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Why B2B Shouldn’t Just Mean Business as Usual

Emily Black

We all know the foundation of solid ad strategy is creating an emotional connection with your target audience – something that aligns with their personal experiences and stands out from what every other brand is saying to them. Yet when it comes…

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Sighing in the Face of Convention

Krista McCrimmon

Raise your hand if you consider “conventional” a compliment. If your hand is raised, I have a question for you: why is a Credit Analyst reading this blog post?  Listen, “conventional” isn’t a bad word. Some of the best ovens and mortgage…

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Without Strategy, We Make Wallpaper

Steve Smith

About a month ago, AdAge published an article titled, "Why Agencies are Obsessed with Pitching on Process Instead of Talent." The article talks about the dearth of intellectual capital at the modern agency that has resulted from firms, facing more…

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Navigating Scope Creep and Tough Client Conversations

Tripp Westbrook

Navigating Scope Creep and Tough Client Conversations For the advertising or marketing agency that has put in the hard work to earn a new contract with a client, these are the tough conversations. What starts out as a manageable and profitable scope

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‘Ready, Fire, Aim’ Doesn’t Make For A Strong Brand Strategy, So Why Do We Still Do It?

Allison Wong

Generic New Business Client : "Our sales aren’t on track to reach our goals for the year. We’ve got to turn this ship around…and fast. HELP!”   Advertising Brand Strategist : * Reviews client current messaging strategy + key assets shared…

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Firehouse's Take on Super Bowl Commercials

Phil Brito

One of the biggest days in advertising happened this weekend: The Super Bowl. Some people are there for the game, the teams, the celebrity appearances at the game, the eventual awards at the award shows. But we’re one of the ‘I’m just here for

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How to Find the Right Marketing Agency in 2024

Tripp Westbrook

It’s no longer enough for an agency to represent itself purely on the basis of its creative output. Clients today need to focus less on case studies and more on trust.  There are plenty of fish in the sea for clients looking to establish a…

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Creatives and AI: Can we all just get along?

Tripp Westbrook

AI isn’t the end of creativity—it’s a new chapter. The most common talking point I hear is that using AI can help us do things faster and more efficiently than before. It can write copy, make videos, create content, and more, all with just a…

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The 4 biggest lessons I learned from 30 years of marketing mistakes

Tripp Westbrook

Biased research, caving to opinions, internal fatigue, and moving on too quickly—these four mistakes in marketing, at any point in the process, will hamstring the work, derail campaigns, and strain agency/client relationships. By learning from…

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Differentiation in advertising: Easy to say, harder to do

Tripp Westbrook

As seen in Fast Company. Every chief marketing officer worth their salt knows the importance of having a brand stand apart from the competition, to be unique in the eyes of the consumer and get recognized for it. After all, isn’t that the main…

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AI: News to the World

Jason Heatherly

Sometime in the late eighties, sifting through comics, I came across an old, worn copy of   ‘Astounding Science Fiction’ circa 1950. On its cover was a robot, then-unfamiliar to me, offering a wounded man in its hand. Its eyes blank and red

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Feel Like You Have to Fool Everyone? You’re Not Alone.

Erica Baker

Sometimes I feel like I’m running a huge con. I’ve fooled everyone into thinking I’ve got my stuff together. Any minute, everyone will figure it out, and I’ll be exposed as someone who has no idea what they’re doing.  Enter imposter…

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Does your brand need a workshop? Probably.

Steve Smith

Here’s why and how to ensure it’s productive. Recently, we've been knee deep in some of my favorite work: conducting brand strategy workshops. It's not just my favorite work either; it’s been fun to see a younger strategist on my team light up

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Small is the New Big: Introducing Our Friends at Familiar Creatures

Wade Alger

I have known Justin and Dustin for years. We all cut our teeth together at The Martin Agency, and I have nothing but mad respect for them. So when they started their own agency I was fascinated by how bold and daring they were to do so. I’ve…

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Small is the New Big

Wade Alger

Think small.  What do I mean by this? I mean exactly that. Clients are looking for more transparency. Looking for more engagement on their business. And most importantly, looking at agencies to see who exactly will work on their business. Guess…

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For Restaurant Operators, Cautious Optimism is on the Menu

Steve Smith

We welcome friend and collaborator Lisa Miller as guest author. Her firm, Lisa W. Miller and Associates LLC , has been tracking COVID sentiment since March 2020 and is using data and insights to help business leaders inform their marketing and…

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Old habits are hard to break

Tripp Westbrook

It’s true for people and it’s true for brands. Every category has its habits, or conventions, that permeate the messaging consumers see every day. For instance, when was the last time you saw an ad for pizza that didn’t have a “cheese…

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Understanding the Value of a Strong Brand

Steve Smith

What’s the value of knowing who you are?  Think about it. Knowing what you’re best at, and what you should leave to others. Having a clear sense of what matters to you and behaving accordingly. Being consistent and reliable in how you show up…

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Better Together

Tripp Westbrook

Agencies and clients get the lion share of press and attention for much of the work that gets done. But at Firehouse, we know that it’s our partnerships that help us be the best version of us. We want to say thank you to these people, companies…

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Where does media planning go from here?

