A different kind of agency: completely service agnostic, completely focused on meeting your needs.
These are the ideals on which we were founded: A skate punk’s intuitive grasp of corporate credibility and brand authenticity; Boardroom pragmatism and disdain for spending; A service-agnostic business model; A commitment to research and learning; The courage to do what’s best instead of what’s common; The empathy to completely understand the needs of both your customers and ours; And the promise to value our clients’ success as we value our own.
Of those ideals, one of the most important is the concept of being service agnostic. Simply, we’re organized and staffed differently from traditional agencies. Traditional agencies build their business model and staffing around offering a specific service – PR, Ad placement, Events, Creative Development, Branding, Digital, etc – and their success depends on selling this specific service to you, whether it is your greatest need, something you’ve got well handled, or something you have no true need for at all. In a time when the maturation of the internet, social media and mobile technologies (among others) have resulted in the rise of the consumer voice, created massive fragmentation in means of media consumption, and simultaneously empowered the consumer to selectively engage or ignore content and promotional efforts alike, the marketing industry, through its specific-service approach, seems to be telling you that you need to double your spending, engage three times the number of service providers and hope for about half the return on investment – unless of course you measure success by their contrived metrics instead of your bottom line. That’s not acceptable.
Thorpe Marketing was born of the necessity for the marketing industry to evolve from this specific-service model to better meet its customers’ needs. This is where the service agnostic approach is critical: It enables more true alignments of goals between our business and yours. It allows us to focus on what’s important: that we understand your business and that we work with you to develop strategy and determine the best marketing approach to reaching your goals. Only at that point do we start to look at which services we might provide to you in planning and execution of your communications. We can utilize this approach because we are committed to building a team of experienced, insightful, successful, well-rounded marketers. Our success does not depend on grinding out another few percentage points in profitability by using cookie-cutter service offerings that can be executed by sparkly-fresh marketing rookies. Our success depends on delivering measurable results to our clients and growing as they grow. Our ability to adapt to meet your needs is core to achieving this result.
Wait, so what do we do?
It reflects as much on our clients and their needs as it does on our experience and relationships that our core service offerings in the planning and execution phases of the marketing cycle are PR and Media Relations and Retail Research and Marketing. Simply, the media remain among the most important influencers of both consumers’ and retailers’ purchase decisions, and retailers remain the most important influencers of consumer purchase decisions.
Beyond these services, we have provided and continue to provide services in the areas of advertising development and placement, website development, tradeshow and event activation, corporate and investor communications, direct mail, e-newsletters, catalog development, team and athlete sponsorships, market, consumer and competitive research, and more. However, to us, all of these are just a means to an end. Our commitment to delivering custom-tailored advice and cost-efficient, effective solutions to each client comes well before our desire to provide any specific marketing service. That’s what being service agnostic is about – serving you and your business to the best of our abilities.
How we work:
Learning: Our initial priority with each client is to learn their business, its opportunities and challenges, its leaders, stakeholders, customers and goals as completely as possible. This is the foundation for a true strategic partnership, and the basis for appropriate, effective, authentic marketing planning and execution.
Strategy: While they may not be the exact same thing, there’s no denying that the product, the service, and the message are, at minimum, inseparable from each other when it comes to effectively engaging your customers. When we talk about having the courage to do what’s best instead of what’s common, when we talk about service-agnostic strategy, when we talk about putting your business’s needs well before our own, this is a critical phase. The key question we strive to answer: Without any unnecessary constraints, what are the most effective and efficient ways to achieve the needed business results? It makes no matter to us whether the best solution is in marketing, product, sales or some other area of business. The point is to deliver the best advice and, ultimately, result for you.
Planning: Once strategy is set, and we’ve decided which elements and efforts will be included in your communications, we start to look at how they will be prioritized and how they will be developed. We work with you to develop a clear plan to drive the intended results, and clear intervals at which we evaluate progress and adjust as necessary or otherwise adapt to changes in market or business conditions.
Execution: Here’s where that service agnostic commitment comes in again. For some clients, we serve as a completely outsourced marketing department. For others, we execute select portions of annual marketing plans. Again, this is dependent on your needs, not built into our business model.
Assessment: By nature of our collective experience and current business, we are well versed in marketing and media metrics. But we are most committed to your metrics – measuring success in a way that makes as much sense within the marketing department as it does to the CEO and CFO. Impressions, awards, hits, open-rates and the like are all well and good, but we never lose grasp of the reality that it’s sales that matter.