Two Reasons Why I’m Excited About Charlotte’s Marketing Industry

If you follow my blog, or my tweets, or have talked with me in person, then you are well aware of my criticism for the marketing industry in Charlotte. I’ve called it bland, boring, old-school, cliquish, and uncooperative.

And though I still believe some of those things, I am quite optimistic for it. Why?

1. The ideal vision of marketing and advertising still resonates.

Marketing and advertising is the way business communicates. Period. Include social media, and brands now can communicate with their loyalists and inquisitors on a very intimate level. But what is the goal for marketing and advertising? To create awareness? Improve the bottom line? To put you above your competitors? In short, those are possible answers, but not the answer most (I hope) marketing and Adpeople would give.

The goal is to start or influence an idea or movement that takes hold in a society that a brand or organization can represent.

Heavy stuff, right? Good, because it should be.

If  a brand is able to do that, then the awareness, bottom line, and positioning are all wonderful byproducts.

2. Collaboration is here in Charlotte, just with the right people

“The Age of Collaboration is here”…meaning that it got popular enough to cover it. It’s true, though. Small and medium sized agencies don’t want to hire, to build huge staffs only for the economy to bottom out “unexpectedly” and have to shrink its staff. Collaborating with other shops on a retainer or project basis is more flexible, and you may get better work out of it. The model isn’t a new one; just a holding company with a twist. I just didn’t think Charlotte had the environment.

I was wrong. Woohoo!

Meeting more marketing and adfolks in  Charlotte, I am seeing a collaborative spirit in many of them. Perhaps, early on, I was simply hanging around with the wrong crowd. This crowd however, I like. I like a lot.

So overall, like I’ve said before, Charlotte has a ton of potential. It’ll just take this collaborative, creative crowd time to help Charlotte discover a new, likable persona. But hey, with this crowd, I’m willing to wait it out.

Collaborative Agencies. Charlotte, Let’s Lock it Up

Last week, AdAge came out with an article that related that collaborative agencies- small to mid size shops that work with other small to mid size shops- is the “fourth wave of international advertising”, and because of that, Amsterdam is quickly becoming the next haven for creatives.

Amsterdam.

Now I’ve never been to Amsterdam, nor have I met any of the folks mentioned in the article, but I believe that the talent that remains in Charlotte, and the talent that remains hidden (or removed) here can compete with the agencies there.

So, my creative brethren in Crown Town, what is it going to be? Can us small, nimble agencies band together to put Charlotte on the international stage for advertising?

Are we as a group, hungry and ambitious enough to do that? I hope so. But I’m a critical idealist, so I think this is going to take some time.

The Charlotte Agency wants to be in the international conversation. We want to show the world that the creatives in Charlotte are more than a bunch of freelancers and old schoolers. If you care not to be included, then fine. We’re trying to streamline our relationships to those communicators and advertisers that are as up-to-date and hungry as we are. If you’re going to create bumps in our mold, then its better that we part ways.

It is what it is, old pros.

Consider this a call to all the small advertising shops in Charlotte to get their @#$^ together. That’s what we’re doing. We want to make 2011 a BIG year for us. A big year for advertising and marketing in Charlotte.

Join us.

Of the Second Amendment

Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer

Image via Wikipedia

Nothing is more debated than the interpretation of the second amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

If you follow my posts and/or activities, you may know that I am quite the fan of definitions.

So this can be fun.

To keep on point, here is the outline-

1. The Second Amendment‘s original meaning

2. The Constitution- Living or static?

Let’s dig in!

The Second Amendment’s Original Meaning

A Supreme Court Justice went on NPR and explained this subject in extreme detail about why the second amendment was there in the first place. It turns out, it was a state vs. federal argument with Jefferson and Hamilton. Jefferson, the Virginia representative, and Hamilton, the advocate for the federal government. Jefferson wanted the second amendment in there so the federal govt. could never seize the arms of state militias, and leaving them vulnerable for military takeover. Hamilton, who was gung-ho for a national army, thought that was absurd, since creating a union state militias, Hamilton believed, would go on the way side.

Jefferson won the argument, and the second amendment went in.

Is the Constitution a living document?

Now the next topic. In 2011, there are now active state militias. So based on the original interpretation of the second amendment, it is no longer relevant.

Unless…we make it relevant.

The Supreme Court is meant to interpret the law of the land as they see fit.

In that case, the answer is yes, the U.S. Constitution is a living document.

What’s Next?

With the recent tragedy of the Arizona Congresswoman, the gun control policy of the United States will come into the limelight, with emphasis on what the second amendment really means. The issue is not going to be resolved until the High Court rules on it. Until then, as it is happening now, I see no issue with state regulation. Can you create a parallel with individual protection and state militia? It’s a stretch, but I can see it. Can the Court make a case that gun control is regulated by the federal government because of the new federal mandate of protecting the free world includes domestic protection? I can see that as well.

I have no opinion on what’s right or wrong (if everybody had a gun, it would in essence be as if no one had a gun, theoretically speaking) but there obviously a need for society to be given an answer.

Or, a definition.

Goals for 2011

This is going to be short and sweet. The top three things I would like The Charlotte Agency to accomplish by the end of 2011.

1. Be a Leader in the Charlotte Marketing and Communications Industry

I personally think it’s wide open. Maybe I’m naive, or unconnected. If that’s the case, I’ll make it a goal to change it. If I’m right, then I hope JDW can create a single, strong voice in the public relations, advertising and marketing community. The three distinct practice areas rarely communicate to each other on a regular basis. Sure, there are “partner” rates and specials, etc., but there doesn’t seem to be much information sharing, or actual collaboration. If there is, let’s make it more visible.

2. Create a Solid Foundation for “The 704 Experiment”

Yet another pet project for The Charlotte Agency. The 704 Experiment is meant to be a portal for new and young professionals, urban and city planners, government officials and communicators about what it will take for Charlotte to be the “Next Big Thing.” We at The Charlotte Agency don’t believe it’s there yet. Charlotte has a ton of potential, but there are elements in this city that are keeping it from rising to the top. What are those elements? We hope to lead the way and figure it out so we can develop a plan (an actual plan built from actual people *cough* CCP *cough*) and act on it.

3. Expand by the 3rd Quarter of 2011

That’s right! We want more crazy but lovable people to join The Charlotte Agency. We hope to have two positions available: Senior Marketing Manager and Assistant Creative Director.

We want to be able to take on bigger and more involved projects in the Charlotte and Southeast areas.

But we are still a little ways from being able to hire.

So Charlotte community: Let’s have more intimate discussions about doing business in Charlotte. You want your business to grow, as do we. Working together can help us achieve our ultimate goals: to be self-sufficient, and to do what we love doing.

And that’s it. We’re looking forward to 2011…it’s going to get interesting.