Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Bob Garfield - The Chaos Scenario redux
I have just finished reading Bob Garfield's book The Chaos Scenario. Garfield has long been the ad critic for Advertising Age magazine. The thesis of the book is that the digital era has decimated traditional media by radically changing its economics (unlimited supply) and corresponding changes in consumer media consumption.
For such a dystopian view the book is remarkably jolly. Garfield's style is witty and informed. It is hard to argue against his points, even if it means radical shifts in the industry I work in. Personally I welcome the changes and have been preparing for the shift since the late 90's - even, at one point leaving the advertising company I founded, which concentrated on churning out preformatted TV ads, to join Lion Nathan's online marketing business as creative director for its brands in Australasia.
The future may well be uncertain, though I have a feeling much of what marketing communications people will do in the future is similar to the things we do now - in principle. Consumer insights will still drive proactive messaging, cut through will still be critical to success (possibly more important in a fragmented, chattering environment), consumer information about brands will still have value so long as people keep buying things…In practice the skills we will need may be subtly different with an emphasis on listening (Garfield has coined the term 'listenomics'.
Watch the video, it is an excellent overview based on the book - which you should read if you work in advertising specifically or marketing generally.
The first 3 chapters are free to read here
Bob Garfield in Ad Age
The Chaos Scenario Blog