After participating on a panel on customer conversations at SuperNova yesterday I was asked to prepare a thought for the open mic attendee round table – which, while not new and totally original, I thought would make sense to put up here as well…
Following the organization of our marketing innovation conference a few weeks ago, and after seeing sessions at WOMMA and SuperNova related to marketing, advertising and customer relationships, it dawned on me (probably late – I know that others, like Max Kalehoff, have already made that observation), that there is a huge chasm between the way Silicon Valley/Web 2.0 type people look at marketing and the way Madison Avenue looks at it.
There is more than one difference, but one that deserves particular focus is how Web 2.0-centric people look at “attention” vs. Madison Avenue advertising types focus on “engagement” – and the difference is deeper than just one of perspective – i.e., customer-centric view vs. a marketer-centric view of marketing.
We look at attention as the new scarcity in the marketing value chain – and we analyze how that impacts marketing, brands, and metrics. John Hagel talks about how attention scarcity forces us to shift from the current way of doing marketing, which he summarizes by the 3I’s (intercept, insulate and inhibit), to a new way of doing marketing, which he captures in the 3A’s (attract, assist, and affiliate). With attention scarcity, many people agree that we need to move from product/company-centric brands to customer-centric brands. And with all that comes a call for new metrics based on attention and customer information. Some, like the AttentionTrust, even call for better protection and customer control of their own attention data. All cool and cutting edge stuff when it comes to marketing…
Madison Avenue types on the other hand have finally realized that the eyeballs have gone, that their current metrics are worthless (impressions, CTR, reach, frequency, etc.), and that the new prime time is 9-5. In an effort to create new relevancy they have come up with a new, if somewhat vague, metric – “engagement” (defined by ARF as: “turning on a prospect to a brand idea enhanced by the surrounding context.”)
Of course, there is no way to discount Madison Avenue just yet! While Larry Weber may be right when he says that spending money on traditional media is like pouring water into a sinking boat, instead of out of the boat, the reality is that many marketers are lazy and clueless and continue to operate in their comfort zone – increasing TV advertising in the face of declining viewership, just to name one example.
Remember – change hurts!