“I don’t want to have to try to be competitive within an established industry. I’d rather start my own industry or create such a unique perspective that competition isn’t relevant.”
That’s a philosophy that has served Jerry Brown well over the years. He started an On Hold Marketing agency in 1989 before he even knew that a few other start-ups around the country were doing the same thing. And as BusinessVoice became a viable agency, Jerry and his agency emerged as thought leaders in the areas of sales, program development and content creation. He attracted the attention of many competitors who followed in his footsteps to build their own businesses.
Jerry grew his niche company into a family of specialized agencies called MadAveGroup. That growth began with the founding of WebArt, later retooled as TouchStone Digital. TouchStone does more than just build websites. The team develops, implements and manages digital marketing programs for overwhelmed marketing departments. Jerry helped to identify that specific market, and now TouchStone focuses on meeting that need.
More agencies followed. SensoryMax is a pioneer in the Scent Marketing industry, positioning scent as a tool that contributes to brand recall and an improved customer experience. Today, SensoryMax employs sight, sound and scent in the lobbies, showrooms and stores of brand-focused organizations.
There’s d2i, a branding, advertising and design group that specializes in refreshing, elevating and transitioning company identities and consolidating multiple brands. And there are others, including MadAveCollective - a marketing agency for non-profits - and MadAve Marketing Management.
Most of those agencies have been built on contractually obligated recurring revenue, a concept unique to marketing agencies. Rather than approach clients for individual projects, Jerry and his staff grew long-term relationships by providing multi-year programs. He also led by offering our services and expertise as an option to companies considering hiring one or two of their own marketing employees.
Even if you are working in a highly competitive field, you can apply Jerry’s take on differentiation. “I believe in building or adopting perspectives that not everyone agrees with. A strong perspective or philosophy is most effective when 20 to 30% of your audience disagrees with it; 40 to 50% should think it has merit; and, ideally, 20 to 40% will buy in to your approach completely.”
“You can’t be all things to all people,” Jerry says. “If you try to be, you won’t create a passionate connection with anyone.”
Jerry has perpetuated his thoughts through his agency staff, by working with clients, and through training and speaking engagements. Today, his agencies’ work affects the senses of tens of millions of people every day.
In 2012, he received AAF Toledo’s highest honor, the Silver Medal Award (Watch the video). And in 2016, he was inducted into Northwest Ohio’s Entrepreneurial and Business Excellence Hall of Fame (Watch the video).
Thoughts About Jerry
"[Jerry] is a dynamic speaker who can capture any audience's attention and hold it for as long as he chooses. [His] marketing skills are nothing short of guru status." - Rick Welsch, Former Chairman of the Board The On Hold Messaging Association (OHMA)
“Thanks much. Your solutions and implementations are the best in the business. Much appreciated.” - Ron Siebert, Vice President of Services Laketec Communications
"I have known Jerry through OHMA for years. I have always been impressed with his ability to cut to the heart of the debate, and with his level of industry and sales and marketing knowledge" - Nick Findlay, Founder & Chairman Premier Business Audio
“I personally am excited by the opportunities you have presented us. Congratulations on assembling such a fine group of people. I look forward to what the future has in store for all of us.” - Dana Dunbar, CEO/CFO American Frame
"Seldom have I come across the expertise that I have found in Jerry Brown. He is an expert who knows exactly what customer experience is all about. His development of what he calls ‘Point of Entry Marketing’ is what all business should be looking at." - Pete Turpel, President and CEO FifthScent, NODAD, Inc.
“I just wanted to let you know that I kept my handout from your marketing seminar last year and use it frequently. I refer to it whenever I’m looking for ideas on how to improve our marketing or need to be reminded of why and how to do what I do every day.” - Sharon Tipping, Marketing Manager Parker Steel
The Director of BusinessVoice, Steve served on the board of the Experience Marketing Association for four years. That’s an international organization of marketers that focuses on the in-store environment and the telephone as customer touchpoints.
Since he joined the MadAveGroup team in 2009, Steve has designed hundreds of caller experience marketing programs, and applied a common-sense approach to his leadership role in our agency.
"Part of establishing and then protecting a brand is controlling the experiences that people have with your company, products or services," says Steve. That’s why he often challenges companies to consider certain questions, including these:
- Do the voice and music in your telephone audio share the same attitude as those in your digital and broadcast channels?
- Do your automated contact center content and frontline phone staff reinforce what people hear from your brand in other marketing channels?
- Are your automated phone greetings welcoming, logical and easy to follow?
- Is your call flow designed around your callers’ needs, rather than your interests?
- What are your competitors’ caller experiences like, and how can you set yours apart while remaining true to your brand?
- Does your front-line phone staff understand your organization’s brand identity and what’s required of them to perpetuate that identity?
Steve has authored several articles on the caller experience. You can read them in his blog, The Director’s Cut.