I found this article interesting because of discussions I’ve been having recently and books I’ve been reading
It discusses the challenges agencies face in adopting new tactics and models to combat shrinking marketing spends, where marketers don’t entirely believe that their spends were ever even justified.
These were some of my thoughts on it, heavy on the embellishment.
Agencies need to be as good at helping clients achieve consistent and accurate, cross-channel ROI measurement & optimisation, as they are at delivering campaign creative.
By channel I don’t just mean TV, Radio, DM, Online but transactionally too, over the phone, online or in store and by campaign creative I mean all of it, concept and execution; outdoor, ambient, integrated, alternate reality gaming, social media, traditional media, rich internet applications, SEM, display, affiliates etc…
Naturally, the buzz words that come to mind are ‘integrated‘ and ‘through the line‘. But there seems to be a lot of buzz about with very little delivery. Perhaps this lack focus is due to the implied inferiority of the phrases ‘through/below the line’ themselves, and we’re all scrambling to rewrite it.
As for Mobile, everyone’s spruiking 2010 as its year (as they have every year) and don’t get me wrong it will have its day and it will be game changing. But it won’t just be mobile:
- It’s Google bringing to iPTV the same disruption it did with AdWords.
- It’s location based search.
- It’s everyday engrained advocacy marketing.
- It’s very serious privacy implications for us all.
All of the above feed a growing societal distrust for the isolation brought on by our growing digital entrenchment and, as expected, marketers are pitching to the alleviation of this fear, with products that are real – no really. This gets harder and harder to do though as every service provider, bank and grocery chain out there is shouting ‘local’, ‘organic’, ‘friendly’,‘trusted’ and ‘personal’ louder than the next, wearing a massive smile and believing being on Facebook makes them that, real. When it’s really only the most transparent companies, willing to mould themselves on their customers that will win. And this is no easy task. It’s political, it’s technical and it’s difficult.
If you’re listening to a social media expert and they’re talking to you in any language other than whole of business and especially management reform, read between these lines and start doing the talking again yourself, to your staff, chances are you’ll have a few that will teach you a thing or two – relevant to your company.
But back to my point, which is this (I think)…
With all the cloud gazing over these ‘any-day-now’ platforms that we hope will rejuvenate tired media and agency models, they’re still still not here. Possibly because there’s too much for all the network, content, system and hardware providers out their to agree on (maybe one company needs to be all of these).
Even when they do agree though and the heavens do finally open, the same teething problems witnessed in digital and media measurement today, will, in most likelihood I believe, still exist (if not more so).
But teething problems don’t really matter do they? So long as sales are being tracked rather than made and no one neither realises nor says anything. This is the opportunity for any agency game enough to fill it, to recognise the difference and offer the better alternative, rather than just the most easily concealable and least egregious.
So, what is real and authentic?
What is tangible and of real value to advertisers today?
I think it’s this…
There’s so much advertisers can do right now, within existing channels. But so few know it.
It comes in knowing the mood of people today, building good companies, brands, products and people and using both good creative AND functional use of mediums and media, to tell everyone about it.
It now also needs REAL measurement, actionable insight and constant improvement.
It’s called authenticity; we’ve just got to stop ‘faking it’.