The Marketing Arm is a network of four marketing services agencies within Omnicom Group that count AT&T, Frito-Lay, and Anheuser-Busch among their joint 100-plus, big-name client roster. SMU alum Ray Clark founded the $56 million, 1,100-employee company in 1993. Companywide growth of 730% in fiscal 2004 and 2005 earned TMA the top spot on 2005’s fastest-growing marketing agency list in Promo Magazine. How do you beat that? By being named 2006’s no. 1 overall marketing agency on the PROMO 100.
Name: Ray Clark
Title/Company: Founder and CEO/The Marketing Arm
Tenure: 13 years
What was your first job? Sales for General Mills.(I lasted six months.)
What was your worst job? Selling cemetery plots door-to-door to help pay for college.
If you couldn’t say “the people I work with,” what would you say is the best part of your job? Since I was a kid, I’ve always wanted to create and sell ideas. On my better days, I still get to do that. But today, the ideas are less often about marketing programs and more often about vision, careers, and motivation.
What’s the worst part? Dealing with people when they don’t get it and don’t know that they don’t get it.
On weekends, where would people find you? Playing every game or activity imaginable with my wife Ellen and two boys, Will, 8, and Callaway, 5.
What’s your favorite TV show? Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage, Arrested Development, a bunch of the History and Discovery Channel stuff, and anything about serial killers.
What three websites do you visit most frequently? Yahoo!, blueroom.att.com, and TheMarketingArm.com.
What’s your biggest regret? I rarely, rarely think about past regrets, but I guess I wish I’d been healthier with regards to nutrition and alcohol when I was younger.
What do you consider to be your biggest weakness? Inconsistency.
What’s the best piece of advice you could offer? Have a goal, write down a plan, have very specific steps, and work the plan every day.