A Sit Down With Our CEO: Richard Dedor

We are nearly halfway through 2019, so our team thought it would be good to have a sit-down with our CEO, Richard Dedor, and talk about the company, the culture, and where we are going.

Q: What made you start Sprout Media three years ago?

Adam [our co-founder] and I had been talking about things we thought were missing in Des Moines; and a social agency that focused on the customer was something I knew was missing. The customer is the life-blood of any company and no one was working to ensure good customer experience both in-store and online. That’s how we started.

Q: How would you describe the culture of Sprout?

We try to lead with heart but are a brutally honest team. If something isn’t right, we say so. If something is so off-the charts awesome, we say that too. I like to think we are a small family and have our ups and downs, but in the end, we come back together because we love what we do.

Q: When you meet with businesses and prospective clients, what surprises you most?

It’s not that there isn’t a strategy, it’s that often only parts are being executed and even more frequently is there is no way to turn around and report on what worked and what didn’t. That’s where we love to come in and connect the dots in a collaborative way and add in new and up-and-coming technologies to help support business growth and positive customer interactions.

Q: What are you most excited about for the rest of the year?

There is always something … but this time around: Audio. I’m talking about podcasts and online music advertising. There is so much potential that has not been tapped yet. And when I think about podcasts, it is a fun and unique way to engage an audience that is new and prime for your content. Sprout is getting into that right now.

Q: You are a co-host on a comedy podcast, “The Podcast About Nothing” where you discuss Seinfeld. Tell us about it and how it’s shaped your experience in working in marketing.

I can’t remember when I first started watching Seinfeld, I just remember I was a huge fan. I also loved Friends and E.R., but Seinfeld was just … good. And today, when I watch re-runs of Friends versus re-runs of Seinfeld, there is no contest; Seinfeld has done better at standing the test of time. Their stories are still relevant. When I think about how that is related to our work at Sprout, it is more about their beginning. The executives st NBC ordered one show. And one guy had to fight and pinch pennies to buy four more episodes. It was an experiment in comedy and that is often what we do in marketing … experiment to find a cadence and a voice that engages our target audiences.

Q: And one piece of advice for all the new graduates out there.

Be a practitioner. Create content on channels and see what people engage with. Play with filters. Understand how best to do things because then when we start to think about what will work best with a client, you will know what is possible. Marketing is the art of the possible … and how to use that to your advantage. Good luck!

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