There’s a t-shirt that reads “Al Gore didn’t invent the internet but he did make up global warming.”
Funny, no? Anyway…
There’s an interesting parallel between the global climate crisis and current state of advertising, not the least of which is the death-grip some agencies have on the idea that traditional above-the-line advertising will continue to be as impactful in the future as it was 10 years ago.
In much the same way that the ice caps are melting and the oceans’ volumes are increasing, so are the consumer attention spans decreasing in relation to the increase in marketing noise. Consumers are actively doing more to block out advertising messages.
And rightly so… Most marketing messages are simply noise; some guy yelling at you trying you convince you to buy his product – a product that more often than not, you didn’t want to know about anyway.
Of course, there are things you can do to prevent your brand’s extinction. Where the climate is concerned, you can “go green”: like decreasing your carbon footprint… When it comes to advertising, you can include a social media marketing strategy. The one thing the two ideas (going green and social media marketing) have in common is that they require a mindset shift, backed up by committed action. Once you choose to adopt these strategies you need to stick with them. The results aren’t always immediate but there will be results. In much the same way that we cannot fix the planet overnight, social media marketing will not benefit your brand overnight. You need to be prepared to lean into the situation and work it hard.
Of course, if you’re at a loss about where to begin there are people out there who can help you. Seth Godin, Mitch Joel, Joseph Jaffe … these guys are at the bleeding edge of social media marketing. Get their books, subscribe to their blogs, download their podcasts, check out the people they recommend…
Fixing the planet means taking action and effecting a sustainable change in the way we do things. Staying relevant and viable in advertising and marketing requires the same. Get stuck in.
One last thing: if you can create truly green marketing and advertising solutions for your client, do so. The lead time on a fully-grown tree is a lot longer than that of a billboard.