Chris Glushko: November 2008 Archives

Live Blog - IAB's The New Wizards of Digital Marketing

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Growth. It’s usually thought of as a positive thing, but for some agencies it can get in the way of the quality creative manufactured. Taking the emphasis off the work and the environment by focusing on growth can alter the culture of the agency or allow employees to flourish with more opportunities.


Marlene Root, Vice President, Director of Quality of Life at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, is focused around the changes the agency has seen over her eight year tenure there. As size increases she’s charged with artificially creating ways to help people understand the culture of the agency and how they do business. It’s not necessarily an organic process as it once was, but an understanding that management must work toward. Growth from within is one way they’ve tried to keep employees focused and included in the successful size change.


Michael Ferdman, President and Founder of Firstborn—a 45-person shop—talked about staffing issues openly. He pointed out that when things are good it’s easy to overlook people that might not be doing such a good job or the need to add a new hire to fill a gap. But, when times aren’t good, it’s not so easy to ignore these challenges.  One bad hire is worse than missing out on a good hire because each person is an integral part of any initiative.


How do different sized agencies compete in the pitch process? Darren Paul, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Night Agency, uses his current client base as advocates for new business. Satisfied customers are more than willing to talk first-hand about how the size of Night Agency is beneficial to their relationship. Clients, both large and small, whom they’ve been working with on a consistent basis are happy to share their successes.


Panelists included:


Freddie Laker, Director, Digital Strategy, Sapient and Founder, Society of Digital
Agencies (SoDA) - moderator
Michael Ferdman, President and Founder, Firstborn
Darren Paul, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Night Agency
Marlene Root, Vice President, Director of Quality of Life, Crispin Porter + Bogusky


When it comes to talent, this panel feels size is of little impact.

Off for a cocktail and networking…see you on December 8 for the IAB Leadership Forum: Audience Measurement.


We just finished an engaging session on social media and viral marketing.  It featured:

Sarah Hofstetter, VP of Emerging Media & Client Strategy, 360i
Chris Meador, Senior Director of Brand Strategy, NBC News and MSNBC
Bryan Wiener, CEO, 360i

As every marketer knows, there’s no magic formula for viral marketing. It’s an art—the art of engaging your audience and exciting  them enough to pass it along—and it involves luck.  However, this doesn’t mean you can’t “increase your luck” with proper planning to seize a viral opportunity.  Some key lessons taught were:

- Establish metrics in advance and make sure you achieve your objectives.

- The internet is the most untapped focus group out there.  Your audience is telling you what they want.

- Adapt the execution to the platform.

- You can lead the conversation but you can’t control it or else you will fail.

The last point may be the most important one.  Viral marketing is not for the faint of heart and you have to be prepared to take the good with the bad. 

We’ll be back in an hour with notes from the day’s final session.


The panel agrees luck has much to do with viral marketing, but it’s about what you do to make your luck.


So, how do these new wizards of digital marketing make it all happen? Lunch and workshops were followed by a session that helped us all understand. The teams responsible for creating two 2008 MIXX Award Gold winning campaigns took the audience through each step of the process.


First up was Nissan Rogue Launch presented by Justin Prough, Creative Director, TEQUILA. The online “marble maze master” was the foundation of the campaign, leading to the related TV spots and the online integration with “Heroes.” Each platform piece revolved around iconic games that encouraged consumer interaction with the brand, or in this case the specific vehicle. The goal was to change consumer perception of what type of person drives a Rogue—not just a soccer mom.


Justin was followed by John Travis, Vice President, Brand Marketing, Adobe, and Josh Spanier, Director of Communications Strategy, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, dissecting the Adobe Layer Tennis campaign.


They broke the campaign down with three goals:

1.       Get people excited and aware

2.       Deconstruct what users think they can do with the software

3.       Get them to use it and talk about it


The Layer Tennis team spent considerable time learning about and understanding the needs of their target audience. What did the research reveal about the creatives they wanted to engage?  They are passionate. They are only as good as their most recent work. They believe in their skills. They seek inspiration. They are time impoverished. Everything is changing around them. And, they are fiercely competitive. All these ideas factored into the campaign design, giving the audience a platform to showcase their on-the-fly design skills and compete with each other online—while, of course, learning about and using the new Adobe software.


The three presenters then discussed their campaigns and brand / agency partnerships on a panel moderated by Journalist Willow Duttge. One point that stood out was to let go of the traditional expectations and try new, creative things -and be prepared for whatever might happen.


The three MIXX award winning campaigns presented by the panel wowed those in attendance.


