Peter LaMotte is President of GeniusRocket overseeing all functions of the company. He came to GeniusRocket from Corporate Executive Board where he was a Marketing Consultant and Executive Educator for the Marketing Leadership Council and Customer Contact Council. He has worked in the sales and marketing divisions of IBM, Apple, and Intrepid Aviation, an aircraft leasing company. Peter's career often been focused on the leading edge of internet technology. While at IBM Peter was one of the original NetGen account executives, IBM's first industry vertical focused on internet based companies. He holds a B.A. in International Business from Rhodes College and a Masters in Business Administration from Vanderbilt University.
Peter has taught classes and seminars on innovation, crowdsourcing, social media, and advertising trends at Georgetown University, George Mason University and Maryland University's Smith School of Business and has appeared on CNN and Fox. He was voted as on Washington DC's Tech Titans by Washingtonian Magazine in 2011.
Interview With Peter LaMotte
How have the needs of brands and clients changed in the last 3 years?
Brands are no longer able to take one overarching marketing message and blast it across the globe. Consumers expect to be catered to as it relates to their exact lifestyle. One TV spot distributed across the web will have far less effect than if 5 spots for 5 separate demographics are targeted exactly to where those demographics are spending time. The technology is now there to reach each and every one of those consumers on every screen.
What challenges are agencies/companies facing today in sourcing talent and scaling teams to service client demands?
The freelance market is no longer for those that can't or don't want to find a job. The appeal of freelance work is increasing due to the opportunities to connect with clients so much easier online. The protection of the agency is of less value, so its harder to convince people to join the limiting confines of an agency. The flip side is that clients expect more from agencies.
How can agencies provide more value to their clients?
It is easy, don't be afraid to partner. More and more agile and often younger agencies are creating equal partnerships to increase their value to brands. Many of the old guard agencies prefer to keep it all in house which IMHO is directly related to the death of the AOR.
What are your thoughts on 'crowdsourcing'?
LOVE IT, then again I guess I should. Crowdsourcing is an overused term. It's almost like asking what do you think about Advertising. In the last four years crowdsourcing has blown up. From graphic design marketplaces like 99designs, to video production sites like ours at GeniusRocket, the way the content is crowdsourced is as different as the content we each produce. Many agencies have mistakenly labeled crowdsourcing as a threat while a few have turned to crowdsourcing to support their own business. An agency's core responsibility is to deliver cutting edge content to its clients no matter where it comes from. Crowdsourcing is simply another avenue to source creative.
When do you feel is the best occasion to use freelancers: for existing projects, new business or as an ongoing resource?
Simply stated, some projects need the control of an in-house team. This concept goes for not only freelancers but also crowdsourcing platforms. Turning to a team or crowd outside the confines of an agency simply may not be the strategic or economic choice for certain projects.
Has the definition and role of an 'agency' changed?
Yes! The agency has evolved from the sole brain and executioner of the advertising strategy to a partner that may only connect the client to other means of content. Simple expansion in the definition of "what is content" has changed so much that it is difficult for an agency to be the master of all domains. This is directly related to the end of the AOR. Few companies are willing to bet their future on only one or a few agencies. They need the flexibility to turn at a moments notice.
How can technology be used to improve collaboration?
Collaboration today is impossible without technology. Gone are the days of the single Genius who controlled the message that an agency delivered. With teams and partners spread out across the globe, technology is the only way they can all work together. However, the term technology shouldn't be seen as a fancy platform or in-house solution, at its core, no pre-built collaboration technology will beat email and its extensions like Google has provided in Google Docs. The wheel has already been invented no need to rebuild it.
How do you source talent at your agency/company?
Recruiting 24/7 and then vetting each applicant to our creative community.
Who makes the decision to hire digital creative, strategists and social media experts at your agency/company?
We are a small firm so the responsibility lies within my assessment of our needs.
Will there be large agencies in 15 years?
This is a question that I am often asked... The answer is a resounding yes. It would be like asking 15 years ago if there would still be Yahoo! or a Microsoft since there were so many upstart technology companies. In short the market is, and will always be the great equalizer. Small companies will pop-up and grow into larger companies that will then have the target on their backs. Some companies will emerge and fail. And finally, some agencies will simply remain too large to fail. They will continue to acquire their cutting edge in order to remain relevant. Margins will come and go just like leadership, and in the end the names may change but the "big guys" will always be there in some shape or form.