Clients in the Wild: dude. be nice

dude. be nice, who strive to create what they call "Conscious Culture," is a blast to work with.

Their mission is "to inspire people to treat themselves and others better" and part of the way they do that, is to partner with schools and other not-for-profits.  

Anyway, it's one thing to know that intellectually, and it's another to actually see one of their products "in the wild," as we did today on Cape Cod playing mini-golf.  Good show!

(and thank you to the kind gentleman who let a stranger take his picture)

Dude be nice advertising agency Mason Interactive

Changes to Gainful Employment laws affecting our business.

The Education Department plans to eliminate regulations forcing for-profit colleges to prove that they provide gainful employment to the students they enroll.

As someone who makes his living (in part) from advertising For-Profit Colleges, I  have mixed feelings about this.  The roll-back will most-likely result in my clients doing more advertising, which is good for me.

And yes, I think personally that past Presidential Administrations over-regulated.  Yes, I get that colleges are businesses, and businesses should operate as a free market.  Yes I understand that nobody is making anybody enroll in these classes. 

But the loans people take out to attend these colleges, are backed by the tax-payer.  In effect, the tax-paying public is subsidizing the few for-profit colleges that can compete at scale.  So on that end, I think that rolling back these regulations is a bad idea.

On the other hand, nobody every asked whether my Ivy League Art Degree was likely to result in me being gainfully employed.  And in fact I drove a cab for a few years to make ends meet, because it was the best job I could find.

Bad Targeting

bad targeting on twitter from monster

Our job is to be an ally for our clients.  We can be tactical/executional allies (Dear Mason, please update these 6,000 links by end of day) we can be Strategic allies (Hey Mason, we want to increase Back Friday sales by 3X over last year - let's align on a plan to show the board) and we can be both.  I think we offer more use as strategic partners than as execution-based allies, but that's a discussion for another day.

This Monster ad, above, fails on both levels*. 

Tactically/Executionally,  this is really bad targeting.  There's plenty in my twitter feed to suggest that I might open a record store, or run for city council, or open a bar, or book concerts at small punk clubs, but nothing to suggest that I might become a limo dispatchure**

Strategically it's bad because it will not bring them more money.  This is a wasted effort in man-hours, media spend, and reporting time.

I'd expect any client we did this for, to call me angrily ASAP.

* FYI, we work with a competitor of Monster's.

** I drove a yellow cab here in NYC after college, and am in no way above driving for a living then or now.  I'm just not a good demographic fit for this ad.

Van de Velde Quarterly Business Review

We try, and do not always succeed, to have high-level Quarterly Business Reviews with our clients.  Sometimes the client doesn't have time, or we delay it, but we really shouldn't.  QBR's (Quarterly Business Reviews) can be super valuable for all.

Today's QBR was with Van de Velde, who we've worked with for a while now.

Adrian, Vivian, Caroline and I were joined by Candace Jordan (our Google Relationship Manager, who nicely left the Googleplex to see us in-office) while we talked over the Q2 challenges, and how these challenges inform Q4 strategy.

The value here was in aligning growth expectations with historical trends, and I found it very helpful.  If your agency isn't giving QBR's ask them to.  Or if you don't find the QBR valuable, tell your agency what would be valuable, instead.

Mason Interactive Van de Velde Quarterly Business Review

Mission Statement

I think it's key that everyone on a team have a common goal.  

When our company was smaller, and there were five of us in one room, there was much less need to formalize our mission.  Now that we're bigger - and growing even bigger - we think it's important to formalize it.

So, Mason Interactive's mission Statement is: Be an ally for our clients to grow their business.  That's it.  Simple.  We succeed together, or not at all.

Our brand pillars are:

  1. Transparency: Total access to costs, process, and team.  You will never hear us say "no, we can't give you that data."
  2. 100% alignment on goals: The more we know about your goals, the more we will succeed.
  3. Treat other as we’d like to be treated: This sounds simple, but it's a great rule for life.
  4. Frictionless: We strive to make every interaction as frictionless as possible.
  5. Evolutionary: We evolve in real time to get better every day

Every new employee, from this day on, will be asked to memorize these pillars.

Google Marketing Live at the San Jose Convention Center

We are in beautiful San Jose California for Google Marketing Live.  It's nice to see old friends & make new ones.

This awesome yearly event previews the product roadmap, lets partners like Mason stay ahead of the curve by giving us access to new Google research & marketing insights, and makes us part o leading the industry dialogue.

Last night was drinks on the terrace, and the proper show starts today.

Mason Interactive at Google Marketing Live