About Us Heading
Robert W. Cross, Principal at Outfit.



From a young age, Robert W. Cross studied climate science and saw the writing on the wall.  He started his career in business finance, but ultimately left New York for Portland, jumping on an opportunity to help build the renewable energy industry. He worked with the Energy Trust of Oregon to develop financing solutions for clean energy projects, and took a lead architect role on several groundbreaking projects, including Green Street Lending with Umpqua Bank, the Real Estate Professional Trade Ally Program, and the Home Energy Score.

In 2015, Robert founded Cross Consulting to help cleantech CEOs address challenges in their business models and develop revenue strategies. He discovered they also needed marketing help if they were going to succeed. That’s when Outfit was born.

Robert W. Cross, Principal at Outfit.
Mark Jacobs, Managing Director at Outfit

Mark Jacobs

Managing Director

Mark started his career as a financial analyst in Silicon Valley, helping tech companies pursue investment and acquisition opportunities. After several years, he went to Harvard Business School to find his true calling, and quickly discovered marketing was it. 

Mark was then accepted into Wieden+Kennedy’s experimental advertising school and went on to work with Nike, leading a team to develop groundbreaking social media campaigns. He subsequently led digital marketing at Umpqua Bank and Mercy Corps, and was VP of Marketing for the Portland Timbers and Thorns.  

In 2023, Mark joined Robert to help take Outfit to the next level. As Managing Director, he drives the overall strategy, growth, and success of the agency. 


People do not like marketing, for good reason. Most marketing is annoying and disruptive. The old-school marketer asks him or herself: “How do I get people to _______?” The goal is to get people to do something, like click a link or submit their email.

We approach marketing differently–like it’s the beginning of a long-term relationship. Here are the underlying principles that animate us…

Audience needs come first

We bring a spirit of generosity to marketing and ask ourselves: How can we create the most value for our audience? What might be most helpful? The outcome is marketing that people appreciate–marketing that builds trust and generates future demand.

Nothing fake or fluffy

So much marketing is BS–flowery language that no human would actually say, and completely manufactured scenarios. We use clear, unambiguous language that our audiences understand. And we only reveal stories–we don’t manufacture them.

Show the human side

The features of technology are important, but people like to buy things from other people. We show the human side of your business. Who is using your solution and how do they feel about it? Who are you and why did you get into the business in the first place? Your technology is you. Let’s pull back the curtain.

Data-informed (not data-driven)

We love data. But we don’t let it make decisions for us. We only test ideas that are consistent with our values and principles. And when it comes to assessing performance, we care about both quantitative and qualitative feedback.

Listen long enough

Big ideas reveal themselves when you listen long enough. We pride ourselves on asking thoughtful questions, and a lot of them. We love speaking with employees–especially those on the front line–and customers. Their candid thoughts and feelings are a goldmine.   

Aim for art, not advertising

Videos, photos, and graphic design–these are our vehicles for visual storytelling. They can feel like slick corporate ads, or they can feel authentic, handcrafted, and human. The latter is much more compelling and effective at moving people.