How the advertising business has changed over time

How the advertising business has changed over time
How the advertising business has changed over time

In the ad business, the only sure thing is that what's certain today will not be certain tomorrow. Three words often bother me. I remember when my peers and friends use them, I always have a craving for telling them to switch gears and think about today and tomorrow, not yesterday. They seldom comply. Now, having been invited to write about how the ad agency business has changed since I was in it on an everyday basis, I suppose I have to remember when. If you remember when ad agencies relied on type shops for fast, efficient service, you are in your forties. If you remember when word processing people were called typists and when they used a thing called carbon paper, you are in your fifties. Side effects from typewriters and carbon paper were messy erasures and blue-stained fingers. If you think FedEx, cable TV, B101, video conferencing, and satellites have always been there. I'm jealous of not being your age. Whereas client or agency relationships changed focus from print to broadcast over many years, the changes now move with lightning speed. 

When UHF television came along, it was big news because viewers in this market could see six stations instead of  three. Now, who can watch all the videos available with cable and internet access for movies without any end in sight? How will agencies have to adjust? Who knows? We do know that the media challenges that face agencies are causing several significant changes. First, some are not fighting the media wars, and many are farming out their media requirements. That means they are trusting another organization to collaborate with their clients. That was unimaginable a few years ago. Second, many of the larger agencies have very robust media divisions, and those divisions are involved with sales promotion, sponsorship, and some creative tasks. Many of them feel like full-service agencies if you study them. Third, agencies must take steps to become more aware of accountability as it relates to their clients' spending. A few years ago, many marketing folks started thinking about one to one marketing. Today it's becoming a necessity for agencies to understand search engine marketing, optimization and other terms which were unknown five years ago.

Those agencies which relied on creative radio ideas no longer have a simple pallet to deal with. Now we have two significant factors that influence how communication is utilized by the consumer, satellite, and a little phenomenon called iPod. Cost per thousand is still essential, but specific, measurable results are more critical. That factor is pushing agencies today into thought processes, which must demonstrate more exceptional strategic ability as well as a keen understanding of how to meld communications for image or brand with clients demand to see sales figures climb as direct ways to measure ROI. Whoever succeeds in finding the best way to turn IPod users into a demographic group that's available as media will harvest big rewards. Think about how internet advertising has changed and is changing the marketing strategy. Agencies must play a leadership role in finding the most significant ways to apply those funds. There are other relevant topics and terms today which might not have existed for agencies in the past but are core factors today and are likely to become more critical, broadband, customer relationship management, video on demand, paid inclusion, Latino media, collaboration extranets, streaming, high-definition, and IMAX theatres. 

More advertisers of all sizes are trying to save money by removing routine responsibilities from agencies and doing them inside. Many agency executives believe that their real value for clients is their business knowledge and their strategic capability, along with their creative execution. These trends in thinking drive change and challenge for agencies. Not only are there fewer employees per million dollars of billing, but there is a large gap between well paid and not so well-paid agency employees. Believe it or not, in the past, there were ten employees per million dollars worth of billing. Today it's one and a half employees per million. Who knows where it's headed? One of the country fastest-growing agencies, Kalan Thaler Group, reports $600,000,000 in billing with 140 employees. They must work challenging, but they also must be smart, creative, and cutting edge. Why the salary gap mentioned above? Because strategic support is rigid for clients to find and comes inexpensive packages. 

So the agency which has the best opportunity to keep its client is the agency whose client trusts the recommendations that come from the agency. Translated, that means smarts strategic thinking, and courage on top of the usual high expectations about effective, incredible creative solutions. Explained further, that means expensive brains at the agency, a salary gap between those brains and the other folks as well as low salaries beneath the top thinkers. In a way, the CEO of an ad agency is now responsible for managing salaries major league teams do it. They place the big dollars where the significant benefits are, in star performers. In summary, the only way to view changes in the ad business is the same as changes in other companies. Lee Iacocca, of Chrysler fame, once said, Change or die! That's true of our beloved ad business. It always has been, it is now, and it always will be. Figuring out how to be ahead of the curve is the challenge of today agency CEO. I guess I'm glad that I no longer have to live up to that title and those expectations. I'm doing my best to provide agencies with ways to get along with fewer employees and, at the same time, to give clients what they need and want, secure collaboration, accurate communications and, above all, efficient and effective use of their most valuable assets, brains, creativity and time.

adsence,1,advertising,62,adword,2,adwords,1,affiliate,27,amazon,2,animal,9,apple,1,baby,5,banner,1,beauty,29,billboard,3,book,7,brainstorm,1,brochure,6,business,50,car,9,cat,2,children,4,classified,6,company,32,cook,5,design,7,diet,1,directory,6,dog,6,ebay,2,economy,1,education,1,emailing,19,entrepreneur,6,facebook,1,family,1,feetness,1,film,1,finance,4,fish,1,food,2,freelance,1,fruit,2,game,1,gift,6,google,9,health,6,house,4,job,18,language,1,leadership,1,lifestyle,2,makeup,13,marketing,40,mask,9,men,1,mindset,1,nursing,2,photoshop,1,postcard,1,ppc,2,school,1,security,1,seo,26,skin,18,sports,3,startup,2,technology,6,tips,64,traffic,27,usa,1,women,20,
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nwldg: How the advertising business has changed over time
How the advertising business has changed over time
In the ad business, the only sure thing is that what's certain today will not be certain tomorrow. Three words often bother me. I remember when my peers and friends use them, I always have a craving for telling them to switch gears and think about today and tomorrow, not yesterday. They seldom comply. Now, having been invited to write about how the ad agency business has changed since I was in it on an everyday basis, I suppose I have to remember when. If you remember when ad agencies relied on type shops for fast, efficient service, you are in your forties. If you remember when word processing people were called typists and when they used a thing called carbon paper, you are in your fifties. Side effects from typewriters and carbon paper were messy erasures and blue-stained fingers. If you think FedEx, cable TV, B101, video conferencing, and satellites have always been there. I'm jealous of not being your age. Whereas client or agency relationships changed focus from print to broadcast over many years, the changes now move with lightning speed.
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