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: Matthew Jonas.
Matthew Jonas is the president at TopFire Media, an award-winning, Chicago-based integrated franchise SEO marketing and PR agency. TopFire’s enterprise has worked alongside 98 of the top 200 franchise brands, according to Franchise Times, and offers public relations, website development, SEO marketing, social media management, LinkedIn branding, PPC advertising, content development, crisis and reputation management, and email marketing. Matthew, who serves as TopFire’s brand steward, co-founded the company in 2013.
How did your career as an agency executive take off, and what do you attribute your success to most?
Fairly early in my career, I realized I was the black sleep among my colleagues, as I was thinking about marketing from a fully integrated approach while everyone else managed tactics as single entities. Of course, we know now how all channels of digital work together to drive conversions, but back in the infancy of the dot-com era, there was a distinct pushback to my thought process.
Ultimately, I decided that I wanted to find like-minded people who understood this approach and that’s what drove my career growth. While we spent a lot of time testing, tuning and spectacularly failing, we eventually found the outcomes we hypothesized actually existed.
How do you keep yourself creative and driven regardless of how busy you are day to day?
When I started TopFire Media, I knew that providing high-impact marketing meant surrounding myself with talented and creative individuals that could move the needle for our clientele. I’ve watched the agency grow at a uniquely rapid pace, and that in conjunction with the success of our clients, is what keeps me hungry.
Being creative is part of the gig and being immersed in that environment every day keeps me on my toes. The last thing the president of the company wants is to be left behind by his production team!
What do you see as the future of media strategy or advertising?
Content, but different: Content will still reign, but take a different form in 2017 and beyond. Because all marketers know the benefits of producing floods of content, that also means they’ll continue to fight for the same eyeballs. However, with virtually every social media platform releasing their own version of live streaming, those marketers that implement a strategic plan for video-adapted content could rise above the noise.
An augmented future: Unless you spent a large portion of 2016 sleeping, it was tough to miss the buzz that Pokémon Go created. At the heart of that craze – augmented reality. While hype has faded from the app itself, the results it generated have sparked the minds of marketers who are looking to monetize. It’s clear that consumers are ready for augmented reality; I anticipate that 2017 should bring more brands showing interest in potential AR games, ads, apps and more.
What is your best PR, marketing or advertising tip for businesses?
Prioritize efficiency in your marketing budget! While individual agencies may be highly skilled in each component of their service offering, hiring specialty agencies for your specific needs is not cost effective. Instead of making your dollars work for you, you are tasked with allocating funds between agencies that think their piece of the pie tastes best. Think fully integrated!