Former Progressive CMO Launches Marketing Company

Former Progressive Insurance CMP Jeff Charney is launching Mkhstry, which he calls “a new, disruptive marketing industry collective.”

Charney, who was named a MediaPost All Star in 2018, says the company “is part an accelerator for industry changing ideas, part agency catalyst and part lifestyle brand.”

Before the pandemic, marketing firms and ad agencies were operating with essentially the same service model they'd used for more than 150 years, he says. 

The new company will help them adapt to “the new creator economy, blockchain, Web3 and metaverse worlds,” Charney says.

It is a "virtual collective of creatives" but headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Charney says.



Several of the firm's employees "have been with me from the start," he adds. "There are numerous partners in the business representing key marketing disciplines. The invitation-only Mkhstry model pre-screens participants, who are then flexed into action depending on the client."

The company has not begun taking clients as of yet. "At this point we did not want that," Charney tells Marketing Daily. "Many have been inquiring about what I will do next. We want them to first understand the parameters of the MKSTRY business model -- then we will start inviting clients."

Charney left Progressive on Jan. 7 after announcing his pending retirement from the company in March 2021. 

Mkhstry will focus on idea-first marketing instead of the more traditional campaign-first marketing. There will be no offices, walls or bureaucracy, and staff will be flexed based on individual client need, eliminating the heavy overhead normally associated with a traditional agency or consultancy. 

At the heart of the new company’s engagement model is its proprietary assessment  methodology, or Mkhstry Index (MHI). 

The index functions as a mutual pre-screen “bravery barometer” between Mkhstry and potential clients to measure the willingness and ability of a leadership team to transcend traditional marketing, as well as its level of comfort with executing a broader vision of what’s possible. 

The company will introduce a week-long “Reverse History” tour with in-person presentations at four separate cities and grassroots locations.  More details can be found on the company’s website,

Mkhstry is also a company committed to giving back, Charney says.

A portion of profits will go to Little Free Libraries, a nationwide initiative to bring books and education to local communities through small, personalized, pop-up libraries across the nation. 

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