What you need to know about working with a full-service agency.

Working with a full service agency brings a lot of benefits to clients.

Working with a full-service agency brings a lot of benefits to clients.

The advertising industry has evolved since the days of the Mad Men. Full-service agencies have given way to specialty shops. These shops usually focus on one marketing tactic — PR, SEO, website design or maybe inbound marketing. And they tend to concentrate on only one or two industries.

I heard this line over and over at a recent conference:Read full post...


Millennials make perfect marketers

Inbound 2014 inbound marketing conference

10,000 marketers from all over the world attended Inbound 2014 in Boston.

I spent all of last week in Boston at Inbound 2014. The conference was full of ridiculously smart speakers — Martha Stewart, Malcolm Gladwell and Simon Sinek were all wonderful keynotes. It was impossible to leave a session without being fired up. But I don’t want to go on about how awesome every session was (I’m sure a few other fellow attendees will do that), or how strongly I believe inbound/content marketing is the way to go (that’ll be a separate post), or even how great the beers and bars in Beantown are. I really want to comment on some interesting things I noticed about the people.  Read full post...

10 marketing tactics to cut right now.

Are you spreading your marketing dollars too thin?

Are you spreading your marketing dollars too thin?

Each year it seems that marketing budgets get smaller. But your boss wants a higher return on everything you do, right? You have to be careful with your budget — and show how your marketing dollars lead directly to an increase in company revenue.

As a marketer, you may feel overwhelmed staying on top of all the new tricks of the trade and figuring out if they’re even relevant for your business. Read full post...


Philly businesses take notice of ab+c

How does an ad agency not become the shoemaker’s child?

Lightning in a Bottle Competition
By doing its own advertising and marketing. As a 43-year-old agency that expanded into the city of Philadelphia — known for cheesesteaks, relentless sports fans and a statue of Rocky at the steps of the Art Museum — ab+c wanted to be noticed. And kick-ass print ads alone weren’t gonna cut it. Giving back to the community in some way seemed like a bright idea. So we came up with a way to help a local business grow, which in turn would help the community grow: a competition — just like the Hunger Games — to find a great business with an innovative idea. The reward? A year’s worth of free marketing services. (OK, it was nothing like the Hunger Games. That would’ve gotten us noticed for all the wrong reasons.)

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Strategic marketing: to plan or not to plan?

Marketing - Goal Plan Strategy

Have goals — and make them SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely.

I’m a gym rat. I love lifting weights, yoga, you name it. The days when I leave feeling less than exhausted, I realize it’s because I didn’t have a plan walking into the gym. So I always try to enter the gym with a specific goal — is it a cardio day or a weight day? What muscle groups am I going to work on? Am I going to use heavy weights with limited reps or just the opposite? With a plan in mind, I start seeing results after a few weeks. If I don’t, I know I need to change something.

The same idea holds true in business. For example, at ab+c, we just finished reworking our sales and marketing plan for 2014, and we learned a lot. First, we looked at this past year — what worked, what didn’t, what can we add to our marketing mix, how did our online data analytics look, etc. Then we gathered all our department heads together and had a brainstorming lunch to decide where we needed to head in 2014. As a result, we re-aimed our focus at a national and regional level, and plotted out the tactics to reach our goals.

Don’t have a marketing plan yet? Don’t fret — here is an easy way to get a plan together.Read full post...