Sircle Media CEO Adam Brown on Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship [Video]

September 6, 2023

industry insights adam brown

Some people may be unsure if they’re cut out to lead a team. Adam Brown is not one of those people.

In an era where the virtual world intertwines almost too seamlessly into our daily lives, managing it is no easy feat. It takes the right leader to take the challenge head-on. And when digital marketing is the industry at hand, there’s really no choice.

The influence of digital marketing has far surpassed basic campaigns and advertisements. It’s no longer a “nice to have;” it’s a necessity for a company to succeed. As the world continues connecting in this way, businesses of all sizes are compelled to not just embrace but master the art of digital marketing. That’s why many of them will turn to agencies like Sircle Media

After graduating during the dot com boom of the late 1990s, Adam Brown found himself working in sales for one of the first advertising networks, 24/7 Media. He spent nine years outside the industry to eventually feel the pullback to digital marketing.

His goal? Create an “anti-agency” (but more on that later).

As the latest in our Industry Insights series, I chatted with Adam to discuss everything digital marketing, software, and entrepreneurship. 

What you’ll learn in this article:

  • The crucial values needed to build a strong team
  • How artificial intelligence and digital marketing work together
  • Why Adam started a company and his advice to aspiring entrepreneurs
  • How companies can prioritize transparency in the digital age

Check out the full conversation below:

The building blocks of creating a company

It’s easy to just say you want to start a company. It’s not easy to follow through. 

It all starts with a vision. What is it that you’re trying to achieve? Why does the industry need you? How are you going to do it? 

Starting an anti-agency

With Adam Brown, it all started with the idea of creating an “anti-agency.” 

Adam describes a parallel between marketing agencies and dating (stay with me here). He feels that many companies may have “dated” within the market and had bad experiences. But they know they need to get back out there because they just need to find the right agency for them.

“I think most people hate agencies. I just wanted to create an agency that actually cared and treated clients well.”

Adam Brown
CEO, Sircle Media

Assembling a team

Adam Brown felt strongly about the type of people he wanted to work with. For him, it was all about a growth mindset. 

According to Adam, “client services is tough.” When building out his team, he wanted people who had a passion for it. “We look for people who understand that there will be problems and bumps along the way but are interested in learning how to navigate that.”

He adopts a popular approach of hiring the person before hiring the employee. A lot of people will have glowing resumes; few people may actually fit the culture and energy you’re looking for. Adam would much rather “have a good human and then teach them.”

AI and its role in digital marketing

Artificial intelligence (AI) is literally everywhere. So, it would be foolish to assume it hasn’t made its way into just about every industry. 

AI is keeping Sircle Media on its toes. What is the best new thing? How do they introduce it to their clients?

88%

of marketers believe that they must increase their use of AI to meet customer expectations and remain competitive in their industry.

Source: Mailchimp

Adam feels strongly about using AI to improve how his digital marketing agency operates. “It allows us to optimize and expedite the mundane tasks so that we can focus more time and attention on the more nuanced tasks.” He continues, “I don't think AI really has that just yet.”

Transparency is key

It is easy to get carried away with AI. In an industry as ever-changing as digital marketing, it’s a great tool. But where should companies draw the line?

For Adam and many other thought leaders, the key is staying transparent. Adam knows his clients are interested in utilizing AI but may feel overwhelmed or skeptical about its use cases and legitimacy. Sircle Media uses transparency to lead by example.

“Everything is transparent,” said Adam. “Yes, we’re using AI to write some of our prompts. Did you like the subject line from that email last week? Well, that was generated by AI. I think our clients like that. They want to be in the AI mix, and they think it’s cool that we’re using it and leveraging it.”

And the transparency doesn’t end at AI. Sircle’s philosophy is “good news fast, bad news twice as fast.” Adam hopes this will create a comfortable relationship with his clients because they know they can trust them.

Entrepreneurship isn't for everyone

“I think most people do it for the wrong reasons.”

Adam Brown has some strong feelings to start this part of the conversation. After working for a lot of other people, Adam knew he wanted to control his own destiny. Carrying that out meant starting a company from the ground up. But along the way, some people showed they didn’t have the right reasoning for taking on the same challenge.

What’s the right reason, according to him? It’s all about the goal of building something to last. In Adam’s eyes, that longevity comes from successful employee management. 

Adam discusses meeting aspiring entrepreneurs who want to be the face of something big but aren’t interested in people managing. “How big can your company really get on your own?” Adam wonders. 

“What do you want to have happen? Identify that and reverse engineer from there.”

Adam Brown
CEO, Sircle Media

Adam feels that passion should always be at the forefront. According to him, you have to really “geek out” about what you’re doing. Only then could you start to figure out what’s next.

Adam’s advice for jumping into entrepreneurship:

  • Choose an industry
  • Work for a great entrepreneur in the business
  • Learn what you like and what you don’t
  • Create a playbook from your learnings

“Learn on someone else’s dime,” says Adam. “Going all in can be very scary.”

Do you have what it takes?

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, no matter what industry you decide to go for. 

The best way to prioritize that growth mindset needed to be a good leader? Put the people first. Whether it's your customers or your employees, ensure you’re surrounded by people who are passionate. It could make or break your success.

Watch the full chat on YouTube and subscribe to G2 Tea, our SaaS-y newsletter with tech insights and tidbits from industry professionals like Adam!

industry insights
Looking for more tea?

Check out Industry Insights from other impressive global leaders!

industry insights
Looking for more tea?

Check out Industry Insights from other impressive global leaders!

Sircle Media CEO Adam Brown on Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship [Video] Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Find out how Sircle Media's CEO Adam Brown took control of his destiny in the digital marketing industry. https://learn.g2.com/hubfs/G2CM_FI666_Learn_Article_Images-%5BIndustry-Insights-Adam-Brown%5D_V1a.png
Alexandra Vazquez Alexandra Vazquez is a Senior Content Marketing Specialist at G2. She received her Business Administration degree from Florida International University and is a published playwright. Alexandra's expertise lies in writing for the Supply Chain and Commerce personas, with articles focusing on topics such as demand planning, inventory management, consumer behavior, and business forecasting. In her spare time, she enjoys collecting board games, playing karaoke, and watching trashy reality TV. https://learn.g2.com/hubfs/IMG_8741.jpg https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandra-vazquez

Never miss a post.

Subscribe to keep your fingers on the tech pulse.

By submitting this form, you are agreeing to receive marketing communications from G2.

Stay in the know.

Subscribe to G2 Tea and get the latest MarTech news and trends delivered straight to your inbox.