No more BTL, right? NEVER! No more terms and orientation that refer to us and our work process… It’s all about the consumer, right? Sounds good, but what else can we learn from this?

Here is a thought that you have heard before: Bill Gates has said that Microsoft has never been successful in changing behavior. Success has been explosive, though, in enhancing behavior, servicing needs and making work and life easier or more efficient. And, if we really understand the totality of the consumer experience, the Customer Journey, the daily grind, or whatever you want to call it, all becomes clear.

Sure, I can go online and do all sorts of things like shop, chat to friends, find information, read, get the news or the weather… see where I’m going? I can read Harry Potter, the Hard Cover edition, which I might have bought (or pre-ordered) on Amazon. Or maybe I stood on line at midnight with my kids to buy at the bookstore for the experience. In addition, I can go to see Harry Potter in the cinema, buy popcorn, soda and a bag of Maltesers and watch the movie in a theater full of other fans with whom I can whoop, holler or cringe in fear. And then I can buy the DVD or purchase a Digital Movie on Demand and watch it at home, on my phone or wherever, and have a totally different experience. But at the end of the day, I’ll still be watching Harry Potter.

I can download songs from I-Tunes, swap them with friends, or buy them at a music store. But in the end, It’s still all about the listening…And so on and so on.

On Friday, I had a conversation with a journalist friend who is writing a story on the industry and was commenting on the continued success of BBDO, the most traditional of agencies, in today’s world. His comment? They deliver things that the market still wants – good solid advertising of an emotional and affecting nature. Funny that, in a world that some would like to think is only online.

Bottom-line, we continue to confuse perceived change with real change, and then we miss the real opportunities to do so, or worse, we pretend that we are. Like the Einstein quote of last week, sometimes we don’t have to change our way of thinking – consumers still buy, people still read, movies and theatre deliver experiences that are enhanced by audiences, you get the drift….

But, sometimes we really do need to change our thinking in order to move on. Our industry’s continued layering of our own internal process over the consumer experience, discussion over who should take the lead on delivering value to that experience and then suggesting that the process is revolutionary change is delusional and leads nowhere.

David Ogilvy always knew it was about the consumer (see who can find that famous quote and achieve immortality next week…) and of course, it goes without saying that the backbone of this company was built on Lester’s notions of the consumer and their needs.

So here is a thought to get discussion going:

“TV is like the invention of indoor plumbing. It didn’t change people’s habits. It just kept them inside the house.”
Alfred Hitchcock

How I jumped when I saw this! See how many different “things” you can plug into this thought! Let me know too!

And there you are. What really needs to change once and for all is our ability to apply what really should know…it’s about the consumer, not us.

In regards to BTL, Suzanne Donovan at HTW, recently of Australia, writes “I found it a shock to arrive in London and upon meeting recruiters was told I would be hard to place because of my ‘through the line’ experience. I find it odd to hear people speak of integration like it is the Mt. Everest of the industry here…” Not just London, by the way, and not just recruiters… Tom Osborn believes in the strong difference between the streams of communications, if not in the terms, “I like the fact that it works, and works better the more you think, design, test, listen, and learn”.

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