Upfront03HR SpongeBob SquarePants 10th Anniversary

There are three words of wisdom I live by and have impressed upon our team since the start of the business 10 years ago (11/11/2005).

  • Add value
  • Continuously re-invent
  • Stay true to your core
Actually there’s a fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh that are more important than any of these three:
Be nice, respectful, thankful, and grateful.

Add Value


It’s easy to just do one’s job.  The hard part is pushing yourself and making your clients’ lives better than they were the day before.

Creating an organization where people understand this and realize that what we do can have an enormous impact on the well-being of our clients’ firms…is critical.  Build an organization that pushes itself to always do its best by helping them see the bigger picture of why you are in business and who you’re there to help.

Continuously Re-Invent


Doug Hall of Eureka Ranch (an ideation group) told the owner of the company I used to work with (before starting RSW/US) that he needed to think re-invention…and he didn’t listen.  The internet arrived one day; he ignored it.  He believed his way of doing things was just fine and he would outlast the internet.  In the end, he survived, but the valuation of his company when he sold, was oh-so-low.  While I don’t believe in complete re-invention, I do believe that as business owners, we always need to be thinking ahead and thinking of ways to make our clients’ lives better, as well as finding new ways to market our businesses and new products and services we can sell.

Stay True to Your Core


We have been in the business of helping agencies build their business for 10 years. There was a time when we tried to use RSW/US to explore new, completely unrelated sectors and it was awful.  Doing lead generation for blade manufacturers is a lot different and a lot less rewarding than working with the likes of you.  I remember one of my mentors telling me “if you don’t like it, get out of it”.  The next day I did and my happiness meter shot up! There’s also another dimension to “Staying True to Your Core” that another mentor of mine offered up.  I was looking at moving RSW/US to a bigger space to accommodate our growth and was thinking about buying a building that would have had space to rent out to others.  I asked my friend and he said, “you’re in the business of being an agency new business developer, not a landlord”.  That’s all I needed.  Same holds true for you.  You’re in the business of being great creative and strategic business people, not being an agency new business developer!

So in the 10 years I’ve had this business a lot has changed around us and we’ve adjusted and changed right along with it – and in many ways ahead of it.

We’re all about adding value, our nervous energy makes us want to always think about re-inventing, and our focus and commitment to the industry in which we operate keeps us true to our core.

And of course, the #1 thing that has made RSW/US such a success, turning it into the nation’s #1 lead generation/business development firm is the fact that our people are nice, respectful, thankful, and grateful for the good things we’ve been given.

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.