Brands need editorial voices
He described the splintering media landscape that all brand and their agencies are dealing with...and interestingly showed the morning audience what he thought was cool and current, from somebody in Brooklyn playing around with the printed catalog from J. Crew.
Here is the JCREW mash up ---
JCrew Crew episode 5 New Neighbors from Meghan O'Neill on Vimeo.
Benjamin took the crowd through his agencies work with GE, which was the very definition of optimizing blogging. He toured some of GE's far flung operations and video blogged about the facilities and the projects the company was working on.
GE has so many products and services in it's portfolio that the blog turned into an optimized channel to showcase the interesting work and dedicated employees all over the country. It was very successful and jumpstarted his agency.
He moved on to the immediate issue of emerging social media platforms, and the speed of their ascendency and adoption.
"And now we have to deal with Vine!" he exclaimed, as the crowd laughed knowingly.
That's when his keynote got really interesting for me. He sketched the challenging landcape of an agency and brand trying to keep up with customers and consumers as they moved from platform to platform. Do they see my ad on facebook? Are they using Twitter as they watch American Idol? Is my handbag uploaded to Pinterest?
In fact these platforms are emerging faster, and gaining quicker adoption as never before. As smartphone penetration grows larger and their speed and capabilities become more powerful this will only become more entrenched.
He described the Mad Men world as history now; a place where an ad campaign is created and you send it out into the world, waiting for months to hear back how it resonated.
And then he did put up a screen which resonated so profoundly for me. It was a slide with three famous editors on it; Tina Brown, Anna Wintour and a man whose name now escapes me and my google searches.
It was a revelation. His answer to the rapidly evolving digital landscapes was this; brands need editorial voices as a result. They need careful and strategic curation. They need champions who are skilled and knowledgable in this fluid, all connected media space.
And he is absolutely right. But does you typical ad agency have this mindset or talent? Do internal marketing pros think this way today? No...not many.
Welcome to the new normal...
Here is an interview with Benjamin shot right after the keynote;
You can follow Benjamin on Twitter at @bnjmn