• 5 Reasons Former Hospitality Workers Make Great Marketing Agency Employees

    By | July 16, 2015
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    This is a guest post from Matt Cronin, founding partner at House of Kaizen. Matt is a digital performance marketing and brand management pioneer who’s developed digital strategies for the likes of Tiffany & Co. and JPMorgan Chase.

    Successful marketing professionals come from all walks of life, and in many cases, the more varied the background, the more successful the marketer. After all, marketing is all about conveying messages that resonate with a wide array of audiences.

    In my experience, there’s one particular background that meshes surprisingly well with the marketing world: those who have worked in the hospitality industry.

    While studying marketing communications in college, I worked at a few restaurants that had demanding clienteles, and even more demanding chefs and proprietors. I didn’t realize it then, but those late nights and long hours prepared me for advertising and the task of starting my own agency. My business partner spent years in management with a global hotel organization before moving into marketing.

    Next time you’re flipping through résumés, don’t ignore candidates who flip burgers and work front desks. Those folks just may be your best candidates.

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  • Boost Your Talent Pipeline From Qualified to All-Star Status

    By | July 9, 2015
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    Employees are the golden stars of your agency—but they don’t achieve that status by chance.

    Finding outstanding candidates for your agency takes time and proactive planning. It should never be an impulsive decision. Throughout the hiring process, look for the best of the best, and don’t settle for less.

    Boost your talent pipeline with these four tips.

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  • 6 Dos and Don’ts of Managing Up

    By | July 2, 2015
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    The average employed person spends 8.7 hours a day on work-related activities. With nearly 40% of your day at work, you’re surrounded by co-workers more than anyone else. You should enjoy being around them, right?

    But, as a young professional, it can be confusing and hard to figure out what sort of relationship you should hold with your co-workers, especially your superiors.

    Getting to an efficient relationship with your managers takes work, patience and managing up. The idea of managing up is a “method of career development that’s based on consciously working for the mutual benefit of yourself and your boss.”

    Read on to learn the six dos and don’ts of managing up to gain a competent, successful relationship with your managers, without crossing any boundaries.

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  • 10 Lessons in 3 Years To Rock Agency Life

    By | June 25, 2015
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    Welp, it’s official. I’ve been in the agency world for three years as of today. 

    Agency life is no moonlit walk on the beach. It’s more like a Tough Mudder, demanding dynamic action at every turn.

    But, at the end of the day, you feel accomplished—and rightly so.

    Looking back, I barely recognize the professional that walked down PR 20/20’s bright blue corridor for the first time in 2012. I was terrified of failure and unaware of my potential. And now, completely transformed, I figured my three-year milestone was the perfect time to reflect on what I’ve learned and how I learned it.

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  • 12 Questions to Guide Your Pricing Model Transformation

    By | May 29, 2015
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    “The future belongs to dynamic agencies with more efficient management systems, integrated services, versatile talent, value-based pricing models, a love for data, and a commitment to producing measurable results.” — The Marketing Performance Blueprint

    Pricing can have a positive impact on productivity, accountability, client performance, agency growth and profits. Yet, many agencies still rely on billable hours as the key component to their pricing strategies. This wrongly ties agency performance to outputs, instead of outcomes, and lacks the transparency clients demand.

    There is an opportunity for agencies to shift to value-based pricing models that focus on client needs and goals—rather than how long it takes to complete an activity. Without hourly quotas looming over their heads, employees are empowered to focus on results and value creation. And clients aren’t left asking how their money was spent.  

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  • 5 Secrets to Tap Millennial Potential at Your Agency

    By | May 22, 2015
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    As a millennial working with a bunch of millennials, I definitely tune out the word, “millennial.” If you’re 18-35, I bet you do too. That said, the more information I consume about my group-of-people-born-between-the-1980s-and-2000s, especially lately (have the tides turned pro-millennial?), the more nuggets of goodness I’ve been able to apply to agency operations, productivity, professional development and relationship building.

    This year, one of my favorite SXSW sessions was a panel that spoke about empowering a modern, millennial workforce. Anne Dwane (@adwane) of Chegg, Ciara Peter (@ciarapeter) of BetterWorks, and Jeff Fernandez (@jefernan) of Grovo Learning discussed the secrets to working with this growing group of young, motivated professionals. The panel’s comments made too much sense, and have been useful since. So, read on for some of my favorite takeaways for the agency world.

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  • Improve Collaboration With Enterprise-Grade Cloud Services

    By | May 14, 2015
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    This is a guest post from Frank Sicilia (@egnyte), chief solutions architect at Egnyte, a platform that powers adaptive enterprise file services for thousands of customers worldwide.

    To envision, pitch, win, produce, deliver, measure and bill a campaign takes a tremendous amount of teamwork—both inside the agency and with partners and clients.

    Such collaboration involves moving a lot of data around to a lot of different people. Creative briefs, proposals, mock-ups, proofs, budgets, invoices, creative output, market and research data, and financials: the list is endless.

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  • Awards Are More Than Fancy Paperweights — They’re Good for Your Agency’s Bottom Line

    By | March 20, 2015
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    This a guest post from Drew McLellan, a veteran of the advertising industry for nearly 30 years.

    Events such as the CLIO Awards, the Cannes Lions and The One Showare opportunities for creative agencies to receive recognition for themselves and their clients—not to mention a chance to glam it up and have a party.

    Yet agency leaders are often reluctant to enter these competitions. They mistakenly view the process as a distraction at best, and a waste of time and resources at worst. Creatives are usually the ones driving award initiatives, trying to convince their bosses that submitting their work isn’t just about their own ego.

    The truth is that awards are more than fancy, feel-good paperweights; they’re actually good for the bottom line. Here’s why.

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  • Why You Should Make Yourself Redundant

    By | March 12, 2015
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    Have you ever stopped to wonder what would happen if you had to step away from your agency for three months unexpectedly?

    For some, I’m sure this brings images of the apocalypse. Perhaps you’re the agency owner who has your hands in everything from operations to sales to account management, or maybe you’re an account manager who prides yourself in your ability to tackle all client requests and projects singlehandedly. 

    And while some may view this irreplaceability as a badge of honor, the reality is that it’s often a sign that they’re failing to fulfill their most important role: leading.

    The best leaders make themselves redundant. Here’s why.

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  • How to Conduct an Agency Brand and Culture Audit

    By | February 17, 2015
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    When outlining your agency’s mission, vision and values, it’s easy to employ a top-down approach. Executives or other key stakeholders often define them items based on their own perceptions or desires, and then force-feed them to the rest of the team.

    Yet, this usually results in statements that don’t truly define the organization or aren’t adhered to in real life by employees. This is often because they lack buy in or miss critical aspects of the company that only those on the frontlines are privy to.

    Before you embark on a company rebranding, culture code deck or other grand-vision piece, I recommend following the Zappos approach. Audit your current employees and build their feedback into the final product. After all—we all want to create positive and fulfilling careers for our people, right? This starts with knowing what makes them tick, and what keeps them happy and engaged.

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