This week, at the 4A’s Transformation conference in Austin, Texas, Chipotle chief marketing and development officer Mark Crumpacker revealed that they don’t share real-time, quarterly sales figures with their agencies. Why? Because they want to keep their agency’s noses out of the weeds and more focused on the loftier, long-term prize: building their bigger brand.


We understand—that’s a really tough position to take. In today’s insanely paced marketing world, CMO tenures are averaging only about two years. So it’s no wonder we’re all looking for results by yesterday afternoon. Or sooner. It’s just that we’ve seen time and time again how a long-term strategy can benefit a brand. And how focusing solely on knee-jerk reactions (which don’t always align with the brand’s voice) doesn’t always pay off. (JCPenney, anyone?)

Now that doesn’t mean that as agencies, we don’t love to roll up our sleeves and get in the trenches with our clients. If it’s an activation that’s on-brand and relevant, we’re all for it. But the real value of a true agency partner is connecting your brand to consumers. We do this by talking to consumers as real people, not as robots or marketing committees.  And although demands of marketing departments can keep them mired in the weeds, sometimes it’s good to get an outside perspective from a partner who can see things from a consumer’s perspective.

So, even though we all want that silver bullet that’s going to bring record-breaking sales, sometimes it’s less of a silver bullet we need, and more of a silver Zeppelin. (OK, bad example, but you know—something way, way high up like that.)