The More Things Change…

| By JG Wolfe

Forgive me, but I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. Maybe it’s the fact that we celebrate 10 years in business as Reuben Rink in the coming year. Or maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been working to clear out our agency storage area of 23 years of ‘stuff’ accumulated as both The Bloom Agency and Reuben Rink. Regardless, I’ve been thinking about days gone by and the earlier years of my career.   

In particular, I’ve been thinking about how, while the marketing industry seems to be moving at a breakneck speed with advances such as AI and social media (just to name a couple), the core fundamentals of marketing still hold true.  

There is no doubt that the changes over the last few decades have been substantial. Technological developments can help us work faster and more efficiently. Connectivity and processes allow us to collaborate and share work with talented professionals a continent away. But the work itself — the commitment to compelling marketing communications, strategy, and creative thinking behind what we develop for our clients — still follows sound fundamentals. In fact, those fundamentals are what make these advances in technology exciting and applicable.  

Need some examples? Sure. As I was plowing through our storage room, here are a few of the old technologies and processes I was reminded of and their more current iterations, along with the fundamentals that transcend both. Here goes: 



Then: iMacs; floppy disks; Iomega Zip drives

Now: Multi-gig workstations; mega-server racks; infinite filesharing data clouds  

Fundamentals: Proper file organization standards and naming conventions; solid production-ready file preparation and output; data backup and redundancy 


Then: Physically printed and scored/folded/taped/spray-mounted comps presented in person to clients (or occasionally FedExed overnight); handwritten revisions 

Now: Digital layouts distributed via email, a project management program, or screen-shared in a videoconference setting 

Fundamentals: Internal routing and proofing before a client sees a draft; handling revisions in batches instead of one-offs for efficiency; questioning client edits when necessary 


Then: Lengthy project kickoffs; frequent full-team team project meetings; job jackets containing printouts of all revisions throughout a project  

Now: Chat tools; digital file sharing; agile and iterative approaches 

Fundamentals: Regular collaboration; well-informed project briefs with creative direction for effective results; flexibility to shift gears as projects evolve    

One of our sayings at Reuben Rink is that in order to implement an effective plan, you have to look both ways – where you’ve been, and where you want to go. I believe the same concept holds true as things continue to speed along. It’s important to embrace new tools and improve our processes and capabilities by using them, but it’s even more important to apply the sound principles and fundamentals that we’ve developed over the years to make our marketing efforts truly effective. 


Looking for a partner that knows how to put new technology to work without forsaking the principles of effective marketing? Call us today. 


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