Radio Recap: AgencySparks' CEO Joe Koufman on The Dana Barrett Show

AgencySparks’ CEO, Joe Koufman, had the pleasure of being a guest on The Dana Barrett Show on biz 1190 this past week. In this interview, Joe and Dana discuss recent happenings in Atlanta, the buzz around AgencySparks’ events, and the next event we’re currently putting together, SPARKsouth. The interview runs for about 11 minutes, but we wanted to capture the highlights:

Dana: "For people who are catching up for the first time meeting you...You’re a matchmaker essentially between the brands and the agencies?"

Joe: "You know, my mom doesn’t always know exactly what I do for a living, but the simplest way to explain what we do is that we’re a dating service for brands and agencies."

Dana and Joe go on to talk about examples of how that would work in a brand setting. Joe cites Scenic Road as our specialist in documentary-style video production, and Everywhere Agency, our social media agency that specializes in influencer marketing. 

Once Dana and Joe get everyone up to speed on AgencySparks as a company, they transition their discussion into AgencySparks events - past and future:

Dana: "Before we get into the upcoming conference, I want to touch back with some of the stuff you’ve done recently. Let’s start with something simple: You do a quarterly breakfast, right?"

Joe: "Yes, so as part of AgencySparks’ mission, we bring together brands and agencies. So we’ll do a quarterly breakfast where we invite 20-25 brand marketers to breakfast, and we’ll invite one person from each of our agencies and do a sort of ‘mix-and-mingle’...

"Valentine’s day last year, we did an actual speed dating breakfast where we gave the attendees a conversation starter question and asked [each agency partner] to rotate every seven minutes...

"We just did a breakfast a couple weeks ago that was much more casual with no specific agenda."

Dana: "I feel like the best relationships are started that way.. When it’s casual, you’re not in a hurry… sometimes the best things come out of that."

Then Dana and Joe discuss the recent Agency Shootout and how AgencySparks and the Atlanta Hawks brought the event to fruition. "We tried to have very diverse agencies there and it was a lot of fun," Joe remarks.

Dana: "It’s also cool because for the Hawks, they’re doing something that’s outside of the box that’s connecting with the business community… they’re cool just for being NBA, but they’re also looking for other ways to connect with the community.

"So let’s move onto SPARKSouth because that’s the big upcoming event coming up in October...correct?"

Joe: "October 14th. So SPARKSouth was born really a couple of years ago when we put together a student track for another conference…"

In essence, the purpose of SPARKSouth is to bring together students from all of the metro-Atlanta universities, including Emory, Spelman, Morehouse, Georgia State, Kennesaw State, Georgia Tech, UGA, etc. for a day of digital marketing education.

There are four tracks this year’s conference: a brand track (IE: Home Depot), an agency track, an entrepreneurship track (startups coming out of ATL Tech Village), and a platform track (Facebook/Mailchimp).

Dana: "So they’re all there to talk about and share what it’s like to work at their organizations, what the kids need to be ready for these types of organizations?"

Joe: "Exactly. And while these sessions are going on, we’ll have these skills workshops where students can learn about resumes, dressing for success, they can actually have a professional headshot taken while they’re at the conference."

Other activities to look forward to at SPARKSouth:

  • Workshops on overcoming millennial stereotypes
  • Mentor lunch
  • And an end-of-day job fair

If anyone is interested in a sponsorship, or buying tickets, go to! It’s a great place for networking, sponsors, and making connections!

Thanks again to Dana Barrett for being such a great host and also to producers Isaac Mendoza and Tiana Bogino!

Dana Barrett and Joe Koufman - interview on biz1190