• 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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  • Vital Vocab: Taking PR Language to Heart

    By | January 22, 2015
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    I learned plenty of PR and advertising jargon in college—terms that I crammed in the eleventh hour before morning tests, often after clinking glasses the evening before. I adopted this vocabulary as graduation approached, and somehow managed to whip out industry buzzwords during networking opportunities or job interviews. While underclassmen would look at me as if I knew my stuff, in retrospect, I usually only had a foggy idea.

    While I was learning the language and mannerisms from peers, professors and industry professionals, I didn’t have any tangible agency experiences tied to the words. It was as if I was trying to parle Français, wearing a beret and waving round a baguette, in America. It felt so strange.

    When I finally slid my tassel to the left, tossed my cap and headed to Chicago for my first big agency internship, I quickly realized that I was in an office of 500 people who were effortlessly fluent in PR speak. I, by contrast, had basically just learned my ABCs. This vocabulary, which was once obscure and abstract, took on a whole new shape as I began my work.

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  • [Webinar] Learn How to Drive Client Growth and ROI

    By | January 15, 2015
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    The marketing industry is moving too fast to internalize everything. Businesses increasingly rely on marketing agency partners for consultation and services to differentiate their brands and drive growth and success.”  — The Marketing Performance Blueprint

    Corporate marketers increasingly seek performance-driven agencies to fill internal marketing talent, tech and strategy gaps.

    The most sought-after agencies execute integrated campaigns, measure performance in real-time, and adapt strategy based on results. Dynamic and nimble campaign management and execution, however, requires the proper technology infrastructure and a digitally savvy staff.

    Is your agency equipped to thrive in this environment?

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  • Public Relations and Marketing Lessons Worth Remembering in 2015

    By | January 9, 2015
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    After popping bottles of champagne or sparkling juice to ring in the New Year with zeal, many of us will commit to resolutions that we likely won’t keep. I’m certainly guilty of this, and I’m willing to bet that many who read this are as well.  

    This year, instead of making resolutions I don’t intend to keep, I am trying something new—focusing on mistakes. I made some big mistakes in 2014, but I’m taking the lessons I learned with me into 2015, and I hope you can do the same. I also invite you to share your own personal wisdom in the comments section below.

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  • The Profitable Agency: How Tracking Time Can Impact Agency Profits

    By | January 5, 2015
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    This is a guest post from Chirag Ahuja (@ChiragAhujanz), head of marketing at WorkflowMax, a cloud-based agency management software.

    A profitable agency is an efficient agency. As a service-based business, the speed at which high-quality work gets done and approved by the client has a significant impact on your overall profitably.

    Regardless if your agency’s pricing model is billable hours or value-based, time tracking should be an essential element to your project management process.

    Armed with timesheet reports, you’ll have access to the data required to effectively evaluate your agency’s profitability across the following three key pillars.

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  • How to Differentiate Your Agency by Delivering Results

    By | December 19, 2014
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    Consumers are in the driver’s seat more than ever before, dictating when and how they communicate with brands. With a flood of information at their fingertips, they crave personalized experiences that educate, enable and entertain. Agencies, and their clients, must strive to deliver these highly relevant communications across channels.

    Marketers must also connect actions to goals (e.g. website visitors, leads and sales). In tracking the right metrics, campaigns can be tied to bottom-line business impact, budgets can be justified and strategies can be adapted based on performance.

    In a recent HubSpot (@HubSpot) webinar (available on-demand here), Paul Roetzer (@paulroetzer), author of The Marketing Performance Blueprint, shared 10 steps to becoming a performance-driven agency—one that builds and measures integrated marketing campaigns for maximum client ROI.

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  • Running a Lean Digital Marketing Agency

    By | November 19, 2014
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    Below is a guest post by Ryan Chester (@ChestNut_Ryan), a business development manager at AnnexCore. He has helped develop digital marketing strategies for enterprises across the globe.

    Most manufacturing companies operate lean, and luckily; our agency was started by someone with an extensive background in both software and electronics manufacturing. Unlike the marketing agencies of the Mad Men era, new-age agencies are built to do more with less.

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  • Data Security Tips for Your Agency and Clients

    By | November 10, 2014
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    Below is a guest post from Tom Smith, VP of business development and strategy for CloudEntr by Gemalto. In this role, he helps define and execute Gemalto’s identity and access initiatives in the cloud. Tom has over 30 years of experience with security, mobile, and cloud technologies, including founding executive roles at four technology companies. Read more on how to keep your agency’s data secure though two-factor authentication and password management here.

    When you think of all the things that drew you to the marketing and advertising industry, information security probably doesn’t spring to mind. It likely didn’t even occur to you that dealing with clients’ strategies could make you responsible for handling sought-after secrets.

    Yet look at how government leaks have happened. NSA servers weren’t hacked. Contractors like HBGary Federal and General Dynamics that work on government projects were targeted. This means you—a third-party vendor—could be at risk. Should confidential client files be leaked, you could be subject to the subsequent investigation.

    If you want to land big accounts, you need to prove that you’re not a weak link. Agency collaboration is difficult without sharing access to online services, but you can do so securely with these four practices.

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  • Advice For Marketers From PayPal‚Äôs Billionaire Founder

    By | October 28, 2014
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    Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal and provided Facebook with its first outside investment. He also just wrote a book on startups called Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future.

    Modern marketers have a lot to learn from Thiel’s entrepreneurship guide. Because really, this is a book about how to envision, shape and create the future, which is exactly what marketing technologists do. We strategize, activate and measure tech-driven campaigns to produce new, better futures for our clients, agencies and industry.

    While aimed at founders, the book’s contrarian thinking about how to build the future offers all marketers some important lessons.

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