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Why Madison Avenue Should Love Social Media

The Thoughts Of A Man Man Turned Twitterholic

Presentation delivered by
@hankwasiak at the 2010 South By
Southwest Festival held at the
Convention Center in Austin Texas
March 11-16, 2010& the 140Character
Conference in NYC, April 20,2010.

Contact:
Hank Wasiak
646 236 9014
hank@conceptfarm.com
@hankwasiak
Why Madison Avenue Should Love Social Media

The Thoughts Of A Mad Man


Turned Twitterholic

Sorry, I’m not Don Draper from Mad Men. But, I am an ad guy. I teach advertising in the
graduate school at USC’s Marshall School of Business, I am a big fan of Mad Men and a
twitterholic. I’m also an Asset-Based Thinker so I look at what’s working and possible
rather than what’s not working and problematic in order to make the most of the upside
of business.

My career in advertising started in the Mad Men era and I am fortunate to still be doing
what I love at The Concept Farm. A very cool creative company located on .85 acres in
the heart of Chelsea in NYC. I’ve gone from a Mad Man to a Happy Farmer and along
the way have lived through just about every shift and change in the advertising business
over the past five decades.

And, coincidentally, I spent the past year putting together a syllabus for my class, picking
a text book, and selecting case studies. It became obvious pretty quickly that the way
business schools are teaching advertising has not caught up with actuality and in many
ways can serve as a metaphor for where the advertising business finds itself today. All of
this has mashed up in to a point of view and perspective on where Social Media is taking
the advertising business that I hope you will find interesting and helpful.

Times Are Changing - Fast.

Today, most of the conventional wisdom is doom and gloom and predicting the death of
advertising as we know it. But I can honestly say that my enthusiasm for the future of
advertising has never been higher. This enthusiasm and optimism is fueled by Social
Media. Social media is the game changer, the killer app that is reshaping the advertising
business at its very core in three major ways:
1.The fundamentals of the marketing mix
2.The nature of how advertising is supposed to work
3.The measurement metrics of success
This is big time change. It’s powerful exciting stuff. It’s all happening at once and it’s
happening fast. Rather than lamenting the downside, advertising should be reinventing
itself by relentlessly pursuing the upside opportunities opened up by Social Media. And,
to do this we have to change the way we see social media. The term itself has become a
self-limiting frame of reference. To put help put the possibilities into perspective it’s
helpful to look back through the lens of Mad Men.

Back To The Future?

My first job in advertising was in 1965 at an ad agency


named Benton & Bowles as one of those account men you
see at Sterling Cooper on Mad Men. I often get asked if the
show is an accurate reflection of what it was really like. In
most respects it is. Sterling Cooper bares a striking
resemblance to Benton&Bowles. The client situations,
office dynamics and of course the drinking, sex and
smoking are all spot on. Except, when I arrived, most of us
were smoking something a lot more stimulating than Lucky Strikes. It’s a great show that
captures a time when Madison Avenue was seen as a trendsetting arbiter of American
Values and these Mad Men in suits and ties showed us who we wanted to be and told us
what to buy. And for the most part we loved it.

And while it’s clear that Madison Avenue


as Don Draper knew it is gone forever, the
fundamentals of the advertising business
have remained essentially the same until
now. The evolution of messaging media
essentially followed a linear path. And just
about the time the advertising business was
catching up the internet and how to harness
the power of a multi platform, digital media
world, social media started popping up and disrupted the flow. The advent of the sight
and sound of television in the Mad Men years ushered in a new era of marketing
communications. And now Social Media is ushering in even deeper and more profound
change. This quote from Jim Farley, CMO of Ford sums up the new C-Suite sentiment.
“We want to take that stupid little box we were forced into as advertisers,
blow it up and change the way we interact with the customer, and we want it to
be around the experience."
As Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz said…”We’re not in Kansas anymore “. So, where are
we, what’s changed and how do we make the most of it.
The Fundamentals of the Marketing Mix. The 4 P’s + 1

Four foundational elements of the Marketing Mix have


been embedded in marketing plans and practices for
decades. Product. Price. Place. Promotion. A reasonably
stable construct of controllable internal elements
surrounded by external factors. And, they are as relevant as
ever today. So, when social media popped up, conventional
wisdom was to see it as another linear extension of
advertising media that fit under Promotion. Another way
to “reach” consumers.

Treating social media as a subset of Promotion might have been ok initially, but it
certainly isn’t now. Because this happened.

An explosion of “Conversations”. Today


consumers can opt in to interact amongst
themselves, communities with businesses,
brands and advertising, simultaneously,
selectively,on their terms, everywhere,24/7.
In his Conversation Prism, Brian Solis
brilliantly captures the depth and dynamics
of how all of this happens and why social
media isn’t just media any longer.

Social Media has morphed into the


fifth “P” of the marketing mix.

