Forbes Agency Council members work with a diverse set of clients across numerous fields. To share their expertise on everything from marketing to branding and more, we’re profiling Forbes Agency Council members here on the blog. This week: Mike Skeehan.
Mike Skeehan is the co-founder and managing partner of Salted Stone, an award-winning full-service digital marketing agency based in the greater Los Angeles area. Founded in 2008, Salted Stone’s service offerings include – web design and development, inbound marketing, sales enablement, video marketing, influencer marketing and public relations. Mike oversees business strategy for the agency.
How did your career as an agency executive take off, and what do you attribute your success to most?
I’m still waiting for my career as an agency executive to take off. I attribute whatever success we’ve had up until this point in time to be a combination of attitude (or disposition) and hustle.
How do you keep yourself creative and driven regardless of how busy you are day to day?
I have three kids I have to put food on the table for, and ultimately an entire team of people with families and everything else who are all, in one form or fashion, interested in seeing Salted Stone continue to grow. And then on top of that, I have a certain type of mule-like obstinacy where I’m not really distracted by much else besides growing this business.
What do you see as the future of media strategy or advertising?
I think the future of marketing, advertising and media comes back to the shift of power into the hands of the consumer. In general, I think that that’s kind of the thread that’s going to play out over the course of the foreseeable future. The consumer is going to have an ever-increasing role in the purchasing process as far as the power they have in dictating the terms of the relationship with the companies trying to get their attention.
What is your best PR, marketing or advertising tip for businesses?
The only framework that I have is to think in terms of what advice I would give myself as someone who is trying to grow a business. And from that, maybe there are two tips.
Number one, you’re surrounded by either potential or real competitors who are smarter than you, more innovative than you, and hungrier than you, so you can’t stop moving. You have to feel like there’s always someone right behind you. Maintain a feeling that if you slow down, or if you stop being innovative, they’re going to pass you up. You may be the hottest thing today, but if you sit and dwell on that, you’re going to become an afterthought tomorrow. And so from that standpoint, you have to keep your foot on the gas pedal.
Secondarily, I think beyond that you have to check your ego at the door. Because a lot of times the opportunities to continue innovating, the ones that are going to present themselves to you, are going to require you diminishing in order to allow the people around you, or external parties even, to increase.