The World of Marketing

has Forever Changed


This is an article I contributed to the Advertising Club of Westchester’s blog.
The original is available on the ACW site.



Consistency, Innovation, Transparency – Natural Selection?

The event started off with marketing terms much like you’d expect a marketing panel would. Only, a few minutes in it became clear– it would be something different. Addressing the terms we as an industry like to throw around Lee Goldstein of DIGO explained that he didn’t want his marketing person to talk like a marketing person anymore.

Did I hear that last term correctly? And, who is that bearded man on the screen behind the panel?

I was tempted to break out my smartphone to investigate when Drew Coburn of Cubism Group drew us all back in by sharing the concept that humans get bored of stuff and that we’ve entered a cycle of wandering. His words made it impossible not to listen to what came next.

Peter Levin proceeded to up the stakes by making a bold statement about a well-known undergarment company leading to an engaging debate centered on his theory that most companies today are not designed to be flexible enough for a world where the privacy screen has been lifted.

An ACW member skillfully used humor to demonstrate the privacy screen concept volunteering that she wears the brand herself. Generating a good laugh she underlined her point dually by questioning the execution of the brand extension’s message as both a customer and marketer alike.

Rob Powers of Digitas widened our view by countering that although the creative statement may be weak and the results remain to be seen, the brand itself is taking a smart risk by evolving beyond their core offerings. He suggests we all try to do this both personally and professionally.

Not afraid to get personal himself, Rob painted a vivid picture of a younger version of himself sitting on a stoop in Brooklyn recounting a simpler time in marketing. Sharon of EcoBrands agreed, and explained that when she grew up shop owners knew her name and even her dress size.

Moderator David Ashen skillfully steered us back into the fold stating that what you’re talking about here is community. A sense of community created through “Big Data” clarifies Goldstein.

One small business owner picked up on the conflict saying that I’m only one person, how can I possibly be in all these venues, and still find time to get my day-to-day business done?

The panel wrapped up some confusing issues by suggesting that as marketers we need to “simplify”, but isn’t that what evolution is supposed to do for us?

Darwin’s (the guy on the screen behind them during panel) Natural Selection theory went something like this: It was not the strongest that survived. It was not the smartest. It was those that can adapt that would thrive.

So where do we go from here? Perhaps take Sharon’s advice, and “find the watering hole”. Granted Sharon was probably suggesting finding creditable media outlets in which to talk about your brand(s)…

Yet, maybe, just maybe she was suggesting you join us for a drink at the next Advertising Club of Westchester event as we all continue to evolve as an industry. I, for one, am not going to sit idly by waiting for a dorsal fin to grow.