My team at Deep Focus has put together a fantastic and insightful look at the year ahead in digital and social media.
Take a look. Lots of good stuff in there.
You may have caught the news this morning, but in case you haven’t, here it is, and I’m very excited to give it to you.
Deep Focus has joined forces with Engine as Engine USA’s first agency in the US. We’re going to be building something amazing together, keeping digital at the head — and heart — of a marketing organization that was actually built in this decade to reach consumers in the way they are actually behaving.
I’m honored to be working with (no fewer than) three legends of the advertising business: Peter Scott (Engine UK), Martin Puris (Engine USA), and John Bernbach (Engine USA) to keep Deep Focus forging the future of innovation and engagement marketing. These guys have seen enough to know just how broken the business has become. We all arrived at the same solution independently, and now we’re doing something about it. Heck, Engine UK has been doing it for several years now, and it’s been nothing short of amazing.
I’ll remain as CEO of Deep Focus — our work is just getting started, after all. This is an opportunity to get better. Stronger. Faster. And with relationships that will mean wonderful things for our clients, and access to resources that will mean wonderful things for the team at Deep Focus.
It’s a step towards building the agencies of the future today. It may sound cliche, but it’s true. The stars are aligned. The path is being paved — we know because we are paving it. The funny thing is that where we’re going, we don’t need roads (h/t Doc Brown). This is the continuation of something amazing.
Deep Focus will continue to be a force. Now we’ve just got some force behind us. (ed. note: the force has always been strong with us.)
Steven Johnson has written an amazing book called Where Good Ideas Come From. Read it. In it, he talks about how innovation springs from the “adjacent possible”, and how the boundaries of possibility grow as we explore them. This is Deep Focus’ “adjacent possible”, and a door that we’re opening that we believe will take us to great new heights — and other doors.
Stay tuned for more great Deep Focus news in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, we’ll be busy kicking ass. This isn’t an exit, it’s a grand freaking entrance, and we can’t wait to show you what we’ve got up our sleeves.
Personally, I wanted to just extend a special thanks to all the people that make Deep Focus tick, because you ARE Deep Focus, and you’re the best in this (or any other) business. I’ve never worked with a team that cared more, that was more dedicated, or had such strong conviction. That’s our special sauce, and the game that we will keep bringing each and every day.
Whew. Big day. Big future.
Last week, I spoke at MediaPost’s OMMA: Social on the topic of using social media to build an audience and drive engagement with content, brands, and between consumers. Here’s the full video in unedited glory:
Thanks to MediaBistro and AgencySpy for letting me talk about the advertising and marketing opportunities that Location-Based Services (like Foursquare, and Gowalla) are bringing to light, and for the opportunity to tell the world a little bit more about GEOFocus, our location-based marketing practice.
Check out coverage of the piece (and hear it, if you’d like) at AgencySpy here.
Or, you could just grab a listen right here:
Thanks also to BBC World News America for having me in their segment on Foursquare (along with one of their founders, Dennis Crowley) which you can watch here (I wish I could embed it).
The news is out there. We have just unwrapped our latest creation, GEOFocus, a unique marketing practice devoted to location-based marketing. This has been in development for nearly a year, and we’ve been hard at work making partnerships and technologies happen both in front of, and behind, the scenes.
We believe that usage of location-based applications and platforms are about to reach a mass that is critical enough to make a real difference to brands that we presently work with (like Microsoft’s Bing, Diageo, Weight Watchers, and many others) and brands that we are looking forward to working with (CPG, automotive, retail). We believe that ‘checking in’ and ‘badges’ are just the beginning. The sharing of real-time location-rich information by tens of millions is not far away, and we’ve spent the last year preparing for it. We’ve been tinkering with APIs. We’ve been evaluating usage patterns. We’ve been understanding the impact game dynamics have had on location-based technology’s growth. We’ve been deepening relationships with the companies at the cutting-edge of this technology and driving consumer adoption.
We also believe that the way to make it all work for brands at scale is to apply a mix of creatively applied technology, locally relevant media planning & buying, value-adding brand integration, socially-aware communications, and real-world activation through web, mobile, and other device platforms. Done right, we can use connectivity to move people to physical locations, and get them to actively and passively create content that helps others do the same. Imagine mobilizing groups of people to converge at a retailer for an event, and them rebroadcasting their every move. Or directing people to where the best price on an item might be nearby. Or launching loyalty programs that take CRM to the next level by rewarding repeat visits, purchases, and recommendations. Or bringing a brand closer to what is really important to real-world communities. It’s all possible by bridging ‘virtuaphysical’ information gaps that prevent brands from making the two worlds work with one another, and we’re making it our responsibility to figure it all out.
Having this as an important discipline at Deep Focus (with a real organizational structure) is mandatory if we expect to be the leading engagement (and therefore, social media) agency [note: check out my column on the engagement ad economy over at Forbes here]. And that’s the plan.
If you’re a geo-technology company, a mobile technology facilitating connections and transactions, or any other potential partner looking to learn more about us or show us what you’ve got, tell us more at geo[at]deep-focus[dot]net.
If you’re a brand looking to see what location-based marketing can do for you, feel free to drop me (ian[at]deep-focus[dot]net) or Michael Chin (mchin[at]deep-focus[dot]net) a line.
In the meantime, stay tuned as we launch several programs with GEOFocus’ fingerprints all over them.
And as always, I welcome discussion in the comments.
I’m getting progressively more excited about my panel with Rob Norman (CEO, Group M), Nick Denton (Gawker), and Joe Marchese (Social Vibe) tomorrow evening at 6:30 (details here).
I realized that all of my thoughts on the media business can be summed up in one clip. Watch it. And let your mind be blown.
I’ll be speaking at AlwaysOn’s OnMedia conference here in NYC at 11:45am on February 3 alongside our wonderful client at Diageo, Kristin Ganong, VP, Digital Strategy and Relationship Marketing in a session titled: The New Madison-Avenue Campaign: Agencies & Brands Offer an Insider Look at Successful Partnerships.
The speaker line-up at the event is shaping up nicely featuring:
…and many others.
And just for being a loyal reader of this here blog, AlwaysOn has extended you a 50% discount (as my guest). And I’d love to see you there.
As we get all of our job listings consolidated, I thought I’d jump the gun and let you know that Deep Focus is hiring! We’re currently looking for:
If you are freaking awesome, and you want to join a team that is the stuff of legend, with clients that you’ll actually like, send your resume to jobs(at)deep-focus(dot)net. We want to meet you.
This post will be updated with a link with actual job postings when available.
It’s taking the web by storm. Seriously. Our latest effort for AMC and their hit series MAD MEN, MAD MEN YOURSELF is an application that lets you design your own MAD MEN character (with help from our friend, artist Dynamoe). You can create a Twitter avatar, iPhone and desktop wallpaper and more. Here’s me at Sterling Cooper.
What are you waiting for? Click here to create yours!