Thought Leadership



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Thought Leadership (4)

Forbes Agency Council

Scott is the third member of our team to receive the Silver Medal Award, the American Advertising Federation of Toledo's highest honor. Watch the humorous presentation video and read more about his qualifications here.

An integral member of our team since 1993, Scott is an award-winning copywriter with a talent for simplifying brand messages and developing humorous content. He’s also a skilled voiceover professional, as well as a video and audio producer / director.

Through the MadAveGroup blog, Scott reinforces our agency’s perspective and shares sound marketing and customer Silver Medalexperience principles. When speaking to audiences, he focuses on branding, content creation, using humor in marketing content, and exploring the question “who cares?”

Scott has judged several ADDY Award competitions and sits on the Telly Awards Judging Council.

Forbes Agency Council

Tellys Judge Badge White Solid

Scott is a member of the Forbes Agency Council, an invitation-only organization for senior-level executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. published his article, Highlight Your Humanity to Help Your Brand Stand Out, and he's contributed to these articles on the Forbes website:

Read Scott's insight in the article "3 Tips to Improve Internal Communications" published by Louisiana Technology Park.

Thoughts About Scott

"You're one of Forbes Agency Council's most prolific Expert Panel contributors." - Hannah Johnson, Community Manager / Forbes Councils

"Still enjoy your blog posts. Some of the best leadership [information] I have read. I am just glad I don't have to pay royalties every time I have used one of your thoughts in a meeting." - Mike Brice, Digital Marketer

“May I have your permission to send your blog post to a few of our top business customers? We are a small community bank in North Carolina and I would like to share your message with them. Thanks so much!” - KS Bank, Inc.

"Hi, Scott - I have absolutely loved reading your blog over the years and your always-upbeat, insightful messages. I have learned so much from your content and your writing style." - Ellen Pizza / Commerce Paper

“I am hard pressed to challenge any of [these ideas] based on your reputation and experience. I think it’s great.” - Joanna Hunter / Kingston Healthcare

“Thank you for your participation in our Networking Fair. I could listen to you speak all day.” - Denise Grupp-Verbon, Fine & Performing Arts / Owens Community College

“I really enjoy your blog posts. Good information.” - Sue Shepich, Marketing Director / Marshall Music

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American Advertising Federa

“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.

Jerry’s held many offices, including President of American Advertising Federation Toledo and Chairman of the On Hold Marketing Association, now known as the Experience Marketing Association.

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

EMA jpg logoThe 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.

Thursday, 28 December 2017 09:26

Michael Seay - Creative / Sensory

American Advertising FederaMichael Seay is the Director of two MadAveGroup agencies: SensoryMax and design2influence (d2i).

He's also the Governor of the American Advertising Federation's District 5, which includes Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.

“I guide the direction of our Executive Board and work to see that our District's responsibilities are a success,” said Seay. Those responsibilities include producing the District 5 ADDY Awards, the National Student Advertising Competition, and the District Leadership Conference.

“I also ensure that information from AAF National is communicated to local ad clubs and individual members.”

Members of the AAF National Board of Directors focus on industry issues, including diversity and multiculturalism, governmental affairs, and ethics in advertising, as well as the recognition of excellent creative work.

Seay has attended “Day on the Hill” in Washington D.C., meeting with legislators about the issues facing the advertising industry. He stays involved in the latest discussions by meeting with a wide array of advertising professionals, from the leaders of the largest agencies, to individual freelancers. He's also led workshops and participated in ADMERICA, the AAF's national conference.

“Not only do I enjoy representing our agency on the board of the largest association in the advertising industry, but my position allows me to stay educated about everything related to advertising. It's an elite group - maybe only 120 people. But I'm exposed to a network of industry leaders, and I contribute to the conversation on many topics, including creative work and social and governmental issues.”

Thoughts About Michael

"It's because of great industry leaders like Michael Seay that the AAF can operate important initiatives, events, and centers across the country for our industry. Michael has been a respected leader in our organization at the local, district and national levels. It's why he was elected to our national board. He has the respect of his peers. He's a creative thinker, a talented leader, and a super nice guy as well." - James Edmund Datri, President & CEO / American Advertising Federation