Lehigh Valley Business Interview with Michael Keenan
“A Conversation with Michael Keenan of Keenan-Nagle Advertising, Inc.” was originally published by Lehigh Valley Business magazine in its March 30, 2020 issue.
Founded in 1954, Keenan-Nagle Advertising (K-N) is the longest-running ad agency/marketing firm in the Lehigh Valley. K-N creative and marketing services are fully integrated, providing clients with the benefits of single-source project coordination, responsive service and timely turnaround.
The firm specializes in financial, healthcare, B2B and consumer/commercial interests. K-N is located at 1301 South 12th Street, Allentown.
LVB: What are some of the trends and changes in marketing and advertising that your firm has seen and adapted to over the years?
Keenan: Client service response time has accelerated big-time. Look how fast this coronavirus challenge has changed the world. Clients need well-crafted, incisively-delivered messaging to their customers, co-workers and community immediately. And that will shift constantly with the evolution of events, market conditions and other influences. Sit on your hands and you’ll soon be sitting on the street.
Another big change is the proliferation of digital media channels. This has enabled incredibly precise market segmentation. It might be a single product, but we now tailor different appeals about it to very specific targets with unique interests, shared needs and similar demographic profiles.
LVB: When you’re taking on a new marketing campaign, what are the most important things a creative team can focus on?
Keenan: At K-N, marketing is a two-part process we call Informed Emotion. The “informed” part is primarily science — data-driven analytics to determine ROI (return on investment), etc. The “emotion” part is the more creative side of the process. One recent study from the National Academy of Sciences has defined 27 different human emotions. Excitement, fear, envy, desire and more — all are powerful keys to change preference behaviors and build client brands. Our tools to harness the power of emotions are ideas, words, visual, sounds and the psychology of selling.
LVB: What is your favorite type project to work on?
Keenan: Branding, for sure. Whether it’s creating and launching a fresh brand, or re-energizing a familiar brand, or bundling multiple service assets into a whole new brand, it’s always an exciting challenge that brings out the best efforts of both creative and analytics minds at our agency. It’s also the most fun.
LVB: What do you see as the major trends in marketing and advertising in the next decade?
Keenan: There’s more emphasis on conveying a visceral experience today than I’ve seen in my 40-plus years and I see that growing. It’s way more about feelings than facts for many market segments. It’s gone from “here’s what we got” to “here’s how having this will make you feel” and conveying it interestingly and quickly, sometimes in seconds. It makes the role of a fresh-thinking ad partner even more important for companies determined to become and stay market leaders.
By: STACY WESCOE