A few years ago, our then-client Hamilton County Tourism called us in for a meeting–to talk about squirrels. Turns out, thousands of squirrels crossed the White River in 1822 and destroyed central Indiana’s corn crops, devastated towns, and generally created rodent mischief.

Hamilton County Tourism wanted to turn this little-known historical event into a lower-tech precursor to Pokemon Go by placing squirrel statues all over the county for visitors to track down. Like their virtual Poke-cousins, these squirrels had the potential to be a great diversion. Sadly, the cost to design and build enough furry friends was prohibitive and the promotion never got off the ground.

It’s easy to understand why the idea was appealing. Searching for squirrels isn’t your ordinary tourism activity. Plus, just like the “Squirrel!” joke, seeing a 5-foot squirrel statue would be something that would make you turn to get a better look.

There may not be another stampede in our lifetime, but there are plenty of squirrels in marketing and advertising these days. Remember Ello? QR codes? It can be hard to know where to put your time and effort­–especially when the boss sees a news report about an app with 15 million downloads. You can always remind him about that failed flashmob but, then again, he’ll probably just counter with a command to add augmented reality to your marketing mix.

Instead of chasing the latest craze, smart marketers put their time and effort into strategic planning and research-based advertising. They know their customers and pay attention to the media market around them. Constantly. This kind of work isn’t always sexy and it may not gain you a million views overnight, but if done correctly, strategic marketing always contributes to the bottom line.

It’s this methodical approach that is behind Well Done’s account services department. All our clients are assigned an account executive when they start working with us. And we hire the kind of people who do more than manage your project­­­­–although they do that well too. Our account execs are tasked with learning your business. They understand your goals. They research your industry. They ask smart questions. And sometimes they make suggestions on how you can improve your business even when it’s not billable.

(When was the last time you heard that from your advertising agency?)

That doesn’t mean we don’t stay on top of trends. At Well Done professional development isn’t just encouraged, it’s mandatory. We won’t recommend anything until we know how it works and are confident it is right for you.

If you want a marketing partner that makes recommendations based on results, give us a call. And if you really want to chase squirrels, let me direct you to the closest state park.