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Advertising and Marketing
ROXBURY: If you have a really good product and you build the brand advocacy and create love between the brand and the clients, then when we do have a slip-up and there is a problem at Cafe Rio, or somebody has a problem with a restaurant, you have the brand advocates who help defend your brand. They will say, “This brand, this product is great.”
What does the business community need to know about our industry? What piece of information would make them a better client, make them a better business person, and allow them to make better branding and advertising decisions?
FELD: Maybe this is too basic of an answer, but think of people first. It’s all about who you are trying to connect with. It’s thinking about a relationship that you are building and targeting someone and trying to give them a message and figuring out who they are and connecting with them.
BLACK: They would make a great client if they understood that random acts of marketing are a bad thing. They should take a little time before they push the “go” button and do a little bit of research. If they can answer some simple questions of targeting and positioning and messaging first, it will save them lots of pain and heartache.
ARMSTRONG: It would be really helpful for clients to know themselves, know who their competitors really are, and know who their audience is. You’d be surprised how many companies we meet with don’t know what their unique positioning is. It’s the basic foundation of good advertising.
YOUNGREN: Maybe it sounds simple, but trust. You hired us. We are here to help you do your best. It’s a relationship that’s two-way. Sometimes with clients you wonder why they hired you in the first place because they don’t give you the leeway to do what you need to do for them.
PLOQUIN: Get involved. It’s not going to be, “Here, agency. Go.” You are going to have to be part of this. And it’s going to go beyond your marketing department. There needs to be more integration with the IT department, with operations. We talked about the product. There’s got to be a good product to sell. So let’s do this together.
D. THOMAS: First: When they zig, zag. Second: Keep it simple.
DeNAUGHEL: What would make them a better client, but also make them more successful, is approaching their agency not as an ad agency but as a business partner. We are not just offering advertising solutions anymore. We are offering business solutions that could go well beyond advertising, PR and so on.
O’DONNELL: I’m always surprised, particularly with startups and small businesses, how they fail to recognize the significance of what the marketing and advertising is going to do for their business and how the success of their business will be predicated on how seriously they take it. So part of our responsibility right away is to make sure that they understand that this is essentially going to be the catalyst of whether they are successful or not.
SORENSON: Don’t be distracted by new trends, platforms or technologies. It’s still people. Bottom line, don’t change what has made your business great, because it was founded upon solid principles, which is the reason you are successful. But rather, use the new platforms to tell your story in a unique way.
SHELTON: Know your consumer, who they are. If they are Millennials, they will congregate in different places and you can help us get specifics about how to reach them. If they are Baby Boomers, they will be in different places. Know your consumer, and that will drive the most effective advertising.
CHASE: I’m not very handy, so when there’s a leaky faucet I’m not going to touch it. I’m going to call a plumber and he will do his job. Oftentimes everybody wants to think that they are a lay advertiser and can put together a TV ad or a Facebook campaign. The idea of doing your own trial and error is going to end up in trial and error. But where we have such a large sample size of products that have worked and messages that have worked, it gives us the authority to tell you, “Look, we know how to take that core value that you’ve established and communicate it to your audience.”
PENNA: I’m going to talk about something we all love—requests for proposals. Clients will spend hundreds of hours with their executive team putting together an RFP. Then they narrow it down to three candidates and give us 30 minutes. So it’s speed dating, and after 30 minutes you are going to marry that firm. It should be in the reverse. How do you pick a communications firm when you give them 30 minutes? By the time we get set up and fumble with the cords, they are like, “Time’s up.” That’s one thing in the business that really needs to change. RFPs are a great way to buy dump trucks or toilet paper. But to hire a communications partner when you give them 30 minutes, it seems to me like a backwards process.