Immortology launched last February with plans to differentiate itself from other agencies through what it calls a proprietary “brand enlightenment” process that relies on research into the client company, its competitive set and its consumers.
Now, the agency realizes that breaking through the competitive landscape requires more than “outsmarting, outdoing, outlasting” their competitors. They need to first stop the marketing madness that supports false narratives that infect too many client briefings.
This week the agency relaunches its Web site to focus on dispelling common marketing misconceptions that agency executives have too frequently heard from clients. The site debuts with their top 24 favorite cliches, including “The big idea is dead. Give me lots of small ideas integrated over lots of media,” (from a security product CMO) and “I’ve changed CMOs. I’ve changed agencies. Why’s my advertising still not working?” and “I want to build a relationship with my customers through social media content”(a bank CEO).
“I’ve been in the business for 25 years and I can’t remember a time when so many marketers have been so confused, frustrated and overwhelmed," says David Smith, creative director, Immortology. "The tsunami of new channels, techniques, technologies and agencies has upended the industry and left marketers questioning everything.”
Visitors are able to click and ask and see Immortology’s response. The asks are also ranked, through the process of tallying total click-throughs. This means the unclicked-on asks will fall off and be replaced with more popular ones. To help generate more potential misconceptions, clients and other agencies are invited to submit their own questions/shibboleths, anonymously or attributed, as they choose, here.
“Unproven bias, mistruths and damn lies about marketing and advertising have become so pervasive it’s hard for anyone but the most experienced to know what’s true," says Smith. "Combine that with a whole new world of specialist agencies, tactics, technologies and channels to reach, dissect and track consumers, and it’s no wonder 65% of marketers are so dissatisfied with their agency’s performance that they’re considering hiring a new one.”
This site serves two purposes. It helps battle against industry misperceptions. It also allows the agency to develop a stronger identity. Indeed, agency executives say their agenda is to ensure that clients understand their ethos, which includes the fact that "nobody wants a relationship with their brand, social media as brand-builder is the biggest hoax since Bigfoot, and strategy first, tactics second."
“Perception is reality," says Smith. "And the incredibly disproportionate media coverage of social media marketing, native advertising, Big Data and content creation had led many marketers to wrongly perceive that tactics, technologies and media channels are more important than strategy or big ideas.”
The Chapel Hill-based agency's roster of clients include Delsey Luggage, March Networks, Burkely Communities, WeejeeLearning, MasterCard Arnold Palmer Invitational, iJoin Solutions, Classical Elements, Armstrong Athletic Club, Kamado Grille, Governors Club, HH Super Cats, 33rd Strike Group, The Museum of Life + Science, Mark Jacobson Toyota and MercuryGate.