Issue 122: In 2025, A New Agency Golden Age
From Serial Marketer: "The Cutting Edge of Marketing”

Who's going to be the next Crispin Porter + Bogusky?

Four predictions:

1) It's a shop barely anyone has heard of yet.

2) It will take about 3-5 years for them to start showing up on trades' "rising star" and "hot list" roundups.

3) The pandemic will be a critical part of the founding story.

4) Regardless of the leadership composition of the next crop's hottest shop, the peer set will look much more diverse than anything the ad industry has ever seen. You will see much greater Black, Latino, female, and LGBTQ leadership in particular.

I was thinking about this following a tweet from Aisha Hakim, a creative lead and ad community founder. 

She shared Avi Dan's Forbes article about the rise and fall of CP+B, a well-researched review of what led to their greatness and why the holding company model often suffocates those kinds of firms. 

I can relate to the challenges. I was at one agency before and after it got acquired, and it defied odds and continued the hot streak for years. The next firm I was at was one of my favorite roles, but the challenges of being under a holding company didn't mesh well with the entrepreneurial leadership.

Aisha tweeted, "It’s a damn shame there are only a hand full of indie shops left in advertising, and we should be mindful of what that means for brave work."

My response: "There may be more indie shops emerging this year than ever. I think in 3-5 years, the best of those who chose to go indie or who were forced due to layoffs and furloughs will be hiring quickly and picking up the kinds of accounts CP+B are losing."

This sums up my thesis with the four predictions.

There is so much talent out there right now that's being underutilized. You have all these creative professionals -- and by "creative," I mean in the true sense of the word relating to all talent from buyers to account execs to analysts to office managers -- who might be out of work already or are disenchanted with where they are.

A lot of this talent pool is good at one or two areas. They might be really great strategists who can also sell. They might be great marketers who excel at client service. They might be terrific analysts with a knack for putting together powerful decks. Few can do everything themselves to craft and grow the business they want.

A lot of the groundwork is happening today though. Shops that are further along are working with hotter verticals like e-commerce plays or categories that have grown during the pandemic. They might be more performance-driven at a time when branding feels like a luxury (not that it is). 

Other shops that are solo efforts or a few people loosely collaborating are building their business models, service offerings, and go-to-market strategies. They're finding their tribes. I encounter people like this all the time in Serial Marketers, and I've made some of these relationships myself that I think will create all kinds of value over the next decade. People in this mold are learning fast so that they are ready to take on more business in 2021 and can scale in 2022 and beyond. 

Maybe some 50- or 100-person shop that has survived and thrived through 2020 will hit that hot streak sooner and be that household name in the ad industry by 2022 or 2023. But building a business from scratch rarely comes together as quickly as anyone expects it to. And many of the most resilient won't just catch fire from one or two hot clients but will build for more sustainable growth, and that tends to take even longer.

Because more people are empowered than ever and have more role models and more robust support networks than ever, this next phase of growth will include so many of the kinds of people who've been marginalized in the past. Networks are being reshaped. 

Just like how Vice President-elect Kamala Harris doesn't look or sound like her predecessors (except maybe Teddy Roosevelt, who was a badass and rule-breaker in his own way, and Kaw Nation member Charles Curtis who served with President Hoover), there will be a lot of successful shops emerging that don't look, sound, and feel like anything we've seen before. 

That's the long version of how these predictions will play out. When I write newsletter edition number 245 or 306, we'll see how well I did.

Meanwhile, keep building. There is so much opportunity ahead, agencies will always be needed, and you have so many of the skills and so much of the talent you need to be part of this flourishing wave of creativity that's coming.

To the extent Serial Marketers and I can help you get there, all the better. We are here for you.

That's how I see 2025 looking. What do you make of these predictions? And what are you making of yourself?


PS: Want to find the collaborators to help you thrive in 2025? Join our speed networking session on Upstream tomorrow, November 12, at 12pm EST. 


2021 Social Media Trends: What the Experts Say

Power up your marketing strategy and discover the top ten trends that will matter most next year. Download the #SocialMediaTrends2021  eBook, filled with expert advice from 70+ industry leaders.


Bill, one of my favorite poets / reformed Silicon Alley curmudegeons, offers a quick video with 5 tips for PR success.  

Thanks to Michael Marzano, Claudia Strauss, E.B. Moss, Candice Grobler, Keren Unrad, Jaimee KniffenChris GorgesDon SteeleRachel Pasqua, Matt Wurst, and William Alvarez, for spreading the word about the newsletter recently.

Here's your own personalized link, with more referral rewards for sharing the newsletter. Visit to see how you're doing. 

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Please send over any events you're hosting or attending, and I'll add them to the list. All events below are virtual, and all times are EDT.

November 12, 12pm (tomorrow!)
December 3, 12pm
December 17, 12pm
Join the virtual 1:1 rapid-fire speed-meeting event to connect with fellow Serial Marketers, hosted on the Upstream app. 

