DRMA Spotlight: Icon Media Direct — Passion Meets Partnership1 May, 2011 By: Jackie Jones Response
Icon Media Direct’s personal approach to clients and its attention to advancing technology foster long-term relationships and lasting success.
Icon Media Direct CEO Nancy Lazkani has a lot to be proud of: partnerships with direct response brands that are No. 1 in their respective categories; clients who have worked with Icon Media Direct for a decade or longer; and employees who have been with her for nearly 15 years.
But for Lazkani, complacency is not an option, and the passion she has for the DR industry shines through in Icon Media Direct’s work.
“When you create a passionate environment, it has to come from the top,” Lazkani says. “Our assets at Icon Media Direct are our people — that is really what drives the business. If my employees didn’t have that passion behind our work and what we do, that passion would not flow through to our clients. It’s a natural evolution for us and when you have it, clients see it. It shows through in the work and everyone wins. There’s no better formula.”
Icon Media Direct, a media agency headquartered in Van Nuys, Calif., was founded on five core values: passion, integrity, experience, loyalty and accountability. It’s those values that have nurtured the agency’s relationships with some of the most successful names in the business, from brands such as Proactiv Solution and OxiClean, to top marketers like TELEBrands, Ontel and Guthy-Renker.
“There are different strategies for different clients. There’s no cookie-cutter solution and no cookie-cutter campaign promise,” Lazkani says. “Really, what Icon Media Direct does is take a collective approach to every client. We take our knowledge and experience combined with cutting-edge technology and invaluable media relationships and mold a solution to help each client with their specific needs.”
|View a video interview of Van Nuys, Calif.-based Icon Media Direct CEO Nancy Lazkani here!|
Icon Media Direct is able to deliver such a wide array of experience and information due in part to the company’s requirement for ongoing employee education. All account managers are cross-trained on a monthly basis so that — in contrast to a more traditional agency where each account manager only has specialized knowledge in one vertical — any Icon Media Direct employee can bring multifaceted experience levels to the table for any client in need.
“Our teams collaborate and learn from each other,” Lazkani says. “There’s a competitive environment here that’s healthy, and I think it’s very noticeable to our clients. It’s very comforting for them to know that at any given time they are in good hands and that Icon Media Direct is not just a one-man shop.”
Icon Media Direct’s employees are also required to attend at least two webinars or seminars on new technology every month in order to stay ahead of the curve.
“If you don’t keep up with technology and understand what’s on the forefront of what’s happening next year, or five years from now, you’re going to be behind the curve for your clients,” says Lazkani, who cites the growing prevalence of tablets like the iPad and the emergence of television and E-commerce as key trends to keep an eye on in the future. “The way consumers order is becoming very different, and their accessibility to products is different. Technology is evolving and we have to recognize that to be able to survive and keep our clients profitable.”
Lazkani knows the success of any DR marketer is based on how well they can keep up with consumers, and Icon Media Direct brings that insight to its clients’ campaigns.
“The technology of point-of-purchase is really where the change is going to come from in the future, and Icon Media Direct understands that,” Lazkani says. “We’re currently testing different models with different companies to really educate ourselves and our clients and work out the kinks early. We’re very active in the emergence of new technologies, and even if they are not great monetization tools now, they will be in the future. We’re tuned into that and actively involved in a lot of these advancements.”
For Lazkani, the love of DR comes from the satisfaction of seeing the rewards of a successful campaign, as well as the lessons from others that might not have fared so well.
“There is nothing better than when you create a commercial, buy media and then see the immediate effects of all your painstaking efforts the very next day. You only get that in DR,” she says. “This is a very challenging business, and it’s not uncommon to face more challenges than successes in this industry, but it’s from those failures that you can learn what not to do next time, which is one of the building blocks for creating successful advertising campaigns.”
Lazkani makes sure to instill that ideology in all employees of Icon Media Direct.
“The mantra of our company is, ‘Our clients’ success is our passion.’ When you walk into our offices, you see a truly passionate group of people. That comes from cultivating an environment that is all about understanding what the clients’ business aspects are about and really looking to diversify the methodologies behind creating a successful campaign,” Lazkani says. “Icon Media Direct really does create a culture of doing just that and fostering the philosophy of being on the forefront of those campaign promises.”