Keith Bates, Consultant/Creative Strategist
Former Ad Agency CEO/Creative Director

Chicago, Illinois   |   BTB Tech Marketing and Consulting/Creative/Growth Accelerator

Keith Bates & Associates, Inc.,

Previous LLC, Walker Bates Public Relations

Northwestern Univ., American Academy of Art

Creative Strategists are embracing a new dimension. More than imaging they’re about inspiring action! You must activate people… or lose leads!

In the just-published book, The Activation Imperative, authors Rosen and Minsky advocate “for marketers to move beyond building brands to activating them–from simply projecting what a brand is to optimizing what it does—to move people closer to transaction.”

In today’s continually expanding multi-channel, multi-media world my clients’ marketing stories are beleaguered by competitive messages coming from every direction. Clever messages, brilliant messages. However, most of them don’t stick. How do I make my client’s messages stick? How can I help them render competitors irrelevant? The answer is easily projected but not easily accomplished…move from “two dimensional” messaging to “three dimensional” action. Produce messages that inspire some sort of activity, because action better enables the “penetration of the belief clusters that serve as cognitive dissonance filters”. And action accelerates the pace to “transaction”.

In the recent Experiences: The 7th Era of Marketing, by Robert Rose/Carla Johnson, offer powerful insights into the value of “experiences” vs. two dimensional messaging. Michael Brenner of NewsCred reports, “…Carla and Robert have done a tremendous job in laying out the framework for using experiences to drive results for your marketing efforts.”

I learned many years ago, and have shared it with many of my ad agency’s clients over the years…experiences stick better than words. A quick glance at my “Work” page, and examples of messaging my agency created over the past 30 years reveals many interesting concepts that displayed, and led to, physical activity which is definitely farther reaching than just mental activity. From snakes and apples to hands-on analysis of existing systems we learned that “touch and feel” is a lot more conducive to (trans)action than simply “think and ponder”. Apply it and you’ll see there’s nothing more potent than a powerful call to action.

Think creativity is solely the product of brilliant human brains? Review the June issue of CCO (Chief Content Officer) labeled DATA-DRIVEN CREATIVE and discover Forrester’s efforts to start a new research theme “content intelligence” defined as “the use of artificial intelligence technologies to understand and capture the qualities inherent in any content.”

To expand a little on this from my recently published white paper labeled Creativity: the critical gap between Messaging & Media. “While marketing automation promises the world, what it actually does is automate the execution of content marketing while decision-making remains an impractically manual effort. It offer marketers a strong workflow and even insight, but fails to provide an automated way to act on those insights at scale. Fundamentally, the content in those systems is dumb; the system doesn’t understand what the content is about and who should read it.” Enter Forrester.

It’s true. Media is valuable, but primarily as a tool for the distribution of the content/messages that impact branding. Messages in turn are becoming heavily dependent on neuroscience to alter the brain chemistry required of changing a prospective buyer’s attitude. Artificial Intelligence is starting to play a role.

Inspired by the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity are powerful thoughts from the 2016’s The Case for Creativity by James Hurman. A cover quote from Giles Hedger of Leo Burnett states, “The relationship between creativity and effective-ness is the golden thread of advertising”.

This is an incredibly inspiring book. All Creative Directors contend our work is “creative” but is it “effective”? Sometimes we’re too far from the stage to know, or perhaps to care. Be sure to read about what effectiveness researcher Peter Field calls “fame” effects. “Fame campaigns work by getting the brand talked about and generally making it more famous,” says Field. “—it is about creating perceptions of being the brand that is “making waves”. It’s nice to make a brand stand out from competitors, but even nicer if it impacts society.


In spite of the volatile nature of today’s IT world, where change is the only constant, Keith Bates has demonstrated a unique ability to build long-lasting relationships, many of them going back over twenty years. Presidents and Vice Presidents keep coming back from wherever they are currently hanging their hats for more of the creative skills and marketing savvy offered by Bates.

