First Business

April 16, 2012

Sales & Marketing: Forget "Mad Men" - now is the golden era for advertising

Oftentimes when people ask me what I do for a living and I tell them I work in advertising, they ask, "Don’t you wish you got to be an ad man in the golden era, like on Mad Men?†I usually smile and respond with "What makes you think the golden era was 40 years ago? We are living in the golden era right now--the most exciting and unpredictable time in marketing history." We are witnessing a complete social transformation. The entire industry has been flipped on its head.

So what’s changed? In the ’60s, agencies controlled a brand’s message and how it was broadcast to an extremely broad target audience on a small number of platforms. Today, consumers are in control; scattered across a variety of social networks, niche online communities are very selective about what they want to consume and the mediums through which they want to consume it. It is a common industry consensus that bombarding or spamming consumers with intrusive advertising and brand messages simply no longer works, not to mention it’s incredibly expensive. So why do so many brands and agencies keep making the same mistakes?

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