Core Competencies

The agency landscape is rapidly shifting. Many claim to do everything. Some do one thing very well. At Traction, we focus on the things we do best and leverage an ecosystem of existing partners to do the rest.

I was recently asked what our core competencies are. The answer is Strategy, Advertising and Innovation. We refer to the discipline of these three considered together as Brand Experience Design. In our view, it's the experience that matters.

We leverage design thinking and observation of human needs and behavior to inform our strategy—from brand and product strategy to communications planning in a socially connected world. This overlaps with media strategy, but we do not do large-scale media planning and buying. We focus on what we're good at and bring in partners (or work with your existing ones) for the rest.

We are fully integrated and very strong at digital. Our approach is to try to create breakthrough ideas that align your business objectives with human insights and then choose the right tactics based on media consumption habits and creative opportunities. For instance, our campaign for Alibaba.com won the 2010 IAC award for best Integrated Campaign for Small Business and included print, TV, banners, rich media, video and a microsite. Here's a WSJ story on the campaign.

We are successful in this area because we have both the in-house capability to deliver digital experiences and the strategic insights to understand consumer needs. This is reflected in the mobile app concept we developed for Intuit that won that company's Innovation Competition. Traction is a very strong digital partner in this space: last year we created a prototype of Bank of America's next generation user experience online. We've also developed very successful social media programs for brands like Adobe, Livescribe and Clos du Bois.

In addition, we have been very successful at developing production models for our clients at scale. For one consumer technology client in Cupertino, we develop hundreds of pieces of email creative each year and have even created a proprietary "Email Builder" application to make that process more efficient. For an online photo-sharing client, we are producing approximately 150 pieces of banner creative this quarter alone.

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