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It wasn’t me August 25, 2008

Posted by David Gillespie in business strategy, marketing.
Tags: , ,

Moving on from last week where I was thinking about marketing and strategy and the blurring lines between the two, and yesterday’s thoughts around the lack of imagination inherent in the day to day lives of most marketers, I’m thinking now maybe most marketers are thinking more about treading water and doing their best to attract the least amount of attention while only a handful (like me and mine) are interested in hanging our careers out to dry in the hope of actually doing something remarkable.

Julian Cole and I (who I imagine will wind up one day the old guys in The Muppets) were at breakfast the other day trying to figure out where the chips were going to fall in terms of the companies that drive social media forward.  Straight after that conversation I read a piece I can’t find now suggesting the likes of McKinsey et al would soon enough swoop in, grab the brightest in social media and whisk them into the ivory towers of business strategy and management consulting.

While I find the idea somewhat abhorrent, I don’t particularly like being in agency land much better; any industry that defines itself by stating what it is is a touch too old school; let’s state what we are not and then see where the road goes.

Image courtesy of photo.bugz, woth thanks to compfight.


1. Oolong - August 26, 2008

you know, in agency-land, it’ll be interesting to see if it’s because of conservative clients. And as the clients who can afford agencies are usually larger, they usually get orders from the top, further compounding the problem because their approvals have to go through 15 brand managers or something.

It’s a complex issue, but I reckon a lot of people out there are interested in marketing, it’s just that they’ve been fenced in, been tutted at, and are now drumming their fingers, waiting for those 15 brand managers to approve something, anything, maybe even the Ts&Cs by tomorrow??

p/s love those old men. They were always my favourites, even when everyone else adored Gonzo, or Animal, or Miss Piggy.

2. David Gillespie - August 26, 2008

You’re right abut agency land Oolong, and I know you have first hand experience there! How do you see the above sort of comment playing out at smaller companies who perhaps can’t afford those kinds of agencies – is it more so “Geez..I wish those agency folk would get their act together and come up with something worth spending money on”?

3. Oolong - August 28, 2008

Hello! Hello! (Take it Cat Empire style or Chris and Maree style, it doesn’t bother me)

yes, they all think we’re in lala-land, where Bollinger flows and everyone has a mental age of about 5. Or maybe just stuck on an acid trip, or snorting coke in the loo. And we have parties every 5 minutes, where we snort more coke and drink more (whatever alcohol account the agency holds)

For everyone who loves the Cadbury gorilla, there will be at least one person going “I don’t geddit, who are these weirdo people and what is that ad?” What is this Impossible Dream bulldust? Honda Accord Choir What????? Why can’t they all be Gainsville ads? Or Chris and Maree’s (sp?). Or Crazy John’s?

4. Oolong - August 28, 2008

Okay that was me on a tangent, but sometimes it’s soooo painfully obvious that the client has done something to change wording on an ad, so painfully obvious I’m sure even the smaller companies say “hmmm”.

And also, smaller companies aren’t as myopic sometimes, so it’ll be interesting. It’s a little bit catch 22 sometimes. That said, take a look at intrepid travel as a case study one of these days.

Both sides have their own valid points. Which is why I said it’s a complex issue. and trying to make them work together, it’s almost like having housemate interviews.

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