If you prefer the long-form version, keep reading…
And here we have the dreaded agency “About Us” section. This is where we’re supposed to say something spectacular about ourselves. You know, how we’re “better” than all the other agencies you’ve ever met and/or will meet. Or perhaps something about how our “razor sharp” strategy and “brain exploding” creative will yield untold riches to your balance sheet. Maybe we’ll even wrap it up in a distinctive sounding marketing-jargon package and tell you we’ve developed a unique way to come up with the “big idea” you’ve been looking for your entire life. Well, that’s just not our style. Bottom line, producing good work is the cost of entry in this business and yeah, we’re good. But our true uniqueness is how we run our business.
For starters, you’ll never hear us use the word “employees.” We may say staff, team, crew, O9’ers or knuckleheads, but never the “E” word. That would imply that certain O9’ers are subordinate to others—a concept that’s unacceptable. Since the very beginning, we’ve strived to keep our org chart as flat as possible. We manage to pull this off due to the type of people who work here. It’s not easy getting a job at Object 9. Anyone who does manage to make it past our screening defenses and later reveals arrogance, self-righteousness or selfishness gets booted out the door that day—we refuse to let the purity of what we’ve built be poisoned by small thinkers.
What we’re left with is people who love what they do and where they do it. They take pride when anyone in the organization succeeds and feel responsible for every failure. When they see someone struggling with a problem or working late, they step in—unasked—to offer help. We each take accountability for our individual contributions because we feel an obligation to the team to do so, not because a box on an org chart says that we’re supposed to. Honestly, our culture is our greatest asset. Having interacted with scores of companies over the years, we’ve never seen anything else quite like it. Why should this matter to you? Because people who take ownership in their company’s success and are allowed to focus 100% on what they love doing—rather than on internal drama and politics—will consistently produce amazing work.
It’s difficult for us to measure client lifetime value because the majority of our clients never leave. Sure, the quality of our work plays a part in this, but the real glue is the type of relationships we form. The cornerstone of these relationships is trust. Trust that is earned through honest conversations sometimes filled with difficult questions that make you feel “uncomfortable” (as the CEO of a 10-year client puts it). If we don’t agree with a certain approach, we’ll let you know. If we develop a solution that would be best implemented by your internal team or another agency, we’ll say so. We’ve always felt that if we provided our clients open access to our experience, creativity and intelligence—and not merely driven them to solutions we can bill for—then our P&L statement would take care of itself. And that theory has proven true.
Beyond the conversations is our ability to get things done quickly. Without fail, every client we work with eventually makes the comment, “We must be the most difficult client you have! Everything we do is last minute!” Did you catch that? We said every client makes that comment. Take comfort in knowing that your need for responsiveness is not exclusive and we are designed to facilitate today’s marketing realities. Our clients range from the mega-international brands to small regional brands and they all share the need for speed, so there’s no need to worry if we can handle the pressure—we know the drill. This is where our smaller size and flat org chart really shines.
It may not be the most compelling “About Us” section you’ve ever read, but it’s honest. And as we just mentioned, honesty is where we believe all lasting relationships should begin.