Ignition Consulting Group is a leading U.S.-based consultancy devoted to helping advertising agencies and other marketing firms create and capture more value. Since 1998, Ignition has worked with agencies around the world to help them focus their business strategy, optimize their organizational structure, and transform their pricing practices. Ignition’s purpose is to help agencies pioneer the “next practices” that will form the basis of agency success in today’s complex multichannel marketing world.
Creating more value
Our approach is based on the premise that in order to capture more value, agencies must first create more value. Ignition works with marketing organizations to create a more clearly defined focus and differentiating business strategy that will give them a competitive advantage in the marketplace, a higher-profile reputation, and an improved ability to attract and win the clients they really want. Our work in this area in based largely on the concepts in the books written by Ignition founder Tim Williams, including Take a Stand for Your Brand (ranked in the top 10 books on brand building on Amazon) and Positioning for Professionals.
Capturing more value
To help agencies improve their margins in an era of intense pricing pressure and commoditization of agency services, Ignition is at the forefront of helping the marketing communications industry develop a more effective value-based approach to pricing and compensation. We have worked closely with organizations such as the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As), Association of National Advertisers (ANA), Institute of Advertising Practitioners (IPA) and Institute of Communications Agencies (ICA) to take value-based compensation beyond theory to reality, with leading-edge models that professional firms can put to use today. Our work in this area has been featured in major business publications worldwide, including The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and in featured articles in marketing publications such as Advertising Age and Campaign. Ignition’s innovative approach to agency compensation is outlined in books authored by Ignition associates, including Positioning for Professionals by Tim Williams and Implementing Value Pricing by Ron Baker.
For more than a decade, Ignition has worked with hundreds of agencies ranging from mid-size independents to mulitnational agency networks in North and South America, Europe, Asia, India, Australia, and Africa.
Ignition was founded by agency industry veteran Tim Williams, a noted author, international speaker, and presenter for major industry associations, agency networks, universities, and business conferences worldwide. His seminars have been featured by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, Association of National Advertisers, Institute of Advertising Practitioners (U.K.), Institute of Communication Agencies (Canada), International Advertising Association, and numerous other advertising agency associations with global membership.
He is author of the book, “Take a Stand for Your Brand: Building a Great Agency Brand from the Inside Out” ranked by Amazon as one of the top ten books on brand building. His booklet “Defining the Agency Brand,” published by the American Association of Advertising Agencies is regarded as the standard in agency brand development. Tim’s newest book is “Positioning for Professionals: How Professional Knowledge Firms Can Differentiate Their Way to Success.”
As a recognized thought leader in the advertising and marketing business, Tim is a frequent contributor to leading marketing publications including Advertising Age, Adweek, Communication Arts, and The Advertiser in the United States and Campaign and Admap in the United Kingdom. Based on his expertise in the area of building differentiated professional service brands, Tim has been interviewed and quoted by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, The Guardian, Toronto Globe & Mail, National Post, Huffington Post, Bloomberg News, Japan’s Nikkei News, Spain’s Expansión, and numerous other business publications in Asia, India, South America, and Australia. Tim writes the popular blog “Propulsion” (www.ignitionpropulsion.com) and was selected by LinkedIn as one of 250 global LinkedIn Influencers featured regularly on LinkedIn Today.
Tim is also a Senior Fellow of the VeraSage Institute (www.verasage.com), a think tank devoted to revolutionizing the business model of professional service firms. As an adviser in this area, Tim has worked with major agencies, agency holding companies, Fortune 500 companies, and national and international associations.
Before forming Ignition, Tim was president of nationally-ranked R&R Partners (creators of the “What happens here, stays here” campaign for Las Vegas) and was co-founder of his own firm, now known as Richter7. Tim launched his career in New York working at multinational agencies including Ogilvy & Mather and Marsteller, and has led efforts for a variety of well-known brands ranging from CBS Television to American Express.
Phone: +1 (801) 582-7297
Ron Baker is one of the world’s thought leaders in the area of pricing professional services. He is the founder of VeraSage Institute, a think tank dedicated to teaching value-based pricing to professionals around the world.
As a frequent speaker at events and conferences, and a consultant to professional service firms on implementing value-based pricing, his work takes him around the world. He has authored a number of courses for professionals, including: How to Build a Successful Practice with Total Quality Service; The Shift From Hourly Billing to Value Pricing; Value Pricing Graduate Seminar; You Are What You Charge For: Success in Today’s Emerging Experience Economy (with Daniel Morris); Trashing the Timesheet: A Declaration of Independence; Everyday Economics; The Firm of the Future; Everyday Ethics: Doing Well by Doing Good (with Daniel Morris); The New Business Equation for Industry Executives; and Specialists Make More Money (with Michelle Golden).
