How I Started One of the Top B2B Agencies

Posted by Wendy Marx

How I Started One of the Top B2B Agencies

I’ve been around the public relations industry enough for it to seep deeply into my bones. Over 20 years ago I built my company, Marx Communications, which now rates as one of the top B2B agencies in the industry. Want to know some of my secrets?

Recently, I opened up in an interview with Native Society about my personal experience in the public relations industry -- as well as some of the tenets that my company was founded on.

Now I would like to take a chance to share the highlights of that interview with you.
You can also check out the full interview here.

A Little Background About Me

I started out as a journalist, and then went back to school and graduated with an MBA in marketing.

After business school, I did marketing for AT&T, and as part of my work was asked to help out in PR. To my surprise, I discovered I had a talent for it, and that PR could be creative and challenging. From that moment on, I was hooked.

Part of what attracted me to this industry was the many pieces that comprise the ever-growing public relations business. Today, you have owned media, earned media, shared media, paid media, inbound marketing, influencer marketing, SEO, and more that can fall under the PR tent.

The focus of my agency has always been B2B public relations. Initially, we were heavily invested in tech PR. However, due to the changing scene of the tech industry, our focus widened to also include financial services, professional services, marketing technology, and manufacturing.

One of my proudest achievements was to be a founding members of PR Boutique International. This is a global network of elite boutique agencies, with 37 members that span 13 countries. The organization allows members to network and share ideas on best practices and insights. PR professionals within this network can also partner with one another to attain a scope and reach that would be impossible for one agency alone.

Insights from Being Among the Top B2B Agencies

Measure, Measure, Measure

In the past, we were limited in how we could prove the worth of our PR tactics.

Now, thanks to the web and new technology it’s much easier to measure PR’s effectiveness and obtain the hard data that means something to a CEO. No longer are you reliant on a sheaf of pretty clips to tell your story -- instead, you can tie a story to click throughs, leads and even purchases.


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Influencer Marketing

It’s no secret that people in general have become distrustful of companies and their brands. Instead, people look to individuals to guide their purchase decisions and brand preferences.

This is where influencer marketing comes in -- it takes someone with a large following on social media, and positions them as a brand advocate.

Buried by the overwhelming tsunami of information, we rely on influencers to forge a safe path to decision making.


In a marketing context, influence is the ability to affect action. --Lee Odden


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PR Continues to Evolve

A recent study from USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations (CPR) predicts a convergence of PR and marketing into one discipline. My agency, as well as other agencies I know, are moving more and more toward integrated marketing. This means that we not only handle public relations, but also marketing functions. As we move forward, this trend will only get more pronounced.

PR has spread its tentacles into so many other areas, leaving media relations but part of a mix that includes owned, shared and paid media. In addition, at our agency, we do inbound marketing, allowing PR to truly augment marketing. I anticipate that we’ll be taking on more marketing functions, including combined PR and marketing campaigns.


Marketing skills of all kinds are going to be in high demand for a long time. --Joe Pulizzi


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Our Clients Are Our Partners

Our clients are at the center of everything we do — ensuring we not only meet but also exceed their needs. To that end, we have an articulated strategy with clearly stated deliverables, and use a project management system so that everything we do is transparent.

We typically hold weekly check-in calls to keep everything on track and the momentum going. Our goal is to be as proactive as possible while ensuring our clients are in sync with our work. At the end of the day, our greatest pleasure is getting results for our clients that make a viable difference in their business. That's what keeps us going.

Some Points to Remember...

  • Measurement is a key way to prove the worth of public relations, and to improve its efficiency going forward.
  • Influencer marketing is an ever-growing trend which offers a way to reach audiences above today's constant avalanche of information.
  • The gap between public relations and marketing is closing fast, and PR agencies need to start to recognize this marriage.
  • Clients must be treated as partners -- if they succeed, so does the PR agency.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about me, my agency, and the principles that set us apart. Click here to check out the full, in-depth interview, with my personal anecdotes, my views on upcoming trends, and my advice to future entrepreneurs.

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May 2, 2017

Wendy Marx

Wendy Marx is the founder and president of Marx Communications, a boutique inbound marketing and public relations agency. An award-winning B2B public relations pro, she has helped many small- & medium-sized firms (SMBs) become well-known industry brands and transform their businesses, going from Anonymity to Industry Icon™.

Her business articles have appeared in The New York Times, InformationWeek, Inc., Advertising Age, & Fast Company, among other outlets. 

View all posts by Wendy Marx