Change Is Only Scary When You Hide From It

A writer on the Fallon Planning Blog explores the continued need for traditional advertising agencies in the wake of so many upstart services intent on helping clients help themselves.

The days (and fortunes) grow shorter for the traditional ad agency as nimble upstarts leverage technology advances to subvert our long-held business models. Below are some examples that traffic in client self-sufficiency.

The post goes on to list Spot Runner, blogads, Google’s AdSense and others currently offering clients their version of the DIY ad model.
I’m all for disruptive innovation, but blogads is not going to replace agency media buyers. And AdSense is not going to replace the need for “creative” web banners.
In my little corner of the ad world, I’m intent on helping introduce clients to blogvertising in particular, and conversational media in the broader sense. Since blogs are all about self-publishing, does this mean I ought to simply load the software to the client’s server, then stand back and let them fire away? No. First, a prospective client needs to explore these issues:
Will it be a PR blog, marketing blog, CEO’s blog or some other creation yet to be invented?
Who will write it?
Who will manage it?
Will the blog allow comments?
If so, do you want to moderate them?
In other words, blogvertising is slightly more complicated than it seems on the surface.
The rise of citizen’s media is not a threat to the agency business. Brand managers still need consultants or “partners” to help them create content and place it in the right spot, at the right time. It seems to me, this is true now, more so than ever.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.