Tuesday, April 23, 2002

It's an Ad, Ad, Ad, Ad World VIII
Responding to a recent Unit of One feature analyzing the state of the advertising industry, Greg Paulhus contends that advertising is networking. "The purpose of a business is to create and retain a customer," he says. "A business creates a customer by making contact with them in some way, whether it's a print ad, a TV ad, a referral, word of mouth, whatever. That contact is a point on the company's network. Companies need to expand and add value to their network. Advertising is a way of making multiple contacts simultaneously across your potential customer network."

While I understand and agree with Greg's initial point that advertising represents the act of reaching out to people, I disagree that it's the same as networking -- unless you relegate it to the traditional, shallow, "Here's my card; I've got to go," approach to networking. To his credit, Greg continues to say that most advertising represents dysfunctional networking and that most companies don't continue the conversation they could start with people via exposure to advertising. His closing statements about cold calls vs. targeted, personalized, relevant information-driven marketing messages resonates slightly with Jacques Werth's work in high-probability selling, but for the most part, I think Greg makes the mistakes many people in marketing make, confusing commercials for communication and customers for a community.

1 comment:

Greg Paulhus said...

Heh, kinda funny that I'd come across this post. Your closing bit about confusing commercials for communication is exactly the thing I was arguing against, it's an example of poor networking. I'm not a big fan of advertising actually, most ads are a waste of marketing dollars. You're better off doing something that engages your audience, to get your message into a place where the audience is in some way that makes the person say 'Hmmm, that product or service interests me'. I call this 'points of fusion', places where your message and your audience meet. Anyway, I think we basically agree that marketing needs to engage the audience in a meaningful way.

- Greg Paulhus