Posted on October 9, 2014 by clint on Branding

The end of the Mega (agency, chainstore etc) we hope.

In the Beginning…
Since the beginning of Digital, there has been a shift in the way in which we use media: from consuming to creation, the entire shape of media has shifted.

Nothing to See Here
Nothing new here of course but it was interesting to watch the traditional Megaliths, the ad agencies, either resolutely refuse to get into digital as they could not see a way to add their 20 plus 20 margin – it simply was too transparent – or they didn’t want to or could not understand it.

Translucent Transparency
Digital has come with a price and that price, for brands and ad agencies, has been transparency. Yes the old cliché thrown about at every turn by ‘cutting edge’ brands and ‘agencies at the forefront of new media’ has proven to be essential to brand success.

Of course 2o-plus years into the internet and agencies have worked our how to make their commissions and have rapidly been jumping on the Digital bandwagon like lemmings jump of cliffs.

Unfortunately they’ve brought with them the baggage of days past – clumsy account executives throwing cutesy terms at clients, using get-clicks-quick campaigns, click-baiting and trying to carry on with the same old, Big Concept ideas that won them accounts, accolades and trips to Cannes each year.

A mere 5 years after agencies engaged with Digital for the first time, we even have specialist agencies – big ones – who deal exclusively with Digital Media. Some of them are great and they employ some of the best thinkers out there, but there’s something clunky, something a little off, for small and medium (and large) business  to use gigantic corporate Digital agencies.

Supply Chain
There’s a supply chain, there are too many hoops to go through and there are too many places for digital comms to get stuck, to not serve the brand or the consumer. If a Facebook response has to go from the SM manager, to their Digital Strategist, to Account Director, to Client Service, to Marketing Manager, Marketing Director, CEO and back again, it’s simply not going to work.

The behemoth of supply chain logistics simply fails both in speed and in reacting to the savvy market we find in 2014. This is not unique to Digital industries; an interesting read from The Guardian explains “Why supermarkets are on their way out” and we are looking towards a future of smaller, local supply chains and grocers who know you by name. The same must be true for Digital.

We need more niche, boutique, one-person shops, dealing with brands on a one-to-one level. The one-to-many-to-one model which enticed the agencies across the Digital threshold simply doesn’t cut the mustard when it comes to a Digital brand experience.

The Emperor Wears No Clothes
Consumers are now Prosumers – consumers who know what they want, know several places to get it, and don’t want to play games with companies offering Digital marketing speak. They see through it, they live online 24/7 spending much more time than the CEO who crafts a carefully worded response to a complaint about rats in a supermarket – and they can see it for what it is – hot air.

People are People
Consumers are people, and people accept that the world isn’t perfect and mistakes happen. What they don’t accept is a crafted apology, a lie, an untruth or simply refusing to say sorry.

On the Ground
In essence, this is why the Mega will not succeed, profits may still be good but they are curtailing and more and more people are turning to local loving – and they want the same from their Digital friends.

Honesty, no corporate speak and an action, now. The Mega is obsessed with shortcuts, with the grandiose idea of being the media controller and getting more bang for their buck.

Bring the Bacon Home
It’s not going to work, think local, look local, buy local and support local talent. The big guys will turn a buck, they can fend for themselves, but if you really want your brand to do well, invest closer to home, where deadlines are tight, supply chains are short and everyone is accountable.