Phil, you're always insightful! Here's some more 'grist for the mill' from a variety of switched-on sources:
- Advertising (the "push model", as we knew it) is dead. The agencies that survive will have to become "Marketing Agencies". Patrick Meyer at Now has a really insightful approach: http://tinyurl.com/m86676
- Fast Company is pointing to the fact that this new 'post ice-age' era of marketing can best be labeled "one on one marketing". What does that suggest about where marketers should shift their dollars? Not from ATL to predominantly digital/online, and certainly NOT to an advertising-inappropriate space like "social" (a space for listening and PR, not manipulating), but to experiential marketing.
- In that same vein, the new focus for successful marketers will not be 'branding' products, but starting from thinking through what the initial 'brand experience' has to be to best showcase the product/service, whether it is via a blog a micro-target reads, or trial at a friend's house, or through a sample thrust into their hands during an in-mall event. The key to this new strategic approach, and the name of a new ROI metric measure being developed industry-wide, is "BRAND ENGAGEMENT" -- how 'connected' all our "pull marketing" efforts have made people feel with any brand, NOT the mindless 'top of mind awareness' we've hammered into them with the endless repetition that is "push marketing".
- Thinking about what "Holy Grail" means in a general sense, can't agree that the industry's 'grail' is the simple, universal goal of proven ROI (increasing sales). I think the real "Holy Grail" we've been searching for is addressable-advertising, NOT simple LBS, but FULLY addressable-advertising that every individual in the world welcomes because we only see ads for products we're really interested in, at the moment we are ready to listen/buy. Now THAT is a Holy Grail!
- Much of the comments above, as well as your points, speak to the age-old goal of partnership between agencies and marketing clients. That's not going to happen until agencies share their clients' risks and rewards -- a new revenue-sharing business model, in other words. Which brings us to another new theme...
- To succeed now, "marketing agencies" need to focus on helping to invent/develop innovative new business models for their clients and themselves, not new brands or branded campaigns.
This whole new "social media" hoopla is just a red herring -- to your point, it's going to go away once the average folks out there realize what it is they're all mesmerized by at the moment is identical to telephone technology, one of the first technological 'social media'. (My point being that, while the newest 'social media' facilitate faster, broader 'socializing', they do not suggest that a wholesale behavioral revolution is taking place -- people still like getting stuff for free or at a discount and the tactical efforts most marketers are having success with in today's 'social marketing' is just more of the same, promos that people talk about around the water cooler. There's nothing 'mysterious' or breakthrough about these new technologies.)
For the post that started me thinking about these changes, click on this sentence.