dinsdag 12 mei 2009

briefings and/of the future

"I came into this motherfucker a hundred grand strong
Nine to be exact, from grindin G-packs
Put this shit in motion ain't no rewindin me back
Could make 40 off a brick but one rhyme could beat that
And if somebody woulda told 'em that Hov' would sell clothin
Heh, not in this lifetime, wasn't in my right mind
That's another difference that's between me and them
Heh, I'm smarten up, open the market up
One million, two million, three million, four
In eighteen months, eighty million more "

What do you do when you sell drugs, but you figure out that your rhyming ability can earn you that much needed goal of money, cars, hoes* faster and safer? You start rhyming off course. Quite obvious really.

Now what do you do if your artform is laced with refferences with regards to luxury items, such as clothes, cars jewelry etc? Get endorsments by those? Mehh..could go that way aka the "tommy hilfigger is my nigga" namecheck strategy by Mobb Deep.

Or how about you start your own companies (RoccaWear, Roccafella Film, Roccafella records, Armadale Wodka to name a few) in one or more of the markets you are already are advertising for as a platform? Get some of that equity out of those acts of culture instead of a paycheck? Sounds more like it, right..

Well if it does sound more like it then why is it not more common?Why is Jay-z worth more than 200 million and Mobb Deep say, one or two million? Leaving aside issues of musical taste and talent, the revenue streams were there for both of them, yet one took full advantage and the other did not.

And the difference: Effectual reasoning.

Effectual reasoning is basically the mindstate of an entrepeneur. It asks the simple questions: What do I have of value?
Who am I?
Whom do I know?
Will I survive if this path fails me?

In other words it starts with the available means and the risk and works toward eliminating risk (thus gaining ways that work), instead of stating a problem and rewards and then working towards achieving those rewards.

Now why is this distinction important? It could inginite the industry again to become the force it was during the the 1960's and it is the writing on the wall for those who continue to hold on to the olden ways.

Couple of factors also make it the perfect time to stop and think about our way of working.

1) Abundance in the West
2) Growing importance of cultures and regions where abundance is not standard

Right now the tech advances are such that companies/citizens in the West can pretty much get all the supplies they need for free or at bargain prices. So the need to spot a gap in the market, which will always be important, is not the primary point of entry anymore. If most markets are without scarcity and work for free, you will need to be about more than product differentiation and pricing. You need to be about you. And this is good because?

Well everybody is banging on about authenticity, story, narrative, recession, budgets, monetization, accountability and the likes. And well, they are right. By looking inward at what you have build up in the last decades, at the resources at hand, you will find true differentiation in little acts of culture or in processes that are unique to you. Things that could help your customers within habits established, without it costing you a dime. Again I like to stress that it is not just about soft stuff, but also the hard stuff that you have under your noses. Change the point of view and they become assests.

Africa, Asia, Latin America. Powerhouses of the now to next. But also places where resources have been scarce. And will continue to be for some time. However because of the somewhat levelling playingfield via the web and globalisation, the culture of making the most with what you have and not being tide down to methods (because the only criteria you have is, does it work, as in does it feed me, give me shelter etc NOW) all of a sudden becomes a major business advantage.

You see just coming up with an goal idea and then trying to get it spread without any backend, is nice when you've got funding. When you have to fund yourself along the way, you learn the value of conversion and monetization. And who likes monetization? We all do, and clients the most.

(The next creative advertising revolution will come from the third world cultures, largely because their definition of creativity is different. It is creating something out of practically nothing, not getting bogged down in form exercises that serve no value, but that is a post for another time)

Taking these (out of many more ) factors in account, working from a viewpoint that allows for quick connections and affordable failure enables us to achieve more tangible results, hence not only making the adland industry gain that much needed Accountability tag, but it also allows us to slip in the social(ist)/2.0 principles the plannersphere has been wetting itself (me included) over, up to the C-level.

And doing it all while not costing the client any money. And that is important. Because reality is, fear still works. Fear of loss of face, job, prestige, budget etc works. Quite powerfully.

Right now it works to stop advances, because we can't convey the value down the line. But it could work in our advantage as we focus on taking away fears because we elimate the downside instead of trying to figure out the upside in advance.

Off course this is easier said then done, hiring practices will have to change at agencies, training has to change at agencies, compensation will have to change at agencies. But guess what..That will happen with you or without you.

Don't say I did not warn you. Smarten up, open the market up...

*lyrics by Notorious BIG

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