Marketer’s Edge Interview with Jill Sammons-Credit Union Marketing

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


In this episode of Marketer’s Edge we’re talking credit union marketing with Jill Sammons, Senior Vice President Marketing, Well-Being & Wealth Advisory at BCU.

If your ad agency focuses on credit union marketing, you should watch this episode of Marketer’s Edge.

BCU is a purpose-driven organization that empowers people to discover financial freedom.

With over $6 Billion in assets, BCU is also one of the fastest growing credit unions in the last four decades.

Both not-for-profit and member-owned, the Credit Union is driven by the commitment to provide extraordinary service for more than 350,000 members across the US and Puerto Rico. BCU members enjoy access to financial services and well-being programming that inspire confidence through the brand promise Here Today For Your Tomorrow.

Lifetime membership is offered to employees and families of America’s best workplaces and those living or working in Chicago-area communities.

Why Advertising Agencies Should Watch This Episode-Jill talks:

🌟 Know to Grow Strategy and Prioritizing Initiatives

🚀 Differentiation Strategies in the Saturated Banking/CU Market

🤖 Utilization of AI Technology in Marketing Jill’s efforts

🤝 Collaboration Between In-House Teams and External Agencies

📈 Advice for Marketers Considering New Agency Partnerships


BCU Overview

🏦 BCU and Its Unique Approach in the Credit Union Industry

💡 BCU’s Focus on Financial Well-Being and Partnership with Large Employers

💪 Implementing Strategies to Improve Employees’ Financial Well-Being

📚 Leadership Style and the Influence of “Truth About Leadership” Book

🌟 Importance of Shared Values and Mentoring at BCU

If your firm is struggling with new business, contact Lee McKnight Jr. at lee@rswus.com for a conversation. That’s our sole focus at RSW/US.

Marketer’s Edge Interview with Amanda Kantor-Brewery Marketing

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


In this episode of Marketer’s Edge we’re talking brewery marketing with Amanda Kantor, Marketing Manager at Saucy Brew Works in Cleveland, Ohio.

If your ad agency focuses on breweries and brewery marketing, you should watch this episode of Marketer’s Edge.

Founded in 2015, Saucy Brew Works is more than just a brewery; it is a lifestyle brand dedicated to crafting exceptional experiences. With a strong passion for both beer and coffee, Saucy Brew Works believes in the power of connection—whether it’s enjoying a morning coffee as the sun rises or sharing a crisp beer with friends at sunset.

Saucy Brew Works pours passion into every step of their process, from selecting the finest ingredients to employing cutting-edge techniques. This dedication results in a collection of exquisite and unique craft beers. The team at Saucy Brew Works is committed to offering the best of brewing excellence to their customers and is constantly exploring new avenues to maintain freshness and authenticity. Their mission is clear: to cultivate a sense of belonging.

Why Advertising Agencies Should Watch This Episode-Amanda talks:

🍻 What kind of business Saucy Brew Works is and what she does for them.

🚀 The company’s expansion and entry into the coffee business.

💰 Raising money via crowdfunding to help with expanding into the brewing and coffee markets.

🏅 How the company differentiates itself from the competition.

👥 How Saucy Brew Works attracts and retains customers.

🤖 How she uses technology and the potential of using AI for recipe creation.

👩‍💼 How she and her team of three handle all aspects of their brand and marketing.

🏢 Their use of agencies.

🍽️ How and why Saucy Brew Works positions itself as a food and beverage destination with a wide range of offerings to cater to different preferences.

📈 Her‘s advice for marketers looking to bring a new agency on board.

💡 Advice she would give agencies looking to win business from her.

If your firm is struggling with new business, contact Lee McKnight Jr. at lee@rswus.com for a conversation. That’s our sole focus at RSW/US.

Marketer’s Edge Interview with Autumn Pruitt: Small Business Retail

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


In this episode of Marketer’s Edge we’re talking small business retail with Autumn Pruitt, Small Business Owner at Hardy Coffee Co. in Omaha, NE.

