What’s in my head will kill Ad Agencies. Seriously.
I was out last night with a friend who is the advertising account manager for several large consumer brands. I asked about her online strategies and she said they had been planning for six months and they are just about ready to hop to it. I said, “So what is your strategy?” She said, “reinforce key messages … blah blah” I tuned out after the first three words.
“Reinforcing key messages” is an offline advertising and PR strategy. Online it totally wastes opportunities.
Online you want to build a relationship. By the time someone is on your site, they are looking to participate. Help them – don’t waste your breath telling people how you are better. Start a relationship and as it grows, seed those messages.
I asked, “What Metrics will you use to measure the success of your online campaigns?”. *Black stare*. “Maybe our design guys know. I’ll ask.”
I asked, “Are you using a special URL to track your various print and TV ads.” *Black stare*. “Not sure. Good Idea though. I’ll ask my creative guys.”
Fortune wrote some great articles about Madison Avenues fears of going online (could not find them…read them in print. Sorry). They fear it because you can track EVERYTHING. No more, “Spend 5 million on 30 second spots” with no way to track results directly. Ambiguity is gone. Fear is building.
What’s in my head will kill Ad agencies. Seriously.
“The power of an ad agency continues to lie in its ability to create content…content that emotionally connects people, companies and products/services. The online experience, at the end of the day needs to be driven by valuable content, and as such, the limitation of an ad agency is only driven by peoples historic definitions and stereotypes of what agencies do. They may still have a fair amount to learn about the medium, but they also poses the creativity to really drive the future value. So you could try to kill them, but I would think it would be a little more profitable to just partner with them…”
Honestly I'm not trying to kill them. I wish them well. I going for "shock value" I neglected to mention that I think most agencies will learn and change over the next few years. Some will LOSE clients and die for fear of change. Most will not.Their media buying fees (i.e. percentage of content purchased) are likely to be gouged however…
“Interesting comment coming at a time when BBDO (US), one of the larger shops, was just awarded agency of the year by Advertising Age for their focus on media without boundaries. I wouldn't be too quick to judge a global industry that is poulated with people who, for the most part, thrive on change!”