“People”

Today a marketer must have a People Strategy developed in concert with and sometimes
leading its Product, Price, Place and Promotion strategies.

In 2006 Time Magazine named YOU as its Person of The Year.


The power and potential of what that Time cover foretold is just
now coming into its own. Don’t confuse People Strategy with
consumer targeting. A People Strategy is much broader, deeper
and profound since it involves everyone that can potentially
interact with and influence potential consumers. When People
strategy is seen as being fundamentally as important as the other
four P’s it changes the way you strategize, organize, monetize and
commercialize a business. The role of the CMO takes on new
meaning and added dimension.
The Social Marketing Mix. A Mosaic In Motion. The addition of People as the 5th “P”
creates an entirely new and exciting dimension. The new Social Marketing Mix is fluid,
dynamic, energetic, inter-active, codependent and in constant motion. It is driven by “real
time” strategy and planning infused with critical skills of observation, listening and
interpreting supported by the resources to react, respect, respond and sustain dialogue.

Tony Hsieh from Zappos is a person I admire. He is a visionary who saw this potential
long before everyone else and he nailed it with this quote.

“Embarking on social-media strategy to help with marketing is like embarking


on a facial muscle strategy to help with smiling.”

This isn’t semantics. It’s fundamental change.

An Expanded and Extended Advertising Communication Hierarchy.

For decades, we have used a simple four letter shorthand for what advertising has to
accomplish to be effective. A.I.D.A. Attention. Interest. Desire. Action. Not bad then but
not good enough now. Social Media has added two other dimensions that are critical to
success. The First is the letter “E” for Engagement. Consumers welcome getting involved
with products and brands on many levels….on their own terms. People want to talk
amongst themselves before they interact with a brand or a business. The other dimension
is the letter “S” for Sustainability. Today ideas and messages must be crafted to also
encourage shareability so they sustain themselves well beyond their initial delivery and
media contexts.
So now the shorthand looks like this.
A+IDEAS that live in a Transmedia
world of storytelling and conversations
with multiple entry points and numerous
opportunities for convergence of both
content and consumers.

This also means that creative people must get comfortable with
giving up control of their ideas in order to gain confidence and
traction with consumers. If the programs they create are built on a
strong positioning, deliver what they promise and are presented
with transparency and truth, there is nothing to worry about.

The challenges and opportunities inherent in this hierarchy need to be embedded in the
way creative people think about and develop marketing communications. Unless creative
ideas and programs organically lend themselves to this construct, they miss the mark.

A New Ethic of Success Has Changed the Measurement Metrics of Effectiveness.

And again, Social Media has been the catalyst for some of this change.
This really came into dramatic focus for me in October of last year when I
had the opportunity to be a real- time blogger embedded at the World
Business Forum in New York City. CEO after CEO and some of the best
Global thought leaders talked about the future of business. Here are the highlights
relevant to this discussion.

The Hard Assets that are traditionally used to gauge the strength and value of a business
are as important as ever. However, they are the “table stakes” of today…. costs of entry.
Soft Assets are increasingly seen as the business differentiators of the future. Here’s a
sampling of the descriptions and comments that permeated their talks and filled the blogs.
Values Based Business – Culture
Purpose Driven Marketing – Passion
Trust Built on Transparency - Truth
Corporate Responsibility That Fosters Collaboration
“Healthy” Companies That Act “Human”

If these words sound familiar, they should. This IS the language of Social Media. And,
these differentiators are changing the way Socially Responsible businesses see “Profit”.
Now it’s a three tiered Enlightened Profit that matters.

Dollar Profit – Fiscal financial performance


Emotional Profit – Employee/stakeholder rewards
Greater Good Profit – Positive community impact

These are major, important, shifts that are taking place in big, medium and small
businesses everywhere. These are our clients. We can lead by listening to them.

Mad Men &Women 3.0 – What’s Next.


This convergence of changes brought about by Social Media (The 5 Pillar “Ps”, The New
Communications Hierarchy, Enlightened Metrics of Success) has created a perfect storm
of opportunity for the advertising business. This is powerful stuff that demands the
Advertising Agency business fix a business model that is outdated and find sharper more
relevant operating models. The business is struggling for answers. That’s because coming
up with smart, sustainable solutions first requires a major Madison Avenue “Mindset
Makeover”. Here are my six thought starters:

See Social Media As A Disruptive Gift. Digitally enabled Social


Media is one of the best things that happened to our business. It
opens the door to an unparalleled opportunity to get closer to the
consumer than ever before. We can unleash our creativity to
engage in meaningful communication across an expanding array
of both old and new media and get back to what advertising was
always intended to be…“The art of one-on-one persuasion”. This
recent statement from Bob McDonald, CEO of Procter & Gamble sums up just how far it
can take us.
“What I would like to have is a one on one relationship with 7 billion people in
the world and be able to customize offerings for those 7 billion people. Digital
allows that relationship.”

