Discoveries are often made by multiple people, but we tend to only celebrate one of those folks.
“…the science of association is the mother science; the progress of all the others depends on the progress of that one.”
—Alexis de Tocqueville
We have to start somewhere so let’s start with where we are, you and I, reading these words on a screen, staring into our orisons of…
All you do, every day, is make decisions.
At work, you might decide to spend time on problem A instead of problem B. You might decide to use this product strategy over that product strategy. You might decide to place pixels here, not there.
But how do you make those…
I’ve worked for some of the largest publishers.
I’ve labored for some of the most successful brands.
I’ve done my share of work for creative agencies.
And after all this time, I’ve realized there’s one thing all of them have in common: hoo boy, none of them can finish a…
The only way to get attention is to tell stories.
And while there are many different ways to express a story, there are only two business cases: Public Relations and Business Development.
PR is things you do to get noticed.
BD is things you do to get business.
Most observers would suggest that agencies are rewarded for winning awards for their creativity.
An agency is a business, a business requires revenue, and awards bring clients—which provide revenue.
But agencies aren’t rewarded for winning awards for their creativity. Agencies are rewarded for making the best decisions about being creative.
It’s not the best of times.
It’s not the worst of times.
But it’s definitely the changiest of times.
Everywhere you look, there’s disruption. Tumult. Eye-widening new shit:
A riotous kudzu of sponcon.
That’s all new.
Then also: marketing automation, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, attribution modeling.
This client had a beautiful web site. That beautiful web site had been designed by a renowned design agency. And on that beautiful web site the client published articles that were well-reported and infographics that were quite attractive.
From the outside, everything looked professional. Healthy. Successful.
But the client had…
Whenever we’re searching for a creative answer to a business problem, we begin with a simple rubric:
Right Ideas > Good Ideas
This is straightforward enough.
Everybody likes good ideas.
Everybody has good ideas.
Everybody (usually) recognizes good ideas.
But the definition of “good” is a bit wishy-washy. A bit…
It’s just not a settled issue who, exactly, is the patient.
Agencies think the brand is the patient. The brand has a problem. The brand doesn’t know what to think. The brand needs advice. The brand, the creatives think, is on the couch.
But of course, creatives need brands, too.