An integral part of any successful business is marketing and promotion. Look at the crazy amounts of money spent for a few seconds of commercial time during the Superbowl. From creating a recognizable brand to finding creative ways to get the word out to the masses, companies that have the budget to spare hire professionals to spread the gospel of consumerism. That’s where companies like Commonground come into play. Started six years ago by Sherman Wright and Ahmad Islam, Commonground is a full-service marketing agency that deals with the new marketplace.
So what exactly is the new marketplace? According to Wright, the new marketplace was a term that was coined to describe “the space of the world today…in the new marketplace we see a convergence of culture and technology in regards to how people interact…It’s more psychographic than demographic. You have to understand mindsets and how consumers are engaging technology.”
If their client list is any indication, Commonground’s understanding of this new marketing frontier is paying off. Big name clients include Coca-Cola, MillerCoors, and Nike. The co-founders also have an impressive list of accolades including being named in Crain’s Chicago Business Magazine’s annual Top 40 under 40 list for 2009. And while the agency covers all facets of marketing, including the traditional means of advertising — print and television they also recognize the importance of a strong digital campaign and the powers consumers wield through social networking.
“We believe in integrated marketing so it’s not either or” says Wright, “you see a lot of positive results when the two work together. But I think that digital and the internet has proven itself to be sustainable as a standalone in regards to reaching consumers. You can reach millions of viewers with a 30-second spot on the Superbowl. Obviously digital isn’t that broad, but you have more of an engaged audience so you can gather more intelligence about that product. It’s very macro versus micro.”
Speaking of macro, when discussing Commonground’s success and methodology its best to look at the bigger picture rather than get caught up in semantics. While the company is minority-owned, it doesn’t want to be pigeon-holed into being a minority company. You know, the companies mainstream companies use when they’re trying to reach a specific minority demographic. Starting with their name down to their staffing Commonground is a marketing agency that deals in diversity. Utilizing a multicultural staff with differing backgrounds and perspective keeps the company on the cutting edge of the industry. At the end of the day, Commonground’s number one job is to provide creative solutions that will draw consumer attention.
“Clients really want an agency that listens and understands their brand, an agency that has a level of accountability.”Category: Featured, Interviews | Tags: Advertising, Ahmad Islam, branding, commonground, marketing, Sherman Wright