Why this advertising and marketing company, which develops marketing campaigns for entertainment networks, consumer companies, and inventors, stays out of view.
As told to Leigh Buchanan | From the September 2011 issue of Inc. magazine
As an executive at agencies such as Digitas West and DDB North America—where he was chief strategy officer— Krishan Menon was once a marketing highflier. Now he glides silently below the radar with Phenomenon, a $15 million idea-generation company based in Los Angeles that promises anonymity to its top-drawer clients and distinguished collaborators. His separate, less-demure entertainment business creates and produces TV shows.
Working for large marketing firms, I grew frustrated. Recommendations to clients had to conform to the services we offered. So if an agency specialized in digital, it would suggest a large digital campaign, even if that wasn’t the best use of client dollars. At one agency, I worked with a major housewares retailer that had a large wedding-gift-registry business. They were trying to get rid of remnants of glassware and dinnerware that were being discontinued. A consulting firm had recommended they expand their outlet stores, and the retailer hired our agency to come up with a marketing strategy for that. I suggested instead they e-mail couples who lived near existing stores and had previously registered for the discontinued lines. The messages would appeal to sentiment and say this was their last chance to stock up. The client saved tens of millions of dollars and experienced an incredibly high conversion rate. I lost my job.
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