Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Advertising's Past, Present—and Future

In a recent article I read, the CEOs of two high-profile ad agencies—the mammoth BBDO (Andrew Robertson) and the upstart Crispin Porter Bogusky (Jeff Hicks)—address the future of advertising in an interesting Q&A session.

One's from a HUUUUGE agency, the other is a small, agile upstart and they're both proud of some brilliant campaigns and creative work for their clients.

CMO asked Andrew Robertson of BBDO and Jeff Hicks of Crispin Porter + Bogusky to each talk about one of their favorite recent campaigns. Coincidentally, they both picked Internet companies. For eBay, BBDO created the "it" campaign to get consumers thinking about the site as a place to buy just about anything; for Google, Crispin created a mock SAT test and brain-teasing billboards to recruit top computer scientists.

The answers in the Q&A are not too surprising in some senses, but this one really caught my eye:

The Agency-Client Relationship

Robertson: What do agencies and clients have to do? Invert the order in which work is evaluated. People usually ask, "Is it on strategy? Is it saying the right thing?" Then they ask, "Does it have the right personality and tone? Is it part of a sustainable campaign?" Finally, they might say, "Is anybody going to pay any attention?" We need to make that the first question. If we’re sure people are going to get engaged, then we can ask about whether it’s on strategy or communicating the right message.

Hicks: We have a diagram that’s a circle. It has four steps: find out where you are, decide where you want to be, make a plan to get there, and then execute. As a brand, you’re always somewhere in this circle. If you believe the process is over, it is over.

Our goal is to be a place that continually attracts really passionate people. And we want to be engaged with clients that have great problems and are willing break the mold a little to solve them.

Oh and in case you're looking a nice place to get some good advice on email marketing but don't know where to start, this is a great article. Not only does it answer a fair amount of questions even some seasoned marketers are still clueless about, it gives some good advice that should be heeded:

Marketers must first establish an e-mail communications plan that meets its business goals by addressing user needs, and then optimize that plan with best practices. Over-e-mailed customers don't have inbox space for even the best executed e-mail programs that don't provide them value.

Wondering what your customers value? Ask them! Surveys, offline anecdotes, and, of course, tracking response to different types of e-mails tell marketers what e-mail content, offers, and even style users like. One large consumer goods company learned through surveys and e-mail data that its customers most value humor in e-mails. It took this insight to heart and now has a 0.5 percent opt out rate to its e-mails which incorporate tips and product information with cartoons.

This is going be be my last post for about a week, because I'm shifting to Bangalore and probably won't find the time. Please bear with me and come back in a week! Or bettter still, subscribe to my RSS feed. If you're new to RSS, go here for a quick explanation.


Tom O'Leary said...

Great post. I also have tons of advice and articles about email marketing, online surveys and other online communication platforms and marketing-related content on my blog. Have a great day!

Tom O'Leary
Editor, The Messaging Times

Leena said...

nice piece of article for an advertising student like me.