frank's blog

Building A New Agency OS – by Mel Exon

Posted in ideas, quality by aldorf on December 5, 2011
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Smart Clients Become Their Agency’s Best Client – Steve Jobs’ And Phil Knight’s Marketing Secret

Posted in inspiration, Media, quality by aldorf on October 18, 2011

Great post by Avi Dan

To get the most out of their agency, smart clients become their agency’s best client. Steve Jobs understood this. So did Phil Knight from Nike. They understood what matters to agencies and to agency people:

  1. Death by nitpicking. Nothing wears out agencies faster than re-do’s, having to rework the same idea over and over again. I had a simple rule with my agency: we allowed ourselves only 3 strikes.  If, by the third revision, the idea was still not approved, we retired it and moved on to the next idea.
  2. People who can say, “Yes”. Too often the agency has to present ideas to middle managers who are not decision makers, and whose role is often limited to rejecting ideas. Smart clients involve the person who can say “Yes” from the get-go, be it the CMO or even the CEO.
  3. Collaboration. Agencies crave respect – clients that empower them to have a more consultative relationship, rather than a vendor-like arrangement. A key value an agency can bring to the relationship is third-party objectivity, as the client view and the customer view need to be supplemented by an independent agency view in a healthy relationship.
  4. Creative hothouse. Creative showcase accounts, and the chance to win creative awards, attract a disproportionate share of the agency’s, and the industry, best talent. A great client has uncompromising standards of creativity and an almost religious belief in a great brief.
  5. Evaluations. Great clients are objective and encourage two-way communication. They implement a 360-degrees evaluation process, where client and agency have equal input. For great clients, the evaluation process is a dialogue, not a report card. It is designed to inspire mastery, beyond just capturing functioning capability.
  6. Compensation. Smart clients encourage agencies to become their business partners and be measured by business results, aligning compensation with outcomes, and giving them an opportunity for maximizing their upside.

It is up to the CMO and his or her marketing team to create an atmosphere of excellence on their business, and an inspired culture of achievement. An great client, one with the passion to become an agency’s best client, will attracts a disproportionate amount of agency talent that will give it a strategic competitive edge.

Follow Avi on Twitter.

About Finding Happiness at Work – Paul Isakson

Posted in ideas, inspiration by aldorf on April 26, 2011

Advice by Paul Isakson for figuring out the right agency for your next role.

This past Friday, Rob shared a good piece of advice for those considering joining a new agency. In particular, I like how he phrased this bit:

“… as much as working for one of the ‘cool agencies’ might sound great, it’s never as good as having a boss who will take you to places you didn’t even know existed.”

Having spent a good amount of time either talking to, or working with, several agencies over the last 18 months and recently taking on a new role, I have a similar point of view.

My recommended approach looks something like the above diagram—which is how I evaluated places to potentially join as I talked to them. The tricky thing here is that you have know yourself pretty well for this to truly work.

In other words, it won’t be easy. You’re going to have to do some deeper thinking and soul searching to determine your purpose and clearly understand what you value and believe.

Or, maybe you know that stuff already. In that case, it won’t be so hard.

As an aside, I think this is what the best recruiters in our industry do for us and for the agencies with whom they are trying to fill roles. But back to the point…

What this really comes down to is the people (at both the agency and the clients)—especially the agency’s leadership and the team(s) that you’ll work with every day. It’s the people that make a job either enjoyable or miserable. That doesn’t change no matter how “cool” the agency or brands you’re working for and/or on.

If you want to be happy in your work life, chose to work with and for great people.


Agent Of Change

Posted in ideas by aldorf on September 8, 2009

Stop Being an Ad Agency and Start Being an Agent of Change – Agency News – Advertising AgeThink more about Business Ideas than Ad Campaigns. Stop being an agency and start being an agent of change. Wayne Arnold is on to something here…read the full article at

http://adage.com/agencynews/article?article_id=138795

Agent Of Change

Posted in ideas by aldorf on September 8, 2009

Think more about Business Ideas than Ad Campaigns. Stop being an agency and start being an agent of change. Wayne Arnold is on to something here…read the full article at

http://adage.com/agencynews/article?article_id=138795

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