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Use Your Agency Advantage to Stay on Top

The old adage goes, the cobblers’ wives go barefoot and doctors’ wives die young. Could the same be said about advertising agencies? As we advertisers consult our clients on moving into the insanely social, increasingly mobile and highly impulsive world of the new consumer, we may be forgetting to keep a clean home ourselves.

All too often we find ourselves wrapped up in the clients’ work that we allow ourselves to easily forget that we have some of the most amazing assets to produce even more amazing content.

With copywriters, program developers, artists, A/V production teams and more, creative agencies could stand to increase their efforts.

A few of my tips include:

  • It doesn’t fall on the shoulders of one department or one person
    • Too often it appears that one person controls the message. But if you include the entire team, then one doesn’t get bogged down, but even better it demonstrates many unique voices. Consider the voice of a graphic designer, this can appeal to new recruits who are entering the world out of college.
  • Discover what makes the community tick
    • Figure out if you community is primarily graphic designers, copywriters or whatever… but discover who they are so that you produce content that consistently creates engagement with the content.
  • Make yourself agile
    • Being able to react to the internet, its many memes and its real-time awesomeness takes a gift. Yes, many people try, but there are those who truly stand out because they react quite effectively. Watching trends, identifying stickiness (what will sizzle vs. what will fizzle) and managing it all with swift reaction can be the difference between engagement and getting lost in the noise. Consider how Harvards baseball team made a Gangnam Style video and then think about the 300th creation, the baseball team received a lot of buzz.
  • Lead
    • Be brave and produce things that will make people step back and enjoy.
  • Have fun!
    • Have fun with the the entire idea. Too many people act as if this stuff require pressed suits and tons of prep time. The problem is that the web moves faster than that, you have to be able to move swiftly. So enjoy the fun and produce great content to extend your own agency’s brand name.


There  are some agencies that seem to some great things both big and small. Moosylvania in St. Louis does an incredible job using their blog to give their view on the newest tech, industry news and more. I actually read it often!

Innovative Thunder created the pay with a tweet. My own agency, Wieden + Kennedy did a very fun piece of content on Friday.

None of this costs of a ton of money and all agencies can do their form of this type of content that builds conversation on the social web. Whether it be useful, funny or education, it all can serve a purpose and help your agency continue to stay social amongst your followers and community.

Danny Schotthoefer is the social strategist on the Old Spice team at Wieden+Kennedy. He is also a former TEDx event organizer and an avid Oregon Ducks and Portland Trailblazers fan. You can also find him running via Nike+ and cycling via Strava – he is highly social. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn. Forewarning: He Talks A LOT!

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