Industry Topics

Don't Lose Your Marketing Credibility

We received an email the other day with the subject line, "Competitively Priced Media."

They lost me right off the bat for not hyphenating competitively-priced, but I clicked anyway to see what they wanted to sell me. This is what I saw:

I hope your week is going well! I’m circling back as I’m sure that this is a busy planning period for you and your team, and I’d like to hear how (company name) might fit into the media buying mix.

For starters, before you can circle back, you have to make an initial contact. Second, this person doesn't know this is a busy planning period for us (whatever that even means). And last, she wants to help us buy media.

We buy media for our clients. It's expensive enough to begin with. Why on earth would an ad agency ever pay more money for a third-party vendor to do that?

The moral of the story: know your customer.

This may be a perfectly legitimate company. They have a nice web site. But I would never trust them to market my business.


"The End of Advertising"

Back in June, a book with a funny title came out -- funny as in haha funny, especially if your new, re-branded advertising agency opened 6 or so weeks earlier.

It is titled "The End of Advertising" by Andrew Essex. 

I devoured every word in record time (for me).

Essex rails against those annoying pop-up ads, pre-roll video ads, and the like. Then he rehashes all the old horror stories like snake oil salesmen, Bayer selling heroin, etc., etc.

Then, he offers a bit of hope for the industry as is suggested by the subtitle, "Why it Had to Die, and the Creative Resurrection to Come." In the final part of the book, Essex (who "isn't from around here," as we like to say), talks about new innovations in marketing. The most noteworthy is Citibank's, Citi Bike program in New York City.

Essex thinks it's brilliant that a bank has its logo plastered on 10,000 bicycles in the Big Apple. Of course it's brilliant. It's brilliant because no one has ever done it before.

I don't agree with all Essex's naysaying about the industry in general. I don't think traditional advertising will ever go away, though the way it is presented and consumed is ever-changing. I mean, a newspaper ad is still a newspaper ad whether it's printed on paper or glowing on a screen. 

But, "The End of Advertising" did impact the way we at White Oak approach the business. (Everyone in our organization has read it). It helped hammer home the importance of looking for new ways to serve our clients to make them stand out in the noisy marketplace.

This new approach to the creative process is fun. We love doing things for clients no one else is doing. And our clients love us for it.