BE 100s: 5 Lessons On Attracting, Retaining Talent

BE 100s: 5 Lessons On Attracting, Retaining Talent

Sherman Wright and Ahmad Islam, founders of BE 100s company, Commonground Marketing (Image: File)
(Image: Thinkstock)

“This is one of the best pieces of creative I’ve ever seen,” Jones declares. “The brilliance of the images chosen to represent our state made it a universally appealing, highly emotional, riveting, and memorable television spot. It completely changed the negative brand image that our research indicated most adults in Illinois had about the lottery to a brand that everyone supported and was proud of,” he explains. Jones says that the Powerball campaign was highly effective–the state’s per capita sales significantly exceeded those of any of the other roughly 40 states that have statewide lotteries.


Creating A Masterpiece
Lower corporate advertising spending and a dramatic change in how people consume media have constrained advertising agencies over the past five years. However, revenue has begun to recover and will continue to rise through 2019 as firms adapt to the changing environment, reports market research firm IBISWorld. Advertising agencies generated $34 billion in 2013 with an annual growth rate of 1.4%; they will continue to look to specialization and digital media to grow revenue, IBIS
World reports.

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“Digital is not defined as solely a tactic—it is an operational philosophy of engagement,” says Wright. “Digital has several components, among them are social media, distribution of content, and mobile technology.”

The challenge of any ad agency is constantly finding ways to stay relevant. Says Islam, “In a time where there has been significant client turnover and unsteadiness in our industry, we’ve been able to grow and succeed.”

The bulk of the agency’s growth in the past three years has come from existing clients spending more and investing in new areas like digital, data and analytics, media planning, content development, and entertainment marketing. Commonground is also growing a roster of new clients. Its New York outpost was opened in September 2013 to serve one of its newest and largest clients, Verizon Wireless, with an in-market presence. The agency created the “3x MVP” commercial with Kevin Hart for the Basking Ridge, New Jersey-based mobile phone service provider. Commonground opened a Los Angeles office in January to serve key clients like NBCUniversal. The Los Angeles office enhances Commonground’s position at the intersection of marketing and entertainment. The agency’s work with NBCUniversal includes media buy recommendations and strategic direction aimed at African American audiences for the films “Ride Along,” “Non-Stop,” “Neighbors,” “A Million Ways To Die In The West,” and the upcoming sequel “The Purge: Anarchy.”