March 07, 2008
Advertising & Marketing Sea Change
I attended Kevin Werbach's annual Pre-Supernova mixer in San Francisco this past week. It's essentially a gathering of movers and shakers in the technology world that combine entrepreneurs, policy makers, CEOs, VCs and geeks for an evening of interactive discussion and schmooze.
Jerry Michalski moderated a group who talked about business in the new world, including a long dialogue about advertising models that will work and not work both for large and small companies. Where do kids learn about brands today and what do they remember?
Jeff Clavier pointed out that his 11 year old wouldn't get that info from a TV ad, and saw Google as the place for all as most kids do. Former Adaptive Path's CEO Janice Fraser told us how she went through Lego catelogues with her 8 year old son.
The thread that was constant was that in today's world, it has to have a viral component. Frankly, it always did, but the virality came through constant hitting people over the head with an ad's jingles and slogans.
For those over the age of 35, you'll probably remember a bunch of these, all ones that came to my head as readily as if I heard them yesterday: "Plop Plop Fiz Fiz, Oh What a Relief it is, Have it your way, A Little Dab Will Do Ya, Be Happy Go Lucky, Roto-Rooter that's the name, where all your troubles go down the drain, Give yourself a break today, My Bologna has a first name, its OSCAR, I wish I were an OSCAR Meyer Weiner, ANTICIPATION, its making me wait, I'm gonna wash that gray right outa my hair, Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow Meow, Here's to Good Friends, It makes me look like I'm not wearing nothing, Where's the Beef?, Fly the Friendly Skies, Tony the Tiger says its GREATTTTT, and on and on and on.
We won't remember slogans and jingles in the same way 20 years ago, not if creating brands over time now equates to "having conversations" with customers. So sure, we won't be pitched with an ad the way we did ten years ago; it most certainly DOES change an entire culture's buying behavior.
Big brands like Proctor & Gamble and other companies of its stature are playing around with co-branding campaigns with vertical market social networks to reach their customers in a more personalized way.
We didn't talk about the cultural aspect of these implications which I only reflected upon at this level 20 minutes after I walked out of the room.
Asks Jerry, "steps you'd take in a large company to make it in this new environment?" Says one, "push the boundaries of what was known." In other words, push on the innovation front, which Apple does all the time. Says another, "listen to your customers and partners, do a mindset change, narrow down your lists, talk to the right people."
Another school of thought says not to listen to customers at all because they don't really know what they want until you give it to them. Then there's the Drucker model, the pain-point one -- find a need and fill it. It's certainly still a big part of marketing and PR campaigns in the new world, as much as it was in the old world. Why should that change? If there's a need and you're filling it in a way your audience cherishes, TELL THAT STORY and demonstrate it through delivery on that promise.
Someone felt that there was no longer as much of an experimental attitude. With middle managers out of the way and people working longer hours than ever before, who has time to rise above it all and get creative? Frankly, I think it depends on the industry and the leadership.
Another felt that we pay more attention to design than we ever have and used the upside down ketchup bottle as an example. I disagree if we're talking about US companies. I care about design A LOT, but I have to go to Europe or Asia to really get something visually stunning on a consistent basis.
Mary Hodder brought up the same ole fact that is as daunting for me as it is for her. Most of the technology products and solutions are being developed by men under 25 years old and if a huge market is over 30 year old women (and it IS a huge market), there's a huge gap between what they design and what we want to see and buy. Hear hear.
Bottom line. Long tail remains something companies are dabbling in. The playing field is changing. We all know it. We're all experimenting. Some things are working, some are not, just like they always do at the beginning of a sea change.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Advertising & Marketing Sea Change:
I think more and more companies have passed "dabbling" in long tail, and now view it as a necessity for survival as other companies step in to fill the needs of people who are being ignored by legacy marketing campaigns.
Posted by: hgh | Mar 13, 2008 8:50:46 PM
Great article, thanks.
Posted by: hgh | Jan 21, 2009 1:12:19 AM