Brian Bennett

Coffee Break

Brian Bennett

Brian Bennett
President/owner, STIR Advertising & Integrated Messaging
135 W. Wells St., Ste. 800, Milwaukee
Industry: Advertising and marketing
Number of employees:  21
Family: Wife, Kathy; daughter, Katie; and sons, John, Alex and Peter.

Brian Bennett
Brian Bennett

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?

“We’ve remained committed to the development of our own brand and investment in our inbound marketing efforts. We’re leading our clients by example and proving the model daily with our own successes.”

What’s new at your company?

“STIR is in growth mode. We’ve added several new client relationships in the last couple of months, including Kangaroo Brands, Vista Dental, Valuation Research Corporation and Bank Mutual, among others. We’ve become thought leaders in the inbound marketing space and our agency is a HubSpot Silver partner.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

“We are in the process of staffing and capability growth on all fronts in our agency, particularly in the areas of inbound and web-based marketing. We will build out the entire eighth floor in the Germania building or possibly move to another downtown location to accommodate that growth. Acquisition is always a possibility and a discussion, although we have no immediate plans.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?

“Controlled and productive growth, the development of talent and continuous education among existing and new employees of our unique methodologies and emerging best practices. This is a people business, and the chemistry of the agency changes each time a new player is introduced. We work hard to make sure that those are positive changes and that we are cultivating a culture with high levels of personal interaction and team integration.”

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?

“I’d say there are three macro trends that are affecting the marketing and messaging of most companies today. The first is awareness of the importance of all brand-related content and how it drives success in the form of web traffic, conversions and ROI. The second is the integration of all marketing efforts to reach a customer ‘persona’ in the optimal way. The third is the realization that technology must serve messaging and not the other way around.”

Do you have a business mantra?

“I’ve said it for years, ‘Good communication begets great communications.’ This applies internally and externally. Thanks for encouraging me to write it down!”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?

“The inventor. The entrepreneur. The visionary. Those who build things that benefit others.”

What was the best advice you ever received?

“I can thank my father for telling me over and over to ‘Do the hard work, add value at every turn and leave things better than you found them.’”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?

“Our industry is creative and informal at times. We laugh hard every day to keep the ideas flowing. I have been involved in some of the most elaborate practical jokes that you can imagine. The funniest involved my boss thinking he was interviewing the niece of the corporate CEO when in fact the interviewee was a ‘performer.’”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“Off the grid canoeing, camping, fly fishing, hiking and enjoying courtside seats for Milwaukee Bucks games.”

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