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Here are 7 ways agency people can delimit their own growth.
Why aren’t agencies helping their people to grow and develop?
At DiGo, we’ve been learning a lot lately by interviewing account people by the dozens. While we’ve met some spectacular people, I’m sorry to say that most of these interviews have been just shocking. Too many people come in with limiting attitudes about themselves and their possibilities. Experienced account managers typically don’t even have an understanding the agency business. They don’t get what agencies are here to do. They don’t understand the role we play in our client’s lives and businesses. They view themselves as narrow specialists. They are people in boxes, decades too early.
I love working for and with Founder/CEOs.
No doubt, this makes me an eccentric marketer and an odder ad guy, and casts extreme suspicion on my membership in the creative community.
Marketers are supposed to want to run their own empires – otherwise why spend all that money on a Harvard MBA and all that energy climbing the corporate ladder? Creative directors think the ideal client listens to their presentations, and then applauds. Ad agencies think their job is to please the target audience no matter what the client might think.
Is it the era of the mea culpa for marketers? Could it be that, forced to start a conversation, some marketers have learned that they have some apologizing to do?
In rapid succession, McDonalds, American Express Open and J.C. Penney have all joined the mea culpa trend.
Here’s the story, and a few thoughts on where, when, how and how not to apologize.
J.C. Penney just launched this video on Facebook, under the theme JCP Listens.
It was a good idea to start the conversation, a good idea to listen, and a very, very bad idea to go beyond the first couple of lines of this treacly video.
It’s just over thirteen years since I introduced the concept of “Brand Direct” in an Op Ed style piece in Adweek. It’s a time capsule that holds up well, especially in light of subsequent events. In fact, while most of the “dot coms” went off the cliff like so many lemmings, some of our clients went on to define and lead the next and more lasting boom. Direct Model Leader: “There is no time but the present to build a brand.” Check it out:
Here is the social media update for this week:
1. Boston Police Schooled Us All on Social Media
2. Top 40 Vines Chosen in Tribeca Film Festival’s #6SecFilms Contest
Eric Yaverbaum, Huffington Post
WBEZ Radio in Chicago has been promoting a Facebook app which encourages listeners to “make babies” so they can create a ‘next generation’ audience for the show in the future. Part of the approach includes going where millennials are going anyway. For dating. For friendship. For communication. And I guess for making babies?
This was a war-time economy sort of Super Bowl. Unabashedly patriotic.
Or perhaps this was a post-war sort of Super Bowl. Optimistic. Resurgent.
Maybe it was a bit of both.
We saw the American car companies come back and identify themselves with other severely tested and ultimately triumphant swaths of American culture and myth. Chrysler went the furthest here, with a partnership with the USO and Oprah, and a highly emotional tribute to military heroes (the troops) that attacked the heart strings full force and gave no quarter. Trumping even that was Dodge RAM’s ode to the spirit of the American Farmer, with a resurrected Paul Harvey VO, reading the extraordinary classic piece of Americana, “For God Made A Farmer.” Oprah may be a Goddess, but she is merely an aspiring voiceover actor next to Paul Harvey.
Jeff Pundyk, CMO.com
It’s a new year with new goals, and you have rededicated yourself to driving results. You are focused and energized. Head down.
Wait. With your head down, you just might miss the signs of change, the subtle shifts that signal that your customers are operating in a different way, that competition is coming from someplace unexpected, that the nature of your opportunity has changed.
Happy New Year and welcome back!
2. Facebook 2012 A Year in Review
3. Top 10 Most Influential People on Facebook
4. 75% of World Leaders on Twitter
5. Is Snapchat the Next Frontier for Marketers?
6. Facebook Removing Attribution When Pages Post Via Third-Party Apps
YouTube’s 20 Most Shared Ads in December
Portlandia Spoil Alert Sketch Spoils Everything
Puppy’s First Christmas
Why do we under-test?
Here are some lessons from the winning Obama Campaign, via Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
I love this article because it neatly demonstrates what all marketers who use direct response tactics should know, but typically don’t. It gives some great examples of what marketers using direct response tactics should do, but overwhelmingly don’t. And it shows the results, including the large sums of money that most marketers leave on the table.
