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“Digital Champions” with Rick Bennett of Rick Bennett Advertising & PR

On “Digital Champions,” our host, Greg Kirkham, speaks with experts and professionals from across the country operating in the digital marketing and media space. In this segment, Greg spoke with Rick Bennett of Rick Bennett Advertising & PR.

Short company description:

While I’m semi retired, two of my most notable successes were (1) Oracle, where my one-man ad agency took them from $15-million in sales to over $1-billion in six years and (2) Salesforce.com where I did all of Marc Benioff’s pre-IPO ads.

What was your first job in Media?:

In 1976, I invented the Hagoth Voice Stress Analyzer using airline inflight magazines.. Clients included Stirling Moss (the race car driver) and Gary Kurtz, producer of Star Wars. I sold that company in 1978 and ran for Congress in the state of Washington (Frank Herbert, author of DUNE, talked me into running. I only got 47% of the vote and went to Data General in Massachusetts as Ad/PR manager.

What is the biggest change in marketing that you see coming in the next 2 years?:

Print advertising is ALMOST DEAD, with the exception of the WSJ and the UK Economist.

List any trade organizations or groups that you belong to, if any:

Eagles don’t flock. I’m not a member of any group.

Why is it important for a business to hire an outside ad agency as opposed to having just an internal marketing director?:

You get a hired gun, because we’re expendable. You give them stock options with a first-year cliff, so if we don’t hit the ball out of the park then we get terminated and it doesn’t cost you a single share of stock. You might say we’re the cheapest game in town before IPO and, heh heh, the most expensive after either IPO or acquisition. All stock vests with a liquidation event.

What is one tip that you would give when it comes to digital marketing?:

Build in your ROI calculator. If you can’t measure results, you’re dead meat.

What percent of your advertising service offerings does traditional media buying make up?*:

90%. There are some media anomalies the still play well with guerrilla warfare.

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