“When people say they’ve heard of us, we rarely believe them,” smiles President and CEO Anthony Campisi. “It’s funny. Annodyne has always had a different way of doing things, so we’ve kept a low profile. We’ve never played in the sandbox. From the very beginning, we set out with the vision and confidence to build our own playground.”
That beginning was in April 2001, when Campisi started Annodyne as an email marketing firm. Today, his agency handles the full spectrum — Web, SEM, social, mobile, print, direct-response, TV and more — integrating all channels, and leveraging proprietary technologies and innovative thinking to generate unprecedented results for its clients. Big-name clients like the University of Pennsylvania, Comcast, Bristol-Myers Squibb and MapQuest.
What might be most impressive is that, since its inception, his agency has achieved profitable growth year over year — even during these last two-plus years, where a down economy has forced other agencies to do anything they can to stop the bleeding.
“Everything has changed now,” Campisi explains. “In the new marketing world, the old approach just doesn’t work anymore. Digital channels, by their nature, are more accountable. And that’s what modern marketing demands: efficiency, flexibility, results. We have the ability to track those results to an unbelievable level and provide insights down to the variable.”
Part of that ability is driven by AnnotrakTM: a proprietary technology that Annodyne developed to track and measure all campaigns, online and offline. “A client shouldn’t have to wait for a quarterly business review before they see results,” Campisi says. “With Annotrak, our clients can see results in real time, whenever they want. Even better, we can change variables on-the-fly to optimize performance. If something isn’t working — or isn’t working as well as we’d like — we can fix it right there and then.”
It’s that kind of thinking that’s always kept Annodyne ahead of the curve. What started as a forward-thinking email marketing firm moved quickly to develop and offer Web 2.0, and then next-generation Search Engine Marketing, and then Social Media and Interactive Brochure Technology, and then Mobile…all seemingly years ahead of their competition.
“We read a lot,” laughs Greg Ippolito, Annodyne’s Creative Director. “And we’re extremely creative problem solvers. We’re really the thinking-person’s agency. Through our research and imagination, we can see where the currents are moving before they start forming waves. And when our clients have challenges that no one has ever seen before, we have the resources to create new answers. They appreciate that — all of it — because it helps them stay ahead of their competition.”
That kind of innovative thinking extends beyond digital. To provide one example, Annodyne is the Agency of Record (AOR) for the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau — handling all brand, digital, and relationship-marketing duties. But all of the strategies and campaigns developed at Annodyne are crafted with the Internet at the hub.
“As a culture, we’re beginning to finally recognize that this idea of ‘digital marketing’ as a mere add-on to traditional avenues, like TV and print, is an illusion,” says Nick Bartolomeo, Annodyne’s VP of Strategy. “People spend more time online than they do in front of the TV. Digital channels are the primary carriers of the great global conversation. Not only that, but they’re very unique in themselves. They need to be handled very carefully, very specifically. Any agency that tries to leverage this media to extend a client’s brand should be extremely thoughtful about how they do it.”
But so many agencies do try. Consider the growing “Everything Under One Roof” advertising model, with well-known behemoth agencies increasingly asking their clients to let them handle everything — branding, direct response, digital and more. As a specialty boutique of sorts, Annodyne has managed to carve out its own territory and grow in spite of this.
“Over the past couple of years, we’ve watched the traditional firms try to adjust to this new wave,” Campisi says. “It’s a whole lot of ‘We do digital, too!’ And that’s fine with us. Clients have become savvier. They understand the full potential of digital now. And the best clients have always been able to tell the difference between a fresh, exciting idea, and an old retread that’s falsely packaged as new. So traditional firms can bang the ‘social media’ drum all they want. We’re already talking to our clients about new technologies and methodologies that are virtually unheard of.”
It only makes you wonder what the next ten years might bring.
Annodyne (annodyne.com) is a next-generation advertising and marketing agency with a 10-year history specializing in digital integration. We leverage unparalleled creativity and industry-leading technologies to reach audiences where they live, inspiring them and driving them to action. We’re surgically efficient, brand-centric, media-agnostic, and always — always — results-driven.