Why I love inbound marketing

Inbound marketing is kind of the opposite of Mad Men advertising

We were the Mad Men of the 80s and 90s. Kind of.

At a large ad agency where I worked in the early 90s, many of the copywriters and art directors would show up late each day. Then they’d spend an hour or so visiting, as if they hadn’t seen each other in months. Then they’d attend a “meeting” – to view directors’ reels with a production company sales rep bearing free pastries. Most attendees weren’t even working on TV projects.

After an hour of this vital work, many would go out for a Jamba Juice.

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Your marketing message: Does it connect?

From 25 years ago, the words of David Kennedy, co-founder of Wieden + Kennedy: “We’re really not in the business of making ads. Our job is to make a connection.”  Today you could add websites, Facebook pages, YouTube channels, email and much more to his list of stuff we’re not really in the business of making. It’s always about the connection.

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Sometimes you can tell right away if the marketing effort connects. It hits you in the gut.

Other times, you can only tell something about the quality of the design and writing.

And yet well-written, well-designed work often misses the mark. Sometimes terribly. (Just look at two-thirds of Super Bowl commercials, and four-fifths of all websites.) So for each of these samples from my portfolio, I’ve given some context. To view the work, click the images above or the links on the left.

Wieden+Kennedy, 2010 Agency of the Year

As always, Dan Wieden is eminently quotable. “If you told me six or seven years ago that some of the best work this agency would do would be for Procter & Gamble, I’d think you have a drug problem.”  (See Ad Age article.)

Wieden + Kennedy 2010 Ad Age Agency of the Year

2010 Ad Age Agency of the Year: W+K

Meet Ad Age’s 2010 Agency of the Year, Wieden + Kennedy. You remember them, right? Edited to add: W+K was also named Creativity Agency of the Year.

The nicest part of the story:  It wasn’t so much their work for new clients that sparked their great year – though they’ve done notable work for Delta Airlines and Chrysler. Rather, most of their growth and notable work came from existing clients, as they’ve strengthened relationships, built trust and did some kick-ass work. (And created the most remarkable social media campaign of all time. Take that, digerati.)

Comments welcome at the end of this post. Or email me directly.

Congratulations Dan Wieden, Susan Hoffman and your cast of hundreds.

The death of (bad) advertising

Joseph Dumont writes a great piece at imediaconnection.com on how interactive is displacing traditional advertising. But in pushing his argument a little too far, he also unintentionally makes a good case for truly great broadcast creative, versus the less compelling kind. Continue reading

Teamwork: the essential ingredient

I met John Robideaux of Robideaux Strategic Marketing this morning. Nick Murto and Tyler Lafferty of interactive shop Seven2 said “you have to meet John” and “he knows everybody worth knowing around here — he knows where the bodies are buried.” He didn’t show me any bodies. But what a pleasure to meet him. 

John was totally generous in telling me about his business. Which leads to the point of this post: unselfishness and teamwork are damned good values for building a business, especially in the advertising/marketing world. Continue reading

What’s your story?

I attended a presentation today by Tim Girvin of the famed Seattle design firm. (“Design firm” is a somewhat limited description. “Strategic-luxury-brand-experience-communications-and-design” firm is probably closer.)

Tim presented the case for using authentic and compelling stories to connect with your audience, and to develop brand community and culture. Continue reading