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Want to Win the Race to the Bottom? Don't Invest in Tech | Guest Columnists – Advertising Age

Agencies Must Raise Efficiency to Stay Alive and Free Themselves to Brainstorm Ideas

Is the advertising industry willing to look at itself and acknowledge that it has a big problem? Can anything reverse what seems like a race to the bottom and allow a rainbow to emerge?

The crisis mirrors what has happened in the newspaper business. Two decades ago, newspapers were profiting by big margins, with no incentive to invest for the future. As technology changed and profit margins shrank, these companies were left with no capacity to invest. So they laid off people. This led to diminished product quality, which contributed to even more lost revenue. Many newspaper companies got entangled in a race to the bottom.

In our industry, the digital revolution has triggered three dangerous trends that, combined, pose a similar life-threatening challenge:

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Digitas Distillery – The Blog – Five Days of Digitas Predictions (for 2013): Social

Love this insight: Relevance has a deadline.

What’s on the horizon for 2013? We surveyed leaders throughout Digitas to get their predictions for brands and marketers everywhere. Over the next week, check out the five days of Digitas predictions, starting with social.

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Building An Internal Content Strategy for the Long Haul

How to build a foundation for your agency’s content marketing future by strategically building a content hub for all agency social and content marketing efforts.

What I find both interesting and frustrating is that agencies know how to create and implement marketing and content strategies for their clients. However, when it comes to their own efforts, they forget the basics. Instead, their efforts are often haphazard, sporadic and tactical rather than strategic. So how can you build a foundation for your agency’s content marketing future?

Where to Start

Most agencies launch a blog, Facebook page or Twitter account with no forethought. These are accessible and seemingly easy to maintain, so agencies figure they should follow suit. As a result, their blogs and social networks languish from lack of attention, or worse, become brag books for their own accomplishments, awards and accounts won.

Before an agency can determine what kind of structure it needs internally, it must decide whether it should even be creating content, and if so, why? What business outcomes is the agency looking for? When done well, content marketing can drive qualified leads, shorten sales cycles, generate opportunities, reinforce a current client’s buying decision and create PR opportunities. Once the agency is clear about what it’s trying to accomplish, it needs to identify who it should be talking to in order to achieve its goals.How to build a foundation for your agency’s content marketing future by strategically building a content hub for all agency social and content marketing efforts.

Submitted by: 12/3/2012

4 broken promises agencies make to brands

Right Intel provides a solution for three of these areas where agencies find challenges – Communicating with the Marketing Team; Collaborating with other Agencies; and Watching Trends for the Client

First, my credentials: Over the last seven years, I have worked a lot of digital marketing agency jobs. I joined the industry doing entry-level research, and many years later I co-founded and helped build an agency of my own. I have worked as a freelance consultant on both the creative and technical sides. And I have directly experienced most aspects of the digital marketing agency world. I have both made and received broken promises.

4 broken promises agencies make to brands

The symbiotic relationship between brands and their agencies is a complex one, full of jargon and the constant rustle of asses being covered. Agencies make outlandish promises to their clients because the clients essentially ask to be lied-to. The agency doesn’t want to get fired, so they tell the client what the client wants to hear. The client often reports to a manager who sets impossible goals. So the client depends on the promises that the agency tells him, so that when accountability rolls-around, there is somebody else to blame.

So what are the most common lies?


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8 Insightful Marketing Predictions for 2013 and Beyond

8 marketing predictions, backed by industry thought leaders, about what’s in store for marketing in 2013.

It’s that time of year again! 2013 is on the horizon, so whip out your crystal balls, marketers — it’s time to make some predictions about what’s in store for next year. Don’t have one handy? That’s cool. You don’t need to be clairvoyant to make a prediction or two. In fact, how about we get the ball rolling.