He is the author of the best-selling marketing book ever written specifically for the professions, “Professional’s Guide to Value Pricing,” which is ranked #1 on Amazon.com in Australia and New Zealand. Other books include “The Firm of the Future,” “Pricing on Purpose,” “Measure What Matters to Customers,” and “Mind Over Matter.” His latest book is “Implementing Value Pricing: A Radical Business Model for Professional Firms.”
As one of the pre-eminent thought leaders in the area of alternative business models for professional service firms, Ron is one of a select group of LinkedIn Influencers, and also publishes regularly to the Verasage blog.
Ron has toured the world, spreading his Value Pricing message to over 70,000 professionals. He has been appointed to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountant’s Group of One Hundred, a think tank of leaders to address the future of the profession, named on Accounting Today’s 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 Top 100 Most Influential People in the profession, and received the 2003 Award for Instructor Excellence from the California CPA Education Foundation.
Phone: + 1 (707) 769-0965
Emily Hicks has been part of the Ignition team from the start, serving originally as the firm’s manager of business affairs. Over the years, Emily has been instrumental in planning and organizing Ignition events as well as interfacing directly with Ignition clients and business partners. In addition to managing operations for Ignition as Business Manager, Emily also plays the role of Engagement Manager, working directly with clients to organize the logistics of major projects and consulting engagements.
Emily honed her skills in the advertising and marketing business at Williams & Rockwood (now Richter7) and later at R&R Partners, where she served as business development coordinator. She is also a past board member of the Utah Advertising Federation.
Phone: +1 (801) 580-1401
Peter Gerritsen serves as a Client Relations Liaison for Ignition, helping to align the needs of agencies and other professional services firms with either the resources available at Ignition or elsewhere in the industry.
As an Ignition Affiliate, Pete is head of the independent consultancy Gerritsen LLC. He also currently serves as the Global President of TAAN, one of world’s oldest and most successful networks of independent advertising and communications agencies. Prior to that, Pete was a co-founder of A-Team Advisors a consultancy that worked with advertising agencies around the world to improve financial, management, integration, client relationships, and creative processes. Before moving to his role as an advisor, Pete spent his career in the advertising agency business, co-founding the firm Allen & Gerritsen, based in Boston. Pete was instrumental in guiding the agency from start-up to the largest independent agency in New England, with over 100 people and $120 million in billings.
Pete was also a long-time member and former Chairman of the New England Council Board of Governors for the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As), and was a member of Board of Directors for the New England region of the Business Marketing Association (BMA). Pete has been a contributor to numerous industry publications, a featured speaker at advertising organizations and design schools, and has been a judge for industry creative competitions in the U.S. and abroad.
As an Ignition Affiliate, Mark handles our Internal and External Agency Brand Assessments. He personally provides the analysis and summary of key findings.
As a two-time agency CEO, Mark is highly experienced in the areas of agency operations, management, new business and client/agency relationships. He has led many different agency teams to winning top-tier accounts. Mark earned his BA at Dartmouth College and MBA at Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business Administration.
Starting his advertising career in New York, Mark worked for multinational agencies Ted Bates & Co. and Wells, Rich, Greene with clients including Colgate and Procter & Gamble. Several years after moving to California, he co-founded his own agency Cohen/Johnson, Inc. in Los Angeles which he helped to build into one of the largest independent agencies in the West. Clients included Nestle, PETCO, Target Corp.’s Mervyn’s stores, Jack in the Box, Disney and other well-known marketers.
Tim Williams shows how by better positioning and differentiating their offering from the rest of the pack, professional firms ultimately help create a marketplace that is easier for us, brand advertisers, to navigate and as a result, significantly improves the chances for the right client/agency partnerships to emerge and drive business impact.
Bruno Gralpois, author of Agency Mania and Director of Global Agency Management, Microsoft
Tim Williams is an industry thought leader, a passionate student of marketing and an incredibly compelling presenter. When Tim speaks, I listen.
Tom Finneran, Executive Vice President, 4A’s
If you are looking for a specialist who really understands the agency world, can inform and challenge you, and most importantly give you the clarity of thinking and processes so you can act on your learnings – then Tim Williams is your man.
John Williams, Executive Director, MAAW (Marketing and Advertising Agencies Worldwide)