Jennifer VanWilder

Chances are you, like many others, had to make tough business decisions in order to navigate the changing tides caused by COVID-19. You likely had to reorganize teams, pivot production, and even pull back on advertising and marketing efforts. But as

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Four Reasons Reddit May Make Sense for Your Business

Emily Dreifuss

Love it or hate it, Reddit is a name that often generates multiple responses from advertisers and businesses alike. For some, Reddit is an opportunity to create relevance and engagement free from the over-saturation of other channels. For others, it

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Developing an Enduring Brand Positioning

Steve Smith

Does it ever pain you when you see a brand too quickly move away from a positioning they own? Every time, I am reminded that CMOs and brand managers tire of campaigns or even brand positions long before their audiences do. It’s as if marketers…

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15 Years of Facebook

Ashley Shadowens

2019 marks 15 years of Facebook. The platform has set the bar for social media experiences and even inspired a feature film - but is it moving in the right direction? Facebook’s played a large role in my life, both personally and professionally

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Driving Consumers Through the Digital Car Shopping Journey

Jesse Renna

Anyone who has ever bought a car will agree the car buying journey can be a long and arduous process. On average, consumers spend 109 days (over three months!) looking for their next vehicle. Long story short - it’s exciting, but also exhausting.…

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Measuring Brand Health: A Fresh Take

Steve Smith

Awareness used to matter. Or, more correctly, it used to matter more. When people learned about brands almost exclusively by consuming what brands told them, it was a different world. A brand was better if you’d heard of it.  A TV budget conveyed

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Authenticity Redefined

Amanda Driggers

Conferences are hit or miss for those of us in advertising and marketing. Let’s be honest we can be a cynical group. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always good to learn something new or hear a fresh perspective. But, it’s even better when you go…

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5 Considerations When Choosing a DMP

Jennifer VanWilder

Data Management Platforms (DMPs) are the current must-have for many marketers, and, with good reason, as DMPs enable using customer data to power smarter digital campaigns. But there are hundreds of DMPs in the marketing technology space and…

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A Changing Consumer and the Role of Content

Kevin Williams

Consumers now spend more time with media than ever before. But that time is fragmented, and now with a plethora of media choices available on-demand, consumers are becoming more selective about where they spend their time and are experts at avoiding

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Make Your SEM Campaign Work Harder for You

Jesse Renna

With artificial intelligence helping to create smarter and more efficient PPC campaigns, make sure your strategy evolves and that you’re seeking the right things from your SEM partner. Those of us close to the industry have heard panicked cries…

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Defeating Facebook’s Algorithm with Organic Content

Emily Dreifuss

Far too often, we hear claims that organic social on Facebook is dead. Spoiler alert: it’s not. Throughout 2018, Facebook has continuously updated their algorithm to focus more on providing content posted by friends and family and less on that…

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We’re Begging You, Stop Targeting Millennials On Social Media

Emily Dreifuss

If we had a nickel for every time we’ve heard the phrase, “we want to target millennials, ” our entire team would have retired by now. We’re begging you, please stop.   You are probably thinking, “You are overreacting. Why wouldn’t I…

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Three steps to better, more effective work

Tripp Westbrook

Some of the most expensive wallpaper in the world is advertising.  Here's how to stay out of the wallpaper business.

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The Power of Influence: Why Your Brand Should Be Doing Influencer Marketing

Steph Viands

With more than a quarter of U.S. Internet users expected to have ad blockers enabled when surfing the web in 2017 and many people passing on live TV in favor of online streaming platforms with limited ad space, like Hulu and Netflix, it can be hard…

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Social Media FOMO

Ashley Shadowens

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Pinterest, Vimeo – you know the lineup. But, just because all these social platforms exist, does your brand need to be actively using all of them? If you find yourself feeling the need to be on all…

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The Democratization of Luxury

Steve Smith

Luxury is being redefined from exclusive to experiential. While that’s not new news, it is opportunity. It means brands that don’t carry hefty price tags have the chance to deliver their own type of luxury. If you’re not marketing Hermes

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Mind the Millennial Gap

Trae Watlington

How many times has the ‘M-word’ come up lately in meetings? “We need to reach a new audience – the millennials.” “Why aren’t we getting traction with millennials?” “The millennials are the future. Find them.” These are phrases…

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Hey Siri, where's my brand?

Nichole Kirsch

Voice search now constitutes 20%+ of all searches in Google. That’s startling growth since voice search made up less than 1% of searches just last year. Voice search encompasses searches in Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana, as well as…

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Boomers: Not as cool, but their wallets rule.

Steve Smith

Okay, I get it. Millennials are the shiny new toy, and Boomers smell of yesterday’s news. After decades of chasing the Boomer, marketers are ready for something new. Over the past six months, the number of searches for “Marketing to…

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Are you innovating yourself out of business? Lessons from a C-Store visit.

Steve Smith

It happened again just this week. I was in line at a well-known convenience store when another customer mumbled an obscenity-laced complaint about the wait, then stormed out without making a purchase. Another customer followed. Then another. It…

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Three keys to getting the greatest value from your client/agency relationship

Tripp Westbrook

So your two companies have gotten married, enjoyed a lovely honeymoon of back patting and optimism but now there’s this nagging feeling that maybe you’re not on the same page. That you’re not syncing well. Or maybe your efforts just aren’t…

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State of Search 2015

David Sewell

A little rain never stops anybody, right? Well, it most certainly didn’t stop us from attending this year's great State of Search conference. The opening keynote by Rand Fishkin was the espresso shot everyone needed to start the conference. He…