Sunday, March 25, 2007

Future Marketing Summit Day Two - Part 6

A big update will follow with the best videos of ads shown at the summit, and also the best pictures of the event. Including some good slides!

Now my thoughts (part one…possibly)

Kevin was right to say that the power of brands is shifting to the consumer; and he is also on the right track with the idea that one media will not replace another, they will become another in a list. For example, while TV as a medium is shrinking, people might soon watch it on their mobiles or their portable media players or Freeview handhelds; and this may prevent much of the predicted reductions.

However, is what he said that revolutionary? Probably not. He seems to give us a lot of the questions with few of the answers. Idealistic thinking is all well and good, but clients don’t buy ideals. And as much as I’d like to see the end of Return on Investment as a model, I can’t see clients ever giving up on it. Because regardless of whether that return is measured in sales, opinions, brand equity or even involvement (as Kevin Roberts stated); clients are still measuring against their budgets and their spend. Investment is always investment regardless of how it is named.

One point I think will become important on the issue of entertainment and risk taking, is that now the viewing of ads is becoming more about choice and less about forced ad breaks; I believe that will are going to have to start changing as well.

Bad ads could work when people have to watch them, but when people choose what to watch, they stand less chance for success. As Russell put it, the business model for crap is disappearing.

I certainly agree with Rob Campbells comments that some of the speakers were very good at telling us what needed to be done, but not so good at telling us how it should be done.

My favourite panel was the Technology panel; and myself, Ben and Beeker agreed that the one person we would really like to see do a full talk next year is Richard Huntingdon; his introduction was great, and he is someone with a good vision of the future.

Overall I think the event was extremely informative for me. Both in terms of the state of marketing, and the future we are heading towards. It also gave me much encouragement that despite not being directly in advertising yet; my thoughts are actually on the right track. The big question is whether this is all just talk, and the real moment of change will be when the giant monolithic agencies start to genuinely move rather than just having a small office somewhere with a “Head of Digital”.

Its seems like marketers and advertisers are starting to head in the right direction, though it appears like many are still relying on their sat-nav; and we all know that can be dangerous…


Anonymous said...

Hey Rob

Hope you had a good time at the Future Marketing Summit - I've just been at the Market Research Conference down in Brighton, very interesting and full of planners.

Thought I would drop you a note as I've been reasding your blog recently. I'm working as a Research Manager within a planning department in Sheffield - and keen to make a move into a fully fledged planner, so we have something in common.


Rob said...

Thanks Mark, any interesting news from that conference?

Rob @ Cynic said...

The brand has ALWAYS been owned by the consumer - and when Kevin Robert's makes these huge declarations, I feel abit sick in the stomach. Almost as bad as when I heard his LoveMarks shite.

Great review Rob, really enjoyed it and the guy at the end who summed up sounds like an inspiring choice.

My question is now what YOU think is the future and what do we have to do to get there?

Go on, answer that and be trendy!

Rob said...

Yes it has.

I think the difference is that whilst the consumer has always "owned" the brand, now they are also starting to have control.

Those are two different things that I think people get confused.

A quick answer is:

The future is where the consumer and technology takes us. All we can see is where they have been.

Those who will suceed are those who are willing to be daring and experiment; they are more likely to find the place the consumer is heading to.

I feel awful for using the word consumer so many times.

Full reply later...

Rob @ Cynic said...

Hi Mate ... I actually believe the consumer has always had control of the brand.

Even 80 years ago, when the consumer didn't like something, the brand 'owner' certainly took notice and tried to do something about it.

The biggest difference between now and then is that companies can hear the 'voice of the people' anytime throughout the brand life whereas before, they could only learn what consumers thought with post sales data.

Semantics ... but important I think. Ha

Rob said...

The control before was indirect and the brand owner could ignore it and go elsewhere; whereas now everything and everywhere is connected...and the consumer can spread the word faster than you can.

Its like an old travelling potion salesman, before he could just go to a new town; but now they already know what he sells and whether they like it before he even arrives.

Rob @ Cynic said...

I like that analogy - I like that alot.

Rob said...

I thought it was a decent one :)

I might post that on its own for discussion later...