Friday, November 6, 2009

Martin Sorrell at ad:tech

Martin Sorrell's keynote appearance at NY's ad:tech this week was pretty interesting -

Sorrell dealt with the question - 'how will the role of the agency evolve'? To which he predicted that ad agencies would be getting "very much more involved" in the development of content, relating this to a consolidating/shrinking print media market.

It's true that agencies are getting more into the content creation sphere, and building media channels which interface directly with their clients' audiences.

But to say this is primarily related to a contraction in print channels is missing the point. The main driver is that brands need to behave in a different, less self-entitled, way.

Brands need to deliver content because they need to be more genuinely useful to their audiences. Engaging today's attention-poor consumer takes more than simply shouting messages about yourself. As a brand, it's increasingly important to demonstrate your value by giving folks something genuinely useful; free apps, games, entertainment or information. Starbucks, Dell, P&G, Walmart, McAfee are just a few of the folks jumping into these areas.

I have a feeling that work which has to 'earn' its own audience (rather than take it for granted) will tax many shops beyond their current skills.

So keep your seatbelts fastened - that Captain says the turbulence will continue for some time yet.

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