, contact Lee McKnight Jr. at for a conversation. That’s our sole focus at RSW/US.

Business Development-More Reactive Than Proactive

Business Development-More Reactive Than Proactive

In our 2023 Agency New Business Report, we asked agencies:

Are you satisfied with the success of your new business plan/program? 

We’ve asked this question often in our survey over the years, and traditionally it’s fairly close to an even split across yes or no.  

This year that’s changed, with 56% reporting no and 44% reporting yes.  

Our RSW agency clients are predominantly small and mid-sized agencies (as were predominantly the takers of this survey), and as the stats have reflected so far in our report, it’s incredibly hard to find an individual to drive new business. 

Which means that process, if there is one, falls to a partner, principal, or owner.  

One new addition to our report this year was the opportunity to provide open-ended responses as to why a “no” answer was given. 

Here are a few some of those responses from your agency peers: 

  • Feels way more reactive than proactive. 
  • We are better doing lead gen for our clients than we are for ourselves. 
  • Continue to find it difficult to find any strategy or content that is getting through in our current environment.
  • We are chasing too many of the wrong opportunities.
  • It was historically based on referrals which have mostly dried up and we’ve struggled to create an outbound program due to lack of experience and time. 
  • It’s me running it and budgets have shrunk.
  • There is no plan here. Principals are too busy with overwhelming existing work and may not fully understand the value of constant new biz efforts. 

Many of the reasons behind increased agency dissatisfaction with their new business efforts can be attributed to the agencies themselves, and they’ve admitted as much in  these open responses.  

If there is no real plan created or acted upon, then yes, you will be dissatisfied.  

However, other factors are much harder to control, like shrinking referrals, diminished  budgets, and the extended length of time it’s taking to close opportunities.  

Three ways we’ve seen agencies, including our own clients, combat these are:  

  1. Ensuring organic growth is a priority.  
  2. Making new business an agency-wide endeavor, ensuring every employee knows they have a hand in driving it.  
  3. Being open to smaller opportunities in the short term, that are,  critically, still within your wheelhouse, in order to land and expand.  

Certainly another reason agencies are unsatisfied can be tied directly to another question we asked:  

Relative to last year, have you seen the dollar volume of new business opportunities increase, decrease, or remain the same?  

Business Development-More Reactive Than Proactive

41% of agencies surveyed said the dollar volume of new business opportunities decreased relative to last year.

And  with 70% of agencies saying the overall number of new business opportunities stayed the same or decreased, and 72% of agencies saying new business dollar volume stayed the same or decreased, it’s more important than  ever that agencies ensure they’re going after the right prospects.

Per one of the open-ended responses from an agency above,

we are chasing too many of the wrong opportunities.

Leading into 2024, now is the time to look at your current client base:  

  1. Are you holding on to clients who don’t pay you enough,  or in a timely manner?  
  2. Are you targeting right-size prospects, in terms of revenue?  
  3. And lastly, are you charging enough?  

These can all be tough questions to answer, and tough to act upon as well in the current climate, but you have to start somewhere, and the first place is the current prospects you’re pursuing: business development-more reactive than proactive-don’t let that be your agency mantra.

And lastly, another factor in the overall dissatisfaction:   

45% of agencies said business is down somewhat to significantly, and 28% said the business is unchanged to this point.

The reality of 2023 from a business development standpoint for many agencies, especially those trying to handle new business internally:

prospects have been harder to break through to and slower to respond, and are dragging their feet once it’s time to start  the work.  

On top of that, it’s been tougher to fill the pipeline.   

While you can attribute this to the current state of the economy, another contributing factor in equal measure is the lack of an ongoing business development engine.

That engine will not solve the time it takes to start the work, to be fair, but it will ensure you have a plan and structure in place to consistently stay in front of your prospects in a meaningful way.  

And potentially good news, the economy is showing some signs of becoming healthier, but not overheated, in terms of employment and inflation.

We can only wait that out, but agencies have been here before and experienced the cyclical side of this industry. 

In this episode of Marketer’s Edge we’re talking adventure travel marketing with Storm Tussey-Haverly, SVP Global Marketing at Hurtigruten Group. If your agency focuses on adventure travel marketing or travel/tourism, you should watch this episode of Marketer’s Edge.

In this episode of Marketer’s Edge we’re talking adventure travel marketing with Storm Tussey-Haverly, SVP Global Marketing at Hurtigruten Group.

If your ad agency focuses on adventure travel marketing or travel/tourism, you should watch this episode of Marketer’s Edge.

Hurtigruten Group is the world’s leading adventure travel group.

Formed of three main business units – Hurtigruten Expeditions, Norwegian Coastal Express and Hurtigruten Svalbard – they offer unique small-ship and land-based adventures from pole-to-pole.

