Sink or Swim

23 06 2010

I sat through yet another meeting today where an agency was only interested in placing a traditional advertising buy.  In this case, radio.  The account manager telling me this story was extremely frustrated.
I ask, how do you make the light go on for Agencies that have no feel for the reality of the new market place and are so obsessed with buying on a CPP and figuring out the ROI for an on-air only campaign?  You try to educate them to include a digital element whether it is a call to action display ad, downloadable coupon or social media element and they tell you “this isn’t real yet, let’s just do another radio buy.”  Honestly, these people are dinosaurs.  I absolutely respect them for the knowledge they have on placing “traditional” media, but this is 2010.  Running a commercial in this day and age knowing that the majority of people listening or watching have an ipad, laptop, or a mobile device in their hands and NOT giving your client’s brand the opportunity to extend the story or conversation by sending them to a call-to-action on-line is a crime!  To not run a commercial saying look for our ad on “such and such dot com” or go to our fan page, comment on our post and get “X” and push people to a tangible destination where they can mine data is mind numbing. 

Like it or not, whether you are a small shop, medium shop, traditional media account manager, or somewhere in between, the days of traditional 30 second spots is over.  Today’s creative ingenuity lies within the idea, the technology, the concept, the innovation and probably even most importantly, the consumer connection.  Word of mouth is growing exponentially and interactive communities have an increasingly louder and more influential voice than ever. 

Can you teach old dogs new tricks?  Remains to be seen, but I hope so…the new trick is immediacy.  It’s going to be ALL about faster response times and the whole idea of immediacy.  E-mail, text messaging, Twitter, facebook, mobile devices – all of these are setting the table for immediacy.  Loads of consumers wanting, and expecting immediate information, responses, as well as access to products and services.

This is a wake up call folks – Differentiate or Die.  It’s time to deliver more to the table than a :10, :30 or :60 radio or TV spot can bring.  It’s time to innovate, inspire, and bring the big idea that extends beyond the traditional media platform and involves a tangible, measureable, digital element that engages the targeted consumer with the brand.  The quicker you can learn to be a star in the new playing field, the better.  Don’t just put your big toe in the water – DIVE IN!  I promise you won’t drown.

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