That's about as long as a message has to capture the interest of today's consumer. Most research says 3 seconds is average. Needless to say that's pretty quick. The pressure to fight through the "noisy" world we all face is, perhaps more than any generation before, tremendous.
If there is one thing we are pretty sure of it is...great work is never reasonable, safe or boring. You have three seconds to make them care: reasonable, safe, boring won't get the job done. So we work with our clients to solve any marketing problem - together- acknowledging the need to understand their audience, and what is powerful enough to win that 3 second battle. We call it empathetic branding. It is the cornerstone of our work.
Our roots are big agencies, big clients. We all "grew-up" working with and for the greatest marketers in the world, and some of the greatest advertising minds in history. We love what we do, the relationships that are built, and the ability to make a real difference.
agencies is a miserable, costly task.
(But then so is watching your competition pass you in the marketplace.)
WHAT TO DO?
A few questions to ask yourself first.
1. Talk to your agency.
And we mean talk to the person responsible for the entire agency, not just an a.e. or a.s., talk the CEO. Tell him exactly what you expect, where the agency or people have fallen short and how long you are willing to give the agency to fix the problem.
2. Find a marriage counselor.
There are any number of companies that specialize in this area. They are usually a combination of client and agency senior execs. They have seen both sides and know the problems. Their objectivity can help both the agency and you become better partners.
3. Hire a second agency.
There are times when this can work wonders. First, nothing short of firing will shake-up your incumbent agency faster than seeing another agency on the stage. Second, there are times when a new perspective can do everyone a world of good. Third, your problem may revolve around a particular skill your current agency doesn't have. A second agency may specialize in the problem area and give you a win-win answer.
4. Split responsibility.
Perhaps your incumbent does a great job in media, but the creative is weak, or the opposite: the creative is terrific but media is costing you more than it should. Fine. Keep your incumbent and find another agency that is strong in the area your agency is weak. Many companies are finding the multiple agency approach works very well.
Finally, if you decide to change agencies, and you have tried the above,
DO NOT INVITE YOUR INCUMBENT TO FIGHT FOR THE BUSINESS!
Face it, the marriage is over. You have given them every chance to fix the problem and it didn't happen. It is exactly the same as firing an employee; once the decision is made, there should be no turning back. Wish them well and begin the search for a new agency.
Thank you Seth!
From Seth's Blog.
Why do some organizations look great... and get great results from their design efforts and ads... while others languish in mediocrity? I think it has little to do with who they hire and a lot to do with how they work with their agencies and designers.Here are the things your design team wishes you would know:
The Strategic Use of Sales Promotion….
Not Just for Consumers
Over the years, theAgency.SP has become aware of a general group of misconceptions about sales promotion and its role in a marketing strategy.
Here are a few of the more effective and overlooked uses of sales promotion as well as some of the more commonly overlooked implementation pitfalls.
It is also not our intent to cover the many brand strategy considerations that should be considered before any advertising and sales promotion plans are drawn. We will attempt to clarify the strategic use of sales promotion to bolster a marketing plan in several product lifecycle scenarios. It is comforting to remember that 15 years ago, the ratio of advertising dollars to sales promotion dollars was approximately 60:40. Today, in many categories that ratio has reversed.
When Does Sales Promotion Work?
Sales promotion is most commonly thought of as cents-off coupons, sweepstakes, scratch-off games and certain “giveaways” aimed at consumers within a short period of time and meant to generate quick sales or short-term volume.
While sales promotion can be produced in a relatively short period of time and does not carry the same indirect costs associated with traditional advertising, sales promotion is not thought of as a way to build a brand or enhance an image. Fortunately, these misapprehensions are not necessarily true. Sales promotion, when folded into a comprehensive marketing plan, can contribute to a company’s brand, employee utilization, distribution channels, training and much more.
Sales promotion can “smooth” seasonality, inventory or pipeline inefficiencies. Because of its immediate impact on the market, sales promotion can be used to test pricing issues and clarify price elasticity or inelasticity. The ability to improve short-term volume can also be used sparingly to lower per unit costs.
The key is to avoid using sales promotion merely as tourniquet to stop bleeding in an unforeseen crisis. When this happens, it is much harder to make sure your message maintains fidelity to the longer term marketing strategy, formed when things were calm. While it is true that sales promotion can work effectively in emergency situations, and should not be overlooked, it is ultimately more effective when it is a regular part of your marketing arsenal.
The most common use of sales promotion is to attract consumers to your product. Traditionally, it is used against products in the latter stages of life. To a lesser extent, it has been used to introduce a product, stimulate consumer trial and generate interest from distribution channels in new products.
Sales promotion is used more often when you are faced with a large number of competitors. It helps pull your product out of the pack. It can also help when your distribution channels are limited and wield a great deal of power.
A few questions to ask as you consider consumer directed sales promotion:
How to chose a promotion design.
There are as many promotion types as there are creative minds to design them.
COMMON CONSUMER PROMOTION TYPES
Each promotion type has distinct characteristics suggesting its appropriateness. It is important to keep these in mind when developing a promotion plan.
What if you gave a party and nobody...
How you plan to “distribute” your promotion is an important decision. For example a coupon can be: in-pack, available at the point of purchase, part of a direct mail program, or in print or online media.
The choice of distribution will impact how many people are exposed to your promotion, its cost and effectiveness. Your choice will be dependent on the category, what your competitors are doing, the length of the promotion, the scope of your market and the promotion type. Always keep in mind how you will distribute your promotion to your audience and make the determination early in your planning.
Sales promotion directed elsewhere.
Trade promotions have been around even longer than consumer promotions.They are so common that in many industries, they are practically a required part of doing business.
Trade promotions are used to:
Unfortunately, in many industries, trade promotion has become a bloody battlefield between the marketer and the distribution channel. No industry is a better example than the grocery business, where slotting fees are mandatory and the number of brands carried shrinks yearly. (This unfortunately is becoming the standard in other industries such as computer software retailing as well.) If your product category is one in which trade promotions have become mandatory, innovative thinking may help protect precious margins. In trade promotions there are fewer “types” and thus the decisions are somewhat easier and their applicability much less sensitive.
Common trade promotion types.
Inner directed promotions.
Often overlooked is the use of promotion to incent and train employees. Here again, creativity is the only limiting factor in promotion’s use and effectiveness. While it is not uncommon to use a promotion to invigorate a sales force, promotion can also expand a sales force by enlisting the aid of retail clerks, consumers, customer service and repair forces.
A well designed, on-going promotional plan can help turn a hostile, disenfranchised work force into an evangelizing “family”. This is particularly well documented in industries where takeovers have produced widespread employee unrest.
We hope this has helped you begin your thinking about the use of sales promotion. As in every other form of marketing communication, sales promotion must begin with a clear, competitive strategy. Remember, marketing is civilized warfare and you must have a battleplan.
HERE ARE FOUR COMMON BUDGETING SCENARIOSAFFORDABILITY
We find places, people, music, etc that stimulate our thinking. We thought we'd share them with you. Some of these really do represent brilliance others sneak up on it, or may lead to it. The point is that the minutes you spend exploring here may stimulate your thinking or give you a new perspective. We hope so. If you have some favorites please let us know of them. We will add and subtract from this page as time and discoveries allow. And by the way, work from other agencies may well end up here. We are not too proud to love great work from others.
We start with the wonderful Stephen Fry's take on language with some TERRIFIC kinetic/type animation.
The Science of Persuasion!
This is pretty spectacular footage, an amazing combination of profound human impact on the planet, and vast spaces with no detectable human impact.
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