Agency Roundtable: What We're Reading, Watching, and Listening To

From books and podcasts to LinkedIn and YouTube, there are so many mediums where new perspectives and ideas are being shared. So what are some of the standouts that have shaped how the Liquid team thinks, brainstorms, and strategizes?

Below we’ve rounded up what we’re reading, watching, and listening to, plus the individuals and brands we’re paying attention to, from across the agency. Read on for some new saves and follows!


What is a book that helped with your professional development?

Emily Massaro (Vice President, Marketing): I recently read The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. It follows a man who learns how to funnel his determination and energy into serving others and providing value vs. the more traditional "go-getter" mindset. It was a quick read with some truly great lessons and reminders!

Bret Ludlow (Executive Vice President): Shoe Dog by Phil Knight was a great book about how he created and built Nike. Great showcase of creativity, vision, and resiliency in business. Also, really interesting to hear how Nike started originally vs what it's become today.

Bob Stevens (Director, Strategy): The Book of Beautiful Questions by Warren Berger. This was one of many books that inspired me to ask higher-quality questions, reorient my way of problem-solving, and deeply understand what authentic collaboration can produce.

Jeff Doubek (Director, Experience Design): I have two.

  1. First You Have to Row a Little Boat, by Richard Bode: through a series of stories it talks about the simple and deliberate steps one must take before they can gain mastery. It’s about patience, planning, and self-confidence.
  2. Grit, by Angela Duckworth: Passion + Persistence > Talent

Mark Cernese (Chief Operating and Financial Officer): Good to Great by Jim Collins


What's a podcast that you listen to consistently?

Bret: A favorite of mine is Business Wars. They typically do a 3-4 part series telling the story of two well known brands and the head-to-head competition from their early days to today. Often included are stories of branding and marketing strategies that give one of them a leg up for a while until the other catches up. Some of my favorite series have been: Pixar vs Dreamworks, Hasbro vs Mattel, ESPN vs Fox Sports, Starbucks vs Dunkin, and Marvel vs DC

Lacey Meehan (Art Director): I really like the Design Better Podcast. Design leaders in various industries discuss their expertise in creative, technology, and overall best practices/processes to succeed. I've learn a lot by hearing new perspectives from those in similar yet different fields.

Jeff: First off, I’ll binge listen to anything true crime, but I think you’re looking for something more in line with my professional atmosphere. I love podcasts that go deep interviews with interesting people like Smartless, ones that discuss seldom known and notorious incidents like Swindled, and pretty much anything that brings up cool  perspectives from brand visionaries like NPR’s Wisdom from the Top with Guy Raz.


Who is a thought leader that you follow closely?

Dolan Kutzman (Art Director/Lead Animator): Corridor Digital is a thought leader in video production and has been a consistent source of inspiration for me for over a decade. Their YouTube channel has countless hours of behind-the-scenes content and tutorials for learning everything about the video production process, from storyboarding to visual effects to 3D animation/simulation. Their “VFX Artists React” series on YouTube breaks down how visual effects shots are created and usually feature a seasoned pro from the industry to give additional insights. Most recently, they’ve been at the forefront of using generative AI for video, producing groundbreaking content and discussing the ethical concerns that go with it. They are masters at creating inspiring content that is not only informative but fun to watch.

Jason Mastroianni (Vice President, Strategy): Doug Kessler from Velocity: A prolific writer on all things marketing, content, and creativity. His writing is always accessible and compelling, offering takes that do a great job of teaching and consistently providing "aha" moments.

Ashley Detweiler (Senior Project Manager and Copywriter): Gary Vaynerchuk. He's an entrepreneur that recognizes trends and patterns and then creates digestible to content to share how they impact the market and consumer behavior. He's active on social media and connects with his audience in a way that's informative but relatable.

Bob: Fabian Geyrhalter of Finien. Great books and social posts on brand strategy, contemporary insights, and thoughtful commentary on how cultural changes impact the success of any given brand.

Melanie Cellini (Team Lead, Digital Marketing): HubSpot does a great job of being informative in a fun/quirky way, which makes them enjoyable to follow. It can sometimes be difficult to create engaging, sharable content for SaaS products, but they do a really good job with creating videos on their social platforms, staying on top of trends and sharing industry-specific memes.

Riley Surovy (Integrated Marketing Strategist): Hey Orca is a 3rd party social media management tool that is constantly evolving with trends in social media marketing. From their engaging webinars, email content, and Facebook group community to generative AI and Canva integration on their platform - they have set the bar high as a social management tool. Their forward thinking has me looking to them for inspiration around current trends in social media.


What brand serves as inspiration for you?

Kaitlyn Gurinowich (Integrated Marketing Specialist): I have always admired the Fun On Weekdays brand by Jenna Palek. She created this brand with the goal of helping women find new opportunities, discover new passions, and enjoy every day regardless of the hours you work. Between her social media aesthetic, community event planning, podcast, newsletter, Facebook group, and so much more, I cannot say enough good things about what she is doing for young professionals (like me!) and inspiring us to take the leap of stepping out of our comfort zones.

Mark: Nike. Their pricing power far exceeds the quality of their products due to the premium brand.

Emily: Spotify continues to be a brand whose creativity I really appreciate! Personalization is inherent in their platform, and they take that into channels and tactics like email, push notifications, and their annual Spotify Wrapped campaign. This and their commitment to collaboration with artists, podcasters, and more always serves as both an inspiration and an example for me when brainstorming new ideas on behalf of Liquid and our clients.

Melanie: I really enjoy Alani Nu's social media presence. Their product photography, graphic design and video content is always so bright, energetic and eye catching – it makes me want to try every new product they release! They also do a great job teasing their seasonal flavors, so I’m always looking forward to the next product drop.


Do you have a book or podcast recommendation? What thought leader’s blog or social channels do you follow closely? Is there a brand you think is “killing it?” Let us know on Instagram