For the last 20 years I’ve been a partner in a marketing company where I’ve helped other companies, their owners and stock holders make millions of dollars. And although it has been profitable (mostly) for my ad agency, it seemed that I was helping others make a lot more money than I was making myself. As we get older, we get smarter, so that needed to change…

So I did the proverbial “put your money where your mouth is” and now I am also a partner in a manufacturing/sales company. The agency still exists, and our manufacturing company is now our biggest ad agency client. (The agency has offices upstairs and the manufacturing company offices are downstairs and the warehouse is in back.) So far so good, the new company has seen steady increases in sales and profits.

As such, the ad agency is evolving and a new branch of it combines the two companies that can work with small manufacturers: we can literally do all of the sales and marketing as well as warehouse and ship our small manufacturing client’s products.

The Gunter Agency is our ad agency that has been around for 20 years. Visit this link to see samples of work.
Sugar River Marketing is a joint venture between the Gunter Agency and Sugar River Trading Company, offering an unique marketing service to small manufacturers.
Sugar River Trading Company/McNess Store is the manufacturing/sales company. (SRTC is the exclusive licensee of McNess home products.)

But back to helping others make millions…

As we are helping our own company grow, I am personally moving away from the everyday ad agency grind and more into building strategic marketing plans for companies. This is nothing new:

• Helped a regional company double in sales over 5 years. When I first started working with them they had a product that was 50% of their total sales that was going away. (There were rumors that the company would actually go under.) We rebranded the company while increasing sales every year. They became the largest independent company in the nation in sales within their industry.

• Helped a national company double in sales over 5 years. (Somewhat of a theme going on so far, huh?) This company needed to restructure all of their marketing. Worked on branding, sales and recruiting.

• Helped a national company increase sales for ten years straight, with the last year showing a 35% increase while under increased competition. Their main product became the sales leader in the industry despite competition from companies many times their size (that spent a lot more on marketing.)

Doubling sales in a small company over 5 years isn’t that much to brag about. However, all of these company have annual sales in the millions. One of them we are talking about hundreds of millions in annual sales.

And we have more examples. Now I’m not saying that it was our marketing brilliance that solely got these results, each of these companies had forward-thinking people that worked hard and smart in a lot of different areas. (That’s one of the great things about working at an ad agency, agency people get exposed to a lot of smart thinking from the companies they work with.) Still, these results have been repeated over and over with different clients and I certainly won’t shy away from the statement that we had positive influences in creating these outcomes.

And at the same time I realize this might look like fluff, some people are saying “prove it”. Although these are private companies that really don’t want their personal finances out in public, I can provide references that will shed enough light on the subject to back these claims (for serious, qualified people.)


So yes, I am involved in the marketing of a manufacturing company, but I really look at that as an agency client. (My business partner actually runs the day-to-day operations of that company.) I still love helping others develop their companies with smart marketing. And as the agency evolves (we are not really taking on new agency clients other than the Sugar River Marketing working with small manufacturers), I am open to a more consultive role on developing marketing strategies and plans:

Marketing Plans – Development of branding platforms and strategic marketing plans. This can be for the overall brand or specific products/services.

Temporary CMO – Serve as CMO on a temporary basis for companies that are searching for a Chief Marketing Officer/VP of Marketing but still need to move forward with their marketing efforts. And although I am not a recruiter, I can help in the interview/selection process.

Ongoing Strategist – For smaller companies that do not have the capabilities to hire a CMO/VP of Marketing, or larger companies that just want an outside resource and somewhat to provide fresh ideas, I can meet on an on-going basis to review and strategize. This would be for companies that have an ad agency/design studio or in-house graphics that would then produce materials. Companies should have a marketing plan in place (or perhaps that is our first project.)


Randy Gunter (this will go to me)