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					        8 | DMNEWS | August 23, 2010 | www.dmnews.com


                                 Editorial                             What is the agency of the future?
                                  Carol Krol
                                                                                                  Mike Osborn                                      Next is getting rid of the silos. Bring creative, analytics
                                                                                                  Managing director and founding                 and digital specialists to the table together at the outset. The
                                                                                                  partner,                                       entire team needs to understand how your clients make
                                                                                                  Catalyst                                       money. Restructure your agency, if necessary, so good ideas
                                                                                                                                                 can emanate from all levels.

        Striving for the best                                            If you Google “agency of the future,” 104 million results
                                                                       bubble up. Points of view range from completely digital, to
                                                                                                                                                   Don’t forget to free up your account leads to focus on
                                                                                                                                                 strategy. Digital campaigns are more labor-intensive and

        with direct marketing
                                                                       some combination of digital technology and social analytics               more complex. If your account leads spend half their day
                                                                       with consumer insights.                                                   managing process, they won’t have the bandwidth to focus
                                                                         So who really has it figured out? Everyone says they’re                 on optimizing results. Form a project management depart-

               s DMNews embarks on its rebranding (page 1), it         digital. But evolving into an agency of the future involves               ment to manage the process. It is all for naught if you aren’t
               is a good time to reflect on our industry.              a lot more than that. You first need to figure out what                   genuinely invested in your clients’ success. Put skin in the
                 I’ve witnessed enormous change in direct market-      you’re good at, and let go of what you’re not. Don’t try                  game, and take the time to understand their business. Visit
        ing in my 14 years covering this industry as a journalist,     to convince clients you’re an expert in branding or Web                   their factories, warehouses and stores regularly. Know their
        from my cub reporter days at Advertising Age through           analytics if you’re not. Either specialize or hire the right              customers better than they do. Clients want an agency that
        my current role as steward of the DMNews brand.                talent — no agency can do it all.                                         takes the guesswork out of marketing decisions.
          Back in the mid-90s, the promise of CRM had just               It is also critical to embed digital thinking throughout                  Finally, when necessary, bring in best-in-class partners.
        begun to percolate among direct marketers and within           your organization. Integrate digital across all platforms                 Give clients access to top-notch solutions, and then man-
        the direct agencies, which recognized the potential of an      and channels. Everyone needs to get how digital strategy                  age the partnerships. Do it right, and you’ll increase your
        automated way to manage customer relationships as part         works and how behavior in one channel impacts the other.                  business portfolio without having to acquire and integrate
        of the marketing strategy. The Web was born at that time       Otherwise, you end up with a bolted-on digital solution,                  another agency.
        too, when the Mosaic browser popularized what was then         and your clients will know it.                                            mosborn@catdir.com
        commonly called the World Wide Web.
          I remember most press releases came over the transom
        through fax machines during that time, a major advance                                           Letters From Our Readers
        over snail-mailed news releases. Quaint, eh?
          Direct mail dominated coverage of direct marketing then,     Diffusing USPS angst                            and remote US inlands for 42 or 44                  a few bad ones who slip by (no system
        with the “you may already be a winner” saga of Publish-        An August 9 Op-Ed “How to save the              cents? No one else has the means to                 is perfect), but in general, the quality
        ers Clearing House and American Family Publishers,             US Postal Service” by Craig A. Huey,            do this without much greater cost, and              of persons working for the Postal
        well-documented by those of us covering the industry. At       president of Creative Direct Marketing          to deliver every day for that low of a              Service is superior to many of those
        issue was customer deception, and in the end, customers        Group elicited numerous comments                cost. I do not think you have any idea.             who are willing to work for minimum
        won multimillions from these companies in suits brought        from readers of DMNews.com. Huey                The USPS would do just fine with rate               wages and no benefits.
        by a number of state attorneys general. AFP ultimately         argued to “end the monopoly” of                 hikes like those of UPS and FedEx.                     Please think before you advocate
        declared bankruptcy. It cast a shadow over the industry,       USPS and is in favor of deregulation                                                                turning our venerable US postal
        and it’s no wonder that the term “junk mail” has never         and privatization.                                Reader Karen Brunson also dis-                    system over to the lowest bidders.
        completely died.                                                                                               agreed with Huey:                                   The results would not be pretty.
          In 2003, the Web, e-mail and search marketing were in          Reader Robert Morris disagreed                  The responsibility for handling
        full swing. At the same time, the backlash from consum-        with Huey and wrote:         
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Description: An August 9 Op-Ed "How to save the US Postal Service" by Craig A. Huey, president of Creative Direct Marketing Group elicited numerous comments from readers of DMNews .com. Huey argued to "end the monopoly" of USPS and is in favor of deregulation and privatization.
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