A perk of membership in the 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies) is the Forum Program. Built around the heads of 10-18 agencies from different parts of the U.S., the Forum allows for the sharing of knowledge and the discussion of ways to elevate the quality of services an advertising agency provides its clients.
As a member of the 4A’s I’ve actively participated in my Forum since the spring of 2008. Each agency in our Forum takes turns hosting the meeting in their hometown, with meetings taking place every Spring and Fall. This Spring we had the pleasure of being hosted by The Johnson Group in Chattanooga, TN, which was an amazing experience as it was my first opportunity to spend time in the city. Chattanooga is beautiful, vibrant and full of talented, creative people, proven by Ad Age naming local Humanaut as Small Agency Of The Year in 2016. If you ever get the chance to visit that neck of the woods, jump on the opportunity, because the food, people and landscape are second to none.
In addition to seeing the city, my Forum spent the better part of 2 days hard at work. The best way to describe Forum is a roundtable discussion on the pressing ad agency topics of the day – talent, analytics, trends in consumer behavior, best practices on running an ad agency, providing first class services to clients, managing overhead, and dealing with the ever-changing landscape of running a business. A hot topic always involves which software systems are best for managing multi-media intensive ad campaigns while providing the most in-depth reporting. Another is from which project management systems are agency teams getting the best dividends. Some of the systems discussed were Harris’ Medialine, Strata, Advantage, #Slack and Workamajig. There are countless others that agencies rely on daily. So what systems do you use and how do you like the experience?
Think of it as a board of advisors for your agency. For me its therapy. An opportunity to focus on building and growing first in class services, ways to empower my talented and knowledgeable team. At the same time there is a healthy dose of sharing how others can elevate their team’s ability to produce measurable value to their clients’ marketing efforts.
Unfortunately, the meeting flies by too quickly. Given the amount of information discussed within that time, I have a lengthy list of ways to continue the growth of the skills and talent of the Morgan & Co team. It’s going to be a busy and exciting next few months of execution! Feel free to give us a shout or pop-in for a visit to see what we’re up to.