Is Advertising Worth Saving?

Advertising is going to get hit harder than ever before this year as the industry comes to terms with the economic downturn, the drying up of funds in so man company’s ad budgets, not to mention the hammering that industries like finance, auto and luxury has taken in the last few months alone. 

This temporary pain will highlight a much longer timer agony which advertisers have been dealing with for a while now, the death of modern advertising. The truth of the matter is that global conditions could very well be the final nail in the coffin for so many advertisers, and adapt or die may not even be an appropriate saying for them any longer, death seems inevitable. The question is then, whether or not this is an industry which is worth saving at all. 

The Issues

Beyond the economic issues which the world is faced with at the moment, advertising is facing a huge problem with the future of the internet. I’ll give you a couple of examples which I have found in the last couple of weeks which point to issues which advertisers will need to address. 

  • New products – In the last 12 months my own personal network of friends and contacts will let me know about new products way before any kind of media release. The marketing is half done by the time a product comes out and the likes of myself will have already changed the mood for the better or worse. 
  • Advertising – So many seem to have completely forgotten about the fact that the future of social media is essentially free advertising, if businesses get their social side of things right then they may not even need marketeers at all. Companies can rely on co-creation from fellow users to entice new customers through their doors. 
  • I am far more inclined, as I know many of you are, to buy a new product based on the recommendations of colleagues or online users, than I am as a result of some glossy campaign. 

Changing From Within 

The truth is that there is very little which the average Joe can do to save advertising and in my view, in its current model, we should not save advertising, and that is no bad thing. For years the unsuspecting public have been cajoled and tempted into filling up their homes and spending money on crap which they didn’t want but were on the receiving end of some hardcore marketing agency, the shoe is firmly on the other foot now. 

It is marketing that will save itself but the only winners here will be those who actually take the steps which are required, in tipping their agency upside down in order to meet with the changing face of business, and that face is a social one. 

Agencies who adapt will still die, they have to overhaul from the inside out, that is their only hope for survival.