Sunday, January 27, 2008

A wake-up call

There's talk of a recession. This may not be surprising considering the increasing price of gasoline and what's been called the worst housing slump in 40 years. In a year when a union decides if Middle America will get its Grammy Award and Generation Y can't handle the weight it's been given, I'm not too surprised either.

What will this mean for businesses? What will this mean for consumers? What will this mean for the industry who needs to connect the two? Planners, our job will not be easy this year. Consumer confidence is decreasing daily. Brands need to prepare themselves for going out of the store, into people's lives and talking to them there, listening to them there, empathizing with them in a neutral zone.

Russell Davies talks a bit about World War II and how the recession that followed had an impact on the magazine industry here. It sounds like it was a time of innovation (that doesn't sound too bad): magazines took leaps and bounds when the "pressure from advertising" no longer hindered their creativity. A recession is a wake-up call: hello, be more innovative, expand your minds, evolve.

The Writer's Strike has been a big wake-up call to the networks and shows that haven't innovated with the community in mind. When David & John returned to their shows, they realized what it was like to be without their community. The community is more necessary now than it ever was. There is power in numbers. Why haven't the media figured this out?

David Gross has some good news:
"With each passing day, an increasing number of transactions in the global marketplace do not involve the United States. We're still a powerful engine. But the world's economy now has a set of auxiliary motors.
All of which means that American companies, entrepreneurs, middle managers, and MBA students need to become more global—or perhaps change the definition of what global means."

Change the definition of what 'community' means: it's not just the people and their houses at the end of a cul-de-sac. Community means the people, places and things that keep you functioning and living at your prime. Media neutral planning is getting a bigger play nowadays because these planners get that it's not a one-way street anymore. Keeping the media alive will not keep your business alive. Media neutral planning addresses the mindset of a community. Being available for this community and being functional for its purpose will solidify long-term success in these wary times of significance and turmoil.

It's a one-for-all attitude that's inspired this change.


Ross Cidlowski said...

This can impact the industry quite a bit. Post 9-11 was a difficult time for the industry, most specifically jr level folks trying to get into the business. Advertising is one of the first budgets cut when business isn't so successful.

The strong adapt and survive, and the industry always bounces back. Certainly community is a great opportunity for strength and inspiration.

Lets hope things turn and i applaud your optimism

Popsie said...

How does one keep up? There is such an ocean of information to stay connected to. Where in the ocean is what is most interesting? Is it still in some library on some shelf, not scanned onto the Internet? Is is buried in a past format that is no longer apparently relevant, but, only because it has not arrived on the Web? How often does your generation go to a brick and mortar library or repository to seek an older form of truth? As an old person, I have recall of using that older, slower world. It was fast enough at the time. But, now, I haven't looked any further than the virtual realm, either. How can depth of knowledge be ascertained if you are only surfing?