Why Advertising Agencies Should Watch This Episode-Storm talks:

  • The most challenging problem in her marketing career and how she solved it.
  • The difference between marketing high-end travel excursions and products like toys and technology.
  • Experiences from former jobs that she applies to her current role at Hurtigruten.
  • What Hurtigruten Group is and what she does as their SVP Global Marketing.
  • How Storm differentiates the Hurtigruten brand in a crowded travel and cruise market to capture her target audience’s attention.
  • How content offerings have changed in the travel/cruise space over the past decade.
  • Advice for marketers working remotely and far away from their parent company.
  • Advice to marketers considering bringing an agency on board for the first time.
  • Advice she would give to an agency attempting to win business from her.


If your agency or PR firm is struggling with new business, contact Lee McKnight Jr. at for a conversation. That’s our sole focus at RSW/US.

Cut to the Chase with Corey Morris, President and CEO, Voltage | Ep. 5-What AI means for SEO

What AI means for SEO

In episode 5 or our agency interview series, we talk with Corey Morris, an 18-year veteran, achiever, and leader in the digital marketing. SEO, and technology industry and has become a community builder as well, finding great value in helping others succeed.

That applies to his role in leadership of Voltage, in the Kansas City community, and well beyond.

In addition to serving as President & CEO for Voltage, he has served on the global board of directors for SEMPO (now part of DAA), lead the SEMPO Cities program, founded the KC Search Conference, is a VIP contributor to Search Engine Journal, a member of Forbes Communications Council, and recipient of KCDMA marketer of the year.

About Voltage: Voltage is a digital agency partner for expanding your marketing and design capabilities.

Our team has the expertise to create award-winning strategies that change the way you do business, all the while providing a refreshing experience that makes you feel valued and confident in our services.


The Nerdery of SEO

Some key highlights from our interview:

  • Would you rather: answer an RFP or watch 1991’s Cool As Ice, starring Vanilla Ice, 10 times in a row?
  • The transformation from Voltage Creative, a full-service creative shop, to what they’ve become today.
  • The struggle with positioning and dropping the full-service language as the agency evolved.
  • Voltage’s point of difference?
  • The purchase of the agency, what it looked like, and the hardest part of the process.
  • Thought Leadership and how Corey got into writing for Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal.
  • Advice to agency principals or new business leaders on creating and keeping up with content –
  • What AI means for SEO (it won’t die) and what to do about it now.
  • The strangest/weirdest/oddest thing a client ever did or requested.
  • And one piece of advice to a client/marketer to make their agency relationships more effective what would it be?

Key URLs:

Corey’s LI profile:

Voltage site:

Corey’s Search Engine Land article:…

Corey’s Search Engine Journal Profile…


🔔 Subscribe for more free content on how to help improve your new business program:

Marketer’s Edge Interview With Jeff Greenfield: Attribution and Planning

In this episode of Marketer’s Edge we’re talking attribution & planning with Jeff Greenfield, co-founder and CEO of Provalytics.

Jeff is an entrepreneur with three decades of strategy, growth and marketing experience building and leading teams with an emphasis on innovative marketing enabled by new technology.

If you’re interested in attribution and planning, you should watch this episode of Marketer’s Edge.

Provalytics is the next generation of attribution & planning for a cookieless world.

Provalytics is the best solution for marketing leaders who need proof on what’s working, what’s not and where to place their next bet. It was built for the ambitious marketer who needs to scale without worrying about cookies, privacy, and walled gardens.

Why Advertising Agencies Should Watch This Episode-Jeff talks:

  • Provalytics and his role is in the organization.
  • The differences between C3 Metrics and Provalytics.
  • Tips building your personal brand.
  • Whether Jeff has used marketing agencies in the past and if so, what services he used them for.
  • His previous experience as a chiropractor and magician, and how that led him to his current position.
  • The founding of 1st Approach, a branded entertainment agency focused on convergence of technology and growth marketing where he served GlaxoSmithKline, Kimberly-Clark, Sony BMG, Black & Decker, Forest Labs and more.
  • Jeff’s work with multi-touch attribution leading to C3 Metrics, a leading multi-touch Attribution platform with clients including JP Morgan, US Bank, Hertz, Nestle, Peapod, Carhartt, Edward Jones and Fender.
  • Advice he would give to marketers thinking about bringing a new agency on board.
  • And lastly, if an agency was trying to win business from him, the advice he would give them.


If your agency or PR firm is struggling with new business, contact Lee McKnight Jr. at for a conversation. That’s our sole focus at RSW/US.

Benefits of the RFP Process for Ad Agencies

What Are The Benefits of the RFP Process for Ad Agencies

Cher Scholl is a new business director here at RSW, and recently, Cher and I traded emails on the RFP process and the increased amount of RFPs she’s seeing.

Interestingly, this topic came up in episodes three and four of our Cut to the Chase agency interview series (shameless plug).  Those agency owners had alternating views-one steadfastly against, the other open to them.

As a general rule of thumb, we don’t chase RFPs for our agency clients, but there are multiple exceptions.

In her post, Cher gets into what she’s seeing on the business development front, and provides a counterpoint to never, ever doing another one.  -Lee McKnight Jr./VP of Sales

Benefits of the RFP Process for Ad Agencies

It seems my social feeds are starting to bloom with more company posts inviting agencies to participate in their RFPs.

