Integrated Marketing and The Endless Echoes of Mad Men

In case you hadn’t noticed, ‘integrated marketing’ has come full circle. Back in the day, when Mad Men roamed Madison Avenue and TV advertising was the new kid on the block, everyone wanted a slice of the marketing action. In late-1950s Britain, television sets in everyone’s living room marked the end of post-war austerity and, with it, the beginnings of an affluent consumerist society that continued throughout the 1960s and on into the present day. TV advertising was a powerful tool of mass communication that eclipsed print media, direct marketing and PR almost overnight, particularly among those with bigger budgets. It’s often said that history repeats itself. That would certainly seem to be the case with integrated marketing. To get a handle on the historical perspective of it all, you need to compare the Mad Men era and the arrival of TV advertising with the emergence in our own era of Internet marketing and Google. Both of these phenomena transformed marketing as it was known hitherto – and both ended with an aftermath of integrated marketing that sought to make sense of a new and dominant marketing force. The underlying driver on both occasions was the realisation that we shouldn’t risk throwing the baby out with the bath water.   In The 1960s… TV advertising in the 50s and 60s was a potent and entertaining medium with the power to engage and persuade like nothing that had gone before. Or was it? Apart from being incredibly expensive, TV advertising in 1960s Britain had a limited platform of only one commercial TV station. Even if your company could afford it,... Read more...

Offline vs Online Copywriting

Embracing offline copywriting may seem a little counter-intuitive in these days of online copywriting and digital marketing. And yet: there really is no substitute for ‘getting up close and personal’ if you want to maximise returns on your investment. Increasing numbers of people are realising that we neglect offline marketing at our peril. Since Google started playing God with SEO last year, we should all bear in mind that when we’re reduced to relying on Google’s rules, we’re throwing away our marketing independence. By having another string to your bow – i.e. offline marketing – your business will never be over-reliant on Google’s whims. ‘Offline’ never really went away, of course. Major money is still spent on things like events and exhibitions, seminars and conferences, press and broadcast advertising, media relations, brochures, posters… the list is long. There’s a danger that the online digital world can blind us to the possibilities of the more ‘traditional’ marketing techniques. It’s true that ‘online’ is now a well-established part of the marketing mix that’s impossible to ignore. To many people, online marketing has quasi-magical properties in its geographical reach, quick turnaround and cost-effectiveness. The drawbacks of course are that clients tend to pigeon-hole suppliers or agencies, putting them in the boxes from whence they came – and leaving them there (on the assumption that they can’t do other things). The contrast with the offline world couldn’t be more stark. In general, clients tend to allocate more time to ‘offline’ and discussing the bigger picture. Almost inevitably, the discussion will come round to the possibility of introducing complementary online techniques. These will occupy... Read more...