Over the last 15 years, as digital marketing has evolved into being the way all marketing is driven, those at the forefront have predicted a parallel demise of advertising.

There is some emperical truth in this.  The other week, I saw a great quote from Trevor Edwards, CMO of Nike, “we’re not in the business of putting money into the pockets of media companies.  With Nike+, consumers come to us 3 times a week.”

Nike’s head of digital, equally talks about the death of traditional advertising through the world of connected products.  Read Velocity by Stefan Olander and Ajaz Ahmed (if you haven’t already).

Add to that the Mckinsey model, and you see the power of advocacy to drive new consumers into your brand.  You see us move into the world of consumer pull (driven by social media) rather than companies pushing their brand with their eyes shut.

All this means that traditional advertising has to mutate into something else.  Something way more considered than just integrated communications.

Those of us that have taken the leap from traditional marketing to the digital way, have observed and been part of changing how we use traditional advertising.

That said, the recent growth of behavioural economics gives some real hope and meaning to advertising.  In the book, ‘Thinking, Fast & Slow’, there’s a great chapter, where the author writes two words “bananas and vomit”.  He then goes on to write how our brains automatically conjure up particular imagery (using all our senses) as we process these two words (usually imagery of an unpleasant nature in this specific case).

This is effectivey how traditional advertising has worked.  The use of copy and images helps us to conjure up our own stories and make personal connections.  When these are positive and relevant we start to move to familiarity and favourability.  Then we might buy.

The beauty of behavioral economics is that the role of the planner and the dark art of advertising can start to morph into something with a creative science behind it.

Science can allow us to make giant leaps into truly quantifying the meaning and value of communication even using traditional media.  Begin to connect that with digital marketing and we start to see a whole new world of marketing reinvented.

In this blog, I barely scratch the service but I’m started to get truly excited by how the old world of marketing can still have meaning and purpose in this new digital connected measurable world that is evolving so so fast.

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