Marketing is moving so fast its transition is like playing a five-day cricket test and then going straight into the Indian Premier League 20-over circus with dancing girls and fireworks.
This applies particularly to advertising.
In fact, change has been so fast that the very notion of advertising is simply not relevant anymore. The idea of creating TV, radio, newspaper and magazine ads and then running them for a period of time in the mass media, is fast becoming obsolete.
And the reason for this is that the consumer is changing from a situation of waiting to be told what is available to finding out for themselves what’s available.
I am not saying that classical advertising is dead. It isn’t. In many cases it still works extremely well. Such as in community newspapers for example, where consumers do actually read those mountains of advertising inserts.
Radio and TV are still important platforms but in terms of the latter, the traditional 30-second commercial is already inefficient in terms of return on investment. Most of those retail ads you see on TV are there because the big chain stores still insist on their suppliers running TV commercials in spite of the fact that they don’t work nearly as well as they used to.
Brand owners have long since moved their own marketing focus to instore advertising, realising that by putting their efforts into mass media advertising it simply ends up with them spending money to get consumers into the store where their competitors will try and switch-sell.
Generally speaking, the retail industry has been left far behind in terms of what sort of advertising works and what doesn’t. They are doing things pretty much the same way they did decades ago. Which means they are wasting a lot of money. In excess of 30 percent of their ad budget.
I am not for a minute suggesting that the digital route is the only way to go. It is certainly one of the ways to go, but with consumers “demanding” information about brands and products, there is less reliance on traditional advertising.
This is the very reason why advertising agencies are in something of a quandary today because many of them are feeling left out, to put it mildly.
Advertising has become a lot more complex but strangely enough, when done properly it has become a lot more cost-effective.
Mass marketing is something that is becoming obsolete. The future is going to be all about finely focussed targeting of audiences and making sure there are two-way conversations and most importantly, information available by the bucketload for those consumers who want to access it.
About Chris Moerdyk
Apart from being a corporate marketing analyst, advisor and media commentator, Chris Moerdyk
is a former chairman of Bizcommunity. He was head of strategic planning and public affairs for BMW South Africa and spent 16 years in the creative and client service departments of ad agencies, ending up as resident director of Lindsay Smithers-FCB in KwaZulu-Natal. Email Chris on moc.liamg@ckydreom
and follow him on Twitter at @chrismoerdyk