Advertising Age: What can agencies learn from
the venture-capital industry?
Nick Pahade: Agencies need to be able to move
faster, be willing to take chances, not be afraid of failure and to
Investment could be buying some of these startups, but is also
being a filter and figuring out who is the right partner for our
clients among all the me-toos that come up in the industry. The
issue, though, is how to create business models that last longer
than a three-year exit strategy.
Ad Age : Specifically how do you encourage that
sort of risk-taking for big brands?
Mr. Pahade: An example would be some of the
work that we did with Dr Pepper and the
mobile startup Kiip. It was an early-stage company and trying to
engage with a pretty established brand, but sometimes you don't
need a case study to validate a good idea.
When you look at the notion of rewarding gamers for achieving
milestones, that 's brilliant, so we created a program for Dr.
Pepper earlier this year. About one-third of gamers overall
redeemed the rewards, and that 's a 30% higher redemption rate than
other mobile gaming programs, and we are featuring the work center
stage in Cannes.
Ad Age : What tools could the next generation
of buyers and planners build into their jobs based on how Silicon
Mr. Pahade: To use their playbook as a way to
validate businesses as fully and comprehensively as possible, and
not just their media strategies.
As an agency, there are a lot of things we can impact for
brands. We can deliver better outcomes through allocating more to
branded entertainment, as an example, and these are challenging
things that buyers and planners need to get their heads around. The
other is audience-based buying and how real-time platforms play a
significant role, and that 's only going to increase. What I don't
like is you might be thinking about short-term methods as the best
mechanism for brands.
Ad Age : What did your experience working at
digital startups and technology companies teach you that 's useful
for your job now?
Mr. Pahade: On a personal level in my past
jobs, it was very frustrating at times to actually get media
supervisors to return my calls and sometimes meetings would be
rescheduled three times. Then the meeting happened and the person
you were supposed to meet with doesn't show up and brings someone
with no background instead. Given that I have spent time on both
sides, that was something that did annoy me and I made it well
Now, I tell people, if you are going to take the time to set up
a meeting, then show up. And if something happens ahead of time,
let them know.
The companies you're meeting with are looking for opportunities
and you never know if one will hit or not and you'll want to be a
part of it. Along those lines, someone I was connected with on
LinkedIn in real estate asked me to interview a friend of his. It
wasn't connected to media, but that doesn't mean I have to hit
delete. You can address it, and say "Sorry, I don't have the time,
but if something comes up I can forward it." He said "Thank you at
least for responding." And at times in our business sometimes it's