Shown below is a partial list of past accounts, mostly B2B, some B2C

Information Technology
ABC Technologies
Access Computer Co.
Advanced Systems
Airplan Systems
(System One)
Alliance Group
Applied Learning Corp.
Asyst Technologies
Automation Design
Bakco Data
BCR Enterprises
BlackInk Software
Boeing Computer
Business Modeling
Caelus Inc.
Cambar Software
Capsco Software
Catalyst (Peat Marwick)
Charter Data Services
Chasm Institute
Cimlinc Inc.
Cimnet Systems
Coe-Truman Tech.
Coherent Networks, Inc.
CrossAccess Corp.
Cullinane, John
Delphi Information Sys.
Design Data Systems
Deltak/Applied Learning
DH Dial
Digital Systems House
Discrete Time Systems
Distribution Sciences
Diversified Technologies
Electec Corporation
Emphasys Software
Endeavor Info Sys.
Eolas Technologies
Empower Geographics
Equal Employment
Oppor. Consultants
Exceed Corporation
Excalibur Tech.
Execucom Systems
Ferox Microsystems

Gateway Systems Inc.
GBC/ Gen’l Binding Corp
Gemma International
Group 1 Software
ICE, Inc.
Information Mgmt.Tech.
Innovous Multimedia Inc.
Inn-Room Systems
InterAccess Co.
Intersolv Inc.
ISA Solutions
IsoQuest (SRA)
Jason Software
J. Baker & Associates
JD Edwards & Co
KDM Associates
Ken Orr & Assoc. Inc
Kirchman Corp.
Lakeview Technology
Lawson Associates
LPC/Pitney Bowes
Marketing Info Sys.
Meta Systems
Metrix Inc.
McCabe & Associates
Midwest Visual Equip.
Mobius Mgmnt. Sys.
Mutare Inc.
Napersoft Inc.
Neal Nelson Assoc.
Northwest Gen’l Data
Olympic amis
Output Reporting
Pansophic Systems
Planned Maint. Sys.
Price Waterhouse
Prime Computer
Proxy Message Center
PSC, Inc.
Rand McNally – TDM
Retail Target Marketing
Ricardo North America
RN Act
Robert Routman
Salare Security
Sam Albert Assoc.
SCO (Santa Cruz Org.)
SeNet Corporation

Scientific Info Retrieval
Sentry Publishing Co.
Shaker Computer
Silvon Software
SKK, Inc.
Software AG
Software Corp. Amer.
Software Design
Software Plus
Software Systems Co.
Standard Software
System 5 Inc.
Systems Mgmt. Inc.
Systems & Software
Teleconsultants, Inc.
(People Filter)
Telcorp Inc.
Titan Technologies
ThumbScan Inc.
Thomson Software
Timeworks, Inc.
Transform Logic
Trimark Technologies
Ultra Corporation
Uniq Computer Co.
University Commun.
Value Group
VASCO Data Security
Viasoft Inc.
Wallace Computer
Wheels Inc.
Xpress Software, Inc.
Zink & Katich, Inc.
ZyLAB Corporation
Zenith Data Systems
Industrial &
Consumer Accounts
AAR Corp.
Adventurers Club
Air Finance Intrntnl.
Air Namibia
Airplan Systems
All America Plastics
Allen Aircraft
Allen Airmotive Intrnl.
Allied Electronics
Allied Mills
Bankers Life & Cas.
Bank of Ravenswood
Big Game Safaris
Borg Erickson Corp

Brach’s Candies
Canada North Outfitters
Casa Bella
Condominiums Corp.
Chamberlain Mfg
Colt Industries
Constitution Life Ins.
Consumer Guide Mag.
Continental Bank
Continental Casualty
Crown Marketing Sys.
Detectronic Corp.
Digital Pix
Dormeyer Industries
Edens Plaza Bank
Enesco Imports
Erik A. Lindgren Assoc
Ethiopian Airlines
Explorers World Travel
Falcon International
Girl Scouts of America
Gravity Investments
Hinckley & Schmitt
Humes & Berg Mfg.
Intermountain Invest.
Jeffrey Elevator Co.
Kitchens of Sara Lee
La Costa of Arizona
Lane Banks
Mongerson Gallery
North Community Bank
Peace Corp (U.S.)
Pert Products
Quick-Set Tripods
Ramco International
Safari Club Intern.
Safari Magazine Inc.
Safari Outfitters
South African Airways
Standard Elsmere
Systema, Inc.
The John Volk Co.
Trout & Grouse, LLC
U.S. Action Agency
U.S. Airforce Recruiting
U.S. Army Recruiting
U.S. Army Corp Engineers
U.S. Dept. of Health,
Education and Welfare
U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency
ViaDIRECT Travel
Wildlife World, Inc.
Zenith Electronics

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