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Ad Agencies Should Look to Higher Ed for Innovation

Three times in the last year I’ve stumbled across opportunities to collaborate with people from the hallowed halls of higher academia. Each one of these connections was very different, and it got me thinking about the advertising / marketing industry’s relationship with state and private colleges.

The traditional connection between these two industries is recruiting. Many agency professionals either speak to classes, or take on adjunct professor roles. This is a great way for these professionals to spot talent early, foster this talent, and ultimately recruit after graduation. A good example of a more formalized program is Brandlab. This program gives high school students from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, access and exposure to marketing and advertising professionals.

The more interesting partnerships could happen at a business development level. Agencies partnering with college departments that have developed intellectual properties that need funding, business strategy, and a place for being, in the commercial market. This is nothing new. Many partnerships exist like this for heath IT, med tech, and pharma.

Is it time for a incubator solution to make these partnerships more of a reality?

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