Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Old Agency Model Is Dead!

This past week, CultureLab immersed itself in the ever changing world of marketing and advertising in the Digital Age. From Toronto to Austin to LA, we traveled all over North America to find out what is really happening. There are a few important topics that we constantly heard relative to reaching Gen Y’ers. Here is what we learned:

1. Engagement-Advertising is no longer screaming down from the mountaintop with whatever message you want to communicate. Smart marketers know it is important to enlist the consumers’ help in spreading your message. Marketers who will win with Gen Y’ers will be those who encourage brand interactivity and enlist the help of the consumer to spread the word to their peers.
2. Hispanic Youth – 85% of Hispanic youth in the US were born in the US. They are multicultural in their sensibility and gravitate to English speaking media. This is the group that will have the most clout in terms of population size and cultural influence
3. Google vs. Microsoft-It is quite mind boggling to witness this epic battle of who will control advertising distribution. In the Old Media model, it was broadcast networks who controlled advertising distribution but now it is Google and Microsoft who are absolutely duking it out for control. We saw presentations by both Microsoft and Google and it became very clear to us that the stakes are high for both because this is where the advertising play really is from this point on. With Google buying Double Click and Microsoft buying Yahoo, the saga will continue.
4. Mobile Marketing- Here is another element that smart advertisers will add to the marketing mix. It was generally agreed that we are in the very Dark Ages of mobile marketing as marketers have to deal with a “broken eco-system”. The American carrier system is a HUGE hindrance to successful mobile marketing. Right now, SMS messaging is the stalwart tactic being used in Mobile.
5. R.I.P. to the Music Industry and Newspaper Industry- The expectation of free and rampant use of Bit Torrent, Limewire and other downloadable means has put the record industry in a serious pickle. It was announced at the Millennials conference in Toronto that 48% of teens in 2007 DID NOT buy a CD. That is a trend and is only going to get worse. Bad news is that the music industry is structured for CD sales. WOW! The same goes for the newspaper industry. Young people are into pop culture news and have very short attention spans. Newspapers are not an integral part of their daily lifestyle.

The advertising world is changing and changing fast. We pride ourselves as an Agency that stays relevant because we love monitoring these changes. Digital is the word and those who don’t understand this evolving world will be left behind.

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