Guest Post By: Christian Brown, Co-Founder/Owner at BrightCatch Media

There are no golden tickets. There is no secret sauce. If you’re looking for a quick answer it’s not in this blog. Still reading? Great! Here’s a look inside the Houston marketing, advertising, media industry – the good, the bad, the ugly.

A few months ago while grabbing an after work beverage with my good friend, and now business partner, Diane Caplan, we got to thinking about our both-sides-of-the-table experience interacting with marketing, advertising, media agencies in Houston. Diane, at the time was the publisher of Houstonia Magazine, and I was working for Houston Ballet. After catching up on family, friends, food, pets and upcoming travel, we got down to it – what if we started a business? Let’s do it! So, we did and this is what I’ve learned.

There is a major gap in the Houston agency world. You have the big players that have tens, or hundreds of clients that maximize profit through quantity. You have the small players that are very specific to industry or services they offer. For example, a PR team of one, or two, that represents restaurants. Don’t get me wrong! Both the big and the small are great – they serve a necessary role in satisfying their clients.

The gap is in the high-level (think CMO) strategy and high-quality content spheres. Who is offering one-on-one executive strategy and follow-through for brands based in Houston...Bueller?

The Good

There is vast opportunity for marketers seeking to serve multiple clients. Houston is unbelievably diverse in industries and available marketing channels. The ability to develop and produce high-quality content for clients is at your doorstep. Houston brands are dying for break-through marketers – new ideas (not imitations) – industry disruptors.

We live in a small city with lots of people – ask around to get connected, score the meeting and close the deal. You’ll be shocked what you can offer clients that their current agency hasn’t ever pitched. You can do this!

The Bad

The Houston agency industry is shallow and doesn’t mind working on a small part of your marketing strategy while producing less-than-great results. Yes, I know we can all buy media, redo your website, put strange hashtags on Facebook and craft an all-new digital strategy that will get you lots of unqualified impressions. You bill by the half-hour for each project, rarely meet with the client (face-to-face) and send a snazzy report at the end of each month – sound good? Hello Houston, we have a problem and it’s time to suit-up and fix it.

The Ugly

Let’s get narrow on this one. Stop the untargeted, poorly produced TV commercials. Have you ever traveled to a small town in the United States and thought “wow, these commercials are terrible!” Well Houston, we are headed in that direction. Every doctor’s office, window company, attorney, car dealership and lending company should not be running TV commercials. Who is ‘helping’ them with these projects? There is an immense amount of media spend waste – spray and pray. Are we stuck in our old ways? Looks like it to me!

I know what you are thinking, “great, thanks for your opinion...now what?”

Here’s my encouragement and take-away – dream big, take a risk, create more video, photo and editorial content than you know what to do with. Don’t let working on a big team for a big company crush your drive and skill.

Houston marketers, the horizon is bright. The community is large and willing to help – but – you’ve got to take the first step.

 

Christian Brown is the Co-Founder/Owner of BrightCatch Media and the AMA Houston March 2017 Networking Luncheon speaker. If you are an AMA Houston member and interested in sharing your own expertise and experience, join the conversation by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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