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MARKETING CONSULTANTS

Archive for the Advertising Category

Do You Need Big Agencies to Digest Big Data?

Do You Need Big Agencies to Digest Big Data?

big data ad agenciesDo you need big ad agencies to digest big data?  NO!

Bob Hoffman’s (aka The Ad Contrarian) recent take on the never-ending discussions of ‘big data’ in advertising is that “… the important data about consumer behavior comes primarily from 1) the brand, and 2) media and media research companies…The idea that the agency will now be the collector and keeper of data and the go-to developer of media technology seems highly unlikely. ”  

In fact, the unanswered question is whether or not big ad agencies have the technology, insight and will to evaluate ‘big data’ and apply their learning to the advantage of the client.  The short answer is (again) NO!

According to Hoffman, “The ad industry has decided to play the other guy’s game. They are now competing in an arena in which they have distinct disadvantages. They are not as good at data or technology as their competitors. They are quietly abandoning creativity, although it is still the one and only thing that clients can’t get somewhere else.”

Check out the full article in The Ad Contrarian.

 

The Four Lies Ad Agencies Love to Tell You.

The Four Lies Ad Agencies Love to Tell You.

When I was a kid, my mom told my brother and me that she knew when we were lying because she could see “L’s” in our eyes. Like most moms, she had 360 degree laser vision and generally knew everything that was going on. But, it didn’t stop us kids from testing the situation. Before an inevitable confrontation, we’d anxiously ask each other, “Look in my eyes! Can you see the L’s?” We were more naïve than stupid and most of the time we got caught in our (very infrequent) lies.

In business, there are multitudinous layers of lying. And it’s something you need to understand in order to make the best decisions for your company.

This is a tough market and it’d make sense to look for a little bit of help. Is your business at an impasse? Do you know that you can do better but aren’t sure of where to turn? You need to shake things up, so where do you look? Most often, your choices will be an ad agency or a marketing firm/ consultancy. Beware the lies.

Lie #1: One size fits all

Keep in mind that one size doesn’t fit all. No one can be all things to all people all of the time. Figure out what you need before you jump in. If you believe you need to “look before you leap”, then your next step should be a marketing consultant who can help you map out a plan. If you’re willing to jump into that pool without knowing if it even has water, then go to an ad agency first. Marketing agencies/consultants and advertising agencies are your two primary choices.

Lie #2: We have your best interests in mind

Although they may claim to do similar things, they aren’t the same. And the easiest way to differentiate them is to think about how they make money. There are nice guys out there who will throw in a freebie everyone now and then. In the long run, checking the money path explains things pretty well. Some agencies may work on a retainer basis and get paid for a specified amount of time each month. But, their primary income for advertising and design agencies is from the projects they do for you. The more projects they do, the more money they make. The bigger the projects, the more money they make.
Marketing agencies or marketing consultants get paid for their time. When marketing consultancies are also selling SEO, website design or mobile marketing, they’ve crossed the line into selling more projects and bigger projects.

Lie #3: What’s good for me is good for you

Ad agencies may work on a range of projects – from TV advertising to web design and from online advertising to social media. Ad agencies often claim to offer strategic services, but most often (99.4% of the time) they don’t. They create strategies that will help them sell more o

f their services so they can make more money. You can be pretty sure that if you’re working with an ad agency who focuses on digital marketing (online ads, website development, etc.), they are not likely to propose that you pursue direct mail. Before you jump into anything, you should figure out the objectives and strategies that’ll work best for your company. For that reason, a marketing consultant might be the best first step.
Marketing consultants focus on creating strategies that work for your company, your industry, your situation. They offer a range of marketing services that can include, strategic planning, project management, coaching and/or interim staffing. Good consultants will partner with you, working to leverage the expertise and understanding you have in your company

Lie #4: We are experts on your company

Beware when you hear an agency or consultant tell you that they know your company better than you. While they should have new perspectives on how you can move your company forward, they should respect the fact that you are experts on your organization.
Alternatively, you have 2 big responsibilities. First, open your mind to new ideas. Second, don’t relinquish your power. I’ve seen customers follow an agency’s directions because they felt the agency was “an expert”. They didn’t feel the proposal fit their but claimed, “These guys are at the top of their game. We’d be silly not to trust them.” Not true. While you might need to take a small jump out of your comfort zone, you shouldn’t be abandoning your company history, your brand or your objectives.

Ad agencies and marketing consultants can be invaluable partners for both big and small businesses. Like most other tools, they’re best used when you know how, when and why to use them.

Naked Branding Could Change The World

Naked Branding Could Change The World

Most companies have two brands.  One is the (cool) brand you promote.  And the other is the brand you live and breathe everyday.  Social media provides a great opportunity to provide brand transparency and help to create authenticity in branding.  At that point, companies can have one brand.  They can stop telling everyone how wonderful they are and  start BEING wonderful.

The Naked Brand documentary  talks about the amazing potential of this new advertising and branding model and a video sampling of the film appears below.

“Corporations have incredible influence on the world we live in and that’s given them free reign to pollute, collude and mislead us, but advances in technology are rapidly making them accountable not just to shareholders, but to everyone. The Naked Brand is a story about how corporations can help save the planet one small step at a time. It’s an introduction to a bright new future where companies tell the truth and work hard to create better products and a better planet.”

The Naked Brand. Simply genius.

Watch the brief video here. It’ll inspire you!

The Naked Brand – Official Trailer from The Naked Brand on Vimeo.

Want Better Work from your Agency? Be a Better Client!

Want Better Work from your Agency?  Be a Better Client!

Mark etingPartner

Getting the best work out of a marketing or advertising agency requires work.  Getting better work requires that clients do better work.  Sometimes the relationships between great clients and great agencies look like Pushmi-Pullyu of Dr. Doolittle fame.  Good agency-client relationships are partnerships.  Too often, clients fall into these 3 traps.

1. We Love Whatever You Do (Until You Do It) – These are the clients who insist that “the agency knows best” don’t realize the importance of outlining needs and expectations.  Putting the agency on that kind of pedestal actually sets a low level of low expectations for the agency…. “we’ll take whatever you deliver.”

2. We’ll Know What We Want When We See It –  It is highly unlikely that an agency will meet your needs if you can tell them the who, what, when, where, why and how of the project.  Let’s face it.  These are people who don’t want to spend too much time thinking about the issues at hand.  Agencies are not going to live inside your head.  This is a ‘no win’ scenario for an agency because, if results don’t pan out, it will always be the agency’s fault.

3. We’ll Just Know If We’re Successful – Without objective, measurable goals there can be no success or failure.  If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?  If you don’t agree to goals in advance, it’s too easy to get ‘mission creep’ where the goals increase as the project progresses.  And,without a goal, it’sat  just too easy to say “that didn’t work”.

Good relationships with agencies are partnerships.  Agencies want to be successful … and they want you to be successful as well.  If you want better work from your agency, be a better client.  Here are a few tips from Beloved Brands

What Are People Saying?

Working with Susan was an absolute pleasure. She is an astute marketer who had an unerring sense of her brand’s DNA and worked with us to ensure that the programs we created and executed together delivered against our common goals and objectives. As a brand steward and marketing partner she was about the best I have worked with.

-B. GinsbergRainmaker/ Director/ Growth CatalystEmanate

How We Can Help You.

We are marketing consultants based on Long Island, NY. Over the past 20 years, we've built fierce market leaders in a broad range of businesses - from tiny start-ups to global Fortune 500 companies.  Our experience spans multiple industries from consumer electronics to financial services and from food services to photo.  We're looking forward to talking to you to see how we can help take your business to the next level.