The Future of Advertising


First the news, then the music industry, now advertising: the digital revolution is bringing down Madison Avenue like no other force has in the history of the Ad Agency. Some estimate that over 160,000 people have lost their jobs in the advertising industry in the past 2 years. I don’t think that’s the recession’s fault. Not completely anyway. The slow down in the economy just accelerated the demise of the old  advertising agency model, but the new ad world looks vastly different than the bloated budgets of the 30-second spot and national media buys. Here’s what I see happening:

National spots will fade into individually customized pitch. Interestingly, I sent out a tweet this past weekend that showed my displeasure with the Audi/Jaguar/Porsche dealership in Nashville:

A few hours later, I heard from a dealership. It wasn’t from the Audi/Jaguar/Porsche but from the local Cadillac twitter account, Crestgroup:

I’m quite impressed with Crest’s ability to monitor “car noise” in the Nashville social media stream and to reach out to me with a very custom and effective message.

The advertising agency of the future will become a technology agency. Technology is no longer something we use. It’s now a part of who we are. Have you been in a mall lately? Have you seen the hoards of young and old walking and typing on their mobile devices? My iPhone was stolen and for the few hours I didn’t have it, my life was upside down. I wrote about it here. Communication and technology are so closely woven that the Ad Agency of the future cannot afford to develop marketing strategies without developing technology alongside it.

Product, messaging and advertising will be a collaborative process. Instead of the current silo approach where a team develops the product, another positions it and someone else  promotes it without much interactivity–if any at all, a successful product launch will be a multi-discipline effort.  A team of creatives, developers, brand managers, social media specialists, will work together from the inception of the project and input from marketing will help product development from day one. Instead of clients showing up with a product ready to go to market and saying, “here it is; now sell it,” the agency of the future will not only help sell, but often design and deploy new ideas. They will be at the table from ideation to launch.

How has advertising changed in your experience?

  • Great post – __1st – It is power to the masses, it is power to the consumer to help us out make the right decisions for us.__2nd – As a servicer/supplier, it could work two ways: Empower them to fix immediately potential problems with service, Have the ability to understand the landscape quickly, trends, etc. or it could be their own demise, if they do not take action.__As a consumer and servicer, there is not way back, we have to take action, we have to get engaged into the social medial wave, we have to adapt to the changes in the local, and global market place.__

  • Lots to think about. I've read much about the changes in advertising, with interest, because it seems the "advertising people" are reluctant to get on board. I realize they are trying to protect their own, but if it doesn't work for us (client) then we won't be back.

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  • Couldn't agree with you more. The integrated effort is the one that will win.

    In my past life I was an exec at a "traditional" ad agency for a few years. Served as senior media buyer for a number of national direct response accounts. I was always frustrated by the silos then and than was even before Twitter, Facebook and the digital inclusion of life. A holistic approach works so much better. It's like the ability to harness the combined powers for laser like impact.

  • todshuttleworth

    Great example. Amazing how innovative a company can get when it's on the brink of bankruptcy. Still don't know if I could go Cadillac, but I woulf definitely give them a look too.

  • Joseph

    First off..kudos to Crest Caddy. That is seriously a great response and use of social media.

    Secondly, I think advertising is running its course in traditional mediums. Some of it is in part to DVR's and our need to pass by them, social media and our quick fix, and then the loss or decline of print media with more becoming digital.

    I can safely say I look at much less advertising now than ever and use social media and other resources to gain feedback on my purchases prior to making a commitment.

    • Most people will value peer review over "expert" endorsement or professional reviews. Social media is a legitimatizer of a good product or it will expose a bogus one.

    • Thought-provoking and timely post, Maurilio. I love the response by Cadillac! I once Tweeted a recommendation of a book to a friend, and the next day the book's author tweeted back a "thank you" to me.

      Joseph, I was just noticing over the last few days that game shows (on Game Show Network) are now positioning advertising within the shows. For example, Splenda sponsored a "case" on Deal or No Deal. They got lots of mentions of their brand by Howie and the contestants, plus lots of screen time for their logo. I thought it was rather clever, actually, since one won't forward past the product placement if they want to watch the show. And this morning while making my coffee, I thought of Splenda! 😉 (The Newlywed Game also featured a question sponsored by Playtex recently.)

      • Joseph

        They are getting clever. I noticed last night watching How I Met Your Mother they did something really creative. I the beginning of the episode, two of the characters were at the doctors office and there was a brochure with the number 50 on it. In the next scene it was 49. Then throughout the episode, the numbers decreased and were featured on different items all throughout the scenes. Some as numbers on doors, books, cans….in one case several numbers came across a tv screen in the background as the lottery numbers 36,35,34,33,32,31.
        The more I thought about this, I couldn't help think that they were testing us to see what we notice. How many would respond to this today etc? From that, would it lead to clever product placement?
        Or as my wife said…maybe they were just being goofy to see who would notice…

        Either way, advertisers are having to get more creative as traditional means are going by the wayside.

  • I've had two great customer services experiences via Twitter. One resolved a billing error and the other corrected a major mistake regarding our tax return last year. In each instance I tweeted something about the issue out into cyberspace and within 15-30 minutes representatives from each corporation reached out directly.

    Companies will do well to never underestimate the power of social media and stellar customer service. Have you read "Empowered" by Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler? It is one of the best business books I've ever read.

  • wayneelsey

    You are right on. One of the best investments I have made in 2010 – full time Social Media Associate – making a huge difference.

    • You're always leading the charge on innovation, Wayne. Thanks for trying new ideas.

  • As someone who has just now got into the advertising stuff and really paying attention to it all I have known is the use of social media and technology to advertise. I feel like that gives me a unique view because it does not hold me to saying "we can just do it like we always do it" in fact it pushes me more to find creative ways to get above the noise and stand out.

    • As a digital native you will help to shape the future of advertising. Keep learning.

  • dealerrefresh

    Nice job to CrestGroup. Way to be proactive on the social/twitter front.

    It's been a slow rise but internet and technology marketing is starting to absorb more and more of the budget for smaller business and the car dealerships, however it continues to be a struggle. Having the budget and resources to be so targeted is a challenge.

    • You're right. That' where innovation from your technology partners become key.

  • Wow that's fantastic. I complain about home depot on Twitter all time, and no one has ever reached out to me 🙂

    • You should blog about them. It usually works for me. 🙂

  • CrestGroup does quite good job.

    Companies should use social media to find out what problems people have that need to be solved by the companies. Sadly, most of the companies think the poblem is: "There are not enough competitions in social media."

    Great post, Maurilio!

  • Great post! Couldn't agree more. IF companies aren't acting more like Cadillac they won't make it.

  • rbcphotogirl

    isnt' that the truth…!

  • I love to hear that companies respond in this way. Unfortunately not all do. We had an incorrect item shipped from Disney that was a Christmas present for our 4 year old. I Tweeted about it and never got a response from Disney. After I called they corrected the mistake, however, I would have been much more impressed if they would have responded directly to me. Oh well, I guess just as in most things, some get it and some don't.

  • Christina Cruz SEO

    Social Media has now become such a huge part of advertising. If you are not doing it you should.

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