Monday, 28 September 2009

Experiential Marketing Trumps Social as a Campaign Starting Point Every Time, Even Mother Agrees...

Comment to AdAge article on "Mother", an agency who just won more NBC business, in part, by creating a new business model for both client and agency. Link: Mother Births New Model for 'Mass Roots' Marketing 

Interesting the consistency that is emerging in the new agency business model. As the dinosaurs, owned by global holding firms driven by conservative, change-averse accountants and shareholders, continue to whistle a happy tune and try to merely keep their global clients "happy enough" with their ATL performance, major brands are gradually shifting to smaller, more nimble agencies like Mother. The attrition, driven by the new reality, will continue until the natural conclusion (RIP), just like the railway barons of old.  

What we're seeing amongst ALL the brightest new flames is not foremost genuine "media neutrality/agnostic", but a shift to MORE of what used to be called "strategic planning" as the winners shift from being "advertising agencies" to "marketing agencies", and in doing so become true partners to their clients. What we're also seeing with firms like Mother and Anomaly in London is a shift from a broken commission model to revenue-sharing. Now, as the clients are resistant to this idea, we're seeing these agencies simply side-step the issue and become entrepreneurs, finding ways to adopt new business models that provide direct revenue.  

The latter is proof of yet another of the new strategic criteria for the new agency model: the innovation of new business models, not new brand campaigns, for their clients, certainly, but in parallel for themselves. Where this has been most sadly lacking is in the realm of social media, where we've been seeing so many unscrupulous agency types trying to sell the only thing that works naturally on social media (which is purely public relations), as advertising/marketing. Some new agencies are just now beginning to invent real marketing efforts for social networks (e.g. Mother's "Golden Local").  

It's about time that agencies stop giving away billion dollar IP in exchange for ever-declining cash-flow from global clients, and that is exactly what happens when an agency develops a break-through new marketing idea in Montreal or Durban and the client uses it worldwide. There are thousands of young entrepreneurs (like Facebook's Zuckerman refusing to sell out) forcing a change in that old model and the ad agencies of the future WILL figure out how to turn this around.  

One last plug for where I think the biggest media dollar shift is going to go in the coming couple of years, and it's going to be one more critical component in any successful ad agency's media-mix toolbox. Above, Mother calls it "Mass-Roots Marketing: You start with an event or something that happens in a small community in one locale and you're looking at it to amplify out from that." You all know, or are slowing coming around to seeing, what is at the roots of "mass-roots marketing" -- it's experiential.  

XM is the root of what Fast Company is calling the new age of "One-on-One" marketing, face-to-face, deeply connecting brands to instantly loyal consumers. 100 times more expensive than a TV impression, but 1,000 times more effective at changing consumer behavior on the spot.


  1. Such a wonderful content for read. Interesting points you have mentioned and I really impressed with your thoughts about experiential marketing.

  2. Hi, this blog is really amazing and provide me answers to all my questions. I got full knowledge experiential marketingis really informative and I will for sure refer my friends the same.



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