How I Think About Marketing


I will no longer talk about how digital is changing advertising. If you don’t know that by now, there is nothing I can tell you will change that.

We have, and must continue to move from old agency models. That model is one, which all agencies followed, and some still follow. It is one that is predicated on the fact that we create a singular context of interruption. We interrupt the consumer with our marketing message, whether it is when they are watching television or reading a magazine or listening to the radio. Our job as an agency for the digital age is to understand the multiplicity of possibilities in communicating with a consumer. I’m not talking about social media or a website or a mobile device. Yes, it encompasses all of those and many more.Today we work with 0’s & 1’s and because we work with 0’s & 1’s and no longer atoms it means we have so many possibilities some of which haven’t even been thought of.

Today the medium really does change the message. As you have heard many times your clients no longer own their brands. This means we must advise and treat our clients in a much different way. Technology has the power to change, not just how we deliver messages but how we consume the message…and this is a radical change in how you need to be thinking.

Agencies are supposed to understand the lives of its consumers and create things that interact with their lives. Today our lives are bound to mobile devices and APPS, they are tied to social networks and websites, we have banner blur and email fatigue. It is our job to understand these things. PR is not PR any longer. Media is not media, as we knew it to be. And creative has moved from a 2D mindset to systems that enable a consumer to live a brand or better yet a brand that lives in the consumers life.

The holy grail of digital is to create platforms and to have campaigns run on top of these platforms. Platforms are these things that have a longer duration than a campaign. They are not launched with and eye to taking them down like a campaign would work. They are created with the intention that over time the audience grows. Why, because they give the consumer utility, value, worth. Today, our singular job for any client is to help them breakthrough and then fit in.

I think this is the best time to be in our industry. Today we, marketing experts, are asked to solve complicated business issues, and that should be exciting to you. Our clients rely on how we think! I believe we have a lot of work to do. We must help our clients understand what it means to be doing business in the digital age. Our challenge and key to success will be in our ability to transform what we do and how we teach our clients to think in a digital age.


Steve Rockman

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