Effectively managing the agencies

When your brand / company works with agencies you can usually follow two paths. Be a low-maintenance or high-maintenance client.

These two types are described well in iMediaConnection article as:

Low-maintenance clients are:

  • trusting
  • enjoyable to be around
  • transparent in discussing their goals and intentions
  • appreciative of what you do
  • in it for the long run (not fickle or willing to play you off other competitors)\
  • not arbitrary
  • willing to pay for expertise

High-maintenance clients, on the other hand, are:

  • demanding and in need of ego-stroking
  • lacking in communication skills
  • constantly holding the amount of money they’re spending over your head
  • always discontent; they’re never pleased about anything
  • insistent that they know more than you do
  • dismissive or unwilling to hear advice
  • holding you responsible for things that aren’t your fault
  • unwilling to give you credit for your work

Smart agencies know the difference between low-maintenance clients & high-maintenance clients and price accordingly. And smart clients know how to be a low-maintenance client & help their company budget by smart management of their agencies.

Smart agencies also constantly try to turn high-maintanence clients into low-maintenance ones. However, there are always some unexperienced clients who hurt their companies while they are actually trying to do something good for their companies. These inexperienced “high-maintenance wanna be” clients usually end up with low quality agencies which are mostly focusing on client relationships.

So it is your choice, be a low-maintenance or high-maintenance client.

Steve Jobs & Marketing

Steve Jobs who was the number one enabler of Radical Marketing has just died. He was not only the enabler (with products like iPhone & iPad) but also the pioneer of Radical Marketing as can be seen on the 1984 ad.

What a sad day for the world and also the marketing world.

As reported he is the Edison of our times.

“Even people who want to go to heaven, don’t want to die” –  Steve Jobs

Some great quotes from Steve Jobs;

  • Stay hungry, stay foolish
  • Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
  • Being fired from Apple was the best thing that could have happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.
  • Design is the fundamental soul of a man-made creation.
  • Let’s make a dent in the universe.
  • It isn’t the consumers’ job to know what they want.
For the rest of his quotes, you can check WikiQuote.
Photo: by Daniel Morgenstern on Facebook

Digital Agencies Aren’t Ready to Lead

“because most of them don’t know the business of marketing” is the answer of Ana Andjelic on the Advertising Age article.

So what is the solution today?

Find a digital agency which understands from the business of marketing.

I know it is extremely hard to find one, but I know it is not impossible 😉

The successful Marketing directors of the future will be the ones who will spot the right digital agency – not the “flashy ones” – which understands from the business of marketing . One clue that I can share with “Radical Marketers” is that, they should look into the DNA of the digital agencies and understand the backgrounds of key employees.

Of course, only spotting the right agency will not bring much success to the marketing directors, but creating the right environment for an efficient and long lasting relation will do.

Also note what Advertising Age says on traditional agencies:

For every marketing challenge, their solution is “better creativity.”

This is really harsh, but to tell you the truth, this is mostly the case in the industry.

Another good finding was:

“As much as people like to talk about the agency of the future, it will never happen until the client gets there first.”

I see many clients with great expectations, but mostly the organization, the human capital and the vision of the marketing department are mostly the bottleneck why digital agencies aren’t ready to lead.

See the full Advertising Age article which inspired me for this post at Why Digital Agencies Aren’t Ready to Lead – Advertising Age – DigitalNext.

How to hire a digital agency

How to hire a digital agency – the most important CMO task

One of the major obstacles on the move towards new marketing is the lacking decision making in the choice of digital agencies.

Recently, iMediaConnection had an article on this issue. (To see the full article please visit; A CMOs guide to hiring a digital agency – iMediaConnection.com.)

You can find my takeout and thinking on this article below.

Three things not to miss when choosing a digital agency:

1) Understand that nobody serves a perfect full service and you need either a great team or a lead agency.

from the article: “Do you opt for a “specialist” agency — a social media shop, for example — to work in a highly technical area, or do you hire one agency that can bring it all together at the risk of sacrificing some key knowledge in an emerging area?…

… If you have the time and staff to orchestrate across multiple specialists, then you have the option to spread the love. If youre like most organizations, however, and youre short-staffed and time-crunched, then you should find and assign a lead agency and have them sub-contract for the specialists.”

2) Don’t try to catch up with each trend yourself, it doesn’t pay off

from the article: “digital creates new communication channels faster than advertisers can figure out how to use them…

…If you try to have a specialist for every niche, you’ll constantly be searching for a specialist for the next new thing,”

3) Look for thought leadership and be courageous to empower the thought leaders (even if they are outside of your company).

from the article: “If you have a lead agency responsible for bringing holistic thinking, then they will have the responsibility to be constantly searching for those specialists and providing you with thought leadership and success.”

Also, the article correctly pointed on an often problem creating area; the view of the CMO and the marketing team.

“the assumption that the onus is on the agency to make its client happy won’t get a CMO very far in the long-run”

That is so correct, and just a change in this view might change the total outcome of the marketing efforts (needless to say, if the company was smart enough to choose the right agency).

Best Web Projects

Best web projects are the ones with the best Web Project Management

Couple years ago, an eConsultancy study found  that nearly half of all respondents (45.5%) do not have a structured approach to managing their web projects. You can reach the study at Web Project Management: Best Practice Reports . This was in May, 2007 , unfortunately not much has changed so far.

As the report correctly states;

“Companies without a structured approach are the least likely to achieve their project goals, least likely to deliver customer satisfaction, are least able to deal with change during the course of the project and are less likely to achieve deadlines, meet budgets and deliver positive ROI.”

