For decades, advertising was a joyous place. Executives enjoyed two-martini lunches as they watched the ad dollars roll in. Ads were spread through every new medium—from print to radio to television. Ad agencies were held to vague benchmarks, and they promised massive exposure (as measured by metrics like number of print subscribers, average daily travelers passing by a billboard or number of television purchases) to the highest bidder. Brands blindly believed that these metrics (potential eyeballs) meant guaranteed success.
Advertising still is a joyous place, but for different reasons. Two-martini lunches are a thing of the past (or at least I’m not invited to them). But martinis aside, advertising in the post-advertising age is filled with amazing creativity and opportunities to constantly challenge the status quo, innovate and reach audiences with unique and authentic content.
Content marketing is all the rage, and brands of all shapes and sizes are focusing more time, effort and budget dollars on creating entertaining, useful and relevant content that audiences will want to share. Some brands, however, still stand at the water’s edge, not so sure an always-on commitment to social media and content creation is right for them.
Even the most successful marketing efforts have their detractors and doubters, who hold tight to the traditional methods: interruption and overexposure of their brands. They cling to the past and continue to invest in telemarketing, direct mail and pricey television spots and billboards. Even the London Olympics, which were praised as the most tech-savvy and social-media-supported games ever, were heavily supplemented (or, rather, dominated) by traditional advertising.
While those methods have their place, it’s about time we set the record straight and started to challenge those who insist that content marketing isn’t yet an established brand communication strategy.
Here are some of the reasons brands are abstaining from content and why they’re on the wrong side of history.
This post originally appeared in our May issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.
Perhaps the greatest part of the internet is how it allows complete strangers to come together around a singular event and create things both profound and absurd. The death of Osama bin Laden was just such a momentous occasion. While some took to the streets to celebrate, most went straight to their computers and mobile devices to let the world know how they felt. If Twitter's record breaking 3,440 tweets per second (TPS) is any indication: people had a tremendous amount to say.