The Best Marketing Podcast

Could There Be The Best Marketing Podcast?

It seems that everyone has their favorite or best marketing podcast.

Maybe you have or want one.

I know from talking to my advertising agency clients that many agency leaders are thinking about developing and publishing their own podcast – if they are not already out there already. However, getting to the best, like all things marketing, requires some strategy and superfine execution.

Before I get to the best, here is one podcast stat from The New York Times (3/2019).

Past reports from The Infinite Dial showed a creeping increase in podcasts from year to year. That has changed in 2019, when there was a dramatic jump. Compared with 2018 figures, the number of people who have listened to at least one podcast in their lives increased by 20 million, and an additional 14 million people described themselves as weekly listeners.

This stat is both good and bad news. Good news that podcasting has become a part of everyday life. Yet, bad news since it appears someday’s that EVERBODY has a podcast.

Frankly, like many things marketing, get it right or do not bother.

What Is The Best Marketing Podcast? Marketing School.

Of course, there isn’t a best. But, since I listen to multiple podcasts across a range of subjects, I am beginning to develop a sense of what works and does not from the perspective of a core podcast format. As an FYI, I did my first podcast in 2006 and even spoke at Boston University’s very early stage, as in 13 years ago, Podcasting 201 and Beyond.


Today, as it relates to marketing company podcasts for folks like you, I think you should take a hard look at and listen to Marketing School with Neil Patel and Eric Siu. Even if you are not a marketer, well, actually, who isn’t in some way in 2019, check out what Eric and Neil do. Read More »

Anatomy Of An Advertising Agency Pitch: Part One

Anatomy Of An Advertising Agency Pitch

brandThis interview with Tony Mikes, Founder of the Second Wind Network, is a first-person perspective by an advertising agency management and business development leader who sat on the client side of an important ad agency pitch. It is an enlightening review of how advertising agencies performed, or didn’t, in a new business pitch for the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

Frankly, A Must Read

The interview and perspective on agency new business pitching will be highly instructive for small, medium and large agencies… to say the least.

The interview first appeared in my book, “The Levitan Pitch. Buy This Book. Win More Pitches.”

It is very rare to have an advertising agency veteran sit on the client side of a pitch and give his impressions of the process and how the agencies performed. You will hear about what the winning agency did and what the losers failed to do.

The interview is over three thousand words so I broke it into two parts. I urge you to read both.

At the end of part two, I will give you my impressions on the lessons that every agency can learn from Tony’s experience and insights.

Tony Mikes

Tony Mikes was the Founder and Managing Director of the Second Wind Network, which today has over 800 small to mid-sized agency members.

Tony consulted with and advised advertising agencies and their leadership on best practices for almost 20 years. He provided members and clients with ‘old school’ agency wisdom and combined it with cutting-edge strategies. Before starting Second Wind, he was President of Pennsylvania’s Mikes & Reese Advertising from 1972 to 1988.

My Portland agency Citrus had been a member of Second Wind, and Tony was one of our advisors. Tony was an experienced mentor that could always help me resolve an agency-related issue or grab an opportunity and turn it into success. Sadly, Tony passed away in 2015.

The Anatomy Of An Advertising Pitch Interview

PL: You were on the client side of the agency selection table recently. How did that go? Read More »

Does B2B Social Media Still Work?

Does B2B social media marketing still work for advertising agencies?

I’ll get to that answer in a minute.

Background: I have been thinking of writing a book on the why, how, when and when to move overseas. Thinking about this is a result of my being asked every week about the how and why I moved from Portland, OR to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in 2016. My book would be crammed with facts by country, the personal side of living overseas (with many interviews with digital nomads and expats) and associated benfits and costs.

I mentioned this new idea to my wife and she asked me… why not a blog? It has an ongoing life and gets written in manageable chunks vs. a static book. Plus a blog can be monetized. Publishing books in 2019 is a pain in the ass – for both traditional publishers and self-published authors (I know, I’ve published four books).

Of course, like so many business endeavors, the rubber hits the road when one starts to figure out how to market the blog or book. That is how I got to starting to think about how to grow an audience.


This blog has gotten between 75 and 60 thousand visitors a year. I’m happy – these are strong numbers for a focussed blog about advertising agency business development.

I know that growth has come from a small set of factors.

  • I started in 2012 when there were significantly fewer blogs in general and a smaller set of advertising agency consultants.
  • I have strong SEO skills that have helped me to live on page one for the right Google searches.
  • I did a lot of guest posting from 2014 to 2016. This got my name and URL out there.

However, like many of my marketing friends and agency clients, I am seeing a reduction in traffic. I believe that this is a result of market shifts:

  • Competition for B2B eyeballs is much stronger.
  • Organic reach is tanking. Google is less friendly (for many reasons).
  • Mobile viewership continues to grow (smaller screens do not help me get shares and convert – this might be an arguable point).

