Each year around this time I have to reflect on a milestone. September marks our founding, back in 1997. So this year is extra special as we mark our 20th anniversary. Twenty years of helping people live healthier, stand up for a cause, take action, go to college, learn more about their utility company, book a trip, experience an event, or get ideas on how to improve their home.
Back when we started, on a warm, sunny (ok, hot and humid) day in New Orleans in 1997, terms like conversion, analytics, accountability and view through weren’t part of anyone’s vernacular. We were great at deciphering audiences and getting them to take notice of a brand. But that’s as far as anyone really took advertising in New Orleans.
I guess you could say there have been some changes over the last 7,300 days. The internet has radically changed how we communicate, share and gather information. Television, and consuming programming, has evolved and now permeates more than just a “TV” set. Print has arguably taken the most hits due to the ebb of readers, forcing once popular titles to fold or send readers online. And any type of music genre you can imagine is now in your pocket 24/7, ready when you are.
And for marketers, their wants have evolved too. They don’t want to be an ad thrown out into the world. (Remember “spots and dots”?) Its now about databases, conversions and engagements. The conversation has moved from marketing is an expense to one where ROI is vital. The goal is to create an interaction and experience with audiences. Easier said than done. But isn’t that what makes it fun?
So as I look at this September, and the possibilities that lay ahead, I have to pause and reflect on the journey that got us here – the amazing team that has been a part of it, the great clients who have put their faith in our work, and the industry that we love working in. I’ve often said over the years that it’s an exciting time to be in media. I hope the industry keeps its foot on the gas for the next 20!
In recognition of two decades, we’ll spend the rest of 2017 thanking those who helped get us here, reflecting on the evolution (and future) of our industry, discussing how client-agency relations have changed (and how to make the most of them), and maybe even raise a glass as we predict what the future looks like for the marketing world.
To all our clients and partners, we say thank you for putting your trust in our work and ideas. And to our staff, both current and former, our vendors, friends and family, thank you for the support and opportunities for do great work all these years.