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ON: Small and Nimble Is The New Black

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 · 
April 24, 2007
 · 
3 min read

Our Industry is changing because the consumers we market to and create for have changed.  For the first time in a long time we are being forced to listen to consumers and what they are thinking, feeling and now commenting about the brands we represent.

The other MAJOR change that is happening is that our clients have now realized that the large advertising model is out and the small nimble agency that can push small production dollars further and be “creative generalist” are the new Black.

8 Things The Agency World Needs To Change

  1. Break the down the Silos!  Keep the experts and form universal teams that do not create brands for TV or Digital but approach your clients with Creative Strategy that plays a role in consumer’s lives no matter the channel.
  2. Be Channel Agnostic. “Below the line” is now “above the line” and the “above the line” is almost out.  Do not create brands for communication channels.
  3. Challenge your clients when they hand you a brief that says “Drive Awareness”.  Consumers are aware – Then what?  Awareness is not Engagement.  Awareness is equated to the mono log. Consumers do not care about the crazy marketer in the room with his random idea of Utopia through his brand.  Look at Engagement in the form of a conversation. Our job as the marketers is a dialog – a prolonged conversation will develop a relationship, and a great relationship is the yellow brick road to brand affinity.
  4. Develop brands as a filter to the clutter - To stay relevant in consumers lives your brand needs to be used as a “Filter” or platform for emotionally based content and experiences. Stop filling the airwaves and bandwidth with more bullshit.
  5. Talk about the pink elephant in the middle of the room.  Some of the simplest ideas are the most obvious.  In a clients mind – Complicated means expensive.
  6. Become the conduit – Most if not all fortune 500 clients have general advertising agency – those guys are not going away just yet…but you can shrink their budgets by being nimble, partnering with others and servicing them in a way that gives them access to top talent.
  7. The Team is the Gatekeeper - Know the brands business and be the gatekeepers of their budget. The entire agency team needs to know the client’s business, then the brands audience and help control their end of the budget.
  8. Stop with all the Web 2.0 Hype. Consumers do not trust companies they trust people.  Consumers are the Media!  Agencies need to stop worrying about their old formulas of mono logging and know that the consumers are our storytellers! The agency creative strategists and brands need to start a fire and then let go.  Consumers want a story that makes their conversations more interesting. In a billion channel media marketplace the brand or company with the most consumers will equate to more product sold.

Small is the new big (thanks Seth), and honesty plays the most important role in the agency client relationship as well as the brand to consumer relationship.  Now more than ever we need to be ourselves, because that is what brand marketers want from us – then we can help brands marketers be themselves as that is what consumers want from them.

ON: Small and Nimble Is The New Black via @jpenabickley
Comments
I especially like your point 3. Even the established brands I worked with still asked us to “drive awareness” and “increase awareness”. The fact is their brand is already known in the market. The challenge is to convert the awareness into action, but some clients are just so steep on walking on gear 1 when they are ready to run on gear 3.
This is a really informative and interesting post. I’m glad to know you.
I especially like your point 3. Even the established brands I worked with still asked us to “drive awareness” and “increase awareness”. The fact is their brand is already known in the market. The challenge is to convert the awareness into action, but some clients are just so steep on walking on gear 1 when they are ready to run on gear 3.
This is a really informative and interesting post. I’m glad to know you.
I especially like your point 3. Even the established brands I worked with still asked us to “drive awareness” and “increase awareness”. The fact is their brand is already known in the market. The challenge is to convert the awareness into action, but some clients are just so steep on walking on gear 1 when they are ready to run on gear 3.
This is a really informative and interesting post. I’m glad to know you.
I especially like your point 3. Even the established brands I worked with still asked us to “drive awareness” and “increase awareness”. The fact is their brand is already known in the market. The challenge is to convert the awareness into action, but some clients are just so steep on walking on gear 1 when they are ready to run on gear 3.
This is a really informative and interesting post. I’m glad to know you.
Here Here,
I used to work in the agency world and am now a “creative generalist” at a small design firm and loving every stress-filled minute of it. I’ve never been able to settle on which medium I preferred working in, but the way things are going now, I don’t have to pick. Our clients require us to be creative partners not just print designers or web designers or whatever.
I recently finished listening to Steven Covey’s “The 8th Habit” and he had a point that mirrors what you’ve outlined in #7. The knowledge-based approach to working he called it. Basically the best people to manage a particular project are those who are immersed in it’s inner workings. As gate keepers, we need to become immersed in our client’s business or at least know how to harness those who are.
Thanks for the invite!

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