How Agencies Have Reinvented Themselves for the Social Era

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The rise of social media has forced marketers and agencies to re-evaluate how they structure teams to better handle this new layer of marketing communication. It got us thinking.

How are agencies reconfiguring their teams to better function in the digital and social marketing era? How have agencies benefited from working not just with traditional creatives but how have they cast a wider net to include developers, freelance specialists and other partners? How do they then guard against "too many chefs in the kitchen"?

We queried several agencies and asked them what they are doing and what they have changed to improve how they work in an increasingly interconnected but complex industry. Some have retooled their org charts. Other have formed close partnerships. And still others have formed teams of people with seemingly unrelated skill sets.

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by Steve Hall    Sep- 4-13    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion



This is How Facebook is Going to Die

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Yesterday, Facebook's market value topped $100 billion. Zuck must be smitten his baby is now worth close to last year's original IPO valuation. Market confidence, which Monday included a stock price increase of 1.9% to $41.34 with a daily high of $41.94 (the highest since the IPO), is said to be bolstered by belief Facebook just might deliver on its mobile advertising promise. The upswing is certainly positive news for the social network which hit a stock price low of $17.73 in September.

But can Zuckerberg, whose baby now realizes 41% of its quarterly advertising revenue from smartphone and tablet-centric promotions, really make a go of it when recent Pew research find teens have a "waning enthusiasm for Facebook"? The report states dislike for the incessant over-sharing that is part and parcel of the service. But, more importantly, teens are miffed all their parents and their parents friends are now on Facebook.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-27-13    
Topic: Opinion



Why Content Marketing is Just One Small Part of Inbound Marketing

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As HubSpot hosts its INBOUND conference this week, inbound marketing is taking center stage. Though as big and as popular as this conference -- and its focus, inbound marketing -- has become, there still seems to be a debate over whether or not the term inbound marketing is the same as another term used to describe a similar process, content marketing.

Writing on the Covario blog, Russ Mann argues content marketing is the more encompassing term of the two. He suggests inbound marketing is limited to earned (we would argue owned) media strategies that are designed to drive traffic and conversions to a marketer's website whereas content marketing places its emphasis on content creation, spreading that content far and wide without necessarily focusing on traffic and leads.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-21-13    
Topic: Opinion, Social



Do Advertising Awards Matter?

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Just over a month ago, the world's advertising industry descended upon Cannes, France, for its annual Festival of Creativity. At this event, agencies the world over are awarded for their creativity and, in a few small cases, for work that actually increased sales.

Cannes of course, is but one of many advertising awards festivals that occur over the course of the year. But it's the biggest, the brightest and the most coveted of all. Certainly much of the entered and winning work is worthy of praise. And certainly the individuals behind the work deserve to have the spotlight shown on them in the presence of their colleagues, coworkers and friends. But...do awards matter?

By matter, I mean a few things. Do awards generate business for the agency? Do they further the career of the individual creative? Do they positively affect the brand for which the agency won the award? Are they a metric a brand can use to determine the capability of an agency? For an article I wrote for Central Desktop, I turned to a few in the industry to help answer these questions.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-12-13    
Topic: Opinion



Nate Silver Trashes New York Times Sales Force

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For a man who has the ability to predict presidential elections, Nate Silver's recent comment about the sales staff at The New York Times was shortsighted and displayed a surprising lack of understanding of the tectonic shifts that are occurring in publishing and advertising. It's as if he hasn't realized that the disintermediation of the ad sales process through trading desks, RTB and other forms of ad tech has had a decimating effect on CPMs and, hence, the ability of a publisher and its sales force to generate healthy revenue.

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by Steve Hall    Aug- 9-13    
Topic: Online, Opinion, Publishing



How Crocs Should Have Reacted to That Fake Ad

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By now, you've seen that Crocs ad from London production company Compulsory which celebrates teen sex. By now, you've also noted the ad is fake and was not endorsed by the brand. Much like JCPenney which distanced itself from a fake ad (which won a Bronze Lion!) that also centered on teen sex, Crocs called the ad offensive and said, "We're very concerned by it, because it does not reflect our company values as a global lifestyle brand."

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by Steve Hall    Aug- 5-13    
Topic: Opinion



Sexist TrueCar.com Ad Says Women Don't Need A Dude to Help Them Buy A Car

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My how times haven't changed. Remember that classic Goodyear Polyglass commercial which many have dubbed the most sexist ad of all time? You know the one. The one in which...OMG...you wife has to drive alone!

On one hand, advertising culture has moved beyond portraying women like moronic, bikini-clad bimbos whose sole purpose is to drape themselves across the hood of a car or stand in front of a refrigerator. On the other, we have TrueCar.com which, in a serious headscratcher, thought it smart to imply women are still hapless nitwits who have no idea how to buy a car on their own.

A not-so-recent ad from the used car site features women telling us how the site gave them the necessary confidence to buy a car on their own with one particular woman saying...wait for it..."I don't even need to bring a dude with me."

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BREAKING!!! Ant Crosses the Road!!!

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We agree with AdWeek's David Gianatasio 100% percent on this one. Which, of course, isn't like us agreeing with Bob Garfield back in the day because, of course, we rarely did. We used to pick stupid little fights with the man over his ad reviews because, well, that's what Adrants was all about; poking holes in the media and advertising establishments.

My how times have changed. Back in the day, Adrants was a single voice of over-sized balls and horse-hung swinging man meat. Today, well, everyone's in on the game of snark. So much so that it really doesn't mean anything anymore. Just take a look at Business Insider headlines or BuzzFeed or headlines from just about any other publication which now scream extremisms to announce the fact an ant has crossed the street. Anything for a pageview.

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by Steve Hall    Jul-22-13    
Topic: Opinion



The Most Rewarding Marketing Mistake I Ever Made

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Recently, a colleague asked me, "What was the most rewarding mistake you ever made in business?"

It's a great question, and I quickly had an answer for him because it was an incredibly painful mistake. However, it proved to be an invaluable lesson that has served me well in the years since. I'm sharing so perhaps you can learn it the easy way.

The lesson: Don't ever stop marketing because you think you've reached the point where you don't need to. And, secondarily, believe the old adage that warns, "Don't put all your eggs into one basket."

There's a story, of course...

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by Steve Hall    Jul-19-13    
Topic: Opinion



The Importance of Collaboration in Real-Time Marketing

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When Oreo placed its Dunk in the Dark ad in social media channels immediately following the power outage during the Super Bowl, real-time marketing was brought to the forefront of the marketing community. David Berkowitz, then-director of emerging media at Oreo agency 360i (and now CMO at MRY), stressed that care must be taken to properly collaborate with key decision makers in order for real-time marketing efforts such as Dunk in the Dark to be successful.

To move at the speeds required by real-time marketing, you need fast-moving teams powered by key decision makers and you need collaboration processes firmly in place. There is no time for lengthy approval processes.

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by Steve Hall    Jul- 2-13    
Topic: Opinion, Social










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