Digital, traditional agencies should work together: Ad:tech keynote

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As the lines between digital and traditional shops continue to blur, agencies should focus on their strengths and collaborate with complementary firms, Kristi VandenBosch, CEO of Publicis & Hal Riney, told attendees of the Ad:tech San Francisco conference on April 21.

Delivering the day's keynote address, VandenBosch urged agency executives to get over their egos and learn to collaborate with other agencies, technology companies and clients.

“It doesn't make you a smaller agency, it makes you better,” she said. “Leadership is the ability not to lead. Instead surround yourself with agencies that can do things you can't and work together.”

Executives from a number of traditional direct marketing service providers told DMNews earlier this month that they're hired, or are looking to hire, creative talent.

VandenBosch also encouraged agencies to seek peers' help to improve their own work.

“You are not creating campaigns to prove that you get digital,” she said. “It should be about creating good work and tapping different resources depending on what works best for the campaign.”

VandenBosch also encouraged agencies to listen to consumers and change their programs based on consumers' responses.

“The next best thing to having good ideas is recognizing good ideas from users,” she told the conference's attendees. “Sometimes the latter is better.”

Publicis & Hal Riney named VandenBosch its CEO in May 2009. She told DMNews the next month that one of her goals was “reclaiming the Riney legacy, which was a company that always knew how to get to the soul of a brand and tell its story in a really compelling way.”

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