Razorfish’s Jay Krihak On His New Role and What Clients Really Want

Jay Krihak recently joined Razorfish, one of the world’s largest interactive agencies, as Client Partner, Client Engagement and previously worked at NBC Universal. Prior to that Jay worked for MEC/Y&R for an amazing 16 years. We recently asked him about his new role and current industry trends.

The Makegood:  You recently joined Razorfish as Client Partner, Client Engagement.  Can you explain a little bit about your role, what it entails and how it fits into the rest of the agency?

JK: The Client Partner’s role within Razorfish is the owner of the Client relationship, develops the partnership over time and leads the conversation on meeting core business challenges through digital solutions bridging product, marketing and advertising.  These conversations are driven by insights generated by marketplace gap assessments, competitive analyses, consumer trends and advanced analytics on advertising performance.  So while my specialization is client engagement, the need to understand the pieces and how it all comes together to move the client’s business forward.

The Makegood: Having been in the industry for quite some time, you’ve seen trends come and go. Are there any trends that have come and gone and you were glad to see them go?

JK: Thanks for reminding me about how “experienced” I am. But you’re right – many things have come and gone, though I’m not sure anything ever truly goes away.  As an example of the ‘what’s old is new again’ trend that I’m glad is gone for the second time is the Walled Garden.  First, it was AOL keeping everyone within its walls, not allowing access to the open Web.  Even advertisers were limited to half-banners and buttons for years!  Needless to say, the consumer won out and the AOL of today is very different than it was a decade ago.

Just when we thought it was over, we watched it happen again with the wireless carrier decks a few years back.  Before the Smartphone App revolution, there were only WAP sites over a wireless dial-up equivalent.  Content and advertising were controlled by the carriers, which limited how the space could evolve.  It was Apple (RIP, Steve Jobs) that changed the game with the iPhone and an exclusive relationship with AT&T to break down the walls and begin a path to true innovation in the Mobile space.   Again, the consumer won out.  I just hope we’ve learned that open is better.

The Makegood: What would you say are the hot topics that your clients are talking about most this year?

JK: Multi-Channel Attribution and Mobile are at the top of the list for the third year in a row.  But unlike other years, the solutions have matured to the point where we can truly get at them.  On the Mobile front in particular, iOS and Droid have given scale to display and search, while the Tablet plays the companion to TV like handsets cannot with the added bonus of driving higher video viewership.  Just when you thought “it’s definitely the year of mobile” there’s an added layer of fragmentation to address which dilutes Mobile’s influence on investment.

  • Michael Pappas

    Who doesnt love this guy