I graduated from American University in 1996 with a degree in “Interdisciplinary Studies”. Basically, I got four minors – Communication, Law, Economics and Government. We called it “CLEG” for short.
I really liked my “major”. I took interesting classes and had a lot of thoughtful political debates. But, when I was a senior, I realized I didn’t have a direction for my post-college career. In other words, I didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do when I grew up.
One of my favorite classes was about political advertising. I remember doing a faux-ad campaign for the presidential election in ’96 (Clinton vs. Dole). So, I was intrigued by the idea of working in advertising. As luck would have it, I networked my way into an entry-level job at Saatchi & Saatchi in New York City after I graduated. I was an “Assistant Account Executive” making $24,000/year. Read more…
When I was in high school, I played basketball every day. I was really skinny. I could eat whatever I wanted and I definitely did not have a healthy diet. Plus, I had a huge appetite. There were never leftovers in my house.
But, as I got older, I played less basketball and still ate the same quantity of food. The result was that I gained weight. I just started buying bigger pants and baggy shirts.
Then when my wife was pregnant with our first child, I started to gain “sympathy weight”. Meaning that I would eat more to match my wife’s pregnancy weight gain with some pounds of my own. Then my wife had the baby and the weight just melted off her. For me, it wasn’t so easy. Below you can see a picture from when I was overweight. Read more…
Sales and marketing frameworks can be useful, and there is no more commonly used framework than the traditional “sales funnel” that we all know and love. You know, the diagram where customers come into the top of the funnel, then good sales and marketing people gradually move them down until they are ready to buy.
Wouldn’t it be nice if it really worked that way? It would certainly make our jobs a lot easier.
But the reality is that there is no funnel. Sure, there’s always a beginning and an end to a customer-purchase process. Customers do eventually come out at the bottom of the “funnel.” But what they do during that journey can vary dramatically by industry, by company, by function and by individual.
I’ll give you an example: Back when I worked at AutoTrader.com, we studied car-shopping behavior. Conventional wisdom said that shoppers would start their process considering a number of cars that could meet their needs. As they got closer to a purchase, they would narrow that down to fewer and fewer cars until they settled on the one they want. Makes total sense, right? Read more…
During my career, I spent time working at agencies owned by both holding companies – Saatchi & Saatchi (Publicis), Trial DDB (Omnicom) and OMD (Omnicom). I also worked at Euro RSCG which is owned by HAVAS and Kirshenbaum, Bond & Partners owned by MDC. So, I’ve done the rounds across the various holding companies. Based on my experience working in agencies and as a client who has hired many agencies, I do not see this merger as a positive. Here are a few of the reasons why:
1) It’s not about the clients: We hire ad agencies to develop creative solutions to complex business problems. When I hire an agency, I want the team to focus on my business. I don’t want them to be distracted by holding company M&A activity that doesn’t make a difference to my business. Also, when Omnicom-Publicis talk about efficiencies that will produce $500 million in savings, that means one thing — layoffs. When advertising people are threatened by layoffs, they’ll often start talking to headhunters and looking for the next gig. As a client, having a lot of turnover on the team that manages our account is a bad thing. Read more…
But, in this day and age, customers are much less likely to sit through a full demo with a sales rep. Most want to evaluate our products on their terms. When it’s convenient for them.
Studies have shown that customers are about 70% of the way through the purchase process before they even engage with a sales rep. What are they doing during that time? They are online. Looking at our website. Reading reviews. Doing research.
So, we know it’s important to build content that lets a customer demo the product on his or her own time. The only problem is that these demos can be really boring. Most are just a slow walkthrough of the user experience with a monotone voiceover. They don’t exactly get you excited to buy the product. Read more…
Today I celebrate my 1 year anniversary at PGi. That went by pretty fast. I guess time flies when you’re having fun.
Many of you who have read my previous blogs know that I was at AutoTrader.com from 2007-2012. I had a great run there and I personally feel a lot of pride in the b2b team I helped build and the impact we made across the organization. But, after five years in the same role I was getting antsy. I was looking for the next big challenge.
I’m sure many of you can relate to what I’m saying. Studies have shown that about 30% of people leave their jobs because they are ready for new challenges and opportunities. Sometimes, to get what you want, you have to leave. And it’s not an easy thing to do, especially when you work for a good company and you’re in a good situation.