Between "Mad Men" and Metrics, there is Chemistry

Much has been made of two phenomena that are having an enormous effect on the state of the Marketing and Advertising industry these days. One obvious force is the economy, or more specifically the "Great Recession". The other is the wildly popular AMC program "Mad Men". Along with the Digital/Social revolution of the past few years, the state of the economy and Mad Men are shaping the way our industry thinks about itself, and how it will continue to evolve moving forward in the 21st century. Here's how.

The economy is rather obvious. In a poor economy such as the one we are currently living through, ROI becomes more important than ever before. There is less tolerance for strategic and creative risk that can't pay itself off in the short-term. On both the agency side as well as the client side, metrics are looked at under a stronger magnifying glass than ever before. And rightly so. Although it is foolish to think that the performance of a marketing campaign has never been important, the stakes right now are just too high for anyone to take them for granted. Every client relationship, project, and new business pitch are all predicated on metrics--good or bad. But some may argue that this laser-focus on metrics, while responsible, is threatening to erode the very human aspect of people working together to solve business problems and achieve common goals. Metrics are being used as the overarching criteria in new business pitches almost to the exclusion of considering how well the two parties may work together. Yes, metrics are an essential business scorecard. But how do you score intangibles like innovation, desire, vision, and the comfort in knowing that if you are awake thinking about your business at 3 am then your agency probably is too?

Enter the influence of Mad Men. Most people in or connected to our industry are at least aware of this show, which reminds us on a weekly basis what the business was like in "the golden era of advertising", and its influence is beginning to enter the conversation. Recently while at a new business meeting, Mad Men was referenced by our potential client in a positive way as how we used to conduct business based on agency-client relationships. More eyeballs and ears, and less email. People used to meet in person more often, roll up their sleeves, and allow for a very real and visceral interaction between partners. Yes, technology has allowed for the marketing industry to grow beyond the borders of big cities, but technology may have also made our industry lazy when it comes to building and maintaining client relationships. A weekly status report sent via email is not an adequate replacement for visiting a factory, or attending a planning meeting, or even going out to dinner with our clients to understand them as people--and not just the names on an invoice. What do they worry about? What are they proud of? What are their dreams and aspirations for their company, and what do they want from us in terms of support and shared risk? You can't begin to understand your client's business until you get to know your client as a person.

There is a classic United Airlines commercial from 1990 called "Speech" (view it here) where a manager addresses the staff regarding the loss of an old client because they no longer conduct business face-to-face. His answer of course is to buy his staff airline tickets to go visit their clients and return to the business of providing personal service. It was as salient a message 20 years ago as it is today.

At The Weinstein Organization we have always believed that the key to a successful business relationship is forged through chemistry. Chemistry, or how we relate to one another, is a very powerful thing. Chemistry allows for honest dialog, and trust, and team building. Chemistry puts everyone on the same page so the metrics of a marketing campaign can be understood as the performance and collaboration between client and agency. Chemistry is more than client service; it is a bond much stronger than any contract. It is the reason people want to do business together.

Since we opened our doors in 1992, our business model has been to create work that is trackable and measurable (metrics), with a strong culture of client service (not quite Mad Men, but we like to do business in-person whenever possible). Having excellent chemistry with our clients is one reason why we don't need to work under a contract or by a long-term retainer arrangement. And it is chemistry that enables us to perform so we deliver excellent results for, and with, our clients.


Our TWO Sense

(originally posted on Monday, January 11, 2010)

After 17 years of developing response marketing campaigns and brand building for our clients, The Weinstein Organization (TWO) is proud to announce a re-branding of our own. Our new web site, URL, and logo design all reflect TWO’s continuing evolution as an integrated marketing agency. But what does that mean to you: our clients, friends and business partners?

For one, it was time for a fresh new look. We streamlined our web URL (www.twochicago.com), re-fashioned our logo, and re-designed our web site with creative and navigational energies that reflect the people who work here. Our core competencies of strategy, creative, tactical implementation, measurement & response tracking, and ROI are the same as always, but they’re being acted upon with breakthrough ideas, broad perspectives, and innovative techniques.

Some of those techniques now include an expansion of our email and web site development services, Viral Video & Digital Content Production, Social & Mobile Media Marketing, and Search Engine Optimization. So while we’re knocking down the walls of familiarity, we thought it made sense to apply that spirit to our own brand as well.

Besides the vibrant, new design, you’ll find a lot of new features and communication platforms on our web site. We expanded our portfolio to display more of our work in a dynamic array. We laid out our corporate philosophy and workflow as a statement of dedication to what we do and how we do it. And we gave you a peek inside the personalities of the people who work here—so you know who we are, what makes us tick, why we love what we do.

Thanks for reading, and we look forward to interacting with you.