As many of you are aware, I bought the advertising agency I had been President of for ten years in 2014 and changed the name to 78Madison. Early on, while there were changes to how we conducted business philosophically, there was not a major shift in approach for our staff or clients. But now, eight years later, we’ve witnessed an evolution in our industry that has had a profound impact on who we are.
For sure, the traditional advertising agency model, while still intact, has changed greatly. In my early “mad men” days, advertising agencies were considered the “keepers of the brand” who understood customers better than their clients. With only a handful of demographic profiles, and relatively few media outlets, the math was simple.
But all that has changed in a major way. Here’s why:
Customers got smarter…
Consumers today understand marketing, are more cynical about it, and have more control over it. They filter, reject, zap, or completely ignore marketing messages. This is partly a function of technology and partly a function of the growing deluge of information we all must wade through to function in the world. The customer is now the boss; a content manager who decides what messages to accept, when and where.
Clients got smarter…
Traditional agency clients got smarter about their markets, their customers, and their brands. New technologies allowed for more effective measurements and ways of tracking sales, customer inquiries and ROI. UPC code scanners, Internet technologies, touch-point management and a host of new measurement tools are now at the disposal of marketing departments. The role of the agency as brand steward eroded a bit.
Media got smarter…
There is a print publication, smartphone, tablet, website, cable channel, newsgroup, chat room, podcast, blog, app, and satellite radio station for everyone and every business segment. Today, there is an array of media options more integrated, interactive, and intimate than ever. Determining the right vehicle and the optimal mix is a challenge we all face every day. Not to mention developing the right message for distinct audience segments.
So today, 78MADISON’s philosophy has evolved into a role we describe as the “keeper of clarity”.
If we can achieve clarity in a sea of media and consumer complexity, everything else will naturally fall into place. We can scan the horizon for the newest tools, techniques, and trends, subsequently employ the strategy that best suits the needs of the assignment.
78Madison is a full-service marketing communications firm – advertising agency – located in Orlando – Winter Springs, Florida.