Michael Gass – Founder, Fuel Lines Business Development: Lose Your Fear of Positioning

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If you’ve had the opportunity to read the RSW/US 2016 Thought Leader Survey Report, perhaps the section featuring questions from Michael Gass has sparked some new ideas for you on inbound and social media strategies to support your agency new business program.

The Founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, Michael is an industry expert on Inbound Marketing. Giving great credit to Inbound for the success in building his own business, Michael’s questions for the survey explored how agencies deploy resources for Inbound and Social Media for agency new business as well as the results they typically see.

In response to Michael’s first question, “How Many Qualified Leads Does Your Agency Attract On-Line per Month?”, almost 62% of responding agencies indicated 1-4 leads.


In my post-survey interview with Michael, I asked him how this compares to his expectations for responses to his question.

In addition to his perspective on the number of qualified leads a strong Inbound program can deliver, this interview with Michael presented a number of interesting ideas and insights.

Among them:

  • Despite it being crucial for agency new business success, Agencies typically struggle with positioning; they fear it may limit opportunities if the positioning is too narrow.
  • Agencies should consider “niche blogs” that live “off the site”. Doing so allows them to present clear, specific positioning, while “lessening the risk” of appearing too narrowly defined to the current client base.
  • “Niche blogs” serve the benefit of a test market or focus group.

Furthermore, Michael offers perspective on who within the Agency should hold responsibility for its Inbound strategy and content creation that supports it.

Listen to my interview with Michael Gass on Inbound Marketing and Social Media for agency new business here, and consider how you can build or enhance your Inbound program.

*See Thought Leader material and related resources below, including blog posts, interviews and a webinar:

Blog Posts

Mark O’Brien: No Silver Bullets for Agency New Business

Blair Enns: The Only New Business Indicator That Matters

Jay Baer: Account-Based Marketing –What’s in it for Agency New Business?

Michael Gass: Fish Away from the Boat 

Peter Caputa IV: Differentiate and Articulate – Emphatically

Tim Williams:  Agency New Business Success is NOT about LOCATION!


Mark O’Brien: Marketing Automation and Agency New Business

Blair Enns:  Have a Polarizing Point of View


Inbound Cannot Live Alone – Agency New Business Webinar

Mark is a 30-year veteran of the consumer packaged goods, advertising, and marketing service industry. Mark started his career at DDB Needham in Chicago prior to earning his MBA from the J.L. Kellogg Business School at Northwestern where he majored in Marketing and Economics. Prior to starting RSW/US in 2005, Mark was General Manager for AcuPOLL, a global research consultancy. Sneider worked in Marketing for S.C. Johnson and KAO Brands. Sneider has been invited to speak at numerous Agency events and network conferences domestically and internationally including the 4A’s, Magnet, NAMA, TAAN, and MCAN. Sneider has been featured in prominent industry publications including Adweek, Media Post, e-Marketer, and Forbes. When not working (which often seems like not often), Mark likes to run miles, go to church, and just chill with a hard copy issue of Fast Company.