Ads Backward

Originally, I set out to bring the secrets of creativity on demand from the ad business to the general business world, and I did just that, working with major companies in non-advertising-related areas right out of the gate. In the past few years, however, I have found that more and more advertising practitioners and the companies they work for have been using my company's services. Lately, it seems that the advertising business is being pressed to be more creative two basic ways, one from within the industry and one from outside. Inside, this historically competitive business has become even more competitive. The industry is undergoing greater change than at any time since the advent of the TV era. The beliefs and skills that carried the most successful people for years are being replaced by the ability to embrace new media options,

The Indisputable Shift toward Creative Thinking

new marketing paradigms, and a whole new client mind-set. David Lubars, president of Fallon McElligott, says that one of his top priorities is helping his people recognize the new challenges of the ad business to bring greater understanding and value to their clients.

The forces outside the advertising business are just as dramatic. The business planning horizon is no longer measured year to year, and in many companies even quarter to quarter planning is too long term. Technology is allowing the leading companies to be more nimble and helping the followers to keep pace. Strategies that put companies on top of the heap, like Dell's "built to order" model, are knocked off overnight, and competitive edges become dull quicker than the safety razors at an army boot camp.

To those reading this book who are not in the advertising business, know that you will benefit greatly from my in-depth experience in this blisteringly fast-paced business sector whose principal product is ideas.

For those reading this book who are in the heat of the advertising industry, know that my forays into literally dozens of other business sectors over the past decade have given me insights into the creative process that can be leveraged in your idea-intensive business in a big way every day.

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