17 March 2008

snarky quotes

Not that long ago I had an opportunity to write a blog for a "mid-major" media company. When I provided sample copy I was told that my tone was too "snarky."

Now... that's not why I turned the opportunity down (that was due to a combination of lack of time and lack of interest in the broad subject being asked for) but it's a funny comment when you think about it. At a certain level - the whole culture of blogging is about being snarky.

And on that note, today's snarky quote of the day...

Microsoft, the company that never really knew how to effectively innovate -- unless you call leadership in derivative bloatware innovative -- keeps grinding forward with its hostile bid for Yahoo, the company that forgot how to effectively innovate. Awesome! I haven't been this excited since Sears and Kmart merged! -- AdAge

05 March 2008

Recessionary times provide ripe opportunities for innovation, especially product innovation. If we are indeed entering into a recessionary cycle, remember it's just that: cyclical. There will be an end, and you'll want to be well positioned when times turn around. -- Ad Age, 5 March
I'm as cynical as the next guy... okay, maybe just a little more so. But none the less, this article (with it's positive spin on a scary topic) resonates powerfully with me.

If you look historically, it's the companies that invested in innovation during the downturns that emerged as leaders once markets turned around. In part, this is due to the times forcing rigor and structure on innovation (as opposed to boom times where adding a bike rack to your office is called "innovation"). But largely, of course, it's simply that innovation create differentiation and new market/product/business opportunity which creates competitive advantage.

This is the time for companies who have the capital to start thinking about innovation (either through acquisition or internal investment).

03 March 2008

When Booz Allen Hamilton asked marketers which organizations would become more important to them by 2010, media companies, media planners and communications planners topped the list, with 52% believing they would be more integral. Ad agencies of record? Only 27% thought they would be more integral. -- Ad Age
So... right now a lot of folks are saying, "damn... media companies must be doing something right!"

Well... while I agree that media companies have evolved quite impressively over the last 5 years; and while I believe that media planners are perhaps the most under-appreciated people in the business; I have to point out that it's not quite that simple.

Ad Agencies in general are making a lot of the "ancillary" firms look really good these days. More than that... the failures of Ad Agencies over the last 10 years (yes... 10, not 5) has created incredible opportunity for what have traditionally been the fringe players.

And now there is blood in the water.

Do I blame the Media companies for being opportunistic? Hell no. Every Ad exec in the world would do the exact same thing if their places were reversed. It's the nature of the business. I mean... it's what all of us in Brand or in Digital or in Creative boutiques are doing (in our own quiet way) right now.

But be careful who you step upon on your climb up... folks in this biz have long memories.