One of the things that both motivates and frustrates me about the ad business is the fact that your work goes up on the wall for everyone to see. So everyone knows who is good, who is great and who should be getting their book together.
There is no better feeling than putting your work up on the wall and getting a great reception. Especially from people you really respect.
The fact that it doesn’t happen all that often makes it that much more worthwhile.
Blogging is a lot like advertising as well. Each post is up there “on the wall” and it is very quickly clear who has it, who might get there one day and who you are not going to have on your RSS feed even if they are the girlfriend of your best friend. Not that this actually happened to me.
One blogger who has it, and I have said this before, is Tangerine Toad (who blogs over at The Toad Stool). If any reader (including my Mom, who I know logs on from different computers to make me feel good about my traffic numbers) has not checked out his site, do it now.
His recent post on Dell and the Digital Revolution cuts right to the issue that faces Dell, $4.5 billion spend on a new agency or not, “no matter how good the new Dell ads are, consumers are going to go online first before they buy one. And if CNET tells them that the HP machine is the better one, then that’s the one they’re going to get.”
The best thing about his blog is that his posts start conversation.
Check out the comments section, where Bob Pearson, Dell’s Vice President, Corporate Group Communications, weighs is on the discussion. It’s not only what a blog is about, conversation, but it’s great information on how agencies ABSOLUTELY MUST go beyond advertising and telling the brand story and into new areas that affect the brand.
Every brand is going to face the fact that, with the internet putting immediate communication at everyone’s fingertips, consumers have the ability to research and learn about products and services and make decisions independent of marketing and advertising. And brands must be ready, with good product and design, with effective consumer-centric advertising and with a willingness to listen to what consumers are saying (like on blogs, message boards, etc), if they are going to live.
The days of a manufacturing-driven business are over.
Dell, at least, seems to recognize this.