“Crowdsourcing on the prowl in Adland’s jungle”

Once upon a time, ad agencies waited for social media to simply, well….disappear.  This waiting period not only kept agencies from pressing ahead in areas like understanding how new technology could benefit their clients, but kept them from leading the social media charge.  As masters of their own destiny, many agencies stopped innovating.  Agencies simply held on to what they knew, making many vulnerable to extinction.

Now the world already knows about the rumblings and shakeups on Madison Avenue resulting from fermentation of the social media revolution and technological explosion that changed everything from the world’s politics to customer loyalty.  But I wonder if they really know about how some ad agencies are using innovation to become more relevant to the consumer?

Cheetah Mindset for Agencies – Agile Thinking

Agile Agency – SXSW

A very hot topic at the SXSW conference last month was a session on the agile agency.  An agile agency is one that moves quickly, like a cheetah, to grasp the latest technology and uses agile thinking to improve their clients’ business. The consensus: few agile agencies exist today.

Without a doubt, marketing and advertising is changing at a pace unequaled in history. New methods of communication, new technologies, and social media have altered the competitive landscape forever.

What’s driving this change? Challenges mount on the client-side to generate higher top-line revenue, ad agencies are faced with reduced budgets and declining demand for many traditional services.

Clients no longer have five-year marketing plans or rambling maps that lose customers along the way leaving them in the rear-view mirror.  Real-time engagement has sped the clock, demanding customer relevance by extracting data at every touch point.

There is a growing fear that ad agencies cannot keep pace with this transformation.  Yet, despite this fear, some ad agencies are transforming and have become innovative.  So here’s how a few agencies view innovation.

Michael Ancevic, (@mancevic) SVP Group Creative Director, Mullen, told Blue Focus Marketing, what makes their agency innovative:  “To me, this is what makes Mullen an innovative agency. Big ideas, hard work, never settling, openness to constant change and technologies, attracting the best talent with the best attitudes, simultaneously getting people from many different disciplines to have a singular, unrelenting and unified focus.”

In the March, 2011 issue of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in Advertising & Marketing, Mullen was listed as one of the top innovative advertising agencies.

Epirot Ludvik Nekaj , (@LPlus) Founder & CEO of Ludvik + Partners told Blue Focus Marketing what makes his agency innovative:  “What makes Ludvik + Partners so innovative is the wisdom of the selected crowd on steroids.”  He also shared his insights on creativity in an interview with Blue Focus Marketing, “Creativity Starts With Listening”.   Ludvik + Partners will be co-producing the June 7, 2011 Crowdsourcing Ad Biz event at Internet Week – NYC.  To purchase tickets to this event click here.

Billy Mitchell,(@BillyMitchell1) Partner and Senior Creative Director at MLT Creative, Atlanta based B2B agency, defined their approach to innovation:

“What drives innovation at MLT Creative is equal parts curiosity, ambition, courage and fear. To set ourselves apart from our competition we must be early adopters and creative thinkers with a new secret sauce for each client.”

Crowdsourcing Enters the Mix – The New Squirrel Fight

Last fall, Victors & Spoils posted an open brief in its online digital platform, known as “The Squirrel Fight”.  V&S offered anyone who wanted to work on the Harley-Davidson project $5,000 for an idea that H-D would buy.  This approach generated a considerable amount of interest within the advertising community.

As a result, Harley-Davidson turned to Victors & Spoils as the source of its creative marketing development.  Utilizing “crowdsourcing”, Harley-Davidson can draw on hundreds of creative ideas from brand enthusiasts around the world.

“Once change comes in, there’s no way you can stop it,” said Ignacio Oreamuno, president of crowdsourcing agency GiantHydra. “Crowdsourcing is very simple: Instead of two people working together, it could be 15 from around the world, delivering ideas for less money and much less time. You won’t be able to stop that.”  In response to the article (March 8th  Advertising Age – Crowdsourcing Evangelists to 4A’s), John Winsor Chief Executive Officer of Victors & Spoils sent this tweet:

@jtwinsor: I couldn’t agree more: ‘There’s No Way You Can Stop It’  http://bit.ly/fEUdmz #crowdsourcing

Rewriting The Rules of Madison Avenue

When  Blue Focus Marketing asked the blur Group how they viewed their agency to be innovative, they told us blur Group (@blurGroup) is rewriting the rules of Madison Avenue with its Creative Services Exchange to brief, source, match, and price the best creatives from their managed crowd of over 9,500 pros.  According to blur Group, they have been “very gentle” with traditional advertising agency networks while educating CMOs on crowdsourcing.

Lori Luechtefeld from iMedia
reported that at the iMedia Brand Summit in Austin, Texas, Claudia Batten, COO of Victors & Spoils, discussed how crowdsourcing can help marketers achieve a wider breadth of ideation.  “It’s not just telling a story,” Batten said. “It’s about telling the right story.”

The agency creative brief is known as the engine that drives development of the creative product.  It is this very tool that hundreds (or thousands) of people around the world can use to develop their creative approach to solving the client’s problems.  Without a focused creative brief, creative efforts would be off-strategy.  Therefore, a crowdsourced agency capable of developing a good brief can help focus creative development resources competing for the prize.

Blue Focus Marketing is #Crowdsourcing this question to Advertisers, Ad Agencies (Traditional, Hybrid, Digital, etc.) Creatives, Social Media Marketers, etc.

Question: Good ideas are good ideas.  If they’re focused on a tight creative brief does it matter where the creative ideas come from?

(Feel free to comment on my blog and/or tweet out your response to @ckburgess @BlueFocus360)

Cheetah – Image Source: Flickr – Scott Hanko

Squirrel Fight – Source – anonymous

[Please note: This is a re-post of an original MENG Blend Blog post.]

The following special agent video was created by the blur Group.

Brands & Ad Agencies: Join the 2.0 crowd at Blue Focus Marketing. Submit your brief….click here.

Ad Agencies:  Check out our latest new business reports. Get the tools to help you win in 2011.


Social Media Infographics

Infographics are graphic representations of information, data, processes or knowledge. The first infographic below quickly conveys and simplifies the process of developing a social media strategy blueprint for a business. Infographic #2 communicates that it is the social media strategy that lies beneath the tactics that really matters to marketers.

FREE Tip Of The Iceberg In Social Media Infographics PDF Click here.

To purchase and download Social Media Strategy Blueprint Infographic click here.

Follow us on Twitter:

Cheryl Burgess @ckburgess

Mark Burgess @mnburgess

Blue Focus Marketing @bluefocus360


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