marketing agency

Time to Retire the Digital Jedi

Long after the Web evolved into a marketing tool that could be used by brands, agencies scrambled to hire executives that knew digital. Advertising became so obsessed with the idea of digital that they felt the need to change the way they did business to keep up with the rhetoric. Digital Jedis and other strange roles were created to ensure clients knew that the agency could do digital. But what has the role of digital really changed? And is it necessary to differentiate agency executives with traditional and digital nomenclatures? We are winding down in the shiny-object stage of the digital invasion, and, luckily, saner heads are prevailing. Like print and broadcast, digital is simply a medium — it is not a strategy. Like all mediums, it comes with its own set of etiquettes and rules, but in the end, good brand strategy should be driving how agencies guide their clients. Because digital is so ubiquitous, there isn’t a person in an agency today that shouldn’t be taking digital into account with every client decision they make. Digital isn’t just a way to access information or entertainment. Digital has become an overlay that touches nearly every aspect of daily life. Even if you are using traditional media to drive a message, there is (or should be) a digital play or connection within that process. The collision of these two moments, agencies becoming more mature in terms of their digital jedi chops and consumers weaving digital technology into every aspect of their lives, is forcing agencies to rethink how they position their digital skills. Fortunately, we’ve moved away from silo departments to a more holistic core-competency model that permeates throughout an entire agency. Agencies need to [...]

Hey agency owner — fire someone today

Yes, you heard me right.  I am talking to you, the agency owner.  And I want you to fire someone today. In doing so, you'll improve employee morale. You're thinking I must be the Scrooge of agency life -- suggesting you fire someone during the holiday season. It will ruin their Thanksgiving and the rest of their year.  No one hires during the holidays. Relax -- I am not talking about one of your employees.  If they're doing a good job -- send them a note this week telling them how grateful you are that they're part of your team. It's great for their morale. If not -- then you're like most agency owners and you'll hang onto them for another six months before they drive you to the brink and you finally fire them. I'm actually talking about firing a client.  Yes...a revenue producing client. Every agency has at least one client that is: Tough on employee morale Demanding without being equally appreciative A bad planner which means their emergencies become yours Drags projects on and on, burning through any hope for profitability Always nitpicking every invoice or project authorization Keeping you from pursuing a better client in the same category or industry You keep them on for cash flow.  Or because they've been a client for a long time or maybe because they're a marquee name and you like the recognition.  Whatever your reason is -- it's not good enough.  Those kinds of clients are wearing.  They beat up your staff, teach them bad habits (like complaining about the clients), will drive your best employees away and are a huge boulder in the path of you getting a bigger, better client. Yes, it's [...]