The Agency is Dead. Long Live the Agency!

An agency, in the oldest commercial form of the word, is a company that takes action on behalf of another company. In the marketing world, it's a company that provides marketing, branding, and/or design products. It's to be distinguished from consulting companies that provide services. An agency, then, is supposed to be an extension of a company. It starts with a company's goals and then acts as an extension of that company to provide products that support those goals. The agency in this form has been around some 50 years or so. And the current question is "Does this approach make sense anymore?"

Rethinking the Traditional Linear Revision Process

Every design-oriented work seems to follow the same process: create the work, present, revise. My question today is whether this is the best approach. Using this process, by the time the work is presented, it's usually pretty finished. Thus, the revise step seems difficult and seems to wrench the project off-track. What's more, even if you cycle through this process several times, in the hopes of getting better results, you are just repeating the same problems. Is there a better approach?

Branding and Human Cognition

This post will discuss something that is at the heart of everything we do as human beings. It also shows why we have marketing and branding companies at all. Finally, it shows why I love this business so much. We are essentializing beings. That is, our way of knowing the world tends heavily towards looking for the essential, the typical, and the regular. We tend to see the general, the core, the one single "thing" that summarizes, encapsulates, or explains what we're looking at. And this is the core thought behind the importance of branding.

Always Outsource Marketing. Never Sales. (Part 2)

Last time, we talked about whether you should outsouce marketing. We concluded that it's better to have a truly outside perspective on your company. But what about sales? I think of marketing as fundamentally "understanding your company" and then, of course, communicating about it. I think of sales as fundamentally "being your company". Just as it's not possible to know yourself fully, it's not possible for someone else to be you fully. And this is why outsourced sales efforts always feel, well, outsourced.

Always Outsource Marketing. Never Sales.

It's one of those difficult questions, isn't it? What should we outsouce? To start, I'm 1990's old-school: outsource what's not your core competency. So, to be more specific, the questions is, is marketing a core competency? is sales?

New Ways of Working as an Agency

The traditional agency often gets a bad reputation. From difficult to work with to expensive, many clients dread hiring a marketing, design, or technology agency to help them. Why is this?

How to Find Interested Potential Customers

It's long been known that search engines are useful for finding qualified traffic for your site. What's new is how important this is for B2B companies. According to, 95.5% of B2B purchases use a search engine while making their decision.
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