How to Manage Your Creative Agency for Great Digital Campaigns

Thanks to my job and my employees’ deep pockets, I’ve had the privilege of working with some of the best creative shops in the world (by the measure of the number of  Cannes Lions awards won or the fee that they get paid). The best-known agencies employ great talent, and I’m often amazed by the clever and creative ideas they bring to the table. But the truth is that creative agencies are best at telling stories, while a key factor in digital creative performance is the ability to effectively get a message across to drive a behavior change. For this reason, the best work of these highly-awarded and highly-paid creative agencies comes across a 60″ TV spot, or through an execution that requires a summary showreel to make it all come together, while the digital creatives of an integrated plan are often less than impressive. Continue reading

We should treat marketers like doctors

In spite of what your boss wants you to believe – keeping you in the office at 8 pm on a Friday before of a long weekend – marketers don’t save lives. In spite of that, they could probably benefit from a similar rigor to the one put in place when pursuing the medical career.

Having worked in marketing for many years, I’ve always been fascinated by the variety of people that call themselves marketers. Marketing – like medicine – is an inclusive profession and the are many fields. But in the same way that there is a big difference between an ophthalmologist and a podologist (and you wouldn’t ask the latter to treat a cataract), there is a huge difference between a brand manager and an email marketing expert.

The more worrying part about it is that anyone can call himself a marketer with no specific training, skills, or experience. Having organized a brand event, managed a mailing list, or run a couple of AdWords campaigns, doesn’t make someone a marketing expert, more than putting together the yearly budget for your department makes you a finance expert.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if every single day the ads you saw on TV were as good as the ones during the Super Bowl? It would be a win for the advertisers, the network, and the consumers. I believe that with the right education, mentorship, and career opportunities it could be possible.

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Late-stage startups should part ways with their growth hacker

Before I even get into the details of what I want to write about, let me set the record straight: growth hackers can often be instrumental in the success of an early-stage startup, and their skill set is undeniably valuable. Finding a great growth hacker for your new business could be the key to make it to Round A.

Also, marketing is not advertising. Advertising is placing a paid message on a media channel, marketing is the discipline of making your product, service, or company something that your target audience cannot live without. Marketing nowadays lives in the center of the Venn-diagram intersection between art and science, data and creativity.

Now that that’s out of the way, we can focus on what I want to talk about: although “growth hacker” is the hottest title in the startup world nowadays, it’s important to understand why this role is only relevant during the early life of a business, and late-stage startups need a Growth Team made of subject matter experts, that include a seasoned Marketing professional.

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The Advertising value-exchange

When talking about the advertising value-exchange, people often think about the commercial relationship between the advertisers, publishers, vendors, and the many players in the marketing and media space. But what often gets overlooked in this equation is the most critical player of all: the consumer.

The most significant exchange in the advertising world happens between the advertiser that promotes an ad and the user that consumes that content.The most significant exchange in the advertising world happens between the advertiser that promotes an ad and the user that consumes that content. I’ve already written about ways to get the right message, in front of the right consumers, at the right time, but in this post, I want to discuss the reason why the consumer should pay attention to the message in the first place.

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Surviving Innovation

Throughout my professional career, innovation has always been the focus of the environment around me. Although it can often be an abused term, this proximity to groups aspiring to be innovative taught me a lot about this elusive concept. Recently, I started reflecting on some commonalities that I encountered when dealing with innovative companies, products, and teams, and I thought it could be interesting sharing them in a post.

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