Marketing drives everything

Quick Answers
I’ve been burned by agencies before – how can I prevent that in the future?

Know – and clearly communicate upfront – three things to any agency and you’ll almost never have a problem. Those things are:

Precisely what you want to have happen...
Exactly when you need to have that happen...
How much it’s worth to you.
Give them as many details as you can about all of the above. Don’t expect them to be mind readers; if you have a very specific idea or approach in mind, tell them.

Then if they still fail, they aren’t the right folks for you.

I’m thinking of having a variety of agencies compete for my business by doing an identical project. Would you be interested?

No. A better idea is to go spend a few hours at each agency you’re considering. Don’t let them show you any work, or ideas they have for you. Instead, take the time to get to know the people who you’ll be working with – not the “new business“ team – but the folks you’ll be dealing with on a daily basis.

Imagine spending long hours with them. Tossing ideas around with them. Arguing at times with them. Depending on them. Trusting them to spend your time and money wisely.

Then make your decision.

How do you work with clients outside Philadelphia?

All but one of our clients are outside Philadelphia. One of our first clients, who stayed with us for 12 uninterrupted years, in fact, was located in Colorado. Our largest current client – who has now been with us for over 20 uninterrupted years – is over 100 miles away.

The way we deal with these remote clients is no different than the way we deal with closer-in clients – we maintain a lot of contact, largely by phone and e-mail, supplemented by Fedex®, with fewer “in-person” visits than you might imagine. We only visit in person when it’s absolutely necessary – usually for planning or strategy, and always at their invitation – and are not big on wasting their time with live “show & tell” sessions. The vast majority of them prefer to see our work electronically; it saves us and them valuable time.

Do I have to buy everything – like media and printing – through you?

No. A few of our clients place their own media, or have other media-buying groups do it for them, for example. Many handle their own printing. We can handle both services for our clients, too, and we do for most of them, but it’s certainly not a requirement.

We're objective oriented. We like to know where you want to end up before we start creating things to get you there.

In short, we believe in marketing. Marketing objectives drive strategies; strategies drive tactics; successful execution of strategies and tactics drives achievement of the measurable objectives.

Marketing drives everything here. It frames the projects we do, puts them in perspective, tells us what we have to accomplish and what we have to overcome, and how our work will be objectively measured.

Because we are so marketing driven, it also makes us much easier for you to work with us. We understand that appropriate marketing makes achieving sales objectives more realistic. We understand various distribution strategies – and the roles and motivations of diverse channel partners. We understand how salespeople operate – whether they are on the floor at an office superstore, or employing a consultative sales model in the boardroom of a Fortune 100 firm – and what they believe they want and need to do their jobs better.

In short, we know what's required – at every level – to successfully push a product or service into distribution and pull it through the selected channels, which could be independent distributors, reseller partners, retailers, or your own sales force.

All that helps us to be good marketers of our clients' products and services. Our creative work always supports and enhances the achievement of their marketing objectives, first and foremost.

That clients like the way our work looks, as well as it works for them, is a bonus for us.