Attending a New Business conference isn’t something you usually tell your loyal clients about.

But without the aid of an alias I crossed the border last week and attended Mirren Live in New York. Clearly I haven’t learned any lessons on discretion in this area, because I am now going to share my key learnings in this blog, which by my last check is read by many of our clients.

While there wasn’t a client in sight among the 300+ attendees, there were insights and inspirations that resonated so loudly with me I think they are worth sharing with all participants in my marketing ecosystem: staff, interns, suppliers, competitors, industry colleagues, clients, ex-clients, and maybe even a few future clients. While intended by the presenters as advice for agency leaders, their applicability to all marketing constituents will hopefully be apparent.

I debated long and hard whether I should attribute these ideas to their contributors and decided I would. However given certain legal trouble I am facing (just kidding), I do offer the following caveats.
1. If I misquoted you as a contributor, please forgive me, advise me, and correct me. In that order.
2. If you didn’t want your comments publicly broadcast – it’s too late for that.
3. If you wish to add to your comments, then please fill your boots and comment away.

I was mentioning to a friend the other day how I get so many comments on my blog directly by email, text, etc. Selfishly, nothing gets me more excited when I receive a WordPress notice of a comment to moderate. Yes I love having comments. Check back to my Donald Sterling blog. I even approve comments when people take a swipe at me.

Excuse the mindless segue about comments. Just don’t ignore it.

Okay here goes my version of the Mirren Mashup. Remember speakers, these aren’t direct quotes….just me paraphrasing and in some cases not so loosely interpreting.

Hiring Tip from David C. Baker of ReCourses:
If you couldn’t imagine yourself surviving a nine-hour car ride with the candidate, don’t hire them.

Hiring Tip from Alex Bogusky, FearLess Cottage:
Obnoxious people need not apply.

Client Loyalty Regret from Bogusky:
Dumping Mini for VW (while at Crispin Porter + Bogusky)…will haunt me for a lifetime.

Tim Sullivan of Sales Performance International on Agency Pitches:
The majority of agency pitches do not provide a value proposition to the prospect. What is the transactional value? What is the collaboration value? What is the financial value?

Lead Generation Advice from Peter Caputa of HubSpot:
Utilize multiple landing pages to generate more leads for your inbound programs.

WONGDOODY’s Ben Wiener various tips for Agencies:
Don’t wait for the client to ask before you bring them ideas… Have the balls to say no… Don’t forget who you are… My worst day in Advertising is a better day at the office than my wife’s best (who is a lawyer)… Killed doesn’t mean dead… Pitch less.

Mark Harrison on Mirren:
Pitch less was a big theme of the conference. I wonder how clients feel about that?

Sullivan on 2nd Place Finishers in Pitches:
Finishing second is finishing last. The true second place finisher is the first agency to withdraw from the pitch. It’s a poker analogy. When you fold, you cut your losses.

Future of Advertising Comment from Pete Stein, Razorfish:
Less Campaigns and more Real Time Marketing.

Sarah Hofstetter, 360i on Social Strategy:
Develop a database/relationship with the top 10,000 (yes 10,000) online influencers.

Hofstetter on consumers:
They are human beings.

Hoftstetter on the Oreo Super Bowl Moment:
That wasn’t a fluke. It was a case of a brand understanding its DNA and jumping on a moment.

DDB Worldwide’s Mark O’Brien on client-agency fit:
We are a great agency for a client that has tons of ongoing work that needs to be outputted with efficiency. If you’re doing one spot a year, we may not be the right shop for you.

O’Brien on small agencies:
You have advantages over big agencies. Use them.

Mark Harrison on speaking at Mirren:
I would love to speak next year. (Think this will work?!)

Hofstetter on clients assigning agencies based on marketing channels:
You are better off assigning different parts of the marketing ecosystem and having an agency attack that in an integrated manner.

Laura Maness of Havas on Brainstorming:
You need to transition people into the room. They need to be able to switch from their current distractions to the task at hand. Interview them 2-3 days prior to get the juices flowing. Do Projective Exercises when they are in the room to create moments of reflection. Most of all ensure discipline in the brainstorming process.

Values Redefined by Bogusky:
Your values don’t have to be nice values, just have some.

Client Admiration Comment by Edward Cotton of Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners:
Ugly clients can be great for an agency…. You don’t have to have a BEER client on your roster.

Cotton on Being Persistent:
Just because a client turns you down, doesn’t mean you should stop pursuing them. The Saatchi brothers built an empire on not taking NO for an answer.

We had a private investigator on retainer to get us scoops on prospective clients for pitches.

Hopefully my clients feel I wasn’t in the Big Apple trying to cheat on them, but rather working hard to make my agency a better contributor to their business.

This is where I make a kissy face.

One thought on “Mirren Mashup

  1. Hey Mark. I rarely remember what I say when I’m presenting, so I won’t be able to tell you if you quoted me accurately. 🙂 But, the quote you attributed to me is accurate re: landing pages.

    In general, I hope the big take-away everyone took from my talk is that the more content you publish, the more traffic and leads and sales you will get. If everyone had room in their head for two take-aways from my talk, the second would be: follow a repeatable internet marketing process that will help you generate more traffic, leads and sales month over month.

    Thanks for writing up the other quotes. My speaking slot was the last day, so I unfortunately spent way too much time at the conference tweaking my deck and rehearsing instead of attending all of the sessions. I’m writing a recap of the conference. Will link to yours.

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