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3 other things Twitter is good for.

First of all, I need a good recipe for crow. When I wrote this, I was clearly, um, not completely correct. Twitter is good for things. In fact, the interwebs are et up with great uses for Twitter. But here are a few I really like: 1. Engaging interesting people. When I have some time, I like to peruse our newest followers, pick out a particularly interesting one, and engage them about what they are up to. Like, last week, I (we) had a really fun conversation with a musician from Hawaii, about concept albums, choral music, loop boxes, and…

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Countercyclical.

I don’t know about you, but we have never tracked with the rest of the economy. Like, all the way through the 90s, as the Internet bubble was blowing up, we strolled along at a little better than break even. We used to look around at the ridiculous spending, and read the press about the unprecedented wealth development, and wonder where all this new wealth was, because it certainly wasn’t falling into our pockets. In the late 90s and early ots, we had friends who were making wheelbarrows full of money doing branding for high-end real estate developments up in…

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Reason 2: Why clients overpay—they outsmart themselves.

I used to work on a national business-to-business account with my old pal, Frank. Frank was a nice guy, smart marketing thinker, great sales force motivator. But he liked to think of himself as a wheeler-dealer. He liked to be the straw that stirred the drink. So, even though his account was not that large, he always had a primary agency of record relationship, a graphic design firm relationship, a couple of freelance relationships, a couple of printer relationships, and a couple of photographer relationships. He thought he was going to work everyone against everyone else and end up with…

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Reason A: Why clients overpay—they don’t know what they don’t know.

I used to have a friend named Mark. Mark was a band leader for a national talk show house band, a touring musician, and a session singer in Los Angeles and New York. I had worked with Mark on a commercial music project in Los Angeles. I thought he was really good. Then, by coincidence, I was working with a music house in New York, and we needed a male backup singer. They called “this guy” they knew. And a few minutes later, who shows up, but my old pal Mark from Los Angeles. We got to talking during a…

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Stock.

When I first started in advertising, the agency I worked for had a business-to-business client where everyone started out. You never had the opportunity to do portfolio work for this client. But you had a lot of opportunity to have client contact, work on a broad range of projects. I did collateral, long-form video, magazine and newspaper ads, trade show concepts, and even a radio spot or two, as well as writing a co-op program. But there was something about this client that made no sense to us youngsters. The senior folks—creative directors, senior account team, agency management—seemed to care…

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The sincerest form of flattery. Really.

The old saying is that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And that is sweet, I gotta tell ya. But as often as not, imitation is either unintended or more desperation (we gotta have something by Tuesday) than flattery. That is certainly the case when we flatter other agencies. But, the sincerest form of flattery, as I see it, is when a client goes away and then comes back. The thing about a client | agency relationship is that it starts to be like family after a while. We fall into ruts. We take each other for granted. We…

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Countdown.

I was just adding the category “Find an agency,” and going through all the posts to see which ones should apply (check it out, there are a lot of them), and I notices that we’re coming up on the first anniversary of this blog. In fact, we hit the one-year mark on May 7. Haven’t blogged as much as I expected to. But looking back, there have been some pretty good thoughts in here, if I do say so myself. 20 days and counting. Also, it’s starting to be Spring. So things are looking up around here.

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How to choose an advertising agency.

We talk about this a lot. The thing is, agencies are willing to go to great lengths to get business from clients that fit. But all too often, a new business pitch becomes a fishing expedition, in which the client doesn’t get the information they really need, yet the agencies take valuable resources away from current clients in order to impress prospective ones. Anne Peck Gibbons shot me an email today with these 21 points for choosing an agency and cultivating the relationship. I thought you might find this helpful. 1. Decide what kind of services you are looking for.…

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A better kind of RFP.

Every time I get into the middle of an RFP, I think about how unnecessarily burdensome the whole process is. It sometimes seems like the purchasing types want to make preparing and submitting the proposal a sort of right of passage by which you “earn” the business. I don’t think that’s the case, but it sometimes seems that way. It’s very common for an RFP to be 10-20 pages long, and require a proposal of that length or more. Generally, this expensive response process weeds out agencies it would be helpful for the client to hear from. I know we…

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Does great work come from a desire to do great work?

I’ve just been thinking about this. I knew a guy back in the 1980s, who talked in headlines. He thought Chiat Day was a national holiday. The guy lived to do great advertising. Problem was, he burned himself out. And in the end, he didn’t really have much of a body of work to show for it. Last I heard, he was working in a bike shop in Atlanta. Knew other people who had the “show up and do your job” approach. On any given day, you’d say they were hacks. But at the end of the game, when the…

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4 Hurdles for community bank marketers. READ BLOG >

8 Bank Marketing Priorities—in order. READ BLOG >

“What does the data say? READ BLOG >