The World's Leading Indpendent Agencies 2014: Enter the creative entrepreneurs
Who understands what it takes to build modern businesses better than the people who have already done it with distinction themselves?
The two most successful companies of the 21st century are Apple and Google.
Their cultures are very different. Apple was led by a maverick genius - easy to admire, hard to emulate. Google is no less innovative but has a sharing and collaborative culture, from which we can all learn a great deal.
Both share the quality that is most essential for success in our era: curiosity. As Mori Harano puts it on page 18: they look in the dark places, not only under street lamps where it is easier to see.
Like Google and Apple, the agencies featured in this publication are led by entrepreneurs. Business people, who started creative agencies from nothing and know what it means to count every cent. But also optimists, who look for opportunities, not for obstacles.
They come from Asia, from Europe, from the Americas and from Africa. Some are small, some are large. They have different styles and personalities, but they have a lot in common too.
They are not afraid to experiment, but they look for hard evidence of business results and are ready to adjust course quickly.
They prefer to test new ideas in the real world, not in focus groups or by analysing historical data. Like Wayne Gretzky, they go where the puck is going to be, not where it is now. It's called instinct.
Like Googlers, they are polymaths. They understand the need to master new skills: blogging, social media, mobile communications. They understand that, today, the purchase decision is an ecosystem and not a straight line.
They also believe more in collaboration and devolved responsibility than in "command and control". As Alexandre Peralta says on page 19: marketing clients no longer want integrated agencies, they want integrating agencies.
Marketers sometimes complain that too few of them end up on corporate boards, let alone become chief executives.
I used to wonder why. Then I realised: many good companies steer their young marketers too narrowly into one facet of a company's business (at best, brand management; at worst, "communications" or "publicity"), whereas young finance analysts have to learn every facet of the business: marketing, production and manufacturing, sales, pricing, tax, HR, investor relations ... and the rest. The top line, the bottom line and everything in between.
You choose. Pick your agency as you pick your team, and drive them as you drive yourself.
If you are a marketer and your ambition is to build a brand, choose a traditional advertising agency.
If your ambition is to build a business, choose a creative entrepreneur.
As consumer expectations grow rapidly in China, advertising needs to change to keep pace and ensure it remains relevant and interesting.
ln order to create effective ideas for clients that will genuinely change consumers' behaviour, you have to start right from scratch.
'Concept brands' based on inspiring values, helped by agencies with broad-ranging creative skills, will usurp heavy-handed 'product brands'.
Efficient and effective advertising that resonates with consumers requires a back-to-basics approach that emphasises simple gut feelings.
Let's throw out the old, bloated methods of reaching consumers and instead dream up a damn good story that they will want to share
We are currently working in a golden age of marketing creativity - an unprecedented opportunity for us to achieve great things for our clients.
Stop falling into the ego trap and tell clients the truth, not what they want to hear - then you will be able to say that your agency is different
Welcome to the new era of marketing convergence as digital and direct interconnect to produce truly effective brand communications.
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How do you keep having sex decades after the honeymoon? Here are the secrets to achieving a long-lasting client/agency relationship.
We are seeing a new age of enlightened creativity and a holistic approach to brand communication. It's all about people, people, people.
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Next-generation campaigning according to the Hirschen Group. Or how to make and deliver clever, integrated and off-beat conversations
We have the opportunity to engage consumers like never before - by telling powerful stories and using them in powerful ways.
How we helped to create a corporate identity for Virgin, an inspirational company that has always inherently challenged the 'rules'.
New eras and consumer trends demand big changes to agency business models, technologies and talent - or you risk being left behind.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk
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