Tuesdays, 3pm
RSVP on our private Meetup (request access if you're not there)
-11/17: Service as a Product with Andy Richman, Partner, ProductSavvy-11/24: Thanksgiving week gratitude refresher
-12/1: Resume Brand Strategy with Ali Roth, Executive Resume Writer, Ali Roth Writes
-12/8: The Real Meaning of Community with Bilyana Freye, Co-Founder and CEO, Orbiit
-12/15: Member Holiday Extravanganza featuring guests from throughout the year

November 19
"Each year, CMI produces our signature LGBTQ Marketing & Advertising Symposium (now in our 13th year) for marketing/advertising/communications professionals. The event is held in collaboration with, and hosted by Google NYC."

December 2
Are you ready for the seismic changes to media consumption, advertising spending and identity changes accelerated by the pandemic? You will be. Presented by Research Wonks and DISQO.

December 2, 6pm
First Wednesday keeps going strong. We have dozens of people RSVPing for this fun NYC tradition led by Zack Rosenberg. Len Bilello might even by you a drink.


Keep checking out the #jobs channel in Serial Marketers for more. I've added some descriptions of top-secret searches there, and others have posted some leads too. 

Performance Marketing Leader
This is from my friends at Hunt Club. If you're a good candidate for this, let me know, and I can refer you. The job is not listed publicly. 

Hyper-growth mindset who thrives on iterating quickly with limited structure, the future Performance Marketing Manager has: 

  • 6-10 years of experience in eCommerce digital marketing
  • Demonstrated history of running and optimizing omnichannel campaigns to drive rapid new customer acquisition while growing average customer lifetime value
  • Experience in SEM, SEO, display, social, email, traditional/OOH, direct mail, etc. and should be comfortable managing budgets up to or in excess of $10M/year
Equilibria (“EQ”) is a premium, high-growth, direct-to-consumer CBD platform for women. We are dedicated to restoring balance to our community — physically and mentally — through our high-quality CBD products, personalized dosage support, and digital journey accompaniment. 

VP Growth Marketing
This is from my friends at Hunt Club. If you're a good candidate for this, let me know, and I can refer you. The job is not listed publicly. 

With extensive media and performance marketing experience in an eCommerce or marketplace, the future VP of Growth Marketing has: 
  • 10+ years in a leadership role within marketing and/or growth with experience proliferating consumer-facing digital products and services
  • Strong ability to grow and coach internal “hands-on keys” marketing talent
  • Expertise in performance marketing – SEM, Paid Social, and SEO is a leading two-sided digital automotive marketplace that creates meaningful connections between buyers and sellers. Launched in 1998 and headquartered in Chicago, the company empowers consumers with resources and information to make informed buying decisions and enables advertising partners with innovative digital solutions and data-driven intelligence to increase inventory turn and gain market share. 

Chief Marketing Officer
This is from my friends at Hunt Club. If you're a good candidate for this, let me know, and I can refer you. The job is not listed publicly. 

Looking for: Proven success in developing and leading an end-to-end brand and marketing strategy in the consumer space, the future Chief Marketing Officer has: 

  • 10+ years of experience within CPG with D2C + Retail Experience (Ideally within Beauty, Health & Wellness, Food & Beverage)
  • Skillset of classically trained marketer: able to formalize brand pillars and brand architecture, owning product development from ideation through commercial distribution
  • Proven ability to scale a company from to exit within 2-4 years
  • Mentality of a go-getter, someone who can adapt easily, operate in a fast-paced environment, and roll up their sleeves to execute
  • The Honey Pot is a plant-based feminine care system, that provides women with a healthy alternative to feminine care that is free of chemicals, parabens, carcinogens, and sulfates. Our washes are gynecologist approved, clinically tested and pH balanced. Say hello to the future of feminine care.

Head of Global Digital Marketing
This is from my friends at Hunt Club. If you're a good candidate for this, let me know, and I can refer you. The job is not listed publicly. 

With 10-15 years of experience in the marketing arena, the future Head of Global Digital Marketing has:

  • Experience preferred in the B2C or services space (e.g. financial services, insurance, mortgages, etc.)
  • Ability to mentor, advise, and support affiliate universities with all aspects of digital marketing (inclusive of SEM, SEO, PPC, SMM, Content Marketing, Email Marketing, Influencer, and Affiliate Marketing)
  • Knowledge and calibre to lead customer acquisition through digital channels (inclusive of CRM configuration and analytics and sales force design and optimization)
  • Experience in developing, monitoring, and reporting on all relevant digital marketing budgets

Enterprise Account Executive
This is from my friends at Hunt Club. If you're a good candidate for this, let me know, and I can refer you. The job is not listed publicly. 

