The future of advertising – digital domination

January 30, 2011Uncategorized

When Jon Bond, cofounder of Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners opens his mouth, people in the marketing industry tend to listen and take note. And what does he have to say about the furture of marketing? Well, that “Marketing in the future is like sex. Only the losers will have to pay for it.”

And of course, what he is referring to is digital media – free digital media. Advertising and marketing are going through a monumental change, and unfortunately, those with decades worth of ad agency experience are the ones who will be left in their own cigar smoke, like an extra from Mad Men. The future is digital.

“But the dark side of a transparent marketplace” Bond says, “is that marketers have never had more of an opportunity to rub consumers the wrong way and be publicly skewered.”

Creative teams are finding that they are having to become more like creative actors. Instead of working on one image which conveys one message, they are now being forced to create stories, that unfold and grow with the demands of the consumer. Marketing in the digital world now needs so much more than just a single message – it needs a use. It also needs to be incremental and have room to develop alongside the changing needs of a digital audience. And when/if it is ‘publicly skewered’, it needs to be dynamic enough to adapt.

And due to the accessibility of the internet and digital technology, agencies are finding that their client’s are becoming far more aware of what they can demand – and what is usually demanded is the ability to customise a specific message to a specific person at a specific moment, which becomes more like a brand story than concise message.

Nick Brien, CEO of Interpublic Group’s McCann Worldgroup comments “The opportunity for marketers is that instead of having to pay for their message to run somewhere, they can “earn” media for free, via consumers spreading YouTube clips, Groupons, and tweets as if they were trying to saturate their networks with photos of their newborn.”

So where does that lead the future of marketing? Surely the more accessible it is the more saturated it becomes and the less people really listen?

When asked that question, Aaron Reitkopf, North American CEO of digital agency Profero said: “I can’t possibly know what the future looks like.’ ” There’s only one thing everyone agrees on, and that’s that there is too much excess: too many people, too many of the wrong kinds of people, too much bloat, too much inefficiency”

Do in a digital world of ‘too much’ we predict that the idea of advertising needing a ‘use’ to draw in its customers and hold attention, will only become more and more prevalent… big changes lie ahead.

*Quotes taken from