The spirit of David Ogilvy is alive and well. Not just his world-class organization, but the concepts he perfected and taught.
Last night’s Bay Area Interactive Group event [see Ted Tagami’s analysis] reached beyond the important trends in interactive advertising to tap what Ogilvy and his peers taught the world about marketing, message and selling. Some of today’s generation of leaders — from Intel, Sling Media and Williams-Sonoma, introduced by a Google advertising exec — shared their perceptions of what has to happen in reaching out to the customer, reminding, without preaching, that marketing is still about connecting product to message to customer to transaction.
- From Sean Connolly of Intel: The commercials may be shorter, but they’re driving people to websites where they may be inclined to watch longer videos about products and services. Attention spans are only short when the seller cannot hold the attention of the buyer.
- From Rich Buchanan of Sling Media: It’s still about building relationships one at a time. Make one customer happy, and he’ll spread the word and make you another customer. We may call it word-of-mouth and buzz agency today, but all that’s changed is the means and methodology, not the basic truth.
- From Pat Connolly of Williams-Sonoma: Whatever the tool, the marketer must seek to create a seamless experience for the customer in order to invite customer loyalty. Whether she is reading a catalog, perusing a website or visiting a store, her experience must be consistent, meaningful and memorable.
- From Karen Crow of Google: Interactive marketing is the sandbox. We must make room for the new toys but the goal remains the same: inviting, reaching and retaining the customer.
The air of the room last night had the energy of a fresh start. The classics had a place there, too — and clearly play a role in what lies ahead. Whew.