Heneghan: Clients base deals on performance

February 26, 2001


This is one of an ongoing series of articles on interactive marketing leaders who are doing things other marketers can learn from. They're not yet household names, but will be in the headlines tomorrow. They're the emerging leaders of an emerging marketing discipline

Name, rank and serial number: Eric Heneghan, 33, cofounder, Giant Step. Bachelor’s degree in English, University of Iowa, 1990. CEO, Giant Step, 1996-present (future entrepreneurial plans are being considered). Started Giant Step with brother Adam while a student. Moved to Chicago in ’94; consulted with Leo Burnett, 1994-1996; sold equity stake in firm to Burnett in 1996.

Mantra: "It helps the business to have the data."

On getting involved with technology: "My father was an architect who was one of the first to embrace (computer-aided design). We saw technology very differently than probably most kids at that age."

On Giant Step’s inception: "When everybody was just starting to talk about (the) Internet, we already had almost three-and-a-half years … of actually doing work for Fortune 500 companies. We did the first video ever edited on a computer. Now, everything you watch on CNN is coming off a hard drive." Giant Step’s first ads were for Nintendo and McDonald’s.

On interactive advertising’s problems: Hiring traditional advertising folks who brought in their old-school thinking really set interactive advertising back, he says.

"They’re not concerned with how that advertisement performs; they’ve never been liable for performance in the past—not at the level of generating sales for their client. Clients want to strike deals with their advertising agencies that are based on sales performance," he says.

On interactive advertising’s opportunity: "There are tons of opportunities on the organizational back end, where smart companies are now starting to marry all these things. It means having a cross-discipline group, both on the client side and the agency side.

"You’ve got to build all those systems. It definitely costs you money up front, but ... it more than pays for itself quickly, exponentially."

On the new competencies marketers need: "Knowing what metrics to watch and systems-building skills that marry all the data." Marketers don’t use banner ads in the proper way, he says.

"They put them out there like they’re going to be a print ad or a TV spot, and that’s not what they are." In fact, "banners aren’t what I call online advertising."

Michael Krauss is a partner with DiamondCluster International in Chicago.
He can be reached at news@ama.org.




 ©2004 Marion Consulting Partners