Building The Agency Of The Future
This past week, BPI marked its 7th anniversary. What a whirlwind it has been.
Since we started out crammed into an attic in Georgetown, the agency has grown to over 90 people across three cities. We have worked for two U.S. Presidential campaigns, multiple senate, mayoral, gubernatorial races as well as on behalf of some of the largest companies and causes around the world. At first, not many people believed in us and we would not be here without the help and friendship of Larry Grisolano of AKPD Message and Media, Terry Walsh of The Strategy Group and Erik Smith of Blue Engine Message and Media. Today, with the help of our leadership team – Ben Coffey Clark, Mark Skidmore, Tim Lim, Eliza Lockwood, Mike Schneider and Ann Marie Habershaw – as well as many other talented and dedicated team members, we have been able to incubate new technology products, drive award winning work, build an inspiring culture and bring on talent from all corners of the world (literally).
The time that has passed simultaneously feels far longer than seven years, but also as if we are just getting started. Both feelings are partially true.
BPI was designed to keep evolving. We started as a political digital advertising agency, but given that politics only truly innovates every four years with presidential cycles, we decided to work with major brands and organizations. This diversification of our work helped us to stay fresh and keep up with the major shifts in advertising and communications.
As fast as we have changed and grown, our business landscape has changed even faster. Just a few years ago social media was considered “scary” by big brands and digital advertising was too specialized for traditional firms to attempt. Today, digital is the foundation for all campaigns. And while every firm claims to offer digital – it is rare to see a true digital agency like ours lead the way forward toward an integrated solution. Typically it is the other way around.
With the competitive marketing agency space, we know that exclusively delivering strong advertising campaigns is necessary, but no longer sufficient. At the end of the day, clients want consultants to solve their problems – not just to provide strategy, but to execute as well. As the walls between channels continue to fall, clients are searching for a senior partner, something we call the ‘first chair.’
That is why today we are one step closer to becoming the agency of the future and we wanted share the path we have chosen. First, we are going to stay independent. Second, in Svoboda Capital we have found a partner that can provide the tools to help us grow in this competitive marketplace while maintaining our culture and team rather than changing it. Third, thanks to this investment support, we have acquired The Incite Agency. We could not be more excited about welcoming the Incite team and its founding partner, Ben Labolt, to BPI. In many ways, the Incite story mirrors ours. We started from the same place in political campaigns and have simply approached communications from different angles. They bring the strategic communications and messaging skills to help us become better partners for our clients in a crowded and muddied media universe.
Today, we start a new chapter in our story, but we are still much closer to the beginning than we are to the end. Hopefully, all of the above will allow us to provide better integrated solutions for our clients and keep growing as a consequence. But it is clear that we wouldn’t be here without our amazing BPI team, our great alumni and friends. I want to share my gratitude for everyone’s support on this journey so far. I hope you will join us for the next phase.
Photo credit: Jocelyn Augustino