Next up was Barry Wacksman, EVP, Chief Growth Officer, R/GA. He spoke about what makes up the agency for the digital age.  After giving a brief overview of the classic agency model, he spoke about how technology has lead to the opportunity to build a whole new agency model.

The biggest difference for an agency in the digital age is the inclusion of technology in nearly every aspect.  The analog agency was charged with delivering a message to a passive consumer.  In contrast, the digital age has the opportunity to create an application - something a consumer can use in their everyday lives.

We were then treated to three great examples of this from the Nike+ campaigns as well as the Nokie viNe.  The consumers of these products are active and in control.  This has made them far more evangelical towards the brands.

The bottom line is the digital agency needs to work with their clients to put the power of digital to use.

Now it’s time for some workshops and lunch.  We’ll be back with more when the general session reconvenes this afternoon.

Barry Wacksman talks about the great opportunity of the digital age.


Who’s Idea is it Anyway?

Mine, Yours, Ours - The title of our last session may sound like a basic lesson in sharing, but in the creative world it’s much more complicated than that. Great ideas, mixed with innovative, collaborative campaigns, built on multiple budgets for multiple partners can lead to complicated “ownership” issues.


According to the panel, the idea is only one side of the battle. Execution is just as important because an idea can only be as good as the follow- through. In the case of the Dodge campaign being discussed, it’s all about ultimately driving traffic into the dealership. One idea alone can’t make that happen but by building on that idea and asking partners to add their expertise as the campaign flushes out is what drives the success for the deliverables.


Teams that were once competing for the work are now collaborating on specific aspects of it. And, according to Deborah Meyer, CMO of Chrysler, it’s the client’s responsibility to keep every partner aligned with the overall mission.


A question from the audience brought the conversation back to the “vendor” vs. “partner” relationship. Some panelists feel strongly that the client leads the way, while others feel like “lead agencies” can still make the strongest end-roads. However, all agree that it depends on the project and the personalities of those involved.


Panelists include:


John Schneider, MRM Worldwide - moderator

Brian DiLorenzo, EVP, Director Integrated Production, BBDO North America

Deborah Meyer, CMO, Chrysler

Alan Schulman, Chairman, Chief Creative Officer, U.DIG > The Digital Innovations Group

Rick Webb, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, The Barbarian Group


Now for a little networking…..


The panel discusses putting egos aside to get work done.

IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg set the tone for the day—stating the program is a result of a common request of the IAB, “teach me how, teach me now.” He emphasized that interactive advertising is about the entire ecosystem—marketers, agencies and publishers—working together to drive growth.  This is a conference about ideas in the digital space.  Media is the new creative, but media is not the idea.  Media is only part of the idea.

IAB SVP of Thought Leadership & Marketing David Doty was next onstage to chair today’s event. Prior to introducing the first panel, he placed a bit of a scare into the audience by showing a recent story from Ad Age where major marketers spoke at the ANA Annual Meeting about their lack of need for agencies as they begin to work directly with the media companies.  This further emphasized why we are all here today—to learn how successful agencies are doing it right in the digital world.

Next up was our first panel, Wizards at Work - Powerful Results from Doing It Right: A Case Study in Collaboration. It featured heavyweights  from the brand marketing and agency world -

Deborah Meyer, Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Chrysler LLC
Jules Daly, President, RSA
Rick Dennis, Executive Creative Director, BBDO Detroit
Brian DiLorenzo, EVP, Director of Integrated Production, BBDO North America
Joe DiMeglio, Vice President of Engagement Management, Organic
Jason Harris, President, Mekanism

The panel took us through the genesis of the Dodge Ram Challenge campaign, largely regarded as one of the most successful collaborations given its tremendous metrics in a time when truck sales have been quite difficult.

In summary, there were five key lessons learned from this campaign

  1. Be Relentless about what you want to achieve in the brief, the target and the metrics.
  2. Involve Everyone Early and communicate openly and constantly.
  3. Challenge one another and ask questions.
  4. Don’t be afraid to seek opinion.
  5. Make Collaboration the rule, not the exception

We’ll be back with more after the next session.

Randall Rothenberg welcomes the new wizards of digital marketing.

David Doty puts a scare into the audience by bringing up the IAB Sponsored CMO Roundtable from the ANA Meeting.

Deborah Meyer talks up the success of the Dodge Ram Challenge.

The panel is all about doing it right in the digital age.


Good morning and welcome to The New Wizards of Digital Marketing, an IAB Agency Summit.  We have an exciting day lined up as we show how agencies are thriving in the digital world and what you need to do to keep pace with them.  The show is about to start with Wizards at Work - Powerful Results from Doing it Right: A Case Study in Collaboration.  Stay tuned throughout the day for highlights, photos and more!