In the latest edition of L&S Unscripted, we sit down with a relatively new addition to the L&S team—account executive Ryan Budmayr. But the truth is, Ryan is no stranger, having previously worked with our agency on a number of projects. Ryan took a few minutes out of his busy, 5280 schedule to talk everything from Mad Men to the Black Hills to a horse named Cisco.
When you aren’t meeting with clients and executing marketing plans, what are you doing?
“Spending time with my wife, Molly. It frustrates her a bit that I’m a ‘more is more’ guy when it comes to friends and social situations, so I like to have a lot of people around. If we’re out to dinner, I say the more the merrier. I also like to golf in the summertime and ski during the winter.”
What about music—are there genres or artists you’re drawn to?
“Growing up in Belle Fourche [South Dakota], it was always an old pickup truck with country music on the radio, and no matter how hard I try, I can’t get away from Garth Brooks, Blackhawk, Garry Allan and those guys. My wife listens to a lot more contemporary music. I get a little bit of that through her, but for me it’s hard to step away from country music.”
[…Ryan said he will be attending one of the upcoming Garth Brooks concerts in Sioux Falls…]
What about TV shows—what’s got your attention right now?
“We watch a lot of documentaries and Dateline at our house. We’re certainly into a number of other series, but they’re all pretty typical—The Americans, House of Cards, and I really like Ray Donovan and Billions.”
What about Mad Men? It’s been off the air for a while, but do you have a favorite character?
“Loved Mad Men—watched every episode. I need to go back and watch it again. Roger was my favorite. I liked a lot of the other characters, but Roger was my favorite. He was funny—and a little less complex. Obviously Jon Hamm as Don Draper is so fantastic. I probably appreciate him more than anyone else, but I just liked Roger’s character.”
You’re on a deserted island and you can bring one book. What is it?
“Are there other people on the island? If there are other people, then I’d re-read How to Win Friends and Influence People. There are so many great points in there about how to interact with people and how to view relationships. Now, if that’s not an option and it’s just me on an island, I’ll probably bring Ernest Hemingway. Like, The Old Man and the Sea.”
Favorite place to travel in South Dakota?
“Definitely the Black Hills. The roads between Hill City and Deadwood—and the Needles Highway—are still some of my favorite places in the world. Even though I probably make that drive at least once a year, it’s still my favorite.”
What’s something about you that might surprise people?
“I guess one thing that may surprise people is that I grew up in Western South Dakota—I’m originally from Belle Fourche—and we grew up branding cows and riding horses. On nights and weekends we’d go out to the ranch and fix fences or build corrals. I still have a horse today, named Cisco, after Jon Dunbar’s horse from Dances With Wolves.”
What drew you to L&S?
“I’ve been fortunate to have worked with L&S from the other side in a number of different capacities, from campaigns to economic development. There’s always been a professionalism—a get-things-done-take-no-prisoners attitude, all while being very inviting. I’ve always appreciated that. I think the quality of work speaks for itself, but I think when people talk about culture and great people at the company you hope that’s not a facade. And at L&S it’s anything but.”
Any perks to the job?
“I think in this gig you have the opportunity to be at the front of a lot of what’s going in marketing, sales, technology and understanding how people think and how they spend their time. I find it fascinating. I love to be in the know—to know what’s going on and what’s next. No two days are the same. With different clients and campaigns, you meet a lot of really great people and you get to learn about a lot that you might not otherwise.”
Look at any marketing blog or industry publication, and the focus is always on what’s new. From your view, what about our industry has remained the same in spite of all the changes?
“On one hand we are concerned with targeting specific audiences more than ever—we’re all about real time data and results. At the same time, I think that creating a lasting message that really resonates with people is as important today as ever. The need to create inspiring messages and brands isn’t something that I think has changed from Mad Men to today.”