Having demonstrated experience with strategic selling methodologies, the future Enterprise Account Executive has: 

  • Proven success in B2B Enterprise SaaS or Software business application sales exceeding a $1M+ quota - bringing in average deals of $200k
  • Has been able to drive sales cycles forward in their prior experience 
  • Can quickly articulate value prop and be an effective communicator
  • Experience navigating large/complex enterprise businesses and accessing the key stakeholders
  • Operates as a collaborator – does not have a lone wolf mentality
Graphic Designer
NYC / Remote
This is a great firm my friend Mark Lee shared in Serial Marketers: "We offer a unique opportunity for a graphic designer to help us develop and expand multiple brands as part of a startup studio. You’ll be working on multiple projects dependent on the needs of each client, with a focus on digital assets. This is a full-time contract position, with opportunity to transition into a permanent role on the client side."

Digital Marketing Generalist
Via a friend who posted this in Slack -- find her there or I can make an intro: "This new Digital Marketer role will support long-term, sustainable revenue growth in our core markets by planning and deploying all inbound and outbound demand generation activities for Duarte and optimizing multi-channel campaigns for the best ROI. While this role will report into the Director of Marketing, it will collaborate with a range of teams within the company—including product, sales, customer success and operations—to understand business requirements, offer informed recommendations, and provide proactive and timely execution."

Head of Acquisition Marketing
Remote first, then based in NYC
Via a friend there (happy to refer you): "With interest in the stock market surging among a new generation of investors, our community is growing rapidly. To support our ambitious goals, our team is growing and we’re looking for sharp, enthusiastic people who believe in our mission to fundamentally change the way people invest. In normal circumstances, we’re located in New York with an office in Copenhagen & Raleigh NC, but in these times we’re maintaining momentum as a remote team."

Manager, Creative Strategy
This is from my friends at Hunt Club. If you're a good candidate for this, let me know, and I can refer you.

With experience owning the creative marketing strategy at a fast-paced or startup environment, the future Creative Strategy Manager has: 

  • 3-5 years of experience within relevant creative marketing field 
  • Ability to operate creative across multiple marketing channels including: Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, print materials, newsletters, etc.
  • Expertise in direct response marketing
  • As a team leader, has managed a creative team in their past

Bright Cellars is a subscription wine experience that matches members with personalized monthly selections. By taking a data-driven approach to consumer tastes and personalization, Bright Cellars is engaging with customers and brands in a way that's new to the industry. Based in Milwaukee, Bright Cellars recently raised an $8.5M Series A led by Revolution Ventures.

Other job resources:

  • Ad Ops Online: Job listings for ad operations, programmatic account management, sales operations, and more.
  • Advisable: Get instant access to top marketing freelancers
  • AMA Job Board: Listings from the American Marketing Association (maybe you can also ask them anything)
  • Built in NYC: Jobs at a range of levels and functions, as long as you're okay working in this quaint, backwater hamlet.
  • CareerList: Here's a form for companies hiring and a form for job seekers; here's the public list with tabs for both 
  • Content Writing Jobs: Content marketers, enjoy
  • Creative Women of Color: List yourself in the database and find talent, via Women Who Create
  • ExecThread: Senior roles spanning a range of verticals and cities; membership is free but fully vetted (this uses my referral ID to get you in faster)
  • GLG: Get paid to share your topical expertise; it can lead to some interesting conversations at a potentially decent hourly rate
  • Grace Blue Transitions: A portal for hirers and seekers with resources from this exec recruiting firm
  • The Hired Guns: An array of jobs in marketing and related fields at brands, agencies, and media companies
  • Hue: Amplifying voices of people in color working in marketing
  • Hunterz: A way for connectors to get paid to introduce startups to large enterprises
  • Lead5: A paid service for executive roles, plus intel on changes with companies and PE investments; you can try a risk-free weeklong trial to see if it's any good for your needs
  • Lunch Club: Match 1:1 around predetermined goals with accomplished professionals (free)
  • NYC Ad Jobs & Networking: A popular Facebook group
  • One Club for Creativity: COVID-19 jobs Board
  • #OpenToWork: There's a channel in Serial Marketers where you can share what you're looking for
  • Pangea: Where you can hire college freelancers (and college students can get gigs)
  • Pocit: A platform connecting people of color with jobs in the tech industry
  • Remotists: Remote startup jobs, chronicled weekly
  • Startup.Jobs: There's a section for marketing jobs
  • Teal Job Tracker: A free Chrome extension to manage and enhance your job search
  • TechNY Daily: While more technical, there are also some sales and marketing jobs at NY startups.
  • VC Job Boards: AlephEniac Ventures, PearSequoiaUnion Square Ventures
  • VentureLoop: Free startup job listings; their paid option is $15/month and might surface more leads (but it might not).
  • Wanted: Wanted helps top talent in tech and marketing find a job at your desired pay. Plug in your salary, stay anonymous at first, and connect with companies that want to recruit you.
Do you run or enjoy other job listing sites? Let me know, and I'll share them.


Share your personal link.

David Berkowitz, publisher


100+ TECH RECOMMENDATIONS (updated semi-regularly)

BERKY'S MARKETING ENGLISH (now in hardcover)

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