Archive for Steve Parker, Jr.

False Directions, Discouragement and Accountability

Posted by Steve Parker, Jr. on March 21st, 2012 at 11:50 am

Have you ever been told, 'there are no shortcuts to success,' 'there is no easy road,' or 'practice makes perfect'? We’ve all heard something to that effect. In fact, it may be safe to assume we have all personally dolled out that same sage advice a time or two.
Yet, when it comes to practice, many of us look for the quick fix, the easy way or expect it to just simply happen. We’re all susceptible to this way of thinking. I’ll admit it has failed me a time or two, as well. In fact, I’m still trying to decide how to drop the twenty pounds of sympathy weight I achieved from the births of my two children the last four years. I know the real answer - I just want it to be easier.
Let’s say you are a corporate CMO or VP of Brand Management or an advertising agency SVP of Accounts or Creative Director; you possess great responsibilities to move a company forward, create sales, help the brand achieve a voice and a litany of other objectives. Yet, when it comes to actually doing that, you frequently fail. Yes, that’s right - you (the one reading this), in all... Read more

Lack of Digital Strategy & Accountability is Killing Brands

Posted by Steve Parker, Jr. on March 1st, 2012 at 1:35 pm

‘Doing’ is not strategic insight. Just because something is measurable does not mean it is accountable.
If you are reading this and don’t own a smartphone, you might as well stop right now. You won’t understand nor can you be helped at this point – the technology world has passed you by. To the rest of you who have an iPhone or another ‘super’ smartphone, such as a Droid or Blackberry, read on. Many of you are probably reading this from your mobile phone as we speak. In fact, I’m doubtful you could put it down for a day or even a few hours. We have all become heavily reliant on our mobile devices – and for great reason. Mobile phones don’t just make calls anymore; they actually help us in our daily lives. In your personal life, you have bought this device so you could have the ‘Power of the Best’ – best technology, best experience, best of everything. So, why in your business life are you settling for something that only makes calls? Seriously, why have you settled for the basics, knowing very well there is something much better and much more powerful? In the business world, this mindset... Read more

Agency and Client Relationships: Fees and Services

Posted by Steve Parker, Jr. on December 30th, 2011 at 9:08 am

I previously wrote an article about the relationship between agencies and clients. In it, I gave six rules for building better agency/client relationships. It was well received by many in the industry and syndicated to a number of industry blogs; many of you asked for more. One very important subject that goes hand-in-hand with this topic is that of agency fees and services. This is a huge pain point for agencies and clients alike. So in what follows, I am going to cut to the chase and flat out tell you how you should run a fiscally responsible agency and how you, as a client, should view fees and services as part of the Statement of Work for which you hire an agency. These three topline lessons will be simple and to the point.
In general, agencies are under tremendous stress to lower fees and provide value-added services. I know this because a) I own an agency, and b) every industry peer I know speaks of this often. Recently at the iMedia Agency Aspen Summit, many agency leaders – from every major holding company to large independents and newer start-up shops – all grieved at the “well, we have to give away our... Read more

Five Meaningful Changes You Can Make in Spite of Doubt

Posted by Steve Parker, Jr. on December 20th, 2011 at 12:45 pm

This time of year is generally reserved for reflection of time passed, experiences had, people who have come into our lives and those whom have passed through. It is also a great time to celebrate what the future holds. But the future, however exciting, can be filled with angst. That said, many times in life we don’t make decisions because of doubt – it simply paralyzes us. The reality is that if you have a willingness to move forward in spite of doubt, you often should – and it is likely to reap great rewards for you.
Oftentimes I find myself struggling with the “what to change” so I can “be better” dilemma; essentially, the dreaded resolutions or reflection reality check. Over the last month, most of my thought has been focused on minimizing – basically getting rid of waste in my time and life and/or creating more with less. The result, I hope, would be more clarity and time.
Given this topic has been heavy on my mind, I have been reading a lot on the subject. One article I read in Harvard Business Review, “Five Things you Should Stop Doing in 2012” by Dorie Clark, provided some tremendous advice, and therefore I... Read more

Words Have the Power to Change Our Lives

Posted by Steve Parker, Jr. on November 11th, 2011 at 1:17 pm

A word has the power to change your life. Think about that for a moment because it is literally an Earth-moving statement – to change your life. For more than a decade, technology has brought words into our lives more than ever before. No longer are words just what we hear, write or read – they have become what we create and how we interact with the world around us.
We all grew up believing the children’s rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Yet, at a certain point, you realized that was completely untrue and that words could hurt, just as you learned Pluto was a planet but many years later find out it is just a ball of ice no longer classified as a planet. Words, my friends, change everything! Words have a dramatic effect on what we know, how we interact with people and the decisions we ultimately make. Words can influence us, inspire us or just as easily bring us to tears.
Words change our relationships, our demeanor, our entire system of beliefs, and even our businesses. Being a planet or not being a planet makes a major difference, just as... Read more