Poor old advertising

 

Nationwide

Image: Are brands are looking tatty?

The Economist asks us to “spare a thought for the poor admen”, whose industry is suffering “a difficult time”:

Not only are they confronting a proliferation of new “channels” through which to pump their messages; they are also having to puzzle out how to craft them in an age of mass scepticism. Consumers are bombarded with brands wherever they look—the average Westerner sees a logo (sometimes the same one repeatedly) perhaps 3,000 times each day—and thus are becoming jaded. They are also increasingly familiar with the tricks of the marketing trade and determined to cut through the clutter to get a bargain. Scepticism and sophistication are especially pronounced among those born since the early 1980s. A study by the Boston Consulting Group found that 46% of American “millennials” use their smartphones to check prices and online comments when they visit a shop.

None of this will be news to readers of this blog. The article is a collection of more or less accepted insights about the way that marketing is working.

A shift from promotion to product.

A focus on “what you do” as the best way to influence “what others say” (as opposed to the advertising-first way of “what you say you do”.

The opportunity lies somewhere between the agency and the management consultancy in all of this – both are moving into the other’s turf. More on that later…