Transformation, the advertising buzzword for 2010 and beyond

Advertising transformation means going from making messages to making stuff and, of course, getting the message makers and technologiests to work together.

Have you transformed yet? If not, you better hurry up.  Because everyone else has either transformed or is in the process of transforming.  Themselves. Their business. Their companies.

If you work in the advertising industry, you may already be tired of the word and the topic. It was the theme of the 4A’s San Francisco conference and remains the subject of blog posts, conferences, and keynote addresses wherever you go.

Of course the reason for all the attention is this: transforming is hard.  It calls for new skills, new people, and new processes. And if you’re an ad agency, with the making of messages and the buying of media baked into your DNA,  becoming digital (which is what transformation is all about) takes a huge commitment of time, effort and even money.

The good news is we live in the age of social media, so it’s easier than ever for those who have made progress to willingly share their experiences, failures, successes and recommendations. In fact I’m off to Philadelphia next Tuesday to join some really smart people — Rishad Tobaccowala, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, VivaKi; Andrew Deitchman, Founding Partner, Mother; Scott McCormick, Chief Vision Officer, VML; John Paulson, CEO, G2 USA; Ian Schafer, CEO, Deep Focus; and moderator Nancy Hill, President-CEO, 4A’s – to talk about the very subject.

No doubt there should be an active Twitter stream capturing at least a few worthy sound bites. And in all likelihood a few good blog posts after the fact. But if you’re in Philadelphia on Tuesday, stop by or try and register in advance. Looks like the 4A’s site is down as I write this, but this link to a cached page details the event.

And if you’re interested, take a look at the questionnaire prepared by 4A’s President Nancy Hill.  See if you can answer these questions with any sense of authority.  If so, you’re on your way to being transformed.