As the advertising world’s eyes return from Cannes, the increasing complexity of our business becomes clear. We have 17 categories, including branded content, innovation, product design and activation, and we have the proof few of us needed that the world of marketing is getting more elaborate.
For more than 10 years, we’ve talked about media fragmentation, the wandering gaze of the consumer, the scarcity of attention and being paralyzed by stimuli. But we’ve never spoken about fragmentation for the marketer, the bewildering array of new options they face, and the difficulty in keeping focus and finding clarity.
As an industry, we need to address marketers’ impossible mission: Making informed decisions about a toolkit that involves a myriad of new and ever-changing channels, technologies and platforms.
Several dimensions of new
In the post digital age, we have a bewildering array of options:
- We have new “channels” like digital outdoor, content marketing, native advertising, and branded utility.
- We have media platforms like Vine, Twitter, Instagram, Secret, SnapChat and Pinterest.
- We have new technology like addressable TV, iBeacons, personalized video rendering, and augmented reality, to name a few.
- We have new advertising techniques like vending machine-based ideas, real-time marketing, the all new “social media newsroom”, growth-hacking sprints and working with incubators.
It’s all so abundant, and so much of it cheap. We have new ad tech companies offering $50,000 of free services for a trial. Flying a drone and filming it is a cheap viral hit. We can stick hashtags on ads, and it’s free. We’ve found that with new technology, we can produce campaigns bereft of an idea and hitch them to bandwagons for transport. How can anyone say no to anything in this landscape?
How to decide?
There are two huge challenges for marketers: With limited budgets and time, how can they prioritize? And with so much of it being new, how can they learn enough to make informed decisions?
The scale of this challenge has brought about incredible fear. Marketing staff face the dreaded scenario of the CEO asking what they are doing with the “app du jour” that their nephew has downloaded, or why they haven’t done what their competitor just did with augmented reality, QR codes, Shazam, Vine or any one of a million other new options.
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