Spend Money

Many of the agencies that thought that all they had to do is to spend the time writing brilliant blogs posts to build audience are not getting the traction they had hoped for.

The solution… you must market your social media programs. Even $100 a month marketing budget can help your company’s social media program reach its prospects. Passive is way too passive in today’s competitive social universe.

But… writing blog posts and managing LinkedIn and  Instagram and even more costs money and time itself.

My solution is at the bottom.

Daunting Social Media Facts

Here are some facts about social media platforms in 2019 that might cause a marketer to really think hard about the competition for eyeballs.  Simply put, given the growth in all social media platforms, can your blog and other social media efforts ever deliver the audience you seek? I come to this question via both my personal journey and watching dozens of advertising agencies fail at driving interest via social media.

  • Blogs: There are over 500 million blogs. WordPress alone estimates that there are 60 million WordPress blogs.
  • LinkedIn’s monthly active user base is over 260 million (Apptopia).
  • Instagram: Instagram has over 1 billion monthly active users. More than 500 million use the platform every day (Statista).
  • Facebook: Over 2 billion active users (Statista).
  • YouTube: Total number of YouTube monthly viewers worldwide – 149 million (Statista).
  • Twitter: From the Washington Post – “Twitter claimed 321 million monthly users, down 9 million, or more than 2 percent from the same time last year.”

Repeated Point Coming

(!) The solution… you must market your social media programs. Even $100 a month marketing budget can help your company’s social media program reach its prospects. Passive is way too passive in today’s competitive universe.

(!) Something else to consider – really grow your account based marketing program. Go beyond social media marketing to doing more direct marketing to your list to make sure your sales message is delivered.

Oh, try this: Talk to me.


How To Study Your Competitive Advertising Agencies

3 Competitive Advertising Agency Growth And Business Development Tools

This post provides a brief look at 3 tools for you to study your competitive advertising agencies. And, they are excellent insight drivers to use for your new client business development program. Want to prove to prospects that they need you? Use these tools to deliver insights and to make your point.

In order to be truly competitive, you need to know what your competitive agencies are doing online, how well they are doing and what wonderful and effective marketing and content plays they are using to drive their awareness and new client interest.

Good news, many of these analytics can be used for free – up to a point. Neil’s tools are free. SEMrush and SimilarWeb will start you out for free and then change for enhanced analytics.

I’ll be adding more business development tools – Sign up on the left for my weekly newsletter so you don’t fall behind your very own agency competitors.

Neil Patel’s UberSuggest, Traffic Analyzer, and SEO Analyzer and SEO Analyzer

Neil Patel’s free UberSuggest, Traffic Analyzer, and SEO Analyzer tools generate free website analysis reports that include top keywords and pages and suggested revisions to improve website health. Use it for your advertising agency website and then compare it to your competition. By the way, note how Neil uses these tools to drive his own traffic and love. IP is cool people.

Here is a quick look at an analysis of the digital award winning agency The Many’s Site Audit.


Need some more online visibility? SEMrush is a longstanding winner in the analytics arena. Their online research tools deliver insights into traffic analytics; organic and advertising research; backlinks and keyword research.

Take a look at New York’s Oberland, another hot agency. I bet your agency would be happy with 19,300 visits last May 2019.

Read More »

11 Must Have Ad Agency Business Development Tools

11 Must-Have Ad Agency Business Development Tools (Updated From 2014).

Things Change. I first wrote this 11 Must-Have Ad Agency Business Development Tools blog post at the very end of 2014 and a few minutes ago the website checker app Checkbot pointed out that this post has a couple of dead links. (4.5 years later and it is interesting to see what tools have survivied). So, I thought that I’d repost and make things work. I suspect a reason for the broken links is that some of these tools are history. Here is what I found.

Back to 2014 – it is still worth the read… Blog post Consistency, actually the lack of it, is one of the most pressing issues that reduces the effectiveness of most advertising agency new business programs. So… Here are some ad agency business development tools that I recommend to keep your agency’s new business and content development program on track. (Tweet this.)

These tools (and there is a big world of tools out there these days) will help your efficiency and, more importantly, make you look like a subject matter expert because you are on that ball. Even better, as you use these tools for your own business development efforts, you will be gaining social media expertise that will dazzle your client prospects.

Clients (the ones you do not have yet) need your help according to this research from  Ascend2.

When Will the Social Struggles Stop eMarketer

Almost half of the clients surveyed have significant social media obstacles to overcome. You can help them by helping yourself.

This list of 11 tools is my first set of recommended online social media management tools. There will be more coming. Read More »