I've blogged before about how I think the industry trades are behind. Not as behind as many, if not most, mainstream agencies, but certainly behind the continual discussions I find in places like Adrants, or the MIT Advertising Lab. Frequently, I'll find, or read, or participate in a discussion about some emerging something on Adrants - or some bit of news from somewhere else - and find it finally makes its way into the trades four to six weeks later.
Having said that, though, that lag time is incredibly short compared to the time it takes for most agencies and/or advertisers to come to grips with what's happening all around them.
Today's AdAge article Advertising Age - How to Thrive in New World of User-Created Content: Let Go on dealing with every traditional advertiser's worst nightmare when it comes to user-generated content, though, made me smile. Anyone who has been attuned to this wacky thing called Web 2.0 for any amount of time will probably read half, mutter, "duh," and move onto something a bit more current. I was tempted. Giving up control really means giving up control - and bad things can happen. But anyone who truly understands the idea that consumers - what I insanely refer to as regular people - have now gained control of a huge chunk, if not all, of the marketing process, also understands that things previously thought of as "bad things" aren't, necessarily, anymore. But in the end, that's a really small portion of the advertising world, no matter how much the online world can't fathom it.
(And as a side note, please do know that by "gained control of the marketing process" I don't only mean something as simplistic as home-made TV commercials.)
Yes, the dinosaurs will lose. Yes, the new ways of doing things will win. We can blog till our fingers bleed about new stuff, but not everyone is going to listen, or listen soon enough. That's ok.
What's important about this article, and about Ad Age's recent desire to at least try to keep up, is this: credibility. When we (the marketing and advertising bloggers and/or innovators of the world), scream about something to deaf ears, we change nothing. AdAge makes a point in print, no matter how late, and now it's gospel. The fastest-moving, most forward thinking anything, in any industry, is pretty much never the most widely accepted. The converse is also true - the most widely accepted is almost never the most innovative. A new, far more deomocratized marketing landscape will change that - either a little, or a lot. Still, it hasn't changed it, really, yet.
But a concerted effort to be more innovative by the, or one of the, most widely accepted voices, will only help widespread adaptation. So in essence, better late than never.