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April 4, 2008

Jeremy Garbett: More thought, less speed

It’s obvious to everyone that media audiences have fragmented, communication channels have multiplied, pricing – certainly in our industry – is becoming increasingly transparent and borders no longer restrict commerce in the way they used to.

Consumers have been given immense power and a way to broadcast their opinions to the wired world in the flick of a switch or a swift text message. ‘Quickness’ to market – either with an idea, service or a product – is seen to be essential. However, there comes the occasional time where this absolute need for speed may, in fact, work against the original core idea.

More haste, less speed
The reality is that being second or even third into the marketplace with a product can give better value, with important and expensive lessons having been learned and subsequently avoided. And so it works within the communications world. More thought on joining up a big idea and helping clients see the brilliant potential within each marketing channel will pay richer dividends.

The marketing industry is now about dialogue; consumers want to be engaged with, not have information ‘pushed’ at them as in the old marketing world. There are more brands and more clients seeking to engage with their audience – brands and clients that want to actually “do” and to action their promise. So it’s absolutely right that communication agencies must embrace this engagement.

They need to learn more about the other forms of dialogue with the various audiences and customers that they have at their disposal to enable. This will enable them to create powerful programmes of activity which truly unleash the potential of that big idea in the right way with the right, measured result. The agencies who do this well will be the new kings of our Engagement Age.

So more thought and less speed perhaps…

Jeremy Garbett is a communications consultant and the former UK managing director of Jack Morton Worldwide

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