Cross post from Nathalie’s blog
A very interesting article from The Economist is actually stating the fact that we see in the advertising and whole communication industry: companies are really shifting to the web and it is a reality now…and not only in US. Europe is catching up and fast.
The article mainly focus on the shift in Advertising, a trend that we have seen coming for few years now. The interesting things is that advertising companies and professionals such as Creative Directors had for quite a while tried to ignore the wall coming towards them. And so many traditional advertising agency are struggling so hard in making that shift. They are sometimes at lost when we talk to them about Web 2.0 and things like YouTube, online communities. They now know the words and definition…but not really understanding their real meanings and consequences. They still were talking TV ads and print campaigns not more than few months ago. Online was just the little tiny thing to do on the side, but not that important in the whole scope of such huge TV/Print campaigns budget.
For sure, the recession will be the boost for the Internet. Not only in advertising, but as the main and driving communication tool at all level!! The first signs are all there. And being in the industry and talking to major international companies in all kind of sectors, we actually see the signs in real time here in Europe. 2009 is going to see major changes.
I have to admit that it feels good to read in a major media that “online advertising is making obsolete the old distinction between marketing spending “above the line” and “below” it. In the jargon, above-the-line spending drives brand “awareness” (probably on television) or “consideration” by a consumer planning a purchase (probably in a newspaper).” We have been saying at ZN for at least 10 years that Internet was really revolutionazing the whole communication industry and that there were no more boundaries and distinctions between below and above the line. Even more, for us the distinction between PR, CSR, PA, Advertising, Marketing no longer exist for quite a while. But most professionals, businesses, Industry Associations, politicians had a hard time really embracing the idea of such a change. It is not a small change. It is huge and require quite an adaptation and change in mindset and attitude. I was one of the lucky ones to swim into the online communication at an early stage in my career.
It is not only advertising that changes and shifts. It is the whole concept of communication. Now you have to have an integrated approach and no more think in silos. It goes for communication but for businesses too (externally; internally and structurally). The recession is going to force people to admit the shift and to really adapt to it. If you don’t, then you will be missing the train….and it is a fast one.
Check also interesting entry here from Philip Weiss on McKinsey report and article “The downturn’s new rules for marketers” from The McKinsey Quaterly.