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Spencer Hadelman is the Founder and CEO of Advantage Marketing, a full-service marketing and media firm providing digital and traditional marketing and media solutions. In his role, he leads his team with innovative thinking to strategize and implement marketing tactics for notable higher education institutions, e-commerce and retail businesses, and golf resorts. Spencer has spoken at multiple education institutes and conferences across the country, educating leadership teams on the best practices for widespread, targeted awareness and creating new client acquisitions.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Spencer Hadelman discusses Advantage Marketing’s services
  • How Spencer handles client debates about services and how his background influences his leadership style
  • Crucial lessons Spencer learned from working for another agency and his inspiration for starting Advantage Marketing
  • Advice for building a collaborative team culture
  • Advantage Marketing’s pivotal growth points
  • Case study: Spencer’s experience transforming a golf course from a dilapidated property into one of the top five golf resorts worldwide

In this episode…

The most successful agencies are led with confidence and a clear direction. So what does it take to become a fearless leader? Today’s guest shares how to earn clients’ trust while remaining unbothered by others’ opinions. 

According to Spencer Hadelman, you can’t be everything to everyone. After realizing he couldn’t please every client, Spencer began delivering his services with candor and transparency. This allows him to visualize a distinct approach and offer his clients a straightforward path to optimal results. If you’re confident in your leadership role, understand your target market and their needs, and communicate your intentions with honesty, you can establish an effective and authentic professional relationship with each client.

In this episode of the Inspired Insider Podcast, Dr. Jeremy Weisz of Rise25 sits down with Spencer Hadelman, Founder and CEO of Advantage Marketing, to discuss how he leads his firm. Spencer also talks about how he handles debates with clients, what he learned working for another agency, and his advice for building a collaborative company culture.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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Sponsor for this episode

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:01

You are listening to Inspired Insider with your host, Dr. Jeremy Weisz.

Jeremy Weisz 0:22

Dr. Jeremy wise here, founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders. Today is no different I have Spencer Hadelman of Advantage Marketing that you know, it’s Check it out. And I’m going to formally introduce Spencer in a second before I do. I always like to mention Spencer other episodes, people should check out the podcast I’ve had Todd Taskey, he talks about how he actually helps sell agencies and connects them with private equity. So he has helped them get the second bite, you get the Second Bite Podcast that was a great episode. And he talks about the valuation of agencies and everything around that. We also had a conversation with Adi Klevit, and we geeked out on the software and stuff that we like to use for our businesses. So that was a great episode. If you’d like to find out what software people are using and what we’re using check it out. And this episode is brought to you by Rise25. At Rise 25 we help businesses give to and connect to their dream 100 relationships and how do we do that we help you run your podcast, we’re an easy button for a business to launch and run a podcast. And we do execution the strategy and accountability around your podcasts. Like for me, Spencer, the number one thing in my life is relationships and always looking for ways to give to my best relationships. And I found no better way to do that than the profile the people and companies I most admire and have them on my podcast. So if you have questions about podcasting, go to and check it out. I am excited to introduce Spencer Hadelman. He’s the founder and CEO of Advantage Marketing. And he’s a Chicago based marketing and media agency that provides digital and traditional media solutions. They do that for notable clients such as the University of California Berkeley, Hello Kitty sand Valley Golf Resort, Monaco spirit brands, just to name a few. And in addition to founding advantage marketing, he is an investor and he’s invested in multiple companies like lime scooters, Arcadia, street capital. And he even continues to add to the advantage umbrella with some of the e-commerce company acquisitions, including a watch brand, which he successfully exited. And he taps into his golf marketing skills and personal love for the game. he co founded the e-commerce golf accessory brand Talon Golf company. And I think I saw on the internet, Spencer as someone was doing an opening of one of the boxes that you sent them of all the products. And that was cool. So Spencer, thanks for joining me.

Spencer Hadelman 2:50
Thank you for having me. I love it.

Jeremy Weisz 2:53

Talk about Advantage Marketing and what you do a little bit.

Spencer Hadelman 2:59

Well, I think the easiest way to break it down is, you know, at a high level for what I like to tell people, it’s like a full service marketing firm. And I think sometimes just saying the word agency scares people. And, you know, I like to say firm, and when I started the company, I said, you know, a lot of businesses out there need help, and they don’t always need it in every area. And so I look at our company, almost like there’s three sub companies within it. And so we have a digital advertising, marketing, Performance Division, whatever you want to call it, and you know, so that’s a lot of our clients that need help with, you know, search campaigns on Google and other areas and Bing and we have a big presence with paid social, such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc, TikTok. And then we have a, which is pretty much that our and then our second sub company or division would be a traditional media division. And so that’s your video television campaigns, ad campaigns, your radio, audio, your direct mail, your print, and our biggest part of that is probably our out of home buying. So billboards, transit, you know, anything really, that could be viewed as a, you know, out of home billboard Type, Product. And then our third part is our content creation slash date of division. And so even like, to give you an example or like how it’s different, you know, like, I reference, our digital division just now and the social media, like when we do organic social media for clients that’s really coming out of this content creation division. You know, We also do website design there logo design, branding, work, video editing, and email marketing, you know, anything like of that nature runs out of that division. So we have some clients that use us for everything. And we have some clients that use us just for one of those pillars. But I think what our clients appreciate is that depending on their needs, depending on our strategy, depending on obviously a lot of things is that I decide to bring in different people who run those divisions or are part of it so that they have different experts from different areas of marketing and advertising. And we’re not really pushing them only to one vehicle, one channel, we just want results. And we’re not married to anything. And I think that’s what has allowed us to grow so quickly and allowed us to have success is because, you know, I think our clients don’t believe we’re selling them. And, you know, it’s it’s, you know, we are obviously we’re a for profit business. But it’s also like, when you can have someone from the same company give you a different perspective, or play devil’s advocate. Because they have a different perspective on direct mail campaign versus a LinkedIn campaign or whatever it is. And it’s not two different vendors. It’s not two different people. It’s the same company, it’s the same meeting, it’s whatever, but I think it’s it leads to really good conversations with our clients. And it also allows internally for people to to own different sectors of marketing. But still, they don’t have mundane days, because they get to work with all different types of businesses and verticals, just owning their sectors.

Jeremy Weisz 7:06

You know, I want to go into in a second, you cut your teeth, you worked at agency before you started your agency. But I like what you said there. Let’s talk about that. If you could think of an example where you there was a healthy debate, right? You have a client there. And then you have team members there with a healthy debate kind of saying, hey, no, I think we should do radio. No, I think we should do LinkedIn. Do you remember one of those times

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