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Some in media circles seem to be waiting for the return of yesteryear instead of using these turbulent times to make the changes necessary for their media businesses to thrive in the future.
Will.i.am is my marketer of the year. Most brands are still grappling like first-time makeout artists with the most fundamental shift of the last decade -- from marketer as message-pushing machine to marketer as creators of stuff consumers will actually pull toward them. But the Black Eyed Peas, having mastered that shift, are already showing an understanding of perhaps the second-most important change: from campaign to continuous conversation.
Help Remedies could loosely be described as a marketer of over-the-counter drugs (and bandages). But it's also one of those potentially category-changing offerings that tries to solve a problem.
Based on reader thoughts and some further discussion with industry leaders, here are seven ways to combat commoditization.
Commoditization may be the biggest threat facing agencies and media companies today -- yet we hear precious little about it, and few can articulate a strategy to combat it.
You know that social-media department you just built? Go and dismantle it right now, because this stuff is too important to be left to the experts.
There are many ads today from our imperiled banks, insurance companies and automakers telling us that we can still trust them and should still buy their products. But there's one word consumers haven't heard much that might serve these companies better than their current dirges: sorry.
Based on much of what we see and hear, there are a lot of marketers out there who don't seem to understand the principles or ethics of PR. So here's a refresher on the rudiments of PR. Even if you don't need them, I know you know someone who does.
Despite an assertion by Martin Sorrell, most marketers we speak to want a single, full-service marketing agency with strong ideas that can improve its business and an ability to execute regardless of discipline.
Whether the world needs another T-shirt brand is up for debate, but America definitely needs hard-working, ingenious young entrepreneurs like Jeremy Parker.
The only hope that we see any of the $160 million we've poured into AIG is if the company survives and can be made sufficiently attractive to be broken up and sold. Maintaining even existing customers is going to require explanation and reassurance, functions that PR (and advertising) can help fulfill.
The Oscars should be the ultimate marketing tool, but few have been able to show much ROI for the movie business from the current show, beyond a little lift in sales for a small handful of generally low-budget movies.
It won't top any of the many meaningless Super Bowl ad charts, but the best advertising in the big game was Hyundai's "Contract." With the Assurance program promoted in the spot, the automaker confronts the recession head-on and does something tangible to tackle its effects.
We do not pretend, nor would their principals contend, that any of the A-List agencies are the finished article offering everything today's marketers might reasonably be looking for, but they do point to a couple of the ways agencies must evolve in the coming years.
To simply complete a taxpayer rescue plan and then wait it out would be a missed opportunity to rework some of the principles of Western capitalism so it better serves brands, society and the environment.
Very few magazines -- the exceptions being ESPN, National Geographic, Real Simple and The Economist -- can be considered brands that have established much meaning beyond their printed forms.
As someone whose main function in life is editing, I wonder, in the dark moments, whether I will soon be redundant.
There can be a positive in this mess, if we hear the alarm bell and confront the real challenge -- the need to rebuild the American economy for the 21st century.
These are tough times for all of us in the marketing and media businesses and they're likely to get tougher, which is why I hope you read our report on the Carat management team's slipshod approach to communicating layoffs as a cautionary tale.
U.S. newspapers could be fixed if they could just be pried from the hands of those who milk them for short-term gain and are either woefully ignorant of where readers are going or miserably negligent in terms of investing in that future.