Ad Week: ‘Only Connect’ thesis meets ‘Measure that!’ reality
NYC: It's Advertising Week in New York City, and the realization that the consumer is in control - and that no one's business model is geared to dealing with that - is coming up. A lot.
One of the first events of the week-long agenda of conferences, awards and parties, was Forecast 2006, MediaPost's annual confab on The Future of Media, suitably held at the Marriott Marquis, plunk in the middle of Times Square, the ultimate clutter zone.
NYC: It’s Advertising Week in New York City, and the realization that the consumer is in control – and that no one’s business model is geared to dealing with that – is coming up. A lot.
One of the first events of the week-long agenda of conferences, awards and parties, was Forecast 2006, MediaPost‘s annual confab on The Future of Media, suitably held at the Marriott Marquis, plunk in the middle of Times Square, the ultimate clutter zone.
This milieu certainly epitomizes the challenges being explored by ad execs this week, grappling with achieving effectiveness in a landscape where consumers are exposed to 4,000 messages a day. One of the first keynotes at yesterday’s Forecast was Chicago-based Jack Klues, CEO of Starcom MediaVest Group, whose remit was to provide a roadmap for the next few months and years. He opened his address to the assembled media execs with a question: ‘Do you feel absolutely schizophrenic and that every day is a paradigm to be managed?’
To help focus on the future of contact, and not the gadgets, he shared the Publicis Re-Imagine mantra:
1. Do things better.
2. Do things differently.
3. Do different things.
To achieve that, SMG dedicated a full team to focus on the future, armed with specialist expertise. And it was the nature of future leadership that he focused on first, advocating the importance of incubating new competencies, attracting new clients, and facilitating new revenues.
To truly lead in the new media landscape Klues advised to revere experience, but to also unleash the power of youth within your organizations. He commented on the tendency for whippersnappers to be ignored in the corporate environment, but stressed the importance of encouraging them to attack your ideas, mentioning that SMG is looking to put together a junior board of directors, and retooling recruitment to attract original thinkers from different areas.
Yet don’t discount the power of big buying influence. ‘Buying is the new black,’ quipped Klues, who believes scale will continue to have weight in the new world order, as it will parlay into access to new content opportunities.
Another key direction for the road ahead is to ‘move from counting to context.’ On this point as well, Klues stressed that talent would be key to a USP, as the process and tools for contextual contact planning could be replicated, but the brain trust less so.
He also highlighted the need to go beyond measurement to predictive insights, and that ‘change, effort and participation across the board’ would be needed to achieve that, as the remuneration model will need sorting to reward the new direction of labour, more along the lines of the way consultants are paid. He warned that media agencies could not survive price wars, and cost cutting in a time where everyone needs to focus on reinvention and investing in protecting their clients for the future.
‘We need to be paid on the power of people and ideas,’ and, touching on the key conundrum to communications planning: ‘We have to do more, but can’t afford to do it for less.’