Hear Harder And Listen Softer. Take Chris Brogan’s advice


and “grow bigger ears”. Put away the megaphones and devote
ample resources to becoming expert at listening to what people
feel. Next, develop response and engagement skills that are as
proficient and valued as creative abilities. Then, be as good at
sharing and helping as we have been at shouting and selling.

Become Maestros. Give up the Masters of the Universe


persona that came with the territory of directed “broadcast”
messaging. New Media. Old Media. Social Media. There’s a place
for it all. Agencies should see themselves as conductors of a
symphony orchestra containing an array of communications
instruments interacting harmoniously for the consumer.
Embrace “Collabetition”. Resist the urge to say we can do it all.
Reframe the debates about digital versus traditional agencies.
Today, media moves too fast and consumers move even faster
for there to be one best solution for everything. When necessary
collaborate with like-minded competitors to deliver A+Ideas for
clients. When done with transparency, equitable compensation
will flow from value added and creative gratification from the
impact of the ideas and programs delivered.

Keep Your Eyes On The Prize. We’re awash in


analytics, measurement tools and metrics. Of course
they serve a purpose and have their place.
Unfortunately, the tendency is to rely too heavily on
all this data to the point that the bigger vision and
idea potential is obscured. Don't rely on research
and analytics to do what they were never meant to
do….to get an idea that has impact. In the end
people remember the impression you make not the
number of impressions you made.

Reaffirm Core Values: Advertising is and always will


be a business that is more art than science and fueled by
ideas. And, it’s exciting that we now operate in a digital
environment that constantly pumps out new platforms,
tools, techniques, widgets, and apps. So, now more than
ever, we must remind ourselves that technology and
techniques are in service to the idea…not vice versa.
It all about the idea!

This wonderful quote from advertising legend Bill Bernbach rings truer than ever today.
“An idea can turn to dust or magic depending on the talent that rubs
against it.”
I don’t know about you, but I want to work with the magicians.

Finally, I know that Mad Man Don Draper would not like what he sees on Madison
Avenue today. But I sure do. We are on the cusp of big transformational change that’s
exciting and invigorating. Moreover, experience tells us that this kind of bolder and better
transformation usually doesn’t come from the established center. It rises up from the
fringes and is lead by creative thinkers like you who believe that the business of
tomorrow will belong to the bold and the brave. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.
ABOUT HANK WASIAK

Hank Wasiak is a communications industry leader who has worked


with the corporate elite of global businesses. He is the co-founder
of The Concept Farm, one of today’s hottest creative companies,
best selling author, teacher, key note speaker, 14 time Emmy
nominated TV Producer, and three time Emmy award winning
television host . Hank is also a sought after speaker, panelist and
commentator at digital media events such as the 140Character
Conferences and the annual SXSW digital festival.

Hank retired as Vice Chairman of McCann Erickson WorldGroup and served on that
company's board playing an integral role in the management of McCann's global clients
including Nestle, Johnson and Johnson, Sony, Bacardi, L'Oreal and Boeing. Prior to
McCann, Hank was President of London based Geers Gross Advertising and President of
Ketchum Communications. Hank also has had a stellar career on the client side as
President of Brown Forman's prestigious Jos. Garneau Division, COO of Somerset
Importers, and EVP of Charles of the Ritz. He now serves on the National and Founder’s
Affiliate Boards of The American Heart Association and First Ireland Spirits Ltd.

In 2005 Hank teamed up with Dr. Kathryn D. Cramer, Ph.D., author and sought after
business consultant, to create one of today’s most innovative and powerful business - self
help book series based on Asset-Based Thinking. Running Press has published three
books in the series….”Change The Way You See Everything”, “Change The Way You
See Yourself” and “Change The Way You See Everything – For Teens”.
Hank is executive producer and host of The Concept Farm’s Emmy award TV show "Cool
In Your Code" and he won three consecutive New York Emmys for his on camera
performances in his innovative interview Series, "Back on The Block" and “Code Read”.
Hank has also had extensive experience teaching Marketing Communications at a number
of prestigious Universities. Hank currently teaches in the graduate school at USC’s
Marshall School of Business. He has held an Adjunct Assistant Professorship at Pace
University, and has taught at Eckerd College, the University of South Florida and the
University of Louisville. Hank is frequent guest lecture at Pepperdine University.

Hank earned a Bachelors degree in Advertising from Pace University, an MBA from the
Baruch School of Business and he resides in Los Angeles and New York City.

“Hank is that rare ad guy who grew up in the old media, Mad Men world and
totally “gets” the new digital world of social marketing and media. He masterfully
converges his past experiences and expertise with his immersion in and passion
for the “state of now” world of new media to provide great insights and a very
special perspective on the future.” …..Jeff Pulver. Founder 140Conferences

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