Q: What keeps you up at night?
A: Coping with growth. We are in the right place at the right time. What used to be called digital marketing will soon be known just as marketing. Advertisers are moving to embrace it and Advertising Agencies are not doing a good job of filling their needs.
Q: Why do you think that is?
A: They have an obsolete business model. The Ad Agency was built as a production line to churn out TV spots. And the commission model was very profitable. Now they are trying to venture into areas which they don’t fully understand with a structure that was not designed for it. They don’t do it well and they certainly have not figured out how to make much money from it. Another thing that Agencies don’t know how to do is work on a per project basis. That is what we have always done and we are comfortable with it.
Q: What would your biggest frustration be?
A: While Advertisers will listen to us, they continue to view us as specialists. They don’t normally include us in strategy discussions so we are often forced to try to implement things that were not conceived with digital in mind.
Q: Who does sit at the strategy table?
A: Well, traditionally it has been the Ad Agency. I think that is a holdover from another time. Whenever I talk with my Clients and the Agency is mentioned I see a lot of eye rolls. They seem to have a major credibility issue.
Q: What do you see as your biggest opportunity?
A: We would like to be able to play in the “above the line” space. If we can offer Clients complete solutions we should be able to win the whole account and not have to work in these multi-agency projects that tend to turn into nightmares.
Q: Why is that?
A: Because all the players are vying for control of the “Idea”. Whoever owns the “Idea” leads the project.
Q: Why is it hard to play in “above the line”?
A: Good question. I am not sure I know the answer. My experience tells me that there are few people who can live function equally well in the analog and digital worlds. Having said this, it’s only a matter of time before we start having the people and the know how to do it.
Q: It looks like you are in a good position. Thanks very much for your time.
A: Thank you.