Agencies shift into hyperdrive for clients

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Speed has become such a competitive advantage that TFA/Leo Burnett Technology Group, Chicago, went to the trouble of giving high-velocity b-to-b marketing a name: "hypermarketing."

These days, agencies are responding to client campaign needs faster because they can. It's no secret that computers allow ads to be created more quickly than ever.

But agencies are also responding faster because they have to. Today's marketers must keep pace with the Internet's standard of instantaneous communication. As a result, many agencies have altered their cultures and streamlined their processes with greater speed in mind.

"I think it's a reflection of a really fundamental belief that speed can be a corporate asset," said Bill White, Internet group president for Andover, Mass.-based CMGI, which operates and invests in Web-based companies. "Never has that been more true than in the Internet economy."

Speed standard

CMGI selected TFA/Leo Burnett's Boston office as its agency last July in part because of the speed factor.

"They're action-oriented people," Mr. White said of TFA/Leo Burnett. "And that, as much as anything, had to do with our initial decision."

Sean Bisceglia, the agency's CEO, said TFA/Leo Burnett shortens learning curves by hiring only people with expertise in technology for positions such as account executives and art directors.

There are no rush charges for hypermarketing. It is simply the way TFA/Leo Burnett does business.

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