When I say “AD”, what do you think of?

I’m guessing that you immediately go to advertising…watching an ad.

Today, when I talk A & D, I’m thinking more in terms of Analytics and Data, two critical elements to the survival of marketers and their agency counterparts.

If you don’t have a strong marketing partner in your agency that can help you sort out consumer data to formulate smart, well-intentioned, and strategically sound insights, then you are going to find yourself in a tough position going forward.

We just picked up an agency client on the other side of our business that is part of one of the largest data and technology providers in the world.  This gives them an enormous advantage over many of the agencies they compete against.


I know this first-hand as about a year ago, we ran a search for a Food Company in Chicago and the winning agency was also a part of this firm’s agency roster and the client was captivated by the things that this agency could do to help them market smarter than they ever had in the past.

So while a good deal of the ownership of making smart business decisions needs to come from inside your own four walls of your company, you owe it to yourself to make sure you’re partnered with an agency that can bring smart thinking along for the ride as well.

Creativity that manifests itself into smart ideas and engaging content will always be the lifeblood of a great agency and there will always be a need for agencies to fulfill this want.  But simply “doing” ads isn’t the solution anymore.

We tell our marketing agency clients and all the thousands of agencies we communicate with every week to be a “doer” and not just a “taker” when in a client relationship.  And to think of the relationship, not as a creative assignment, but a business building assignment..because this is what their clients need…a “partner” and not a “player” as we like to say.

So if you’re agency isn’t operating at this level right now, push them to explore the possibilities of what the AD of today should really look like.

It’s not what you see on TV, it’s what sits behind it that will make the biggest difference in the end.