If your ad agency focuses on Small Business Retail, you should watch this episode of Marketer’s Edge.

Founded in 2010 by Autumn Pruitt and her husband Luke, Hardy Coffee Co. started off as a small bakery that was subleased from Aromas Coffeehouse.

A year and a half later, they purchased the coffee shop and have since opened three additional locations.

In 2015, they began roasting their own coffee under the brand Hardy Coffee Co. and later brought every piece (bakery, coffee shops, roasting lab) and location (downtown, Benson, North Omaha, Chalco) of the business under that unified name—Autumn’s maiden name.

For Autumn and her husband, specialty coffee (and all that goes with it) isn’t so much about indulgence, but ritual—having places and moments and things in life that add value and create rhythm.

Why Advertising Agencies Should Watch This Episode-Autumn talks:

Challenges in Managing Retail Locations Compared to Wholesale Business

  • 📈 Strategic Focus for Growth: The importance of delegation and maintaining a strategic focus.

Consolidating Brands

  • 🔄 Brand Identity: Consolidating multiple brands under Hardy Coffee Company for a stronger brand identity, and the challenges faced during the rebranding process both internally and externally.

Learning and Development

  • 🌱 Continuous Learning: From exploring new coffee flavors and trends through supplier relationships and industry events to focusing on R&D for product improvement.

Working with Agencies

  • 🤝 Agency Collaboration: Her experience with agencies and how they can bring a personalized approach and clear value proposition to the business.

Advice for Small Business Owners

  • 💡 Industry Experience: The importance of gaining industry experience before starting a business, seeking mentorship, and building a supportive network of entrepreneurs.

Autumn’s Journey

  • 🏆 From Bakery to CEO: Autumn’s journey from starting as a bakery to owning multiple locations of Hardy Coffee Co. and her role as the CEO handling sales and marketing.

Marketing Strategies

  • 📢 Engaging Customers: Marketing strategies and content creation to engage customers effectively.
  • 🆚 Differentiation: How she differentiates her business from competitors.

Expansion

  • 🚀 Growth: Expansion from retail-only to B2B sales through roasting for wholesale accounts.

Balancing Responsibilities

  • ⚖️ Work Balance: Balancing working in the business versus on the business, prioritizing tasks, and effective delegation of responsibilities.

Community Involvement

  • 🌍 Local Engagement: Her involvement in local community events, collaborations with local photographers, and using retail locations as showrooms to engage with customers directly.

Continuous Improvement

  • 📚 Learning and Innovation: Autumn’s continuous learning and actively seeking new marketing approaches, technologies, and consumer trends through various sources like podcasts, books, seminars, and team input.

Advice for Marketers

  • 📈 New Agency Onboarding: Advice Autumn would give to marketers looking to bring a new agency onboard.

Advice for Agencies

  • 🎯 Winning Business: Autumn’s advice for agencies looking to win business from marketers.

If your firm is struggling with new business, contact Lee McKnight Jr. at lee@rswus.com for a conversation. That’s our sole focus at RSW/US.

Financial Services Firms Marketing

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


In this episode of Marketer’s Edge we’re talking financial services firms marketing with Mark Cohen, Senior Vice President, Marketing Manager of Advisory Services for Mesirow.

If your ad agency focuses on Financial Services Firms Marketing, you should watch this episode of Marketer’s Edge.

Mesirow is an independent, employee-owned financial services firm founded in 1937. Headquartered in Chicago with offices around the world, they serve clients through a personal, custom approach to reaching financial goals and acting as a force for social good.

Why Advertising Agencies Should Watch This Episode-Mark talks:

  • Utilizing digital technology for efficiency and effectiveness.
  • The future of AI and technology in marketing and the various challenges in its application.
  • The challenges of digital integration for marketers.
  • The importance of digital transformation and cultural change in companies.
  • What kind of organization Mesirow is, and what he does for them.
  • The role of “Advisory Services” in financial companies.
  • Marketing strategies in the financial services industry.
  • The importance of digital culture in organizations.
  • Strategies for effective client-agency relationships.
  • The significance of AI in marketing and business management.
  • Advice Mark would give to marketers looking to bring a new agency on board.
  • Mark’s advice for agencies looking to win business from marketers.
  • Strategies for agencies to win business opportunities.

