Podcamp Toronto Agency Panel

I’m really not sure how to title this post, which is more of a list of collected thoughts from my Podcamp Toronto panel with Matt, Martin, Collin, Maggie and Mark, moderated by Dave. It was an interesting session to be a part of but too short or too crowded for there to be anything other than surface level thoughts. I hope there’s a chance to do it again with a bit more time.

  • Marketing and communications agencies are all on a collision course. When guys like Dave and I can switch from PR to “digital” to advertising and a creative like Collin can go from advertising to PR and back again but as a planner, you know that everyone is interchangeable. Which makes the “who owns” conversation as dull as ditchwater. Because a little know truth is…
  • Marketing is becoming more and more complicated and complex. The dollars, as Matt said, are moving closer towards the conversation (and the sales). There are more and more moving parts to each and every campaign and less and less time to figure it all out. Budgets are shrinking so each discipline is looking to eat the others’ lunch in order to meet growth targets.
  • What does a winning marketing campaign look like, today? You need a really great, but really simple idea. This idea needs to be brought to life in a creatively compelling way and it needs to be distributed as quickly and as far as possible. You can’t lose that simplicity. You can’t lose the creative. You can’t lose the distribution, or ShareValue.
  • We are moving to a post-social world where organisations are looking to operationalise this stuff. Can *we* help the management consultants and change management experts? Is that where we can really add value? Are we ready to play in this world? More importantly, can something as ethereal and participatory as social really be operationalised?
  • ROI. No one is close to figuring this out yet, despite many people trying very hard. Maggie talked, at a tactical level, about advertising on social media sites for the “amplification”. But amplification is not ROI or measurement. Amplification is counting. Measurement is something that I saw in an email received, ironically, while I was on the panel – that our campaign increased foot traffic to a client by some 30-odd points, YOY. Organizations will re-up on a campaign that drove foot traffic, will they re-up on a campaign that saw amplification?
  • What is social media today? No one can come to an agreement. Is it about the content, the community, the conversation or the creative. It is individually one and all of these things all tied up nicely in an “it depends” wrapper.
  • What is marketing today? As my colleague Tony Jonhstone often says, marketing (he says strategic planning) is what it always was and will be. Smart people working hard to figure things out. The office they sit in, the title they hold and the discipline they are perceived to be in is increasingly immaterial.

That’s what we had on the 26th. Some smart people across a bunch of disciplines who are passionate about this space and the work we can do in it. Long may it continue.

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