We’re not an agency
It would be easy to just lump us into the “Agency” category. But given the way many agencies seem to treat their clients these days, we’re not big fans of the A-word. But if you’d like, you can call us an Agency-Like Entity. That acronyms to ALE. And we are big fans of that.
We’re a little bit unusual
More than half of our people have worked on both the client side and the agency side. We believe that unless you’ve walked in the client’s shoes, you really don’t have a balanced view of business strategy, marketing strategy and creative strategy. Or productive agency/client relationships.
We think a lot like you
OK, call us crazy, but we believe we’re in the service business. You pay us and you expect a solid return on your investment. You don’t expect self-centered arrogance, creative preciousness and a lot of mystery hours on timesheets. (We know. It’s a radical concept.)
We don’t want to sell you fancy ads just because, “that would be really cool!”
Instead, we’d like to have in-depth conversations about your business, your brand and your marketing strategy. Before we dazzle you with creative tactics. Because frankly, it’s all about helping you slap the slobber out of your competition, right? Figuratively speaking, of course.
It starts with a conversation
You talk about your brand. We listen. We won’t provide any sort of diagnosis until we get smart about your business.
Together we zero in
on a focus
We help you take advantage of your core brand or product strengths, while exploiting your competitors’ weaknesses.
Then comes implementation
Collaboratively (that’s important), we develop creative ideas that actually connect with your customers. So they’re better prepared to buy what you’re selling.
finally, we measure Success
Together we set reasonable goals to help track progress and justify spending.
Q. When I first met my last ex-agency, they introduced me to an impressive senior management team with fancy titles. But after we started working together, I only saw the really inexperienced people. They were cute and all, but it sure was hard to have a meaningful conversation about my business. If I work with you, will this happen again?
Q. Ya know what really fries my bacon? My agency always shows up for meetings with a flock of people. We’re talking no more visitor parking spaces in the lot! I’m pretty sure this drives up my cost. Do you travel in packs?
A. No. We don’t.
Q. My agency tells me they’ll get me what I need “by Friday.” So why does it seem I’m always still sitting at my desk at 6 p.m. waiting for it? Do agencies operate in a different time zone?
A. Well, some do…
Q. I give my agency focused, detailed project input. They come back with loopy “creative” that is all over the place. Don’t get me wrong. Some of it is so entertaining we even giggle. But we can’t run it. Then it takes them another three rounds to get something we can even use. What’s up with that?
A. Ouch. Sounds expensive. Also sounds like they aren’t big fans of a smart creative strategy brief. We are. Which leads to creative that makes you do a lot more than giggle.
Q. What’s up with my agency’s obsessive fixation with awards? They are consumed by them. They always tell me the ideas they bring me are “award-winning.” I’ve noticed their award count is way up. But my business is flat. Thoughts?
A. Our best award is when your business is up. And you, your management and your shareholders are happy.
Q. My current agency is always telling me to follow “best practices.” They won’t do anything that doesn’t follow “best practices.” They even have a Director of “Best Practices” Compliance who sits in on every meeting. Do you folks follow “best practices?”
A. Hmmm… not sure what the “best practice” is for answering a query like this, but here’s how we see it: “Best practices” are nice. But if everybody only follows “best practices,” then everybody starts to act the same. Like lemmings. We like to look at things with an eye toward finding new and innovative ways to make you look. Not look like everybody else.
Q. My agency talks all the time. Talk, talk, talk. I can’t seem to get a word in edgewise. And when I do, they finish my sentence. Not necessarily how I would have finished the sentence, but finished nonetheless. Doesn’t that seem exceptionally rude?
A. Yes. It does. That’s why we try to be pathological listeners.
Q. OK, so my agency usually brings me one, maybe two, creative concepts. And man, do they sell that puppy hard! Sometimes it’s difficult for me to wrap my head around that one idea, but they always assure me that, “Everybody back at the agency loves it!” One time I even told that to my boss. He just glared at me. Do you guys show options?
Q. My agency is always talking about content. And then they talk about more content. Do you develop content?
A. What’s all the fuss about content? Yes, as an entity we’ve been developing content for more than 8 years. And as marketing and communications practitioners, for more than, well, lots and lots of years. So yes, we develop content.
Q. What about visual content?
A. Yes. Sometimes with words as well.
Q. My agency thinks my budget is just a “suggestion.” And they never met one they couldn’t overspend. I keep bringing this up in conversation. They just furrow their brows, nod pensively and assure me “they’ll look into it.” Can you guys stick to a budget?
Q. My agency told me my budget was too small for a big idea. Is there really a correlation?
Q. Is it just me? Aren’t agencies in the service business? So how come mine treats me like a rented mule?
A. Is this a trick question?
If you'd like to talk about your brand, give us a holler.
(If you’re a telemarketer or scam artist, please leave us your home telephone number and the time you’ll be having dinner, and we’ll call you back then.)