Why It Doesn’t Matter Why Your Agency Wasn’t Selected.


Sure it does in the short term but it doesn’t mean much in the long term if your agency is committed to your vision.

I have conducted a fair amount of agencies searches over the years. Jenny Craig, Jacuzzi, Toyo Tires and Villeroy & Boch to name a few.

I first met a search consultant when I worked on a major national brand that spent mid eight figures. I was a fairly young lad. I got a lot older fast.

I liked the search consultant. I thought he had a great day job.
He told me that his world was 50% hunting and 50% working. I have learned from that because I have worked for myself for over a decade.

I have always believed that is how agency principals should also live their days.
We lost the business but I never forgot the lesson. Continue reading


My Intern is Smarter than Me!


There is no doubt about that. I have used paid interns since the time I started my own business in 2001. I had worked successfully in the corporate world and then I started Blank and Associates. I had business cards quickly but I didn’t know much beyond that on how to create a job every day for myself.

So I went back to where I started. My youth. I had nothing to lose then. And then I connected with youth to help me. I hired my first paid intern. He has been in the workforce for a decade now and I pitched him this week on a project.

I have continued to use paid interns since then. Continue reading

What I Have Learned By Going to Conferences.


One of my goals this year was to go to more Conferences. It was the concept of, If you want to be a big fish act like a big fish. I mentioned it in a blog called How Agencies Can Move Up the Food Chain.

Now I put a lot of skin in the game making this decision because I have to personally pay for all the expenses. I did get a free pass to one of the Conferences but I also had the brutal shock of a hotel bill in NYC.

I attended two conferences this week. One was a Branding Conference in New York and the other one was Interactive Day in San Diego which is certainly closer to home.

The Branding Conference certainly had a lot of heavy hitters on the panels and attending. There were representatives from major brands in financial services, consumer products, and a myriad of other industries. The companies that are on the NYSE. You know the type. The speakers worked at all the big places with all the impressive titles. Some of them remain firmly entrenched in the Old Normal. Continue reading

Hank Blank’s Predictions for 2015


So this is the time of the year for predictions. Here are some behaviors and trends I see coming or going or maybe some things I want to occur. We all want to create our own versions of the future.

Productive people will increase the amount of silence in their lives. I hear, read, and see little smatterings of this in life and in the media.

Messages about no cell phones or photos are increasingly more prevalent on the bottom of menus. I was having lunch at a difficult to get a reservation restaurant the other day and the recently seated customer next to me asked the waiter about their Wi-Fi. The waiter turned and responded with a certain air of smugness that we don’t have Wi-Fi sir. I wish he would have added Monsieur.

The waiter was only one of a number of No Wi-Fi snobs I have met in the past year. Continue reading

How Advertising Agencies Can Keep Their Clients.


I like talking to clients. I wrote a blog recently called What I Have Learned by Talking to Clients in the past.

I was having a coffee with a client friend the other morning and he shared his observations on his agency experiences.

He said that when the relationship starts it is all good. Lots of attention and ideation. “I could feel the love.” He shared that after a while the agency seems to drift into a different place.  They spend less time reaching out with new ideas as if they were settling into their retainer hours and gave him that much attention and not an hour more.

He said that the relationship changed to a point where the agency just focused on what he asked them to do.

Then he said something that stayed with me. Continue reading

Are Agencies Arrogant?


I had lunch the other day with a new client friend. Somebody who worked for a company whose logo would appear in every agency’s New Business deck or lobby wall if they had their business.

Look who we work for it would imply. We must be smart because successful companies work with us.

But sometimes agencies miss the chance to add those logos and show their smarts.

I was giving my client friend some advice on an agency search that she was conducting internally.

I would have loved to help her but that is how it goes some time.

She shared that she found some agencies very arrogant during her outreach to them. Continue reading

News From the New Normal: #1


In case you missed it the New Normal came from Convergence.  Like many changes do. The first iPhone was launched on June 29th, 2007, Lehman Brothers collapsed on September 15th, 2008 and then social media platforms became mainstream. Convergence indeed.

The world changed forever.

Don’t believe it. Ask your kids if they would prefer to have a job or start their own business? Continue reading