If your firm is struggling with new business, contact Lee McKnight Jr. at lee@rswus.com for a conversation. That’s our sole focus at RSW/US.

Marketer’s Edge Interview with Paul Schwalbach: Community College Marketing

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


In this episode of Marketer’s Edge we’re talking community college marketing with Paul Schwalbach, Marketing and PR Manager at Pima Community College, in Tucson, Arizona.

If your ad agency focuses on Community College or Education Marketing, you should watch this episode of Marketer’s Edge.

Pima Community College is a comprehensive two-year institution serving students and employers throughout Pima County in Arizona and beyond. They welcome everyone striving to achieve a better life for themselves, their families and their communities. Pima is focused on strengthening partnerships and expanding employer engagement in order to ensure that today’s students are prepared now and for many years to come.

Why Advertising Agencies Should Watch This Episode-Paul talks:

  • How Pima Community College manages its extensive marketing and communications efforts across multiple platforms and departments.
  • Pima’s work hand-in-hand with local businesses like Raytheon and Caterpillar to tailor educational programs that meet industry needs.
  • How Pima balances open admissions with maintaining high educational standards and how they’ve tackled the impact of the pandemic on student enrollment.
  • An in-depth understanding of Pima Community College, including the structure, offerings, and unique aspects of one of Tucson’s key educational institutions.
  • The transition from traditional marketing methods to modern digital strategies, including the use of geofencing and social media.
  • Valuable advice for marketers looking to bring on new agencies.
  • Advice for agencies looking to win business from marketers.

If your firm is struggling with new business, contact Lee McKnight Jr. at lee@rswus.com for a conversation. That’s our sole focus at RSW/US.

AI Activation for Video Advertising

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


In this episode of Marketer’s Edge we’re talking AI Activation for Video Advertising and AI technology companies with Cory Treffiletti, Chief Marketing Officer for Rembrand.

If your ad agency focuses on AI Activation for Advertising and/or AI technology, you should watch this episode of Marketer’s Edge.

Rembrand is the world’s leading platform for Enhanced In-Scene Advertising. They offer a marketplace and a platform that enables advertisers to become part of the story, rather than interrupting it. With their technology, an advertiser has the engagement of a sponsored social post with the ease and scale of a media buy.

Why Advertising Agencies Should Watch This Episode-Cory talks:

  • How Rembrand’s AI Activation for Video Advertising works to identify placements, render 3D objects, and seamlessly insert them into videos.
  • The industries and types of advertisers that have adopted Rembrand’s technology.
  • His perspective on the current use of AI in marketing and how it can be applied to the creative process.
  • The skills and capabilities needed for successful marketing leaders and CMOs today.
  • What kind of organization Rembrand is and his role within the company.
  • The challenges of traditional video advertising and the need for new solutions.
  • His experiences working on the agency side and how that has shaped his approach as a marketer.
  • Challenges facing agencies, including competition from consultants, and the need for greater agility.
  • Advice for marketers on evaluating and working with agencies.

If your firm is struggling with new business, contact Lee McKnight Jr. at lee@rswus.com for a conversation. That’s our sole focus at RSW/US.

Grocery Retail

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


In this episode of Marketer’s Edge we’re talking grocery retail with Michael La Kier, Vice President of Brand Development for IGA, Inc.

If your ad agency focuses on grocery retail or independent retailers, you should watch this episode of Marketer’s Edge.

The Independent Grocers Alliance (IGA) was founded in 1926 to bring family-owned, local grocery stores together under the IGA brand.

Nearly a century later, the support of a nationally known brand is still giving IGA grocers the ability to better compete, while at the same time, allowing them to stay true to who they are—hometown store owners in a position to meet the needs of their unique communities.