The difference between the “visionary” marketing managers and the “doers” is;

First, a good understanding of the web (the team members must be living in the new web)

And second, a good team with a project management skills (of course this comes with web project experience)

Your team with good project management skills will be using probably a good project management system as well. Below are the Top 10 open source web project management softwares by CyberCiti;

1: Codendi
2: Redmine
3: ProjectPier
4: Trac
5: Project HQ
6: Collabtive
7: eGroupWare
8: KForge
9: OpenGoo
10: ClockingIT

See the complete list and download information at: Top 10 Open Source Web-Based Project Management Software

Top 10 Marketing Events

Below, you can find my list for top ten marketing events that you should not miss in 2009. Of course, I don’t advise you to attend all of them. However, if you are in marketing business in North America and/or Europe, this is a list you should keep in mind, so that you can schedule your trips accordingly. A top marketing executive should attend at least two of these events within 2009.

Top 10 Marketing Events
Top 10 Marketing Events
Start Date End Date Event City 10-Aug-2009 14-Aug-2009 SES San Jose 11-Aug-2009 11-Aug-2009 Social Media & Video Strategies (Clickz) San Jose 21-Sep-2009 22-Sep-2009 MIXX NewYork 22-Sep-2009 23-Sep-2009 Ad-Tech London 23-Sep-2009 24-Sep-2009 dmexco (IAB EU) Köln 20-Oct-2009 22-Oct-2009 Web 2.0 Summit San Francisco 16-Nov-2009 19-Nov-2009 Web 2.0 Expo NewYork 16-Nov-2009 18-Nov-2009 Brand Summit Brighton, U.K 17-Nov-2009 18-Nov-2009 Ad-Tech Beijing 24-Nov-2009 25-Nov-2009 SES Berlin 6-Dec-2009 9-Dec-2009 Agency Summit Scottsdale, AZ 9-Dec-2009 10-Dec-2009 LeWeb Paris Paris

Oh, did you say, there are 12 top events on the list?

Yes, I gave you two bonuses (in case you can not make it to the original ten top events). Also do not forget, these events are a good opportunity to meet likeminded “Radical Marketer”s.

Four commands of Radical Marketer

Four commands of Radical Marketer.com;
  1. You shall believe in “web centric integrated marketing” and know it is the right way of new, “radical” marketing.
  2. You shall know that “Marketing cannot be left to Marketers only“. Marketing and strategy should be hand in hand, and the top management (or the top brains of the corporation) should be very close to the strategic marketing issues.
  3. You shall not just seek for “Market Shares” but “Soul Shares“.
  4. You shall see that “Marketing is not a cost center, but a profit center“.

Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP on Charlie Rose

A conversation with Martin Sorrell

Martin Sorrell, chief executive officer of WPP Group was on Charlie Rose on My 21st for the first time. It is a show worth watching. You can find some of my quick notes from the interview below;

Martin Sorrell quotes;

CMOs are mostly old people, and change is the last thing they have in mind.

Currently, digital is 25% of our business (& emerging markets is 27% of our business)

Traditional look to advertising: 33% TV, 33% Print, 33% Other media

Now, balance is shifting: 25% TV, 25% Print, 25% Digital, 25% Other media

In a few years there will be a big change: within couple years (it will be fairly quick), all media is becomming digital

Listening to this interview one question came to my mind; Can you spot me one Turkish CMO who spents 25% in digital?

Using irrational behavior in Sales & Marketing

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we’re not as rational as we think when we make decisions. You can watch his fascinating video above (from TED).

I think irrational behavior is something that all the marketers and sales people have to learn and excel. These ideas comes to good marketers intuitively, but sometimes it is hard to explain the teams involved with marketing. Dan Ariely brings a great framework for the decision process, which should be an important part of the sales and marketing teachings.

Social Marketing is Not a Tactic

I was reading an article (from Michael Gass) on social media, and realized how many people in the marketing area are looking at social marketing from a very narrow angle.

Social Media’s (&social marketing’s) effect on Web Marketing can be considered as being similar to Web’s effect on marketing.

Social Marketing is to Web Marketing,

what Web was to Marketing!

The effect is total change, a need for a different mindset, different organization and people with different skills.

You can see the full article below;

“Social media is much more than a tactic. The more you participate in social media and learn what can be gleaned, you will soon realize its potential. Rich, valuable and instantaneous feedback from your audience. Lots of opportunity to conduct primary research. A wealth of information from online discussions as informative as the very best focus groups.”

via Ad Agencies Please Know That Social Media is Not a Tactic « FUEL LINES Fueling Ad Agency New Business Through Social Media.

Online creative ads

“Every ad on the internet should give users the option to expand the ad, request more information, watch a video demo of the product, or even to purchase the product right from the ad.”

via Why online creative stinks so badly – iMediaConnection.com.

Eric Picard has the right vision on interactive ads. Even a pure branding campaign should have these options. We are trying to explain this to our customers as well. However, I believe the industry and the brand managers are slow in understanding these dynamics.

“The entire marketing infrastructure and the economy is going to be diminished.” by David Poltrack of CBS is a correct statement, and the marketing economy is moving ahead wheater the marketers like it or not.

Being in a global industry brings some limitations to your promotion activities

When designing marketing campaigns, some companies might think they are too small to care about the global consequences of their campaigns. Campaigns mostly focus first on the home turf because this is the first priority in marketing (especially for US firms).
Some companies might have the fate of residing in a large economic zone, but even for these companies world is a larger economy than their home country.
Something to be careful when designing a promotion on your website:
– Don’t think that all the people who are visiting your website are from your own country (if you don’t believe me, check your website statistics) If for example the campaign is only for US residents, mark it clearly in the advertisement of the campaign and also if people are filling long forms to enter to the campaign, don’t get their whole data and then tell them they are not eligible, this will piss them off
If you want to see, how you can mess it up, check Mobileplay campaign, that’s a good way of not doing it