Can an advertising agency actually become a business partner instead of just a vendor? Craig Waters at Media Storm set out to change the standards by which creative agencies were judged.
But when the pandemic hit, the team realized that their tech stack needed some serious help. That’s when OWC stepped in to save the day.
Traditionally, creative agencies have put together campaigns and helped their clients place those ads. Media Storm deploys a team of data scientists to help their clients achieve results that drive their business goals and they hold themselves accountable for those financial results. That makes them a whole new breed of agency.
Craig set out to answer advertising’s elusive questions. Why did this ad work? Why didn’t this one work? He felt what was really missing was empirical data and predictivity. This has led Media Storm to become an entirely different kind of agency. It’s earned them a different seat at the table. It builds trust and accountability.
Media Storm seeks to use the tools of targeted advertising in a manner that respects the audience. If someone demonstrates through online behavior that they like horror movies, then that’s a sort of raising of the hand that they might be interested in the latest release. But if they don’t demonstrate that they like horror movies, then don’t send them that advertising. When done properly, waste is eliminated and people are more engaged. Craig says that this is a much better way than relying on demographics alone.
In fact, platforms like Facebook were really intrigued by the work and allowed them to become API partners. That’s a real testament to the advances that they’ve made in the field of advertising.
Craig’s team has actually produced their own technology to get a bird’s eye view on all the platforms. It allows his clients to have a broad view of the effectiveness of their creative work across the web. The benefit is that the client can reach more of their core audience in less time and at a lower cost.
Tackling the pandemic
When people went to work from home with the onset of the pandemic, their technology problems really came to the forefront. They addressed these issues using OWC solutions (docks and upgraded Mac Pro cylinders) and availing of OWC consultation.
The creative teams employ Pro Tools, Adobe apps, and 4K+ video systems. OWC’s upgrades help eliminate crashing, freezing, and beach balls from across their workstations. Now the team comes across as far more professional and well equipped.
Media Storm’s reality suddenly changed, along with us all. But the new experience meant running video conferencing software and screen sharing software on top of everything that was already going on with these machines. If you’ve been on a video meeting with a bunch of people, you know how quickly it can bring a computer to its knees. But just think if you’re trying to share video, graphics, or big spreadsheets. In addition, their team worked with video meetings back to back all day. That leaves little room for error, reconnecting, or rebooting in the middle of a presentation. Basically Media Storm needed a solution fast.
New life for old gear
Between upgrades to the internal components of Macs, to the peripherals and drives, OWC’s products have transformed their agency’s tech stack. At first, the pandemic stretched their tech to the point of frustration.
So they started working with OWC to remedy the situation. Computer upgrades were key. The ease of installation really stood out for the team at Media Storm. Craig shared a story about how he uses the Mac Pro. He needed to upgrade his RAM. OWC sent out the memory and Craig, who isn’t a hardware geek, was able to do the upgrade himself. And he didn’t even blow up his machine!
Many people don’t realize that when a Mac starts slowing down, it can be revived. OWC provides memory, storage, and more that will breathe new life into an aging piece of hardware. The best thing about these upgrades is that they are only a fraction of the cost of a new machine.
OWC has the tools, tips, and guides to help you be successful. And if you get stuck, just pick up the phone and they will walk you through it. So there’s no need to be scared of grabbing a screwdriver for an upgrade — you can do it!
Necessary new gear
OWC docks have also played a key role. The pandemic has really placed people in new mobile workflows. Employees move between the office and home with different monitors and mic and external drive setups. The OWC docks made this mobility a snap. They are stable, simple and reliable. That’s just the kind of solution the Media Storm team needed.
Conference rooms needed an upgrade as well. The old systems just weren’t cutting it when video conferences were the rule instead of the exception. And when you are working with media and entertainment companies as clients, they expect a smooth experience. And providing that experience became table-stakes. So the hardware received the needed upgrades.
Storage drives are also a critical component for the team. OWC drives became the brand of choice. Whether it is keeping data in safes, archives in closets or just personal data, Craig chooses OWC drives. He says it’s hard to go into a room in the house that doesn’t have an OWC drive somewhere!
For creative pros, speed is the key. The “crazy fast” drives that OWC puts out get used to their maximum potential by the creative teams. In the advertising agency world, Craig notes, people don’t really care about technology brands. However, Media Storm is different. Craig has realized that it really does matter, and OWC is his preferred choice.
Upgrading technology really came down to the experience of a client. A Media Storm employee may have 20 different apps and tabs open to be able to quickly answer the questions a client might have. When your machine freezes on a video cal,l people’s patience runs out quickly. That’s why it was a vital business interest to make sure the team’s tech ran like it should.
Reliability also stood out for the Media Storm staff. They realized that they simply didn’t have time for stuff to go down. Failures are just too expensive. The OWC drives delivered on both the speed and reliability that they needed to support a team of more than one hundred and sixty people spread across several states.
OWC provides service after the sale and stands by their tech. They build lifelong relationships with customers and continually seek their feedback. The result is that teams like the one at Media Storm can focus on their customers instead of their computers. “They really do care,” Craig mentions, “and that is very rare.” It’s that kind of relationship that you want when the world turns upside down.
A new normal
Media Storm’s tech story has been completely transformed by its partnership with OWC. They’re now able to take on the challenges of work-from-home, a pandemic, and a growing business.
This reinforces their brand’s distinctiveness of being on the cutting edge of technology. It stabilizes the remote workflow. It speeds the work of creatives. And it saves money by nearly eliminating downtime.
Instead of stumbling in the middle of the pandemic, Media Storm grew to the point where they were acquired by data and analytics giant Merkle. That kind of success vindicates the disrupting force that they brought to the world of creative agencies.
It demonstrates that creativity and predictability can co-exist in one company. It shows that data scientists can strengthen the work of creative professionals. It’s this kind of progress that will define the most successful agencies of the future.