Less than one month after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush launched Operation Enduring Freedom, the American-led international effort to oust the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and destroy Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network. Within two months,…
Avidan Strategies CEO Discusses Advertising Insights
Avi Dan, CEO of Avidan Strategies, shared insights from his more than 30 years of leadership experience, including key insights on how to succeed at an advertising agency, during a presentation last month.
“Experience, openings and intermediaries should be the primary focus of anyone who wants to do well in the advertising industry,” said Dan, who spoke to an audience at the Newhouse School.
Dan, who spoke as a guest of the Eric Mower Advertising Forum, founded Avidan Strategies, an agency search consulting firm, in 2007. He has worked with top global Madison Avenue agencies, managing iconic brands for such companies as Procter & Gamble, Samsung and Coca-Cola, among other leading companies. Dan also served as managing partner of WPP company Berlin Cameron, the first global executive director of Havas Worldwide and executive vice president of account management at Young & Rubicam.
Dan spoke to students on such topics as business strategies, finding an entry-level job and how to be successful at it. He says one has to constantly keep proving their merit at the professional level.
“If you lose business, people will underestimate you despite your skills,” he said.
Dan discussed how business pitches can be made successful and the importance of advertising and public relations in making a business grow to its fullest potential. He emphasized that a great idea needs to be executed well to achieve success.
“Don’t get into a new business pitch without understanding what it will take to win the pitch,” he said.
Dan emphasized that in advertising, as well as in public relations, an important segment of conducting business successfully is understanding the client and their special needs and demands. He said once a representative works in accordance with the client’s wishes, the potential of client satisfaction increases—leading not only to a successful business but also good relations for future businesses.
The advertising executive also spoke of the different expectations clients may have.
“While some want a good price, others want better ideas. There are some companies who are looking for experience in a specific area. These are things to pay attention to,” he explained.
Dan spoke of the importance of first impressions and stated that it is one of the primary reasons clients differentiate between agencies. He emphasized that one does not get a second chance to make first impressions.
“There is a great deal of show business involved in the business of agencies,” he said.
Dan also stressed self-advertising as one of the areas to which advertising agencies do not give enough attention, which could potentially make them lose business. He said that most agencies’ websites contain videos of management roles and other such “drab content.” More strategic methods of brand imaging can potentially make them stand out.
He gave advice to advertising students about understanding the experience level needed for certain jobs. He warned the students about being over-ambitious and advised them to prove their mettle before applying for top-notch positions right after graduation.