2017 Trends As Seen Through the Glue Lens

There are lots of lists out there about the marketing and advertising trends of 2017. As we hit the mid-point of the year, or at least the All-Star break, here are the trends that we, at Glue, have seen so far:

  1. Mobile-on-the-go: We’ve all heard about mobile-first, and by now, every client and agency person understands that anything digital has to be readily viewable on a smartphone. But mobile-on-the-go takes ease of scrolling, scanning, and sharing to the next level. Given today’s viewing habits, we believe that every site, digital ad, e-mail, and post should be validated from a user experience point-of-view that recognizes that the target customer is likely to be in motion.
  2. E-commerce as a key component of the marketing plan: For many of our consumer-packaged-goods clients, point-of-sale is more often an online than an offline destination. This requires agencies to create a gold standard, brand-specific e-commerce site that is continually optimized based on learnings about traffic, viewing, and conversion, and clients to partner with third-party e-commerce sites well-matched to their desired audience. As part and parcel of that, customer segmentation is at the forefront of marketing plans once again—it is just being applied in a different way.
  3. Continued blurring of the lines between PR and advertising: Digital, social media, and employee engagement are core to brand-building for almost every product and corporate effort that we are a part of. Do the tactics that go with them fall under advertising or public relations? That differs from company to company. But as shaping customer experience becomes the over-riding goal, that question matters less and less, since elimination of marketing siloes matters more and more.
  4. The need to do even more with less: This is a trend that is a perennial favorite, which is one of the reasons that we built Glue with a flat hierarchical structure—for lower overhead and greater efficiency. On the client side, this means smaller teams that are stretched thin and in need of an agency like ours that has the capabilities to be a true strategic partner. Doing more with less requires a combination of insight-based creative campaigns, which are inherently more relevant and motivating, and utterly precise tactical delivery, which leverages research and in-market learnings to find and focus on targets with the greatest potential to become loyalists.
  5. A recognition that strategic development is the wrong place to cut corners: At the beginning of our careers, at an ad agency long before Glue, when asked how they knew which campaign to recommend and which tactics to implement, the senior partners answered—“advertising is not about creating pretty pictures or developing a marketing plan that allows us to execute a lot of stuff; it’s about campaigns designed to stimulate desired actions delivered within a marketing mix built to pay out.” And over the years, it’s been demonstrated to us over and over again that without adequate time and money spent on strategic development, it’s impossible to know which campaign and set of tactics are able to meet those performance standards. So the Glue perspective—it’s better not to try.

For more examples of big-agency thinking, without the big agency, visit glueadvertising.com/#work

Happy Glue Year from a Top 20 Ad Agency

Glue has just been recognized as one of the top 20 best advertising agencies in New York. That’s 20 out of a starting field of 1,949 contenders! Yes, there are a lot of agencies for clients to choose from, especially here in the big city.
The #1 reason we were selected is a “history of delighted customers and outstanding service”. Ironically, we had our noses to the grindstone so much to meet client needs that we almost missed it. Friends in our network shared the good news with us.
In less than 3 years, Glue has met many, but not all of the goals we set from the start. Indeed, getting to where we are today has not come without a few scrapes and bruises. Despite our deep, shared experience as leaders at some of the industry’s largest shops, there were a few gaps in our expertise. For example:
  • We needed to become digital and social media experts at lightning speed. At the big shops we were never asked to work in areas outside of our sweet spots. Silos be damned: our clients needed us to be experts in every channel. We had to grow unused parts of our brains quickly to truly become a full-service agency offering research, strategy, branding, messaging, media, and creative across all print, broadcast, and digital channels.
  • Not everyone who is successful in a large agency can adjust to a model where projects are owned from end to end. We’ve had some ups and downs as we learned that lesson. Over time, we’ve had to refine our hiring and training practices.
  • Operations! We have new appreciation for the work that HR, finance, and office services departments perform at the big shops. As we are committed to keeping Glue lean, these are perhaps our greatest areas of growth! Glue leadership and staff have had an opportunity to stretch and grow by taking on a myriad of these responsibilities.
Glue has always been a different kind of agency; we really do believe that different is better. With leadership that comes from the big conglomerate agency and Fortune 100 corporate worlds, we’ve created a streamlined model that keeps what works and eliminates what doesn’t. To that end, we’ve left behind some big-agency tropes such as bloated teams, rounds of rework, strategic disconnects, and cost over-runs. 
Hallmarks of Glue are an entrepreneurial spirit, 24/7 responsiveness, and a passion for greatness, both strategically and creatively. We like that the #1 criteria for this honor is delighted customers, because just ‘happy clients’ is not enough for us. We want those who partner with us to believe that no other agency experience could compare to working with Glue.
Our secret sauce is talent that’s hand-picked by hands-on founding partners who make sure our people are not only the best in the industry, but continue to grow with us. And that at least one of us contributes to every strategic recommendation and tactical deliverable–before it goes out the door. 
We started our journey with our existing life sciences network, serving the needs of professional and managed markets clients. But given our deep consumer roots (both of us got our start in the consumer world) we have spread our wings into the CPG space, as well as some areas we never dreamed of working in.
We are truly excited by this recognition. It confirms that we are doing many of the right things, and that we should build on this momentum. For those whom we service, there is no other option. Glue is Glue because those who work here love what they do. And because we love advertising, building brands, and giving clients our all every day. That is who we are. Thank you for this recognition that Glue standards are not the norm. 
But wait. There’s more! If you haven’t seen it, please take a moment to click through to our first animation of the year. It’s our way of inviting you to join us in 2017. (If you haven’t already.)
For more examples of big-agency thinking, without the big agency, visit glueadvertising.com/#work