Ad Jargon 2.0

I'm Developing an Aversion to Versions

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Marc Brownstein Marc Brownstein
It's essential for people in marketing to appear relevant -- even if they aren't. It's almost comic these days. If you overhear dialogue, so many people in our business are throwing around the same jargon. But the one phrase of the moment seems to be what I call the "point oh."

Case in point: I was having lunch with Peter Van Allen, the marketing columnist for the Philadelphia Business Journal the other day. We both wondered why is everything suddenly a version? The internet is moving to 2.0. And already marketing folks are talking about Web 3.0. I'm not sure these people know what they are even talking about. But it sure sounds impressive. Peter hears it all of the time. I laughed because I hear ad nausea (deliberate play on words) as well.

Then there's Strategic Planning 2.0. And I ran into a small agency peer recently who talked about how his agency has elevated their presentations to 2.0. What the heck does that mean? I think it is quite funny how ad folks have the need to be current -- or at least sound as if they are. So I decided to look at some things that would fit nicely into this new vocabulary:
  • Integration 2.0: Not sure what happened to version 1.0, since we as an industry have seemingly done a lousy job with it.
  • Collaboration 4.0: I assigned this one a higher number, because some shops actually walk the walk.
  • ROI 1.0: We're not measuring like we say we will, and you know and I know it!
  • Agency compensation 1.0: We're not relying on media commissions anymore for the bulk of our fees, but this hourly thing has to go. When we start getting paid for ideas, keeping intellectual property rights and earning incremental fees for them, then this version will advance.
  • Interactive marketing 3.0: Most agencies are starting to figure it out.
  • Self-promotion 1.0: I still believe we are the shoemaker's children. How come I don't see more ad campaigns for ad agencies, and interactive campaigns for the digital shops?
  • Client Retention 1.0: What's the national average down to now, 2 1/2 years?
  • Creativity 4.0: The beauty of our industry is that as we experience dramatic changes, ideas still startle us. Innovation is alive and well. And that is the key to our future. It's also what clients need and expect from us.
Listen carefully around the halls of your agency, or at industry events. So many marketing people are trying very hard to keep up. Or set the pace. Our industry certainly requires us to know what is going on in the world, and to be able to adapt to it through our ideas. That's actually a pretty cool thing. But let's face it, hearing the same silly phrases tossed around is also pretty humorous.
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