Changing the Agency Business Model: Introducing Flexible Pricing


At MANA, we’re committed to change in an industry where the business model has remained the same for at least the past 75 years. As part of Baird’s CMC, we’re already active members of a global organization of communications management consultants who offer international organizations a depth of experience and a range of expertise that our competitors simply cannot match. Now, along with our Baird’s CMC colleagues and fellow shareholders Hyderus, we’re launching a new flexible pricing program. Mark Chataway, head of Hyderus, Co-Chairman of Baird’s CMC and my good friend for decades, made a great video to launch our new initiative. Check it out, and be sure to catch MANA’s very own commercial jetliner at the end of the video.

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Business Storytelling: The Disruptors Shall Inherit the Earth

Disruptive_innovationAs a start up company, I’m always very interested in learning from others and doing things better, especially if it involves changing the business model. Disruptive innovation is all around us.

To me, disruption is beautiful. New companies, with entirely new innovations, have been upending industries throughout the history of the industrialized world. Automobiles put an  end to the horse and buggy industry and changed the world’s infrastructure forever. Computers gave birth to the information age and eventually put more processing power in people’s pockets than existed in the Apollo 13’s guidance computer. Apple reinvented the way music is purchased and listened to, and changed the entire music industry along the way.

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We Want Outside the Box Thinking. Please Fill in the Boxes on this RFP

Old-robotAgency RFPs are a Waste of Time. Here’s Why.

I think and write a lot about the power of disruptive change. And I am often amazed at how steeped in tradition my own industry can be. Strategic marketers talk a good game about disruption as a force for good in any given industry. Yet clients and agencies are still using outdated processes and practices that go back 50 years or more. Case in point: the dreaded Request for Proposal. When I talk about changing the agency business model, getting rid of the RFP is high on the list.

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Capacity Building and Training: Why it Matters

Wizard_of_OzThere’s a wonderful scene in the movie classic “The Wizard of Oz” where Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Lion, the Tin Man and Toto finally get in to see the Wizard. They are terrified. Fire shoots up into the air, smoke billows, and a booming voice asks them why they dare to approach the great Wizard of Oz. Then Toto pulls back a curtain, revealing that the Wizard is, in fact, just a normal man, creating an illusion.

When I think about capacity building and training, this scene comes to mind. Capacity building in communications is simply about helping clients better understand a strategic challenge, and helping them to train their internal teams to take on communications issues that they don’t currently have the expertise or the resources to manage. Continue reading

Changing the Agency Business Model-Continued


I’m often asked to speak and write about issues impacting the agency business model. The fact is, most communications companies in the agency business are operating with a business model that dates back to the 1920’s. While there have been incredible changes in both technology and media, the way that agencies are structured, and the way that many of them do business, hasn’t really seen much in the way of innovation. Continue reading

The 1920’s Called: They Want Their Agency Business Model Back


We’ve talked here before about the need for change in the agency business. BrainLeaf, which provides cloud-based software that helps agencies and freelancers in digital communications and app development build, scope and manage projects, recently invited me to guest blog about the agency business and the opportunities that exist for transformational change. Continue reading