When Bob Coen took the stage in a midtown Manhattan ballroom last December to present his outlook for the advertising business in 2007, his movements were a little frailer and his voice a lot softer than anytime in the past 66 years that he has made his annual predictions. Coen, the octogenarian director of forecasting at Universal McCann and Madison Avenue's de facto scorekeeper, is now older than a lot of the media he tracks, and some think that might be reflected in the way he views the role of a few of the new forms of advertising.
The Bush Administration has always been much better at marketing its ideas than actually making them work, but even the brightest minds who remain within the foundering White House brain trust have had a tough time selling the American people on the need for a "troop surge" in order to turn the tide in Iraq.
We swim in a sea of data. Focus groups, transactions, all sorts of surveys, Web traffic, assorted non-sale responses, TV meters, portable meters, mall intercepts, and contests - and that's just to name a few. But what matters, and what's the value? These are becoming strategic questions for many companies. Answers lie in what metrics can be used to run your business.
In the halcyon days of the dot-com boom I was fond of quoting Charles Darwin, citing him as the original New Media Guru. After all, this was the fellow who, in 1859, wrote: "Many more species are born than can possibly survive."
Inspired by a friend in the blogosphere, I recently visited the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum in Manhattan. Currently on exhibit is "Design Life Now: National Design Triennial 2006," with three floors of innovative design from around the world. I consider myself to be fairly up on art and what's happening in the creative world, but "Design Life Now" completely blew me away.
Much has been written about the growth of the U.S. Hispanic market as a consumer segment having high marketing value. But a close look at Hispanic demographics shows that advertisers may be missing the mark if they view Hispanics as a monolithic market or consider country of origin to be the best predictor of consumer behavior within that market.
Always picture the person you're writing the ad for before you write the ad. I'm not sure whether this came from a textbook, an advertising professor, or my first creative director, but it's something I always do before starting a new campaign. Now, I put hundreds of different people in my head before starting. That's not daunting, it's liberating.
We've heard it before: "Let's put together a focus group" or "What do the numbers tell us?" In these cases, our colleagues are often looking for primary research to tell them unequivocally what to do.
Any "bubble" has at its core a sense of obsession, kept alive by a sense of abstraction. The obsession tends to be an awareness of "something big"going on combined with a fear of missing it.