Today, communities across the U.S. are being served by second, third and even fourth-generation local IGA grocers.

Why Advertising Agencies Should Watch This Episode-Michael talks:

  • His responsibilities as Vice President of Brand Development for IGA.
  • IGA’s unique business model and its support for independent retailers.
  • The shift in IGA’s branding strategy to emphasize retailer individuality.
  • The application of analytics in understanding customers at a local level for IGA stores.
  • Community engagement by local IGA store owners and corporate support.
  • IGA’s internal teams and use of external agencies for marketing purposes.
  • Challenges facing agencies in the retail sector post-COVID, like supply chain issues, inflation, and changes in digital marketing.
  • The evolving landscape of agencies and the importance of transparency and business understanding in agency-client relationships.
  • Michael’s varied background including advisory work, teaching, the CMO position, and role as managing editor at Shopper Matters.
  • The transition from Coca-Cola to startup consultancy and the challenges faced.
  • Advice for marketers considering bringing a new agency on board.
  • Advice for agencies trying to win business: understanding the client’s business.
  • Patience in business development, and empathetic communication strategies.

If your firm is struggling with new business, contact Lee McKnight Jr. at lee@rswus.com for a conversation. That’s our sole focus at RSW/US.

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 CIPIO.ai.

If your ad agency focuses on influencer marketing, generative AI, or visual content platforms, you should watch this episode of Marketer’s Edge.

CIPIO.ai 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 CIPIO.ai differs from other platforms, such as CreatorIQ.
  • The biggest challenges he expects to face as EVP of Marketing for CIPIO.ai 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 CIPIO.ai to build awareness, including their target customers and the most effective methods to reach them.
  • What CIPIO.ai 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.

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

Marketer’s Edge Interview With Dave Kettner: Renewable Fuels & Chemicals

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 renewable fuels and chemicals with Dave Kettner, President & General Counsel at Virent, Inc.

If your ad agency focuses on renewable fuels and chemicals, you should watch this episode of Marketer’s Edge.

Located in Madison, Wisconsin, Virent is creating the low carbon chemicals and fuels the world demands using a wide range of naturally-occurring, renewable resources.

Its patented technology features catalytic chemistry to convert plant-based materials into a full range of products identical to those made from petroleum.

The products are drop-in replacements that enable full utilization of existing logistics infrastructure without blending limitations.

Why Advertising Agencies Should Watch This Episode-Dave talks:

  • The need within the renewable fuels and chemicals industry to create an interest in the consumer to want those products.
  • Their focus over the last few years on working with B2C businesses to communicate to and educate their customers.
  • Virent’s work with Patagonia to successfully manufacture its first fully biobased product, the SugarDown Hoody.
  • Their work with Japanese materials maker Toray Industries to mass-produce the world’s first 100% plant-based polyester.
  • The challenge of building awareness and educating businesses like Patagonia on what it means to be biobased, and the sustainability advantages associated with that.
  • Virent’s efforts to commercialize its BioForming® technology and promote that brand name.
  • The challenge of building and expanding refining capacity.
  • One of the industry’s biggest challenges: education and getting people to understand the full dynamics and the opportunities presented.
  • What kind of organization Virent is and what Dave does for them.
  • What it means to create products that are “drop-in replacements”.
  • What the competitive landscape looks like for Virent and how they differentiate themselves from similar offerings.
  • Virent’s historic contribution to the aviation industry as their bio-based fuel was used in the first commercial passenger flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel.
  • Virent’s partnership with Johnson Matthey to further advance the commercialization of their BioForming® process for production of bio-paraxylene (PX), a key raw material for the production of renewable polyester.
  • Their possible need to work with marketing agencies in the future, something they have not had to do up to this point.
  • Advice he would offer to agencies seeking to win business from him.

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If your agency or PR firm is struggling with new business, contact Lee McKnight Jr. at lee@rswus.com 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.

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