Their work, commitment, sacrifice, and friendship mean the world to me. The book also has been inspired by countless people, some of whom I know personally, and others whose work, writings, and teachings I have admired through the years. It would be impossible to recognize them all, but here are some of the entrepreneurs, professionals, authors, and teachers who have influenced my life, business, and writing.
We are on the cusp of a truly transformational period in the marketing services industry. The old guard, rooted in tradition and resistant to change, will fall and new leaders will emerge. The industry will be redefined by marketing agencies that are more nimble, tech-savvy, open, and collaborative. Digital services will be ingrained into the DNA of every agency and blended with traditional methods to execute integrated campaigns.
Agencies will create and nurture diverse recurring revenue streams through a mix of services, consulting, training, education, publishing, and software sales. They will use efficiency and productivity, not billable hours, as the essential drivers of profitability. Their value and success will be measured by outcomes, not outputs.
Their strength and stability will depend on their willingness to be in a perpetual state of change, and an ability to execute and adapt faster than competitors. The depth, versatility, and drive of their talent will be the cornerstones of organizations that pursue a higher purpose. This is the future of the marketing services industry. A future defined and led by underdogs and innovators. You have the opportunity to be at the forefront of the transformation.
In February 2004, I came to a life-changing realization—the marketing agency model was broken and had been for years. Although I was only four years into my career at that time, a number of contributing factors had become obvious to me
Service and quality are needed to produce measurable results for clients. There was little differentiation between firms and a lack of innovation within the industry. Training and education were stagnant.
Firms and universities were teaching the same systems, principles, and services that had been applied for decades. Request for proposals (RFPs) were a waste of time and energy, for both clients and agencies.
Standard measurement systems, such as press clippings, impressions, reach, ad equivalency, and PR value were meaningless, and they had no real connection to bottom-line results. The industry was ripe for disruption