Madison Avenue is a hotbed for creativity and innovation. The evolving nature of the digital world means new opportunities and platforms, and also means that agencies are constantly pushing the envelope to meet new client needs, develop new campaigns, and rise to new challenges from global competition, the economy, and the like. The constant change that agencies are moving with is what has propelled the creative industry forward all these years.
The Way I See It
- I see more agencies successfully melding creative and data to meet the needs of clients and deliver the type of advertising and marketing campaigns that build upon the new trove of consumer data to frame brands in a positive light.
- I see competition in all industry segments constantly growing, with new brands launching all over the world, and each agency being forced to develop creative that both trumps competition in its segment and also stands out for consumers in terms of advertising.
The Way The Industry Sees It
I sat down with Peter Krivkovich, Chairman and CEO of integrated marketing communications agency Cramer-Krasselt, to discuss the industry and the state of today’s agency.
Cramer-Krasselt’s business model is built on the idea of integration with a constantly growing range of disciplines, from creative to public relations to CRM. How do you think this notion of integration plays into your work?
Integration is a highly over-claimed word. The question is not whether everyone has access to those various disciplines – the better question is how does everyone have access to them. If they are run as separate profit centers, separate profit and loss statements (P&L) with the people heading them up having separate budgets or separate revenue-based bonuses, then it can’t possibly result in sustained unbiased contributions to a marketing solution. The former is more akin to the old corporate world conglomerates. And they didn’t work out that well – few synergies beyond a revenue pile-on. Integration plays into our work from inception. Because we are outcome – rather than output – driven, because we have no profit-center walls between people, we can have a diverse group of thinkers around the table minute one, with no discipline politics agenda biasing a solution. It’s never about simply checking boxes – it’s all about connection points that will drive results and that require multiple disciplines in constant motion and in constant sync.
For any creative firm, there is a constant pressure to show return on investment (ROI) and to harness data to drive results. How do you think data has changed the role of advertising?
Data has certainly made us smarter about the people with whom we need to connect. If we’re smarter about them we can get closer to them and be more relevant to them. And, of course, data – big or small – helps us optimize our approach in ways we never could before. We’re much more real-time now. It’s an exciting development, and really just beginning. But like integration, it’s also a terribly over-used word – and more importantly, data is a misused one. Getting consumer information is no longer difficult, it’s prolific. Knowing which data leads to genuine actionable insights is. That’s where we concentrate our talent. Not on data compilation and output, but on what specifically will lead to an outcome for what’s next.