By B.L. Ochman
This post first ran in March 2006. Given that not much seems to have changed in the big agency world in the past four years, it seemed worth re-visiting. Your thoughts are welcome.
Dictionary.com defines clueless:adj: totally uninformed about what is going on; not having even a clue from which to infer what is occurring
Like PR firms, ad agencies have begun to talk about social media and blogs so their clients will think they have a clue.
Interpublic Group, for example, announced that it has formed a new division to deal with new media. (At least I think that’s what they were trying to say):
“In the age of the empowered new consumer, the establishment of this unit at Interpublic Media is a logical next step in broadening our offering and further maximizing the opportunities for our client partners in the emerging media space,” Rosenthal said in a statement.
Interpublic Group: 91 ad agencies, 43,000 employees, $6 billion in revenues annually, no agency blog listed on its website. How can they possibly lead a conversation they haven’t even joined?
Can ad agencies catch up? Not bloody likely
Look guys, social media is here to stay. It’s happening. It already affects your clients. And little boutique companies like this one, and this one and this one are using blogs [micro-blogs, place-based marketing, social shopping, multi-media QR codes, interactive video] and social media for campaigns that are leaving you behind in the dust.
Here’s some free advice: Do what you do well. You know traditional media. You understand the metrics, you know how to get your clients to spend big bucks. Now you need to hire us to bring your clients into the world of social media. That way you can stop wasting everyone’s time and money on your on-the-job education. Otherwise, by time you get with the current program, the next big thing will already be passing you by.
Cartoon: Hugh Macleod, gapingvoid.com