Thursday, March 15, 2007

A Note From a Cranky Marketer....

It's 12:41 am and I was really hoping to make a highly engaging and thought provoking post before going to bed... But I have nothing ... Truly. For the life of me, I cannot come up with a single topic of interest to over analyze, deconstruct, contemplate, praise, or even mock. Hell, I can't even find an ironic photo to post that would showcase my keen sense of humor and cunning wit. What's going on here? Maybe I had one too many glasses of wine with dinner or just maybe it could be the fact that I just spend 2 hours catching up on my RSS feeds. I feel so completely overwhelmed by other people's thoughts, feelings, and opinions that I can't even stomach the prospect of expressing my own. I guess you could call it perspective overload.

Now don't get me wrong. I take great interest and am inspired on a daily basis by the blogosphere but really, how much is enough? I've become so obsessed with staying on top of things that my Google Reader is starting to look like the Encyclopedia Britannica. I completely respect the fact that everyone has an opinion but I need a filter to prevent from being inundated by the same commentary on the same topics from twenty different sources. I thought about purging my daily reading to include only those that I highly respect and trust to offer only the most topical and engaging of information but out of fear of missing the "next big thing", I can't bring myself to do it. I am being gang banged by information and frankly, I don't like it. Something serious needs to be done to streamline this flow before we collectively close our browser windows and go back to our televisions.

Given this current environment, brands need to be more careful than ever with their marketing communications. As more and more marketers get involved in branded entertainment, sponsored content, and advertorials (for lack of a better term), we as a community, need to stop and ask ourselves one very simple question: "what value does this offer the consumer?" I would argue that 9 times out of 10 the answer is none. It's time to give up our "if you build it, they will come" mentality and truly innovate. It's no longer enough to just be in the market. Not only are we wasting our time and our client's budgets but we have gotten just plain lazy. If you can't come up with an effective execution, don't even bother. There are countless brands that enter into multi-year, multimillion dollar sponsorships for the simple fact of stopping their competitors from sponsoring the same thing and never give a thought to activation.

I realize that my disjointed ranting has gotten me a bit off track but my point is simply this: if you don't have anything nice relevant to say, don't say anything at all.

And yes, I am as guilty of this as anyone else.