Forgive the self-promotional tone of this, but I have a story to tell about where I work.
In January of 2007, Todd Spencer was named successor to Dave Wilkins as CEO of Doe Anderson. Spencer, who still hasn’t turned 40, worked his way up from an account manager (I’ll go out on a limb and report junior account manager) to president and chief executive officer of the company over the last 15 years or so. His marketing acumen is why. The guy is just brilliant. And I’m not saying that because he’s my boss. (Okay, maybe a little bit.)
As Todd took over the controls of the agency officially in the summer, he set in motion a process of self-discovery and assessment here that led Doe Anderson to approach its business differently. Ultimately, this process has led us to the following conclusions:
- Consumers are savvy to what agencies and brands are up to. Overwhelmed by mass advertising, people are less responsive to traditional marketing but happy to accept brand endorsements from friends.
- Word-of-mouth is more than 60 times more effective than traditional advertising. (According to Advertising Age, AdWeek and the Word-Of-Mouth Marketing Association.)
- Traditional advertising is also not cost-efficient. You spend lots of money to expose lots of people but reach a select few that will buy your product.
- Building brand enthusiasts turns the traditional advertising cost model on its head. Spending less money to reach those most enthusiastic about your brand produces a multiplier effect in which those brand enthusiasts spread the word about you.
I’ll explain more soon about what we believe brand enthusiasm to be, but for a 93-year-old advertising agency to come to those conclusions, you know something different is brewing.
And yet, the thinking isn’t altogether new. Until about 10 years ago, the logo for Doe Anderson was an acorn. And there was a story behind it.
“Mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow.”
From our “The Acorn Story” found in the bottom tab of our newly-redesigned website:
There are no shortcuts in growing a brand. Cracking open an acorn doesn’t give you an oak tree. And cracking one clever ad campaign doesn’t make a strong brand. It takes seasons of growth.
You can’t grow a tree from the top down, nor a brand. Only by starting at the grass roots can real growth begin. That’s why having a word-of-mouth marketing program is so important, and so effective.
We’ve re-branded ourselves, both in logo and spirit. We’ve gone back to a new, old look at Doe-Anderson. We have a new, old philosophy to go with the logo. It’s not about reaching a lot in hopes of a little. It’s reaching a little with eyes on a lot.
We have a system to take brands on the journey to build brand enthusiasts. And it doesn’t require us to be your agency of record to do so. Sure, we can handle above-the-line work, but our strategic thinking and expertise in creating passionate fans of your brand that lead to long-term growth is what makes us different.
And, I’d like to think my social media thinking adds a social computing element to the mix you’d be hard pressed to find at many agencies. Social media from a marketing perspective is rooted in grass roots advertising. It involves providing people the tools to become enthusiastic about your brand. At least Doe put a link to little ole me on the new website. Oh, pshaw.
I’m proud to work at Doe-Anderson. I’m proud to work for Todd Spencer. We aren’t always right and we don’t win every pitch. But we have a proven track record of creating communities of passionate consumers and connecting brands with people and vice-versa.
You can learn more about us at DoeAnderson.com or by searching for “brand enthusiasm.”
Thank you for the momentary lapse of self-effacement. You may now return to your regularly scheduled, non-self-promotional blog posts.