In 2012, the world of marketing underwent some major changes. We saw the rise of Pinterest, several IPOs and acquisitions, an aggressive political ad war, Facebook’s 1 billionth user, and watched one Korean artist turn into a global phenomenon thanks to YouTube. So what’s on tap for next year?

We’ve compiled some of our most insightful predictions — backed by several industry experts and thought leaders — into our new guide, 20 Marketing Trends and Predictions for 2013 & Beyond. You can catch 8 of them in this blog post, and be sure to download the full guide if you’re curious about what the other 12 will mean for your marketing in 2013. Now let’s get to it, marketers!

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Here's a Handy Field Guide to Advertising's Worst Types of Clients

Our favorite worst client prersona is Mr. Everything’s an Emergency

Clients: Aren’t they just the worst?

Sure, you wouldn’t have a job without them, and a total absence of clients would render the advertising industry completely non-existent. But, wouldn’t it be nice if they just stopped telling you what to do? Wouldn’t it be just a total thrill if they all realized that YOU know what’s best for their brand better than THEY do. YOU are the smart one. THEY’RE just here to ruin your impeccable work. The rest of the world should know that YOU, dear advertising genius, have a difficult life because of clients.

Well, digital agency Ciplex has created a nifty “Little Miss” inspired PokeDex field guide to help you identify what type of client you’re dealing with. The gang’s all here, from “Mr. Everything’s an Emergency” to “Ms. I Hate That Color for No Reason” to “Mr. I Needed This Done Yesterday.”

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November 2012 Top 100 Marketers to Follow on Twitter

Top 100 CMO’s for Agencies to follow on Twitter

This is a list of the top 100 recommended marketers to follow on Twitter for November 2012.

Source: 12/3/2012

Agencies Make Strategic Play

More shops are eyeing business usually handled by management consultants

More shops are eyeing business usually handled by manage In a classic Mad Men scene, Don Draper pitches a new Lucky Strike commercial to a room full of the marketer’s most senior executives. Such meetings that used to be routine have become a rare thing of the past.

“With the CEO, CFO and COO, agencies in this country just don’t have that access anymore,” underscored Brian Wieser, senior analyst, Pivotal Research. “Back then if your numbers lit up, the CEO would be able to distinguish whether a TV commercial worked or not. As marketers got larger and more factors could impact sales, business became much more complicated and agencies didn’t evolve accordingly.”

Agencies are making up for that now by taking back strategic services from management consultants like McKinsey & Co. and Accenture. But rather than expand their capabilities via acquisition, agencies are creating new specialty units from within. Ogilvy, one notable example, launched strategic consultancy OgilvyRED in May 2011; it uses an open-source approach drawing on 21 Ogilvy units–from digital and health and entertainment to cross-cultural, green and Islamic branding–plus other resources at corporate parent WPP.ment consultants

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Ad Agencies: 6 Social Media Steps That Changed Client Perception

6 social media steps that can change client perception

It is hard for agencies to change the perceptions of their clients but social media can make it easier.

Stacy Carter is the creative director/partner for a small agency in downtown Charlotte, ABZ Design Group. Her agency’s primary focus is community hospitals. A couple of years ago, with the help of her staff, Stacy launched a blog called “CreativeTriage.” The site is generating an impressive amount of traffic for this very narrow niche.

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The Marketer's Guide To SlideShare

SlideShare offers many interesting opportunities for promoting agency thought leadership. There isn’t much competition yet, but this won’t last long.

I want to show you a big opportunity that leads to other big opportunities. This “opportunity” gets 60 millions visitors per month and has an Alexa Rank of 174. You don’t want to miss out on it, do you?

The good news is that you can handle this. I’m not talking about writing an article for the New York Times. And, so far, there isn’t very much competition to face while taking advantage of this opportunity.

I’m talking about “The Quiet Giant of Content Marketing,” also known as SlideShare (a social media website where you can upload your presentations and show them to the world). SlideShare’s features make it the ideal tool to grow your business. It’s a crowded site with a highly targeted audience and low competition.

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