Biz Q&A: Morgan & Co. Celebrates 21 Years In Business
NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans based media agency, Morgan & Co., is celebrating 21 years in business in 2018. That means Morgan & Co is old enough to drink! To celebrate, Biz New Orleans sat down with founder Eric Morgan for a Q&A.
BIZ: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned over your 21 years in business?
MORGAN: It’s easy to get wrapped up into the marketing side of what we do, and the value and success we provide our clients. However, I often have to remind myself and my staff that even more powerful than the tangible success of helping our clients grow, is the intangible side of our work. That is, when we help a client grow, their staff gets to grow — through more business opportunities, advancement within a growing organization, and potentially a promotion or raise. I learned this many years ago while managing marketing for several car dealerships. When a dealership had a great week for sales, their sales staff made their numbers and received bonuses. That added a human factor to the entire marketing process. Very powerful.
BIZ: How do you create an advertising strategy with champagne tastes on a beer budget?
MORGAN: The most prominent challenge with champagne taste is that a brand wants to speak to everyone. In reality, not everyone is a potential customer, nor will they ever become one. Thus marketing to everyone is a tremendous amount of wasted marketing. The best solution is to be true to who you are and who that matters to (your audience segment). Inevitability, it’s a right-size audience that can be connected with on a beer budget, and that’s where you’re going to see the greatest return.
BIZ: What have you learned about being a New Orleans business owner?
MORGAN: Location has its benefits. Because our client base is coast to coast, our clients tend to be very interested in coming to see us, versus us going to them. Plus, the uniqueness of our city and region provides many opportunities to disconnect from work, which is a healthy necessity for everyone.
BIZ: How has the advertising landscape changed over the last decade?
MORGAN: One of the more obvious changes is everything becoming so data heavy and numbers oriented. What used to matter most now plays second fiddle to numbers — primarily performance numbers. We often see ad campaigns around the region using tactics or creative that would have been balked at years ago, but are performing exceptionally well due to the power of today’s analytical capabilities and deeper insight into audiences. The more you know about what consumers really want, the easier it is to deliver and connect.
Another landscape shift is the extraordinary growth of digital within our lives. This has created a significant challenge for brands and marketers in that we often hear, now more than ever, that clients are at a crossroads of where to invest their marketing dollars. The countless ad placement options can be a rabbit hole of decisions for them. And without a sound understanding of audiences, strong media strategy and a robust system to report media tactic performance, a lot of money can be wasted. The outcome is the demand for our services to help clients weed through the options and design ways to measure which tactics truly deliver results.
BIZ: What services does Morgan & Co. offer?
MORGAN: The core value we create for clients revolves around audience analysis, media strategy & buying, and analytics. We help brands understand who their audience is, how to use media to communicate with them, and then we use data and analytics to study & enhance the performance of each media tactic. In doing so, the largest value comes from helping clients see which media tactic is generating what level of return. This allows us to shape their media ad spend to only those tactics that produce an acceptable return. Clarity and optimization in ad spend has been a major priority for clients, and we are now being approached by companies and organizations who need help in aligning their internal systems, and even incorporating platforms we have, to help capture the right data to provide the correct information on ad spend performance.
BIZ: What makes you different from other ad agencies in the area?
MORGAN: First up, we’re numbers people. Every successful brand or marketer has a keen sense of what their numbers should be, from their balance sheet and P&L, to margins and cost per acquisition. So by our very nature, we speak a marketer’s language in that the performance and analytics side of our services fits in line with what they live and breathe. Secondly, by devoting all of our energy solely to the world of media, we have become specialists in one incredibly important area. Clients come to us because they want a specialist that understands how audiences use media to get/share information, and how the brand can ultimately jump into the conversation through media strategy. So, no matter which member of our team a client speaks with, that person is an expert in media strategy and what it can do for the brand. Over the years we’ve heard from clients that they appreciate the ability to speak directly with a specialist who has so much knowledge and insight that can impact a conversation.
BIZ: What does the next 21 years hold for Morgan & Co.?
MORGAN: The next 21 years will be dictated by what our clients need. But the biggest need we’re already seeing is advancing the utilization of data and information from our campaigns and research, combined with client sales and customer actions, to continue to grow a brand. We are currently investing more into the analysis of our client’s sales and customer acquisition data to reveal how people react to marketing. That leads to another area of service growth for us – attribution and sourcing. Ultimately, information reveals how not only the media strategy as a whole, but also each individual media tactic, drives a sale. It’s the study of that mix of media tactics plus the weight of the ad spend, that defines which tactics get credit for generating the sale, and in some cases what sequences of ads and tactics the consumer experienced, that resulted in a sale.
BIZ: How are you celebrating your 21st birthday?
MORGAN: I don’t think we’ll go too crazy. This year we kicked off a quarterly outing, revolving around the accomplishment of closing out each quarter. It’s an opportunity for everyone to relax, let off some steam and talk about things other than work. And of course we’ll do our regular holiday event and then an end of year team event that is more adventurous and outside of our regular boundaries.
BIZ: What is the key to successful advertising in New Orleans?
MORGAN: Advertising in New Orleans can be a psychological play. Meaning, we’re such a diverse group (by interest, culture, neighborhood or ethnicity) that understanding what makes an audience segment tick is paramount. Some people like crabbing at the Lakefront or fishing in St. Bernard Parish, while others are content with hanging out at their local playground. The list goes on for miles. Being able to crack that code gets you a long way towards successfully communicating with the people who matter the most and generating a successful ad campaign.
BIZ: Anything else to add?
MORGAN: Who Dat!
Morgan & Co.'s office located at 4407 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70119.
Morgan & Co. Staff’s Favorite Watering Holes in New Orleans
Colleen McDonough – Digital Media Planner
- Finn McCool’s
- 12 Mile Limit
Candi Walker – Media Strategist
- The Rivershack
- The Blue Crab
Britt Hafstad – Account Coordinator
- Fat Harry’s
- Bayou Beer Garden
- Hot Tin
Brenda Cole – Chief Financial Officer
- New Orleans Original Daiquiris
- Freret Beer Room
Amanda Maynard – Media Planner/Buyer
- Daiquiri Stop
Amanda Kennedy – Conversion Strategist
- Midway Pizza
- Napoleon House
- Swirl Wine Bar
Renee Stuart – Director of Media Buying
- Mick’s Bar
- Bayou Beer Garden
Emily Eagan – Assistant Media Planner
- Tchoup Yard
- The Boot
- Flamingo A-Go-Go
Eric Morgan – President
- Cooter Brown’s
– by Alexa Harrison, associate news editor