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The Lost Art of Advertising

Lost Art of Advertising

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I just read a blog entry on Tom Dougherty’s blog that speaks almost exactly to what has been bothering me for weeks now.

My latest challenge is getting to know the consumer for the betterment of our client; and ultimately for the betterment of the project.

Two problems:

1. Getting to know the consumer before the client wants to get to know the consumer is extremely cost prohibitive
2. Getting the client to understand that they don’t know the consumer is equally as difficult

Experience used to be what I aspired for; once I had experience, I had clout. Really, once I could prove that I had done it like the client had seen or heard it done before, I would prove confirmation and earn trust. That is no longer my aspiration.

If you, as the owner of a creative agency, whether it be in advertising, design, production, communications, can just sit back and argue with your client/prospect about what is really important; we could change the rules.

If we can say, “Before we start this meeting, we just want to make one thing clear. We are not here to prove that we are most creative, we are here to help you understand the importance of knowing your audience…REALLY.” Then have we not just provided them with a differentiating opening remark and also a new, fresh way to look at the bidding process?

Now I can’t stop. What about, “Believe me, we encounter it all the time. The marketing department goes out not caring about money but excited to see how much creativity they can get to walk through the door. It’s almost a competition of what is the coolest company can they present to the executives and the board (that fits within the budget).

“But then when it really comes down to the winning bid, it’s about money. Something has been missed. No one has asked, ‘how do you come to your conclusions’ or, ‘what do you do to really get to know our clients?'”

For better or worse, I think that my irritation finally comes from the abundance of ad agencies, design agencies, marketing agencies, communications agencies, and so many more, just trying to prove that they are the most creative (as Tom puts it), “Coming up with an idea that’s usually judged by its level of creativity. Not by what will steal market share.”

What is wrong with advertising these days? Are we missing the mark? I feel like there are going to be people who say, no way, not everyone is missing the mark…look at these numbers.

Well, yes, let’s look at those numbers. I think they could have been better. We are living in a new world. The internet is the best marketing tool ever made. I just don’t think we know how to use is yet…and too many of you aren’t keeping up.


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