Best time ever to be in marketing

Has there ever been a more exciting time to be in marketing?

The Author

Stephen Greensted

In 1986, I was an account director at Gold Greenlees Trott, one of my accounts being Honeywell Computers. We ran what was probably the world’s first digital TV commercial.  The TV ad liberally lifted ideas from Dire Straits’ Money For Nothing video. We thought we were frightfully clever, but we had no idea just how fast and profoundly things were going to change.

In the 1980s advertising was almost part of TV entertainment. People actually looked forward to seeing ads such as ‘Allo Tosh, Gotta Toshiba? Many said that they prefered the TV commercials to the programs.

But people get out rather more nowadays. And, what’s more, they very rarely surf, unless they’re stuck in an airport with an iPad to hand, socked in by fog, with the aircraft stranded elsewhere at Schipol, as recently happened to me.

When people get on the net or use their mobiles they do so with a purpose. In the case of the net, people are there for only three reasons. They either want information, or they want to buy something, or they want to connect with their friends and relatives.

And that means that you, if you’re a marketer, are in luck because the people you most want to meet are your current and future customers. In the 1980s, people watching Toshiba’s advertising were rarely in-market buyers. But the people who are on the internet right now have a very high percentage of in-market buyers amongst them.

And that means that the people you most want to meet are probably already looking for you.

So, not being part of the digital revolution is no longer an option.

Shar vanBoskirk of Forrester has even gone so far recently to warn publicly in print that, ““Agencies that can’t transition from pushing out messages to nurturing customer connections aren’t long for this world. Agency readers, heed our warning…Likely fatalities? Havas’ Arnold and Interpublic Group’s Mullen…”

Despite the clear warnings, there’s still a surprising number of respectable communications agencies pretending that, if they do nothing, all will be fine.

When I first started this blog, I intended to concentrate on just digital marketing, but the readers of the blog nudged it in several directions, so it now includes a wide range of marketing topics, including various adventures teaching marketing outside the UK. If you have a topic you want me to cover, please let me know.

And if you’re interested in knowing how to lose a pitch when you thought you were winning, I have a forty minute talk, based entirely on true stories of arrogance, incompetence, mendacity and downright idiocy. And that just covers the first ten minutes.

If you and your organisation would like to learn how to fail miserably when faced with a pitch open goal, let me know.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Updated 8 February 2012