April 10, 2014

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Advertising and Marketing

Discussion moderated by Paul Dishman, Ph.D., chair of Utah Valley University’s Woodbury School of Business.

April 10, 2014

O’DONNELL: In the media business, the regulatory environment is becoming more and more difficult all the time. Recently we have seen some rumblings toward major tax initiatives that are starting back East to really hit the advertising industry, and particularly the media business, really hard. There’s no question it could have major, major implications for the media business over time.     

GIRARDI: The biggest thing a lot of us fear is being able to keep up with rapidly changing technology. Can we communicate quickly enough? Can we remain relevant? We talk about traditional advertising dying. My passion is print, and it’s been interesting to watch the evolution that print has gone through. That’s a good indicator of how quickly it is changing as it is incorporating QR codes and augmented reality and microscreens within the print. It is really integrated with the rest of it, with social and mobile.

D. THOMAS: How do you find talent? We grew 35 percent last year and we are forecast for another 35 percent this year. We compete with each other around this table as much for talent as we do for clients anymore. That is a huge question.

I worry about a new wave of consolidation going on in American business. Aetna bought Coventry last year. We were lucky in the fact that we actually did work for both companies so we have survived that. But out of eight agencies, they let five of them go. When that happens, agencies are either winners or losers. So it’s making sure we’ve got the talent to be able to compete in a new wave of consolidation.

PLOQUIN: I’m terrified of patent trolls—being sued for a piece of software that we created that someone somewhere in Texas said, “I own this.” I’m terrified of it for myself and our clients. We have great legal counsel and we have an amazing MSA and we are air tight, but it’s still a huge risk to our business.      

YOUNGREN: One of my roles on our staff is to orchestrate the 20- and 30-somethings with the others. Working to put together a proper team that brings the energies and the intellect of everybody together in unison is a challenge we face every single day. I’m not sure it keeps me up at night, but I think about it all the time.

It’s easier for our younger people to get distracted by the latest thing in social media. Sometimes you have to remind them to proofread the ad before we push it out. So there’s a constant give and take and it’s what, frankly, is exciting about the type of business we do. It’s fun to watch; it’s rewarding to watch those energies and intellects come together.      

ARMSTRONG: To me the biggest fear is not being able to deliver the client’s expectation. We go to really great lengths to monitor everything so that we can give them daily reports, quarterly reports, monthly reports if they need it, so they know where their marketing dollars are going and what it’s doing for them. Clients are entrusting us with their investment and we need to be respectful of that and make sure that we deliver.  

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