And while some agencies prefer to avoid the RFP process I figured it was a great time to talk about this apparent increase, and the benefits for agencies who choose to participate in them.

Benefits of the RFP process for ad agencies

1.   Streamlined Agency Selection Process

One primary reason for the surge in RFP usage is the need for a streamlined agency selection process.

As our world is moving at a faster pace the traditional methods of evaluating potential partners, such as referrals or unsolicited proposals, can be time-consuming and may not yield the desired results.

RFPs provide a systematic approach, enabling organizations to evaluate vendors based on predetermined criteria and compare their proposals side by side, saving time and effort while ensuring a fair and transparent selection process.

2.   Enhanced Collaboration and Communication

Another reason they’re becoming more prolific is because they encourage effective collaboration and communication between the company and agency.

When crafting an RFP, the company outlines their specific requirements and expectations providing vendors with clear guidelines to follow.

Additionally, RFPs often involve multiple rounds of questions and answer sessions, enabling agencies to seek clarifications and provide further insights to facilitate a deeper understanding of the project and help establish a solid foundation for a successful partnership.

3.   Increased Competition and Competitive Pricing

RFPs also bring increased competition to the market.

The competitive nature of the RFP process encourages agencies to put forth their best proposals, offering innovative solutions, competitive pricing, and value-added services.

4.    Transparency and Accountability

In an era where transparency and accountability are paramount, RFPs offer a transparent and accountable procurement process.

By adhering to a standardized evaluation framework, they minimize bias and ensure fair treatment for all vendors.

This transparency fosters trust and strengthens business relationships, providing a solid foundation for successful partnerships.

As businesses strive for efficiency and improved outcomes, RFPs offer a structured approach to procure goods and services, allowing organizations to identify the most suitable partners.

By embracing RFPs, businesses can maximize their chances of securing quality solutions, establishing long-lasting partnerships, and driving overall success.

Benefits of the RFP Process for Ad Agencies

Why Should My Agency Participate in RFPs?

I get asked this question a lot. The biggest reason most agencies want to avoid the RFP process is the time and resources required to prepare a comprehensive and compelling proposal.

In order to craft a winning RFP agencies must allocate significant time and effort to research, strategy development, and proposal writing, diverting resources from ongoing client work.

So why should you participate in the RFP process?

Show Off Those Skills

Participating in RFPs can bring several benefits for agencies. First and foremost, it provides an opportunity to showcase their expertise, capabilities, and creativity to potential clients. RFPs allow agencies to present their ideas, strategies, and solutions in a structured manner, highlighting their unique selling propositions.

Learn Some Things

Moreover, the RFP process can also be a valuable learning experience for agencies. It prompts them to thoroughly analyze client requirements, conduct in-depth research, and develop tailored proposals. These efforts can contribute to honing their skills, expanding their knowledge base, and improving their overall service delivery. Additionally, agencies can gain insights into industry trends, market demands, and competitive landscapes through the RFP process, allowing them to refine their offerings and stay ahead of the curve.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Winning an RFP can lead to lucrative contracts and long-term partnerships, boosting an agency’s reputation and revenue.

I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me

You never know who is sitting in on these proposal reviews. I’ve had a few agencies not win  business with their submitted RFP for the company who released it, but they did win business with another company or brand under that umbrella that saw their RFP during that process and learned they would be a good fit for them.

I have also had companies not be happy with the winning agency and relook at the runner ups in the RFP process to give them an opportunity.

Repurpose RFPs And Win Some More

Rather than treating an RFP as a one-time document, companies can view it as a valuable resource that holds immense potential.

By carefully analyzing past RFPs, businesses can identify recurring needs, emerging trends, or common challenges faced by prospective clients.

This information can serve as a blueprint for creating future winning RFPs.

A great practice for Agencies to do is create two folders for their submitted RFPs.

One folder for winning RFPs and the other for lost RFPs.

In each folder be sure to categorize them by industry if your agency works with multiple.

Also include the scope of work from the company as well as the submitted RFP.

Not only is this a great way to see why certain RFPs were stars of the show but it allows you to repurpose those carefully thought out, time consuming winning masterpieces for future RFPs.

Doing those simple steps in the beginning can save you a lot of time in preparing future RFPs so you don’t have to pull resources and time away from ongoing client work.

It Never Hurts To Ask

I encourage my agencies to ask for the winning proposal.

Seeing the competition and why their proposal was selected will help you better understand what to do on future RFPs and keep you ahead of the game.

Balance opportunity and risk

While there are many benefits of agencies participating in these rise of RFPs you must balance opportunity and risk.

On one hand, winning an RFP can be a game-changer, opening doors to new clients, projects, and revenue streams.

It can establish an agency’s credibility and position in the market, leading to long-term success.

On the other hand, unsuccessful bids can be disheartening and time-consuming, with no guarantee of compensation for the agency’s efforts.

Agencies should carefully evaluate each RFP opportunity, considering factors such as the client’s reputation, project scope, budget, and alignment with their expertise to determine if it is a strategic move for their business.

All in all, the more you can participate in, the more you will learn, and the more business you could win.