Agency Challenges Current Marketing Methods, Gives Adrants Headache

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We're all for forward thinking and innovative new advertising models but Heller Communication Design's old but new "system thinking" model was too much for us to take so we're just going to let you read the press release:


NEW YORK - Taking a quantum leap from traditional marketing thinking, Heller Communication Design (HCD), a leading strategic design, advertising, and branding consultancy headquartered in New York City, today unveiled the agency's unique new approach to developing successful marketing campaigns for its clients. By adapting the scientific principles of systems thinking to marketing communications, HCD now has the capability to design what will be the most appropriate, success-generating steps for a client's overall communications program going forward

Although developed at MIT in the mid-1950s, systems thinking is relatively unknown to the advertising industry. "Systems thinking enables us to see the bigger picture, not just the immediate issues affecting a company's marketing programs," says Cheryl Heller, CEO, Heller Communication Design, "By diagramming how a client's reputation, product, or service is perceived in the minds of the public, we are able to identify problems that past methods can't comprehend. This method is especially helpful in the current communications climate, which is drastically affecting the way advertising agencies design and manage campaigns."

Heller refers to the rapid expansion of market segmentation. "Thus far, the response to meeting this challenge has been very scattered across the industry; thereby weakening campaigns by spreading resources too thinly," she says. Add to that the advent of sophisticated consumers who are making and breaking the reputations of many companies through blogging, emails, and other electronic means of communicating, and the days of controlling information are over.

Historically, companies have kept their "good works" separate from their marketing programs - some believing the two do not mix; others intentionally using socially conscious programs to mask bad behavior (such as running ecologically-friendly ads, while at the same time polluting the environment). This, in conjunction with traditional marketing methods, is becoming not only less and less effective, but is now wholly unacceptable to consumers.

"We are developing sustainable communications programs that actually revolve around what we have learned, through systems thinking, are in the customer's best interests," says Heller. "By encouraging clients to see customers as integral to their communication programs, they will come to understand that their own behavior and culture are very important elements in their overall public profile."

To illustrate how the process works, Heller has diagrammed what a campaign looks like using the current mental model of marketing, how it is in reality (including, for example, the unspoken communications derived from the company's behavior and culture), and how it would appear once all elements are aligned under a single strategy. (jpegs are available electronically from

"Marketing ought to be like a symphony, where every instrument is playing from the same sheet music under the direction of a conductor who leads the whole performance. To achieve complete sustainability, the conductor and musicians must be aligned and integrated in order to engage all the audience members with a compelling performance," says Heller.

Previously known as Heller Communications, the company's name has been changed to more fully reflect its services -- the design of communications programs.

Can't we just make ads that work?

Written by Steve Hall    Comments (3)     File: Agencies     Dec- 6-05  
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Quantum leap, huh? My favorite is the visual. It looks like a squid on acid.

Give us a case history that follows this model, with quantitative results, THEN do the news release.

Posted by: Kevin Dugan on December 6, 2005 05:00 PM

Either I have killed too many brain cells with cheap booze in college or she has completely gone off the deep end with that diagram...I'll take the latter

Posted by: Cas on December 7, 2005 10:26 AM

MY EYES!!! MY EYES!!!!!!

Posted by: Leigh on December 7, 2005 02:47 PM

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