Thursday, April 16, 2009


Is Advertising Losing Its Charm In this Economy?

Is it true that "60% of all advertising, globally is wasted," according some experts quoted in several marketing papers last week? A few of them are even blaming the advertising and marketing world for the bank failures. They also imply advertising (as we know it) is being threatened by social media. The appeal of social media is exploding for two reasons: 1. it’s less expensive; and 2) it is being given a higher credibility level from a communications standpoint because it is interactive. The real issues are: How much is the world of marketing communications changing?” and “Will the changes be long lasting?”

My opinion is that the changes associated with social media will last for quite some time. This does not mean, however, that we should throw out all the marketing techniques and best practices we have learned over the years just because there’s a new (and maybe more effective) delivery system (i.e., online). First of all, it will take many moons before traditional marketers really can understand the advent of social media. Exacerbating this situation is the fact that they will have to sell their bosses and Upper Management on these tools before they will even be allowed to use them.

Some of my clients today are admittedly “afraid” of blogs, rapidly becoming the most impactful form of social media. Most of that fear is based on not knowing what a blog is or what it can do for a company or a brand. As direct result, they will stand by on the sidelines and watch the parade go by.

Secondly, if you believe in marketing at all, then you know that everything you do should revolve around the brand. If your brand (be it company and/or product) is not positioned correctly in the marketplace, it will fail. If your brand is not “connecting” with your target audiences’ needs, it will fail. And, if your brand is not nurtured and revitalized constantly, it will fail. In short, if you are not brand-centric from a marketing purview, you will ultimate suffer the consequences.

I’ll talk more about this in the next few posts, but for now, remember that we, as marketers and ad people, have to embrace the new and combine it with the expertise of the past.

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