I grew up in a kinder, gentler advertising world: TV, radio, outdoor, newspaper, magazine, point-of-purchase. During that time, media options were relatively few and well-defined, and the emphasis was on creatively engaging the prospect and breaking through the ad clutter. Advertising, in its purest definition, was the workhorse called on to create a favorable brand image, to generate interest in the product or service, and ultimately, to drive more sales.
Today, the old rules of advertising haven’t just changed, they’ve been thrown out altogether as any newspaper ad salesman will tell you. The myriad of legitimate social media tools now available enable a virtual one-to-one marketing relationship with prospects.
Traditional media options still exist, though in much more fragmented forms which draw narrower (=targeted) audiences. Brand messaging can now be finely tuned to a precisely-defined audience. And, properly conveyed, those messages are organically pulled through the market with a sense of authenticity never before achieved through push forms of marketing.
Creativity, once the driving force of all forms of advertising, is still imperative, as our collective minds have become even more cynical and expectantly demanding. Data regarding prospect wants, needs and insights, as well as competitive metrics, is widely available and accessible through myriad marketing tools. And program analytics, once relegated to campaign pre-testing and awareness/recall studies, have emerged as a science all to themselves as marketers demand campaign performance accountability.
Today, brands aren’t built with the sledgehammer of advertising. They’re precision-crafted with the tools of brand communications: a broader, more encompassing set of brand interactions — touch points. Advertising is one, still-effective, tool. But now, thanks largely to constantly evolving technology and a population willing to embrace that evolution, there are hundreds of other tools available, each with its own role in tapping an individual prospect on the shoulder for a chat.
Are you still using traditional advertising as your only go-to brand-building tool of choice? No matter what industry you’re in, it’s time to check out the new tools of brand communications. At 34 North, we can help you with that.
Advertising is dead. Long live… Brand Communications!