Interview Series V12 – Todd Alchin, Chief Strategy Officer, Ikon3, NY
Todd Alchin is the Chief Strategy Officer at Ikon3, NY, who has just joined Droga5 as their media partner.
Q1. What is the number one thing about your job that gets you out of bed in the morning?
The terrifying opportunity of building a new agency in 2011.
Q2. What are your favorite sites/digi campaigns right now?
You have to check out canv.as It’s so much fun.
Q3. Who is the new kid on the block – the agency/business to watch for the future?
At least for me, shamelessly, it’s Ikon3 in NYC. We’re building a full service media communications agency from the ground up, partnered with the creative firepower of Droga5. What I find attractive about it is building a media agency without any of the baggage of agencies from the 90s. Full service has become interesting again. It feels like being overly specialized and niche is becoming a real headache for many marketers.
Q4. What sector would you say is furthest ahead in digital marketing at the moment?
It’s harder to see it in terms of sectors and their actual marketing efforts because mostly you’re reading hype and rarely hearing results. For me, I get a good sense through individual experiences with a brand and being a little promiscuous with them out of professional curiosity. What I’ve noticed lately: how Netflix improves my experience by garnering my feedback in a piecemeal way with only one click required on my part every now and then; how OverStock uses creative re-targeting to remind me about what I searched on at their site; how Zappos have convinced me that buying online is superior, low risk and fast. Doing these fairly basic things really well is far better than shoehorning a FourSquare promotion into the mix.
The brands that are struggling are those that for whatever reason can’t sell you their product from their site. Consequently, the web is littered with too many well-intentioned but neglected websites and dormant Facebook pages that are just too far removed from how people are willing to interact with a brand.
Q5. What technology or initiative is most likely to revolutionize Web/mobile marketing?
Anything that continues to make transactions easy. Whether it’s near field communications, – allowing you to transact just by waving your mobile device – or simply improving online and mobile navigation through a greater commitment to better experience design. I doubt it will be any single initiative – as long as technology serves the experience, people will be happy.
Q6. If you could wave your magic wand and change one thing about digital marketing what would it be?
One of the more techie guys around me said “Greater compatibility, consistency, unification”.
I’d just say “The douchebags”.
Q7. What’s the biggest mistake people are making in mobile/Web marketing?
Maybe it’s using flash, overloading features, losing focus and a lack of originality. Or maybe it’s just expecting people to do too much with your brand.
Q8. What is the most useful resource site/blog you use?
A high proportion of my digital life is experienced through Google in some way – whether it’s mail, reader, docs, alerts, sites etc. I know many people have supplanted an RSS reader with Twitter, but I just found too many people retweeting Mashable. From a content point of view, it’s Facebook. Hands down it’s the thing that makes living on this side of the world much easier to handle.