Time to be “annoying”?

By Ted Wright April 11, 2008

We liked the comments today of Phyllis Dealy so much that we decided to share the link as well as reproduce the orginal article below. The article is from the April 11 edition of MediaPost’s Marketing Daily which is an on line publication that we read every morning.  Is it time to be “annoying”?

You Say Your Agency’s Annoying Like It’s A Bad Thing
IT’S TRUE. ADVERTISING AGENCIES (OR whatever you want to call us these days) can be down right annoying in our persistent pursuit of finding the very next “it” marketing concept or great idea. And while it’s easy to dismiss us and stay on plan, here are three instances where I suggest you listen up:

1. Testing a mobile marketing program
Remember that dream where you show up to a cocktail party and suddenly realize you’re not wearing any pants? If you’re a marketing VP or a brand manager and you haven’t even tested a mobile marketing program, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but people are starting to stare.

And here’s an annoying but pertinent fact: A recent study by Kelsey Group, a market research firm based in New Jersey, estimates that spending on mobile-search advertising in the U.S. alone will grow to $1.4 billion by 2012.

While they’re sometimes perceived as too complicated or risky, the truth is, mobile marketing programs are not that expensive or difficult to implement. Trust me, it’s better to get out and test potential programs now, while consumers still have relatively unformed expectations around the technology.

One client told me she was in the process of building a WAP site the other day. I felt like we were talking about a recent trip she made to the mall. “It was just so inexpensive,” she said. “I thought, why not buy it and figure out what to do with it later.” I’m not usually a fan of spending money just because you can, but in this case, I couldn’t agree more. It’s where the market is heading, so you better make sure you have your “open for business” sign out.

2. Brandcasting – The ultimate multi-channel play
This annoying agency line is so popular, it has multiple names. So whether your agency calls it channel alignment or integrated marketing or super-convergent-channel synchronization (okay, I made that last one up), it’s more than just buzzword city. Brands need to start thinking about themselves as media properties.

Brandcasting is the wave of the future. What do I mean? What does your brand and HBO have in common? Everything. Your loyal consumers are watching your brand on a regular basis. They tune in when you have something important or entertaining or newsworthy to tell them. They tune out and start surfing the competition when you don’t.

Your customers’ attention is your brand’s currency in today’s multi-channel world. Your job is to interact with them on as many levels, as many channels, and with as much significance as you can. I’m talking about Web campaigns that drive to Retail, Radio spots that drive to Web, and TV that drives to Facebook. So give your customers a reason to tune in, and make it available everywhere they’re looking.

3. Pushing a creative or media idea that’s ‘too big’ ‘too expensive’ or has ‘nothing to do with your brand’

And now for the most annoying agency habit of all. You want to know why they keep coming back with that “one” idea you’ve killed at least ten times now? There’s nothing more motivating for a great agency than the opportunity to create a great marketing success story. If they want to do something that badly, and you trust their instincts and view them as your marketing partner, not just another vendor, then give it a shot. Who thought that a talking chicken had anything to do with Burger King? Or that elves had anything to do with OfficeMax?

A few years ago, one of my clients was searching for a way to be more relevant and current with their core target audience — men 25-45. There’s an amazing new marketing opportunity out there, we told them. People are creating their own sites and doing this thing called “blogging.” Did we know exactly how it would work? No. But we had a pretty good hunch that it was a great fit for their brand portfolio and we pushed hard for it. We brought it up over and over again, bouncing the idea from brand A to brand B and back to brand A again. In the end, they passed. Too controversial, the PR agency ruled. Too expensive, the brand manager decided. Four years later … it’s too late to align their brands with one of the biggest online movements ever.

So, the next time you start rolling your eyes and thinking, “Not again,” remember, we’re here to keep you current and push you past your comfort zone, into new and uncharted territories. So guess what? We’re going to keep bugging you, mister or missus brand manager, VP, or CEO. Yeah, sometimes it’s annoying, but well, that’s our job.

Dealy is partner and director of account services at Woods Witt Dealy & Sons, a New York-based independent advertising agency. A pioneer in digital marketing, Dealy has over 16 years experience creating and managing integrated direct marketing and advertising programs for world class clients. Contact Dealy at pdealy@woodswittdealy.com.

Here’s the link: http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.san&s=80389&Nid=41438&p=414196


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