Clients are asking new questions, time to have new answers.

Last week my colleagues and I made two major presentations to clients. One was a big show: brand positioning, tagline, television, print, online advertising, point of sale displays, purchase incentives, iPhone applications, digital experiences and live events. When we were done, the first question — in three parts — was, “What do you think about blogs? Should our CEO blog? What should our blog outreach program be?” The second presentation was also pretty comprehensive, including recommendations on how to use social media to listen, engage, inspire, build, and mobilize. At the conclusion of that meeting the first question – also in three parts — was, what should our Twitter strategy be? Should the CEO Twitter? If not him, who?

For the last 30 years I’ve been a copywriter and a creative director. Most of the work I’ve done has been in TV, print, websites, OLA, viral. Yet today, the only questions clients are asking me are whether they should blog, who should be posting on Twitter, what content should go on their Facebook fan page versus the corporate website.

Fortunately I’ve spent a fair amount of time developing answers, or at least trying to. (They’re out of date within a week or two if you don’t keep up and staying ahead is impossible.) If you’re in this business I hope you’ve been doing the same. If not, start now. All the talk about advertising as we know it coming to an end? It’s not just talk anymore.

What are you hearing this from your clients? Do you feel like you have the answers? What are you using as sources and content for your new recommendations? Would love to hear.

5 comments
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Alex
Alex

Twitter needs to figure out how not to let API calls slow it down so much. Painfully slow some days.

Michael
Michael

I like the value of what Liz said at the end of her post. Becoming a holistic branding partner is key to adding long term legitimate business building value to clients. It's not all or nothing--at least not yet. It all connects. New things are always being added into the (marketing) mix and some will naturally become more dominant than others based on economic health. It's a well balanced diet that's required based on what the desired outcome is. Unbelievably exciting time for us and our clients and clients-to-be. As Edward is saying it changes every few weeks.

edwardboches
edwardboches

Jake,
Thanks. I find that another dilemma is that clients can't get their heads around something that is so open ended. A TV spot or print campaign or even a website has a start date, end date and predicted outcome. This is far more dynamic, organic, and unpredictable. Am trying to get a sense of the different models that clients are trying, from the spray and pray approach (Jimmy Cagney) to the just show up anywhere approach (Woody Allen) to the very PR centric dissemination approach (Edward L Bernays). More to come on that.

Edward

Jake Yarbrough
Jake Yarbrough

Much of our company's work is in pharmaceuticals and health care. We are not only having discussions about social media but also working to try to accommodate SM in compliance with ethical and "fair-balanced" guidelines. It is one thing to understand how to move from thinking traditional advertising into this more holistic approach and quite another to take that into a more regulated communications environment.

Things continue to be more and more fun (and challenging) every day. That's why I love this business.

Liz Gumbinner
Liz Gumbinner

I am hearing the very same thing. As a freelancer, it's rarer than rare that I get any campaign development jobs these days that doesn't include a strong integrated online and social media component. If agencies don't have those resources on staff they have to bring them in.

We dress down the music industry for not having adapted to the changing landscape of music downloads and yet, many agencies are clinging to a model which looks as anything beyond traditional "ads" as second class media citizens. We have to not only accept the new opportunities, we have to get excited about them.

It says a lot about Mullen that you're able to join in on this conversation with clients-to-be and serve as a holistic branding partner. (I hope they appreciate it?)