I recently published an article in Chief Marketer about driving conversions through increasing the relevancy of content entitled, Drive Conversions by Making Interactions More Relevant
Posts Tagged ‘Interactive Marketing’
Tags: CMS, Conversion, Customer Experience, CXM, Dynamic Publishing, integrated marketing, Interactive Marketing, personalization, relevancy, ROI, SDL
Tags: B2B marketing, Closed Loop Marketing, CMO, CRM, Customer Experience, Customer Lifecycle, Customer Relationship Management, digital agency, integrated marketing, Interactive Marketing, Marketing Automation, marketing technology, Metrics, ROI
After nearly 5 years, I’m leaving Ascentium and starting my own consultancy, Rainier Advisory Group specializing in helping companies navigate the complexity of the marketing technology landscape.
I’m very proud of the success I’ve had growing Ascentium from a small technology consulting firm into the 5th largest independent digital agency according to AdAge and being called out with the highest customer satisfaction scores in the country by Forrester Research in their 2009 Forrester Wave® of Top Interactive Agencies.
Now is the time to move on and focus on my real passion of mastering cross-channel customer experiences through the integration of the technologies that are helping transform the marketing landscape from search to analytics, lead management to CRM and everything in between. With the maturation of cloud-based services, today’s marketer is faced with a myriad of choices and almost no one to help navigate not only the applications and services themselves, but how they fit into an integrated cross-channel strategy, Forrester calls Digital Brand Orchestration.
I believe that my combination of executive experience on the client side for Lufthansa, T-Mobile and Gateway, agency consulting experience working with companies like Microsoft, Intel, Lexus, and Ford as well as start ups like Marketfish, Quasar, and Surveyanalytics as well as my thought leadership and speaking engagements for organizations like Forrester Research, the DMA, Digital Hollywood, Mirren New Business, The Integrated Marketing Conference and MarketMix, position me well to provide the strategic consulting services needed by leading companies, marketing service providers and advertising agencies.
Please feel free to reach out to me if you’d like more information or if you know of any firm in need of my services.
I will also be devoting time to my commitment to our industry in my capacity as past president of the Seattle Direct Marketing Association, incoming president of the Pacific Northwest Business Marketing Association chapter as well as lecturing on digital marketing at local institutes of higher learning.
Most of my contact information remains unchanged, with the exception that I can now be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com . Today I have also launched my new company website, www.rainierag.com . Farewells are always sad, but new beginnings are even more exciting. I continue to wish everyone at Ascentium continued success and I look forward to sharing new stories with each of you in the near future.
Tags: #ForresterResearch, Adage, Blast Radius, CMO, Customer Experience, digital agency, IBM Interactive, iCrossing, integrated marketing, Interactive Marketing, marketing2.0, Publicis, Razorfish, Sapient, Sapient Nitro, web2.0
AdAge magazine just released its 2009 annual agency report today, ranking all the top agencies by revenue and grouping them according to what may be dying distinctions like advertising, direct, media, digital, search and PR. Overall agency revenues were down 7.5%, “the sharpest revenue decline in the 66 years Ad Age has produced the Agency Report.” Although digital agencies overall faired a bit better, statistically gaining 0.5% over the previous year.
But what I find more interesting than anything else is that digital agencies, once considered the mavericks, the outsiders are now about as mainstream as possible if for no other reason than almost all of the top twenty agencies are owned by much larger agency holding companies. The true independents are becoming rare indeed. It started a couple of years ago with Publicis gobbling up Digitas. They have since acquired Razorfish as well. Blast Radius is a part of WPP and the #3 digital agency is IBM Interactive and we know nothing speaks independent more than being a part of IBM.
In fact of the top 20 digital agencies, only 5 are not owned by a much larger company. And of those, Sapient has merged with Nitro, Rosetta bought Brulant and iCrossing appears to become a part of the Hearst empire.
What does all this mean for independent agencies, for marketers and for consumers? Well, sitting in one of the top five remaining independent agencies, Ascentium, makes me feel like I’ve got a bull’s-eye on my back and I’m waiting to hear the M&A types pounding at my door. And perhaps that might not be a bad thing from a financial point of view.
Although for many us who have done both the big agency and the startup, we know why we went for the small option. It’s more fun, we get to work the way we want to and it frees up our creative juices. Frankly we produce better work because we feel like it. That’s the reason a lot of corporate marketers are turning more and more to independent and specialty shops; that’s where the ideas, the new technologies and the partnership mentality come from.
And finally, what about the consumer, do they care where marketing campaigns and experiences come from? Maybe not, but according to the latest from Forrester, watching advertising ranks lowest among consumers as a measure of influence, purchase intent and loyalty. And it’s the big guys who still make most of their money from these forms of traditional push advertising. So go figure.
I’m proud that Ascentium has made it to the #5 position among independent digital agencies this year. And I hope that demonstrates both our preference for going it alone and for our clients’ preference to work with an agency who considers their clients their partners, not their holding company.
Tags: Adweek, Butler Shine Stern and Partners, chief client officer, Cisco, Closed Loop Marketing, CMO, Customer Experience, Customer Relationship Management, digital agency, experience agency, integrated marketing, Interactive Marketing, marketing technology, marketing2.0, microsoft, Precor, Razorfish, Samsonite, T-Mobile, web2.0
I am proud to welcome the newest addition to Ascentium’s ranks, David Blum who has joined in the newly created role of chief client officer. David has joined Ascentium after leading interactive for Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners, the Bay area advertising agency, named small agency of the decade by Adweek.
Not only does David bring tremendous talent, energy and experience to the job, but what is more important is what it represents to an agency like Ascentium.
Over the last few years, Ascentium has been steadily building a reputation as one of the nation’s leading digital agencies, producing great work for client’s like Microsoft, T-Mobile, Cisco, Precor and Samsonite. But being the best digital agency is only a milestone on the road to helping redefine what agencies should look like in the future.
At our core, we are an experience agency. We meld passion for big ideas with an obsession for performance that produces engaging experiences, not just on the Web, but across multiple platforms, channels and devices. And to do that, we need to take from what traditional advertising agencies do best; own the “big idea” and manage account relationships and fuse that together with what digital agencies are known for; innovation leveraging emerging channels, technologies and customer behavior.
David Blum’s arrival at Ascentium will help us do that. His experience at BSSP helping to win major AOR accounts like Priceline, Allstate, Greyhound, Columbia Sportswear, Chipotle, Epson and Radio Shack coupled with the work he did managing Razorfish’s web development group in Seattle. Give testimony to Ascentium’s commitment to going beyond digital and leading the evolution into a true Experience agency.
Check out the article in today’s Adweek online about David, www.adweek.com.