Their marketing crime: under-testing.
Spots for Tradestation and Forex.com made Futures Magazine’s list of the very best of television advertising targeting traders and brokerage customers. Being included on a list along with such huge-budget classics as The E-Trade Baby and other eight-figure advertisers is a proud achievement that we’re delighted to be able to share with these extraordinary clients. (more…)
If you want to see why growth-stage companies have such an advantage, read this little post from Seth Godin about the values of decision-makers in larger organizations: (more…)
Was it really like that?
Hundreds of hours were edited down to 40 minutes. It’s hard to appreciate just how little time that is until you see how much of what you remember is left out. (more…)
THE DIGO STANDARD: HOW WE SUCCEED TOGETHER
PART 01 ABOUT US PART 02 HOW WE ACT PART 03 HOW WE WORK PART 04 HOW THIS WORKS
01 WHO WE ARE.
While we can be considered a thriving independent strategy/ research/ brand /design/ innovation/ advertising/ direct/ digital /social marketing agency, we prefer this handle: brand-driven growth network. We make things grow, from product innovation to every facet of promotion.
We’re Here to Make Things Grow
Movements. Ideas. Products. Brands. Companies.
If we can’t get excited about growing them, we shouldn’t be working on them. The work we do has a purpose and fits into a larger whole. By maintaining that perspective, we make success more difficult. But in facing the extra difficulty, we earn our integrity, self-respect and market value.
Why Do We Say Client Fulfillment?
Because clients who are really fulfilled-fulfilled as people, professionals and clients too- will become lifelong clients and in turn, recommend us. That’s how we grow. Great Clients, Great Work and Great People.
Each of us is Responsible for Our Own Inspiration.
Don’t settle for less. Find, ask, challenge, orchestrate, search, revisit…do what it takes to get inspired to do your best.
We Are Smarter Together Than We Are Alone.
Bands are more successful when everyone knows their part. Let your band mates play their part.
The First Rule of a Judgment is Business.
We have an obligation to share our point of view, regardless of its popularity, both internally and externally. But once a decision is made, we are equally obligated to support it.
We Exist to Inspire
Our clients, consumers, one another, the world around us.
Clients need to feel our passion and enthusiasm for ideas that can build their business. We didn’t sign up for boring cubicles and never-ending meetings. Let’s make the time our clients spend with us meaningful, fun and inspiring.
We Are all in business development.
We provide value to clients and should charge a fair price. And should not be shy or subtle about it.
We Are a For-Profit Company.
We provide value to clients and should charge a fair price. And should not be shy or subtle about it.
It’s what comes from investing in people and relationships, valuing them above short-term gain. Make your clients, your partners, your people feel that true partnership is possible. Invest beyond all calculation in people who inspire you. Be an honorable and generous partner at all times.
We Are One.
We are one firm: We have many different brand names on our business cards. We may work in different departments. But we are all responsible for the success of our clients, either directly or indirectly. There is no success apart from common success.
02 Listening is More Important Than Talking.
Remember That People Come Here to do and be more.
Don’t put yourself or anyone in a box. Expect creativity from “account people.” Expect strategic smarts from “creative people.” Expect management smarts from everyone. Collaborate with everyone you can. We play roles but if we wanted to be limited by them, we would be someplace else.
Clients Are People.
If you can get them to feel that you know that, the rest of your job gets easier. Treat them like part of the team, rather than a boss or an obstacle. Tell them what you really think. Joke and confide and take the risk of feeling comfortable around them. Challenge them to inspire you. Challenge yourself to inspire them. Be big enough to celebrate when they have a big idea.
We’re all smart (or else we wouldn’t be here) and it’s not a contest. Speak up when it’s right and listen well and actively.
If You’re Here, You’re Smart.
Don’t hold back. There are no bad ideas or dumb questions. Only the ideas you held back and the questions you should have asked but didn’t.
If Things Go Wrong, Speak Up.
If you need help, ask for it. It’s far better to raise an alarm before disaster strikes than after. Together we can solve almost any problem. Communicate early and often.
Great Work Wins Business. Great Relationships Keep Business.
