I’d like to introduce you to my new old company, Smash Communications. And I’d like your help in launching it.

As you probably know, I left Boxman Studios in January, after 5.5 years there. Since January, I’ve been sitting on a beach sipping a coconut. It’s totally awesome. And in my spare time, I’ve thought about how to reinvent my old company, smashcommunications. Only, it wasn’t going to be a virtual ad agency again like it once was. Not that I think agencies are becoming irrelevant. But I lost too many projects to less talented shops because of price back in the day and don’t feel like getting back into that game. Plus, I do think that the role of the traditional ad agency is becoming less relevant in how businesses go to market with their message.

That’s why I decided to turn Smash Communications into a marketing consultancy. A sustainable marketing consultancy.

I know, it sounds a little gimmicky, but bear with me.

While I was spending time helping a repurposed shipping container concept become the #120 fastest growing company in the US in just four years, I learned a thing or two about marketing and advertising. Mostly, that it’s changed. Once the brand was in place, Boxman was built on the idea of storytelling and then sharing those stories via the digital realm. Exclusively. There was no advertising budget. Back then no one was doing it like this, so there was no case study as a guide. It was like free falling without a parachute. Ok that’s a bit dramatic, but you get the picture.

For the first 3.5 years, I ran the company’s marketing solo. Then I hired an intern, and this past January I turned the marketing over to him. And so far, he’s doing great. The traffic to the company website continues to attract both unique visitors and qualified inquiries at a predictable arc based on past trends.

If Boxman proved one thing, it’s that sustainable marketing works. We created an inbound marketing machine. It goes something like this—storytelling via digital is content. If the content is compelling, relevant, routine, and driven through the right channels, it affects SEO, site traffic, engagement, and inquiries. Cool!

It also directly affects the dependency on traditional marketing and advertising. For example, we ran just one ad during my time at Boxman. It was a full-page print ad in a national trade pub that, as far as we could tell, generated three visitors. Two from India. Not that there’s anything wrong with India, but it is a little outside of our primary market.

No, we grew Boxman by more than 3000% on relevant content and smart distribution. Note, SEO is generated from the content, and engagement is a huge part of the distribution process.

No advertising. Minimal human resources. Sustainable. And hella effective.

So I decided to take what I learned from Boxman to help other companies create similar programs.

RIP virtual ad agency, smashcommunications. Hello marketing consultancy, Smash Communications.

I’m pretty proud of the website. Which is code for “say nice things about it and don’t you dare criticize.

But wait, there’s more. I’m also writing a book about sustainable marketing. Because, you know, you can’t be an expert marketer without a book. And I’ll probably need to step up and own the expert marketer tag to make this thing go. Besides, I’ll need the book to stand on during networking events. It will be published this year.

Finally, you’ll notice something about rhinos on the site. It’s a personal thing. Hoping to make a little difference from far away.

There you have it. My new old company. I appreciate you helping spread the word. After all, I need something to sustain this lavish island lifestyle.


Special thanks to the amazingly talented Laurie Smithwick for developing the brand mark for Smash. Check out her new venture, Step Away From the Screen and Make Something. It’s gonna be something.

Jim Mitchem

(Note: The photo at the bottom is from our last trip to Belize. A place I think about daily.)

The Villainous Spring
Billy Tang's Big Idea

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.