This is a post about advertising agencies and the ongoing move to digital marketing and as a result, the need for more nerds. In this case, I mean a single-minded person that is highly focused on a technical field, like mobile advertising; programmatic media, database marketing or, well you get it. Stick with me on this one.
There is some personal history here and yes, the name dropping is important. I am trying to make a point and can use all the help I can get.
I “discovered” digital marketing in 1994 when I came home to the U.S.A. from Saatchi London where no one had a computer on their desk. I returned to work as Business Development Director at Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising New York and as it turned out, it was my 16th and last year at the agency.
My eventual move out of advertising was stimulated by my discovery of and fascination with the new world of interactivity via CD-ROMs and a life-changing conversation I had with Ted Leonsis who, at that time ran Florida’s Redgate Communications. Redgate was very early digital agency founded in 1987. I found Ted through the 4A’s Michael Donahue another early digerati (you could say this word then without cringing). Using my Saatchi credential, I met with Ted and he told me two very interesting things. One, his company had just been bought by America Online and two, this advice,
“Get the hell out of advertising, it is going to die. Move into digital.”
Well, after the meeting I did two things – one a mistake and the other, the smart one: I listened.
The mistake was that I didn’t buy America Online stock (its stock rose 600 percent in 1998). Had I, I might be sorta near (well, kinda near) where Ted wound up. Today, he is the owner of Washington D.C.’s Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. [Read more…] about Advertising Agencies, Nerds And Digital Marketing