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The Marketing Agency Leadership Podcast

Aug 29, 2019

Chris Yoko is President and CEO of Yoko Co, a digital marketing firm that focuses on working with organizations that have a passion or purpose beyond mere profit. 

Why would a marketing agency choose to work with that “slice” of the business landscape?

In 2014, Chris’s small team questioned why they loved working with some clients . . . and others . . . not so much. Their newly-formed Advisory Board challenged each member of the team with two questions: “What do you want to accomplish with your life?” and “What are you living for?” 

You may ask, “What do personal questions like these have to do with a business’s operations?”

As it turned out in this case . . . Everything.

What Yoko discovered was that each member of his team shared a vision similar to his own: that each, in their individual lives, wanted to make an impact on the world. 

A marketing agency typically has a list of strategies and services designed to promote its client companies’ messages, enhance awareness of its client companies’ capabilities, and improve its client companies’ bottom-line results.

Yoko Co. did not have a world-changing message itself. And, as is the case with most agencies, it did not interface on its own behalf with “Joe Public.” How could the agency channel this newly-identified passion?

Yoko and his team discovered that they could have an “amazing amplifying effect” on the impact the agency’s clients made on the world—but only if the agency and its clients were philosophically aligned. If Yoko Co. wanted to make a difference in the world, the agency had to work with companies that wanted the same thing. 

In order to align the company with its employees “passion,” the 25% of clients that lacked that passion, “to impact the world,” had to be “fired,” but diplomatically – a process that took about 3 months. Yoko handled the “breakups” in such a thoughtful and supportive manner that two of the “dismissed” clients referred new clients that were a good fit for Yoko. Once the “housecleaning” was complete, free time increased 40-50%. For the remaining clients, who were a “good fit”? Yoko has been able to produce industry-leading results.

To find out more about this journey or to contact Chris, check out his company’s website at: or his personal site at: