Move over Don Draper – Ad Agencies Must evolve to survive…and prosper again

The Challenge

Just as the fascination with all things Mad Men is at its height, advertising agencies themselves are undergoing a period of great change.

The show, which follows a New York ad agency as it struggles to adapt to the television age and survive in rapidly-changing 1960s society, has many parallels with what ad agencies are going through now in our fast-moving digital age. This is a challenging and disconcerting time for ad agencies and their survival depends on their ability to embrace new media and adapt to a consumer-driven market.

In this fragile economy, many companies no longer have the budgets to throw at big-name ‘multinationals’. A business model based on creating a witty concept and buying media space to disseminate it no longer ensures that the message is heard. Consumers are so overwhelmed by an abundance of information on myriad platforms that agencies must purposefully engage with their target market, whether it be through their cell phones, iPads, or traditional print media. The traditional ad agency thrived on its ability to produce ideas; but ideas are no longer enough. Edward Boches, of marketing blog Creativity Unbound, sums up the challenge perfectly: “we can no longer buy attention”.

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Is Social Media Just Another Channel? The Potential of Social Media for B2B Markets.

Is Social Media just another channel? Yes, it may be, but it is so much more than that. Social Media is forcing corporations (brands) to look at how they engage with their clients, how they use information, and how they respond to events. It is forcing companies to treat Social Media as part of their overall value chain.

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Hey, Small Business, DON’T build a website… build a Marketing Platform!

The more I talk to small and medium-size businesses, the more I hear – we need to build a better website!

Don’t do it!

In the age of Social Media and ‘doing more with less’ you don’t have to build a website anymore, nor do you have to improve it. You have to, and you CAN, build a marketing platform. So, what does this mean?

Well, for starters, as a business you need to ask yourself – “What is it I want to do next? Grow my business? Generate Leads? Or establish or improve my brand?” Once you are able to answer this question, establish who your audience is and then select the appropriate marketing strategy – Social Media comes to the rescue!

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Crowdsourcing: Future model for big corporations or outcome of socialization?

“No matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else”. – Bill Joy, Cofounder, Sun Microsystems

The word Crowdsourcing was coined by Jeff Howe of Wired Magazine, a portmanteau of the words ‘crowd’ and ‘outsourcing’. It is used to describe the phenomenon using group intelligence to solve problems and complete projects. A darling of Web 2.0, more and more companies are jumping on the crowdsourcing bandwagon, and even federal government agencies have begun to explore it, with the Federal Communications Commission crowdsourcing ideas on how to improve America’s broadband infrastructure.

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American Wellness, Internet and Social Media

Long gone are the days of being dependent on your doctor for medical information. A new Pew internet study on ‘The Social Life of Health Information’ cites data that states that in 2000, 46% of American adults had access to the internet. Now, 61% of all American adults look for health information online. This fundamental shift in our habits has revolutionized access to health information. People with worrying or embarrassing symptoms now often turn to the plethora of medical advice sites before presenting their symptoms to a physician, if they do so at all. This has led to claims by many physicians that people are being misled or inaccurately trying to ‘self-diagnose’, especially those lacking adequate insurance coverage.

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