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The Sagefrog Story in The Intelligencer!

By: Sagefrog

Thanks to The Intelligencer for featuring Sagefrog Marketing Group in yesterday’s paper!

Duo Keeps Pace with Marketing’s Whirlwind Changes

by Liz Johnson


It was Mark Schmukler’s wedding that brought him and his business partner Suzanne Morris together to form the Doylestown marketing firm they named Sagefrog.

Schmukler was a software developer turned global marketer who decided to leave Horsham-based VerticalNet in 2001 to start his own firm. Morris had spent the first 10 years of her career at K.I. Lipton in Doylestown, working her way from graphic designer to senior art director. But in 2001, she too, thought it was time for a change.

“I was looking for something new, something different,” Morris recalled. So she started her own graphic design company called Much More Creative. Among the things she designed were wedding invitations.

That year was a time of many new beginnings for Schmukler, including his marriage to his fiancé Kaitlin. When he hired Suzanne to make his invitations, the two clicked. Within a year, they would team up to become the Sagefrog Marketing Group. They chose their name by combining sage — meaning strategy and wisdom — and frog, meaning adaptable tactics.

“I had agency experience and his area of expertise was in corporate marketing and management consulting,” said Morris.

“We used to say we were where strategy meets design,” said Schmukler, who worked for Kodak and Konica-Minolta before being tapped by VerticalNet.

Twelve years later, their company has 14 employees and is growing. Last year, they bought a historic building on Oakland Avenue in Doylestown to house their burgeoning operation.

Marketing has changed a lot in those 12 years — and Schmukler and Morris have changed with it. When they started, many customers were looking for basic websites, brochures and business cards. Now, Sagefrog has a 12-prong strategy that includes social media, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, content marketing and something called retargeting, which tracks who has visited the client’s website, then targets that potential customer with Internet ads that show up on other ad-based sites.

Websites have changed drastically, too. No longer are they basic online brochures, with static pictures and text. To rank highly on Google — and be found by potential customers — websites are “constantly being optimized (with new content),” said Schmukler. “A good website is alive.”

Sites are also now designed so they look different depending on the device a person is using to locate them — whether it’s a laptop, a personal computer, a tablet or a smartphone.

Schmukler and Morris are also Google Partners, which means they’ve been trained by Google to develop ad campaigns.

“Everyone on our online team is Google-certified,” said Schmukler, who now does some of the training himself. That’s led to classes and customers in Philadelphia, where they have an office as well as one in Princeton, N.J. and one in Lehigh Valley.

Their clients tend to be mid-sized firms in the health care, legal, technology and financial fields, although they’ve recently seen an uptick in Pennsylvania manufacturing companies looking for their services.

“They’re realizing the need for modern marketing techniques, whereas before, if you didn’t know the molecular structure of what they made, they didn’t want to talk to you,” said Schmukler.

Those modern marketing techniques include tracking website visitors based on the search words they used to find the website, how long they stayed on the site and where they went from there. One Google AdWords campaign Sagefrog did for an accounting firm landed a multi-million-dollar client in Europe.

“With business-to-business clients, you don’t need a huge number of conversions. One can be worth more than $100,000,” said Schmukler.

But the two also continue to advocate traditional marketing methods to their clients, such as trade shows, print advertising, public relations and direct mail. “Print isn’t dead, but it’s a smaller percentage of what we do,” said Morris.

For all your full-service marketing, branding, interactive, public relations and advertising needs please call 215-230-9024 or visit