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What Makes Newfangled Newfangled: Our Agency Friends

This is part one of a three-part series on a few thoughts I’d like to share on what makes Newfangled tick: our clients, our people, and our space.

I’ve learned something about myself recently: I’m an outward processor. I learn by talking. Specifically, by talking about things I’m deeply interested in with people I care deeply about. I’ll be engaged in conversation and say something I have no recollection of having ever thought of before. Sometimes those things become part of the Newfangled lexicon.

I had one of these moments last week and I want to tell you about it, but first, let’s talk about last week. I earned my paycheck last week.

As far as schedules go, it was a bit of a bruiser — 45 meetings over the course of 5 days. By Friday afternoon I was a little woozy, but I was also feeling pretty good because I was closing out a perfect week of work — the kind of week that seems to happen more and more these days. I was high on the thrill of doing what we do, for the types of people we do it for. At Newfangled, we work with agencies.

It wasn’t my choice to dedicate Newfangled to our long-established specialty: partnering with independent marketing agencies. That was started by Eric Holter in ’95, solidified when we hired David Baker in ’00, and formalized in terms of how we talk about our target audience this past August, after Chris Butler and I met to talk big-picture strategy with Tim Williams. I’ve had lots of opportunities to change focus over the years and, as is appropriate, I’ve thought long and hard about it. Every time we take a close, critical look at our agency focus though, the signs are always abundantly clear that we’re right where we belong.

Anyway, back to last week…there were a lot of highs last week. I found out that I’ve been invited to speak at a conference I’ve long wanted to be part of, I gave my first talk for the 4A’s, we had just launched a great new agency site the week prior, we won some nice work, and at Newfangled N.C. we’re all still in that new kind of love with our brand new office.

By all measures, it was a good week. None of those things were the highlight of my week, though. The highlight of the week was the personal interactions I had with agency principals all over North America.

Day after day, hour after hour, I was on the phone speaking with or presenting to one great agency after another. In total, I dealt directly with over eighty different agencies last week alone. I actually took the time to map all of them out:

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