Congrats AdLand! Against all the threats and proclamations about the death of advertising, you defied the odds and survived another year. An easy resolution for AdLand is to "not die," but in an increasingly segmented environment, our resolution must be ever more lofty. Let's make 2012 the year that AdLand properly manages the expectations of its clients and the consumers.
There have been many developments in AdLand during the past year, with big brands dropping and partnering up with new and old agencies. The continuing integration of marketing activity within the social web challenges the relevance of agency work, while the public continues to blame advertising for the activities and lifestyles that they themselves choose.
Needless to say, it's been an interesting year.
What can AdLand do to manage the expectations for 2012? What tenets of marketing will disappear, continue, or rise? What can agencies do to continue to stay relevant, creative, and valuable?
Unfortunately, we don't know the answer for sure. But this is where we think AdLand should start.
The Bottom Line For Advertising Is Not ROI
Don't panic; we didn't say a bad word. Better yet, read this post from Copy Blogger so you don't have a heart attack or question the validity of the statement. It's true: every dollar spent on marketing cannot be measured against the results of the activity. It just doesn't make sense. As the post brings out, marketing is not only an activity, but in today's economic world, it is an integral part of doing business. And the best way to see the results of your marketing activities is not ROI, but measuring the marketing against the rise in profit.
Change Is NOT Immediate
If you put money into marketing, it may take some time to see the results. Clients must realize that just because they bought a commercial, their door or website is not going to blow up immediately. It's a nice thought, and when it does happen it's cool, but it is rare. So, advertising professionals need to calm their pitches down, and potential clients need to have realistic marketing goals.
Take the Agency/Client Relationship Seriously
According to statistics from the 2011 Small Agency Conference, 50% of agency/client relationships last less than two years. It seems here that there is a commitment issue. Instant gratification is not only seen in our teenagers today, but also in the boardrooms and executive suites. If you are on a date, you would not end the whole relationship if the very beginning didn't go the way you want, would you? It takes a while to feel each other out and see what the other likes and dislikes, and then it takes both parties bringing something to the table to make the relationship work. The same process can be applied to agencies and clients. AdLand has become so accustomed to bending over backwards and placing that Corporate ****y on a pedestal. Stop it! If the brand is unwilling to commit to you, then be willing to look around for the business that is willing to win you, too.
Advertising is Advertising, No Matter Where It Is
Whether it's print, online, social, TV, radio, whatever — the same advertising rules apply: target an audience, craft a message that is appealing and relevant to the audience, and give a call to action. Any creative that abides by that basic formula will usually do pretty well. AdLand has gotten so smitten with the "join the conversation" crap that many have forgotten that they have to give consumers a reason to care about the conversation in the first place. With the digital world getting so cluttered, why should they check your Facebook page above someone else's? And also, media is complementary. Unless your audience is found in only one place, there is no reason not to explore multiple avenues.
And Finally: If It's Bad, Not Even Advertising Can Save It
Short and sweet, and something to remember when talking with potential clients — no matter how good or creative the advertising may be, if the product or service sucks, the business will fail. Advertising is only the activity that makes people aware of their needs and wants and how businesses can match them. Once the people meet the product/service, it has to back up the advertising.
There you are, folks; nothing mind-blowing, but sometimes the simple stuff is the first stuff we forget. Let's make sure AdLand starts out strong in 2012.