Thomas V. Pedersen (1820–1859), English Wikipedia (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/47/Emperor_Clothes_01.jpg)
A lot of the advertising today is like the vain monarch in Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes.
Not surprisingly, many a marketer’s opinion about advertising is likely to echo that of John Wanamaker’s:
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half.”
At the heart of the problem is . . .
. . . on the marketer’s and/or agency’s side(s) of the table.
Yet, every advertising opportunity contains within it the seeds of a renaissance.
One that starts with the consumer.
Source: Kaboompics // Karolina via Pexels.com
Word of mouth. Books. Newspapers. Magazines. Radio. TV. Internet.
Content is the common denominator among all media.
It was, is, and always will be king.
Until recently, it was a "seller's market" as far as the content was concerned.
Thanks to the Web, the power has now swung to the consumer.
The invention continues to:
This has resulted in the:
It has forced marketers to rethink the way they do business and their decisions regarding media and media platforms.
How marketers communicate with consumers is also undergoing a transformation.
The Web is as powerful as it is because it incorporates all the media that have come before it (Web Copywriting 2.0, Nick Usborne).
On the Web, you can not only consume content by reading it, watching it and listening to it you can even participate in its creation.
Marketing using content is all the rage today.
But like all marketing tactics, it can never be any better than the strategy powering it.
If content is king, it's only because strategy is the kingmaker.
But . . .
. . . there’s something even more important than your content marketing strategy.
One popular way to bring your content marketing strategy to life is by using the S.M.A.R.T. method:
Make sure your content marketing goals are:
“Who are we talking to? Why should they bother listening to us? What do we want our content marketing campaign to achieve?”
“How will we know if our content marketing campaign is doing what we expect it to do? What are the criteria that we will be using to measure campaign success? What sort of testing will we be using and how often?”
“Can our content marketing campaign actually help us achieve our Web marketing goals? Have we set an impossible or unreasonable task for ourselves?”
“Does our content marketing campaign make sense from a business point of view? Are we merely reacting when we should be responding? In the first place, will our campaign add value to the life of our prospect?”
“Is everyone clear about the campaign’s timeline? Have we established a reasonable end date for the campaign?”
Although content marketing democratises the ability of marketers to influence buying decisions, marketing fundamentals will always matter.
Like positioning your product/service for success, and understanding your consumers and the business you are actually in.
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Brazilians speak Portuguese.
This was the conundrum DM9, Sao Paulo—now a part of the DDB network—faced in 1993.
Diet Guarana, a popular soft drink in neighbouring, Spanish-speaking markets was eyeing the millions of parched throats in Latin America's biggest nation.
Using the Spanish-language advertising that had worked elsewhere outright was out of the question. On the other hand, adapting it would be a risky proposition, given the cultural differences.
At that time, print advertising in Brazil hinged—as was the case virtually everywhere else—on words.
But to grab attention, the advertising also needed to be transparent. Brazilians were (and are) advertising-savvy consumers. Blatantly drawing attention to the advertising itself or the brand wouldn't work.
Instinctively, DM9's art director, Marcello Serpa, knew that indifference was the biggest obstacle the brand had to overcome.
After all, a soft drink is a soft drink in the grand scheme of things.
In a stroke of genius, the answer presented itself to Serpa.
Brazilians have a thing for beautiful bodies.
Why not use this norm as an easily relatable context?
The concept of reduction—expressing an idea in the simplest possible terms—which Serpa had picked up from his time in Germany, served as the crucible.
Despite the complete absence of copy, Serpa's campaign succeeded in grabbing the eyeballs of both consumers and the Cannes jury, who recognised his brilliance by awarding the campaign Brazil's first Grand Prix Lion.
And soon, imitations began to mushroom around the world.
'Aha! Less is more. Viva la creativity! Off with the copy!,' was the battlecry of their creators.
And thus began the castration of the copy department, and—according to the legendary Neil French—the death of long-copy advertising.
A quarter-century later, misconceptions about advertising creativity are—in all probability—a key factor behind:
So what exactly is creativity?
David Galenson studies human creativity, and is Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago.
Galenson believes that creativity is of two types:
The type of creativity the advertising industry elects to promote and practice going forward may very well change the marcom landscape and seal the industry's fate.
1. O'Barr, William (2008). Advertising in Brazil, Advertising & Society Review, Volume 9, Issue 2, 2008. Retrieved December 1, 2017, from Project MUSE database.
2. Design Indaba, Marcello Serpa on the art of reduction. Retrieved December 3, 2017, via YouTube.
3. Galenson, David (2014). Creativity: Myths and Misconceptions, April 24, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2017, from HuffPost (https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-galenson/creativity-myths-and-misc_b_4836263.html).
4. David Galenson. Bio. Retrieved December 4, 2017, from http://www.davidgalenson.com/bio.html.
5. Neff, J. and Schultz, E. (2017). Does Cannes matter?: Agencies debate spendy festival in lean times. Retrieved December 5, 2017, from AdAge (http://adage.com/article/print-edition/cannes-festival-creativity-matter/309354/).
6. Schultz, E. (2017). The race is on: How IBM, Accenture, PwC and Deloitte are shaking up the marketing industry. Retrieved December 5, 2017, from AdAge (http://adage.com/article/news/consultancies-rising/308845/).