The Spread: New World Order

Recently, I was asked to give a presentation on the "New World Order" for advertisers and media owners. What a daunting challenge.

New means it's fresh, different and up to date.mOrder means there are things in their place; logical and systematic. World means wide scale, outside the boundaries and all inclusive and embracing.

It sounds utopian, with lambs gamboling across Elysian Fields with bucolic joy. It's just wonderful, and it's perfection.

But it's not a reality; a new world order is a pipe dream.

The three elements of the new, world and order are not independent. Indeed they are contradictory. While some zig, others zag.


Go for the "new," and that demands change. The new creates disorder and discord, not order or harmony. And just try to be new on a universal platform. Forget it; you can only be local. The Internet started as a local application. The DNA Helix was discovered in a single laboratory.



But there's no market for an application that's "new, out of order, & local."


Put the emphasis on "order" and you need an approach that's traditional, proven, conventional and disciplined.

You just have to recall the difficulty Britain still has with the concept of the European Union to sense the difficulty of getting order on a world level. It's just impossible.

But an application for an "old order country" just doesn't deliver.


So move the emphasis to "world," and immediately face the chaos of NATO, the UN, Darfur, the Middle East, Iraq and Afghanistan and you end up with a project about and old disorder world

 A "new order world" is more a hope and prayer than a possible reality.


 We are left with a "New World Disorder." This is the new marketing communications reality. Disorder is all around us. Fast change is the new reality.

And all because the consumer is in charge of the marketing communications business.

That's good for the consumer and can be great for business - and, in the end, also good for marketing communication. But the route is via hell and back!


They used to be in charge. They had the order and authority. Demand exceeded supply; the media owners had scarcity. Advertisers and agencies came together to demand and negotiate. It was combative. It was us versus them. There were goodies and baddies; cowboys and Indians.

But those days are gone.


There was a time when the manufacturers and providers of services were in charge. Retailers were weak and brands dominated. The consumer had restricted choices. Media expanded and advertisers used scale and muscle versus media owners.

Those days are gone, too.


Media agencies grew from the independent entrepreneurial start-ups of the late '70s and early '80s to become worldwide, massive scale, inventory-leveraged mammoths. They became the new media owners, handing out spots and spaces and discounts bashing the media owners. Zenith begat Magna which begat Mindshare which begat Group M.

But their days are numbered; at least in their present form of non-integrated traditional media planners & buyers. The advertisers who want an integrated digital, direct response, direct mail, sponsorship, TV and magazine campaign from one media agency, can't do so!


And now the marketing communication agenda moves on to another phase where neither media owners nor advertisers nor agencies rule.

In this disorder, the new order comes from the consumer - the viewer - the reader - the user - the buyer. Yes, the customer.

The consumer pays ever more for media, and the advertisers' media influence is reducing. No single medium or media owner can fulfill all of the consumer's needs.

To deliver order for the consumer from the disorder that is today's marketing communications, there has to be a change toward:

.     Working together

.     Measuring the benefits

.     Doing it better - differently tomorrow


Media owners have no option now but to focus on advertisers' needs with their consumers, no longer on that narrow, vested, self-interest platform. Now when the deal is done, that's when the media owners start, not finish.

Roisin Donnelly, marketing director of P&G UK & Ireland, is right to demand "innovative solutions to build relationships with our consumers and to invent them with our media agency and media owner partners."

It's been tried before with TV & radio packages; TV & magazine packages - and with little success. If one party believes there are benefits to themselves from other selling their medium - it just doesn't work.

If instead all parties focus on expanding the total and widening the market, then better consumer communications will accrue from cooperation to deliver across media and across boundaries.

Sometimes A gains and B loses; but don't complain, for next time it's the other way round.


The time has come to break out from the often crude and now hopelessly out-of-date metrics of "Cost per thousand CPT & CPM" "Discounts" and traditional "Ad Awareness" metrics. And let's not convince ourselves that "cost-per-click" is anything more than a primitive entry point for digital marketing. Much of the pretense of efficient search measurement comes from overinflated numbers of consumers using search to get to what they already know.

All these metrics are of limited worth when the consumer is in charge of marketing communications. The Internet metrics are just plain awful.

Media auditors, market research companies, database providers - all have to move on.

We have to make better and faster use of the Internet as a conduit through which current and effective measurement of REAL consumer benefit/change/behavior can emerge.

And measuring value benefits can't be tacked on at the end. Measurement has to be built in and maintained continuously.


For some time, the U.S. has been doing "Media owners working together" better than we in Europe.

Ten years ago the emphasis in the U.S. was TV lead cross-platform deals. The focus was on the mega-platform, multi $Ms such as P&G/Viacom and OMD/Disney-ABC.

There the reality was that TV needed a partner and other media contended for that prime role.

Now the widest form of cross-platform deals comes with TV and the Internet.

Holding back the growth of cross-platform deals is, in our experience, the confusion of price and saving money versus extra value.

If cross-platform deals for advertisers are just about lower prices than deals done individually, then the point has been missed. Having spent a long career helping advertisers get what they want more cheaply, I am hardly likely to reverse that line of thinking now.

But if the advertisers organize a planned 360-degree execution of wall-to-wall media (call it what you want) that is to be valued more strongly, will be worth a higher price and will deliver far better value.


The measurement process has to change big time. There are still mountains to climb. Everyone wants to be a pioneer, but not without metrics. We have to move away from media contact metrics to media effectiveness metrics. That is only possible from continuous measurement process via the Internet.

For a growing number of marketers, the New World Order is in effect the New World Disorder. The new laws (some from the outlaws) of communications value and effectiveness are emerging, and we feel naked and unsafe.  There is a safe way at the frontier town. Beware of false prophets and strangers bearing gifts - but don't lock up your daughters. Concentrate on (a) integration, (b) multiplatform 360-degree planning (c) new business delivery metrics and (d) partnerships.

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