by: David Armano

Tomorrow I'm meeting up with some not so old friends and giving a talk on the "Future of Advertising" hosted by the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. To be honest, I'm not sure if I'm qualified to talk about the future of anything least Advertising, especially since my background prior to all the "social" has been primarily in Web design. I've never even worked on an ad. But, what the hell, I gave it a shot. The above slideshow illustrates a few things I'm thinking of as it pertains where things could be going.

Short story? The Ad industry, like many is in the throes of significant change. Agencies and clients are shifting gears from high production value, "360 degree campaigns" and opting to explore new areas to see what works (and measuring along the way). Users on the Web have developed a taste for authentic communication, often produced by their peers who are very capable of doing this (blogs, reviews, forums etc.). Word of mouth (both positive and negative) spreads more rapidly than ever before and traditional online advertising (such as banners) are largely ignored and rarely clicked on. Many organizations haven't adapted, still working with production staff that may not have the appropriate skill sets or agility to create lightweight initiatives that can turn on a dime. Many organizations still segment groups into "creative", "copy" "strategy", etc. The reality is that digital keeps forcing these disciplines to collide as seamlessly as technology can be mashed. Organizational disciplines are evolving as well. When a product community helps influence the development of your products is that marketing, R&D or both?

Marketers are fighting to be heard, and few are empowered to actually influence the development of products or services. Meanwhile, some organizations have figured out how to amplify the value of their products and services through their most vocal and connected consumers. Except we're not really consumers anymore are we? We've adapted as well—or at least our behavior has.

Technologies that influence our behavior (like getting us to watch videos on our phones or PCs, update our status daily and spend countless hours managing our online identities) are dictating our future right before our eyes. Whether it comes from Madison Ave, Silicon Valley or somewhere across the globe is irrelevant.

Anyway, hope the slides reflect that. Would be curios to get your thoughts. I can always make a few tweaks before tomorrow.

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