We proactively work on relationship building. What are you doing this week to build and strengthen a client relationship.
In Running Meetings:
Start on time, end on time. Have an agenda and stick to it (unless there’s good reason not to). Agree to next steps and follow up.
Promise Wisely and Then Over-Deliver.
Make no commitment without consultation. Give clients something they didn’t ask for. Sometimes, deliver ahead of deadline. End a meeting early and give colleagues, vendors or clients the gift of time.
03 It’s the Work
While not every project presents an opportunity for greatness, every one is an opportunity to practice your craft. In the long run, those who work more, who try it more ways, who do something good and then do something better, who crank, will accumulate many years’ more practice more than their less prolific colleagues. This confers upon them an unmatchable advantage.
Take the Word Brief Seriously.
Let’s not ever make each other guess which part of brief is the important part. Let’s include the important part. Let’s make sure our briefs are simple, compelling and crystal clear. Nothing in an agency is more sacred.
Like + Trust = Business.
People hire people they like and trust. It really is as simple and profound as that.
Especially at the beginning of relationships, while you are earning the trust and admiration that will smooth the inevitable bumps down the road. While figuring everything out, and layering the groundwork for success. Get on more planes. Provide more options. Ask more questions. See the factory, meet the workers, go to the research, talk to the sales force, get a demonstration, sample the product, talk to a board member, brainstorm with the client. Over-communicate. Over-collaborate. Over-deliver. Time and energy invested in relationships pays us back in better work, business and results. Oh, yeah, and better relationships too.
This is a Relationship Business.
We’re small enough that we can manage personal relationships. So, honor personal relationships. Treat your commitments as sacred. Communicate. Never leave your colleagues in the lurch. Be the colleague you wish for.
A problem, project or opportunity well-defined is half solved. More time is wasted not thinking well at the beginning of projects than can ever be made up by speed, efficiency or piling on staff later.
Design In Context.
The context is the user’s or the audience’s experience. Design in context. Present in context. Evaluate in context. The first rule of design. And remember that everything that we do is design.
Agree on Strategy, A Budget and A Schedule.
Simple, yes. Always followed, no. Let’s remember the basics.
Meetings, When Necessary.
We’re in an over-meeting culture. Let’s make sure we really need a meeting before we schedule. If we do, let’s show up on time and focus. Time is valuable.
Great Presentations Tell a Story.
One thought per slide. Tell a complete story, with insights and ideas.
When Presenting Big Ideas, Don’t Sell Executions.
Countless ideas get killed because the client sees execution too early. We sell big ideas first. Then the execution. We like simple descriptions and key visual to buy a big idea. Nothing more.
Creative Work is the Product. Get Behind It. And Be Ready to Defend it When Necessary.
Choice is good. We almost always have three options to choose from. And never one we can’t get behind.
Client Presentations Are as Important as New Business Presentations.
No understudies on presentation day. Casting is important.
04 We Are All Responsible For Holding Each Other to This Standard.
When our colleagues succeed, we all succeed- so help one another exceed the standard. If a colleague is not living up to this standard we have an obligation not to let it pass. If you have an issue with a colleague, deal with it directly, privately and professionally before you escalate. If that is unsatisfactory, get help. Professional expertise is given around here; modeling the standard is the true path to success.
At DIGO, we have a standard to live up to. It’s part of our quest to build a great brand. Since a brand is an experience you can repeat, we need to be able to deliver an experience that is predictably great. That doesn’t happen by simply hiring great people and letting them do whatever they do. Yes, we hire great people. Absolutely, they get a great deal of responsibility and the latitude to do great and surprising things. But they do them within a framework that we all understand. A framework that says what we’re here for. Our why. And some of our hows too. The DIGO Standard. (more…)
My earliest memories involve shops. My grandparent’s beauty salon. My paternal grandfather’s clothes factory. My father’s laboratory. Thomas Edison’s workshop, just a short walk from that beauty salon in Menlo Park, then and now part of Edison, New Jersey.
