EVP Business Development, Manifest
Immediate Past Chairman
If you want to know where the content marketing business is going—and why—talk to Keith Sedlak.
His dynamic career has paralleled the rapid development of the industry, and his plans will influence its future.
As EVP Business Development at Manifest, Keith oversees new business development, developing a disciplined strategy for identifying, approaching and engaging the clients we can help the most. He also directs the marketing strategy for the agency, so that everyone knows we’re not just the largest independent content marketing firm, but also the smartest and most sophisticated.
But Keith has a bigger agenda than that. To understand it, you only need to know where he’s come from.
After learning the traditional advertising business as sales manager at The Wall Street Journal, Keith cut his teeth in digital advertising and search marketing during the dotcom boom, working for search firms Alta Vista and Lycos. So by the time he moved to Meredith Integrated Marketing a decade ago, he knew how to help clients understand how to integrate various marketing techniques into strategic programs that achieved measurable results.
At Meredith, Keith introduced such strategies to clients like Kraft, Lowe’s, Chrysler and State Farm, helping to grow the agency from several dozen employees to 700. By the time he left, the rebranded Meredith Xcelerated Marketing was one of the hottest marketing shops in the business.
It was that broad and deep experience that Keith brought to TMG Custom Media in 2012, who found himself on the inside edge of a merger with content marketing rival McMurry. The deal he helped broker ultimately created the largest independent content marketing agency in the United States.
The largest, and the most ambitious.
Beyond articulating the new agency’s philosophy and building robust strategies for new business development, Keith has bold thought leadership goals: Through his high-level involvement in the Direct Marketing Association and the Custom Content Council, Keith is working to establish content marketing as a discipline that achieves “Agency of Record” status, so that brands recognize the value and are compelled to name a content marketing agency of record, as they already do with advertising and PR agencies.
And the agency-of-record of choice? Manifest, of course.
What drives Keith to push so hard in so many directions?
He’s excited by content marketing, “a new way of marketing” that’s finally getting the recognition it deserves because it offers brands the ability to tell stories that relate to their customers and engage consumers in a two-way dialogue with the brand via digital channels.
Mostly, Keith likes content marketing because it leads to tangible results for clients.
“I’m competitive,” he says, “but I also like to be held accountable.”
When he’s not being accountable to new clients, Keith is being accountable to his wife and three children, coaching baseball and hockey and spending whatever time is left on the golf course or on the water. He and his family live in Wyckoff, New Jersey.