Robert Manigold

Robert spent the first 18 years of his career at Southwest Airlines helping to build one of the worlds strongest brands.  Eventually, Robert fell in love with agency work via his agency relationship at Southwest and a close friend who ran an agency in Texas.

After working in consultative and development roles for various agencies, Robert was exposed to a research company that was doing unique work in Kansas City called PROOF.  He used PROOF as a research vendor for agency projects for several years before officially jumping on board when they asked him to head up a new position where he could build strong relationships with agencies – a job he said he was “meant to do.”

At PROOF, Robert leads the charge in redefining the landscape of strategic partnerships. His approach is simple: build partnerships that prioritize customer-first strategies over traditional revenue-first models. This shift in focus, from ‘Revenue -> Referrals -> Partners’ to ‘Customers -> Value -> Ecosystem.’

When identifying and working with agency partners, Robert looks beyond the surface. He values transparency, openness to exploration, receptive feedback mechanisms, prompt communication, established credibility, and likability. He admires agencies that remain composed under pressure, value direct communication, engage in respectful conflicts, and understand the balance between pushing for innovation and aligning with client needs.  You will find Robert at lunch or on Zoom calls making introductions and building value for PROOF’s many agency partners.