I remember the statuettes lined up – all the awards my Grandfather had won for his hairdressing – so that they could be noted or admired by patrons on the way down into the salon proper. My grandfather was the old master by then. The awards seemed dusty and old to me. Something about the salon seemed forlorn. Old ladies flying down from Canada to have their hair done by the one man in the world who they trusted to do it right (more…)
We try to be good children. We have a report card of As and Bs and one C, and we focus on how to turn the C into a higher grade.
What’s wrong with us? Well, perhaps it starts with a question, What’s wrong with us. A better question is what’s different about us? And who can that matter and how?
The stone cold marketing fact is that it works much better to be different than better.
Would you rather be The Ground Round or Hooters, assuming business success were criteria. Let’s face it, there are a lot of restaurants offering greasy fries, dark decor and lots of undercooked beef.
But how many mammary-themed restaurant chains are there? (more…)
Tim Tebow is currently the hottest property in the sports world, but he is fast becoming Hollywood’s hottest property as well. The New York Jet is signed to the sports division of leading Hollywood agency CAA, following an alleged battle between the top agencies, who all wanted a piece of Tebow.
But could all the Tinseltown-type attention jeopardize his game and wholesome Christian image? (more…)
DIGO Founder Mark Dimassimo on the impact on Gingrich’s character and brand of his response to his ex-wife’s claims in an interview.
Neil Cavuto: There was no admission. ABC News did NOT offer us any opportunity to have surrogates in the piece. It took THREE DAYS of putting pressure on ABC News before they agreed to interview anyone to give our side of the story. Branding expert Mark DiMassimo says that what happened here could be sort of the tip of the sort of character iceberg here. Explain that, what do you think this tells us.
Mark: Well, I’m a brand guy and I look at Newt Gingrich’s brand and the strategy that he is pursuing to try and win this nomination. Now Newt is a great strategist he knows that the conservatives need a champion, so he tries to position himself as a champion. But he’s not just a strategist on this campaign, he’s also the product – the product- and the product has a problem. And the problem is that the brand is certainly a challenger brand but there’s a difference between a challenger and a champion. A challenger is aggressive, a challenger fights, a challenger can be hopping mad and excessive. Right? But a champion is loyal, honorable, fare, a gentleman. A champion will stand by you and look what happening now with this story. There’s the personal life – by the way go to politico.com right now the most popular story is this story. The most popular…the most discussed are the political stories, so the political folks don’t necessarily want to talk about the personal. People are interested because it connects at the brand level. Disloyalty.
Neil Cavuto: What this goes back to is, I always think that people who are gifted, he’s very gifted as a speaker but usually your greatest gift can also be your greatest weakness and I remember the boxer Mike Tyson, he tried to corral a bull, at the strength of tin man, and he could just beat the crap out of everybody. But it was that same out of control recklessness in the ring that was very common behavior outside the ring and ultimately torpedoed his career. And I know no one is going to confuse Mike Tyson for Newt Gingrich but my point is that they both suffer the same problem, of both having a wonderful strength that can be their wonderful undoing.
Mark: It’s the tragic flaw. In characters and in brands. In order to be a successful candidate you have to look like a successful president. So, yes he’s the fighter, he’s the challenger, he’s hopping mad. “Hot-headed arrogance,” said Coulter today, right. “Hot-headed arrogance.” So, he’s the fighter but is he also the leader?
Neil Cavuto: But isn’t that his selling point right now, you need that, you know take prisoners and bang up the china shop kind of guy.
Mark: The other elements of the brand are too negative, disloyal is the key word. Devious… and deviant, now how can you represent…
Neil Cavuto: Where did the deviant come from?
Mark: Oh let’s see here- Emmitt Tyrell, The American Spectator
Neil Cavuto: Well that’s crossing into a dangerous territory when you move into that. But you think that he’s in trouble on the character thing that ultimately he tried to dismiss is going to be his undoing.
Mark: I think that it connects to the political issues and his own history. He’s a historian burdened by his own history. And what they’re saying is he has a history of disloyalty. Even to Reagan that’s another very big story today, He criticized Reagan and he was disloyal … that’s what they’re saying.
A weekly post on some of our favorites from around the Web.
This week’s topic: Google+ Brand Pages
A weekly post on some of our favorites from around the Web.
This week’s topic: Mobile First