Thursday, January 13, 2011

Traditional Media

For some reason, recently, I'm coming across articles concerning traditional media. This makes me happy, not because I can't accept change, on the contrary I'm a change agent. It's because we aren't driving flying cars yet. Meaning, who can really predict the future?

Many moons ago, I attended GRUPA, the International print show. It was when CD-ROMs were growing as the new media, generating software to replace printed databases. During one presentation, the speaker said, "Print is not dead." He held up a CD-ROM (presumable software) and said, "with everyone of these [disk] comes one of these," and he slammed down a 400 page printed manual. The manual was how to use the software. Fast forward in years - check Amazon for the number of books for learning software. Print is not dead, yet.

The most beneficial marketing campaign is still a mix of media channels and the best media mix reaches your customer target with an effective ROI. I still received a plethora of catalogs, this past Christmas season. There's nothing like sitting by the fireplace, looking at dreamy pictures of desirable items. It still prompts me to go online and BUY.

I firmly believe you need some forms of traditional advertising to draw people to your website. Enjoy the short article: Never Say Die.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I haven't talked about media. Here's a great article about one of my favorite, and often forgot, media channels - outdoor.

Introducing Advertising’s Next Hot Creative Frontier…Outdoors! By: Mike Zuckerman

When to Fire Your Client

To keep things balanced on my "When to Fire Your Agency" series, here is the other view of the business. I have had the pleasure of serving on both sides of this industry.

When to Fire Your Client?
Answer: When you lose money on the account.

Explanation if needed:
You should have in place systems to evaluate the profitability of every client.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

When To Fire Your Marketing/Advertsing Agency Part II

How often do you meet with your Account Representative? Who meets with them? Do you have a feedback loop in place?

In theory, there should be some contact everyday. In practice, there should be some contact everyday. Yes, I repeated myself. Go back and read it again.

Okay, there can be some factors that preclude daily contact:
    •    It a project based relationship
    •    The project schedule has specified touch points
    •    You're very smart and already have scheduled periodic meetings
    •    Scope of relationship, including investment ($)

A standard agency practice is to provide "Call Reports". Each time someone in your company speaks with the agency, an email, or some other documentation is provided by the agency. Usually, this occurs within 24-48 hours of the contact. This report identifies the parties involved, the discussion points and action, if required.

Action is further detailed with deadline and who's responsible.

Finally, the most critical factor in good communication, I call it "Key Contact." Having a list of contacts  and responsibilities is great, but there should be a catch-all person, affectionately called the "Key Contact." Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to get someone, when you need them. Key Contacts are on both sides of the communication chain.

Oddly, our industry is communication and we seem to be just as guilty as most industries about it.

Part III will cover, "When to fire your client."

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

When To Fire Your Marketing/Advertising Agency Part I

Let's start with the old axiom, "Quality, Price, Time. Pick two."

The first step is to pick all three.

Second define these areas:
    •    Quality - What service are they providing? My primary reason is creative. I tell my agencies, "I buy creative. As long as they are creative, I keep buying." Feel free to replace creative with any term.
    •    Price - Are their rates competitive in your" marketplace. Rates vary by location, size of agency and level of team assigned to your account. Also, rates are only part of the equation. Are they billing reasonable number of hours per project? Rate x Hours = Cost. Rate and hours are directly related.
    •    Time - Is there a schedule at project start? Is it followed? What percent is on-time delivery? Is it their or your fault? You share responsibility in this area. Be honest.

Third, rate these areas. Be analytical. Rate each area on a scale of one to ten and take an average. If you feel one area is more important to you, use a weighted average (if you don't know how to do this, call me).

10 Tell them what a great job their doing!
8-9 Discuss concerns with agency
6-7 Put agency on review
4-5 Start agency shopping
2-3 Fire your agency
0-1 What are you thinking?

This is a simple process, but you can add areas beyond these three. The key is to communicate with your agency and they should be communicating with you. This will be the subject of "When to Fire Your Marketing/Advertising Agency, Part II.