F ounded in 1955 as a traditional family-run advertising firm, Luckie & Co. has transformed into a comprehensive marketing solutions provider bringing “the science of data and art of marketing” to clients worldwide. Still owned and operated by the Luckie family, the company has grown to 120 full-time employees evenly split between their two locations, in Duluth and Birmingham, and was recently named one of the Top 25 Advertising Agencies in Atlanta by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. John Gardner, president of Luckie spoke to The Executive about the effects of swiftly changing trends in technology on marketing strategy and business-to-consumer communications. Q: What’s different about Luckie’s approach to marketing and advertising? A: Three core things: Our work is based on technology and analytics as much as it is creative, so we like to say we’re data driven, and creatively innovative. We’re also fiercely independent. In an age when big New York holding companies are buying firms and making decisions from a far-away headquarter office, our independent status allows us to make decisions based on the best interest of our clients and our employees instead of what New York may want. It’s all about having Madison Avenue talent with a sweet-tea personality —we are passionately collaborative, and our goal is to find the right solutions for our clients, not the easy ones. Q: How has technology changed marketing and business development? A: It’s completely revolutionized our business. What used to be the exclusive realm of the big idea is now all about the experience and we have so many data points at our disposal, and so many channels to deliver very personalized messages. Consumers don’t watch TV the way we used to; we don’t consume much print media either. And Millennials don’t feel the need to engage with traditional advertising, they want to experience and define brands. At Luckie we work with our partners to create data-driven programs that leverage social media and other channels for highly personalized experiences that are customized to stakeholders. By creating these TECHNOLOGY TRENDS HAVE CHANGED MARKETING, BUT IT’S STILL ABOUT THE STORY experiences, we’re able to get clients closer to their customers and accelerate and extend brand value. The move into artificial intelligence and programmatic advertising is here to stay, but one thing that hasn’t changed in marketing is the power of great storytelling. We must blend a whole brain approach to each marketing solution. Brands shouldn’t overcorrect and lose the impact of having a great story to tell, and you can’t ignore the power that technology brings to solving business problems. Q: How often should companies update their marketing strategies? A: I think organizations change their marketing strategies too often and their customer strategies not often enough. A company should be consistent in what message they deliver to the marketplace. What must evolve constantly is the way it’s delivered to ensure the information is reaching the right customer at the right time and in the right place. Companies that watch the behavior of their customers and shift gears to better engage with them are the ones that win. At Luckie, we have a proprietary approach that involves evaluating data points from a brand’s entire ecosystem to help them figure out what they need to communicate with their customers. Basically, we can define the brand as a dynamic operating system in a true omni- channel approach. So many companies have individual strategies for email, for broadcast and yet another for social media. 6 the EXECUTIVE