As much as things change they stay the same…pretty cliched I know but when it comes to the state of advertising this rings true.
There are many great advertising agencies and in equal measure there are agencies out there that may not be the most creative, functional at best.
But I’d want to shift focus from the advertising agencies to the clients.
Most companies, it seems, don’t seem to understand not only advertising but the basics of marketing.
It’s not that things have improved but rather become worse in the state of brand building.
The real issue at hand is the caliber of senior marketing executives and managers and many large companies.
In the old days the people that ran the marketing for big brands were cross skilled in a number of areas of the business, many a time these people were founders of their respective businesses and understood how the different levers of the business needed to operate.
Yes, they may not have necessarily been overly innovative but they understood what was at the heart of any brand, its customers.
It seems that today most of the senior marketing people in companies, have no marketing or advertising background, education or experience and most seem to have fallen into those positions either by coincidence, luck or possibly both.
When things go wrong, the first casualties and generally the only casualties – are the advertising agencies.
It’s up to the marketing executives and senior managers to ensure that the brand continues to evolve, innnovate and generate long term sustainable revenues for the business.
The advertising agencies need to work as partners with these brands and not merely be conduits or be present to execute the poorly thought out brand campaigns by their clients.
Until the level of marketing is picked up internally, advertising will continue to suffer and so will advertising agencies just itching to do great work hand-in-hand with the vision of their clients.