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Career Advice from the Pros

What forms can internet marketing take besides banner ads?

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Anne Melanson: I have a personal point of view about a lot of what we see on the Internet now, and that is that I think so much of what has been developed on the Internet so far was driven by the technical expertise, and I just see a tremendous opportunity for people coming in from the creative side who can bring to that technical expertise the communications skills that are needed. I mean, think about the frustration that you have when you click onto a site and it's hard to get around, it's not intuitive, it's not pretty. That's because techies, they do a great job, but they're not the communicators and they're not the people who are going to make it visually arresting and visually attractive. So, I think what all of our agencies are looking to do is to partner with those technical companies or to have, as part of our own organizations, the technical end of it, the back end, so that we can offer a full service to the client. So, there are a lot of iterations and there are a lot of kinds of partnerships that agencies can do with the technical clients, and more and more you're finding… I just saw that an agency recently partnered with Sun Microsystems, and clearly Sun has decided that in some of their applications they need these communication skills that they don't have in house. So I think you'll see lots of opportunities for that. So, it's really the blending. It's really being able to understand the technical part but being able to get people through it in a very easily understood and communicative way.
Rene Bruce: Our interactive division is structured much the way our main agency is, which is there are account managers, creatives, media. So, they'll need a lot of the same skills that they would need in the main agency. They need to understand client relationships. The web sites need to factor into the overall marketing plan, so they have to understand strategies as well. So, that's the way we're structured right now. It's really evolving everyday. It's kind of exciting.
Angel Rivera: We just launched a new company called SixtyFootSpider to complement other digital brands under the True North umbrella such as Modem Media. R/GA Interactive, Bozell Silicon Valley and Stein Rogan & Partners. These digital marketing communication companies don't just build web sties and create banner ads, they deliver online and offline interactive solutions with data-driven planning and measurement. So, they're really doing the consulting behind the work, not just "here's the creative." For example, we work on the Air Force account. When you enter the Air Force web site, what happens? Do I stay long? Why do I stay long? Getting that kind of information and feeding it back to the markets is very important, much more important now than just attracting someone to your web site. The closure, the interactive, the one-to-one discussion with a potential customer is important.
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Steve Norcia: This is a very, very hot area of advertising. You have here the biggest agencies in the world, including DDB, which is owned by Omnicom, which is like True North or one of the holding companies. We have companies called Razorfish, you know, Organic, agency.com, DDB Digital. There's a lot of these agencies within agencies that are all devoted to the web, and that's where all of the growth is coming, that's where all of the excitement is coming. For those of you who are interested in it, and have a technology avocation, it's a tremendous area for growth and it's probably not to the point yet, although it's getting there pretty soon, it's not to the point yet that you have all of the barriers to entry as you would in the traditional advertising environment. It's very exciting. A lot of times it's not perfect because they're growing and they're organizing and they're changing and they're moving space every day because they're getting bigger. A lot of people aren't very organized. They're very entrepreneurial. But I find that if I have an opportunity to spend time with the interactive people or with interactive accounts, it's very, very stimulating and very exciting.
Patty Enright: I would just add one more point to that, which is really how Anne opened today to the first question, I guess, which is some of the clients today come to some of the larger agencies, as we're representing today, for really a holistic view. So, a client, for example, I'll just use Coca-Cola, could come to a particular agency and say, I kind of want everything you offer. I want you to do my general advertising, sort of that television stuff. I want you to do my print campaign. I want you to do my web site. I want you to do my direct marketing, and I want you also to provide me with insights on the purchasers. They may come to a large agency because we can offer all of those services, as you've mentioned, through some of these divisions or units that may have our same brand name or not. But why they're coming to us particularly when they want our services from our different companies within our main entry is because they want a total branded program for the customer. So, they want Coca-Cola to look the same around the world. They want Coca-Cola to be the same and have the same red in its promotional pieces as it does in its television commercials. Or make a total switch to not using the logo in red at all but carry the message through all of its mediums and reflect it in their web site as well. In some cases a client may choose to go to the person, the individual company that's going to provide the best service or whatever is going to answer their marketing need at that time. So, it's a whole other reason to consider.
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