Google buys DoubleClick and the fear amongst the ad community is that it has now gone beyond fear of war and declaration of same – it has now actually entered the fray.
Then, WPP acquires 24/7. The shoe is now on the other foot. Microsoft and Google wonder what we are up to.
Chapter 3: Microsoft purchases (subject to SEC etc. etc.) aQuantive, an Internet focused group that includes the online ad agency Razor Fish, and panic e-mails flood the ether: Is Microsoft now competitive with us?
So what does it all mean?
Each of these deals included, as bidders, the three entities—as well as others—and the bidding was fierce.
Each of these deals has been rationalized, brilliantly and beautifully to showcase the current strength and future leverage each company brings and will achieve for the deal.
Each company has publicly stated that they are not really getting into the others’ business. In fact, the deals are merely logical extensions of where each company is today and imperative for the future health of its business. “Frenemies” we call them…and by the way, there is opportunity for all of us with each other…well maybe not MSFT and Google…
So what’s the truth?
You tell me!
Maybe a little of “this” and a little of “that” with a dash of “whatever” thrown in…
I don’t mean to be too flip or cynical but I’m not sure there is a truth—or if there is that it really makes much of a difference.
What if we were trying to be Google or Microsoft? What if they were trying to be us?
What if our industry wished we could control them (roll back the world to the old days of agency control of media and channel)?
What if they want to take over the end to end process: develop; create; produce and deploy (roll back the world to the old days of agency dominance in communications)?
It seems to me we are both in the same boat but coming at it from different ends of the value chain. Actual success may not be quite what was wished nor anticipated but something different and unique: new alliances; new thinking, new challenges, and of course new opportunities.
So where does that leave us? And by us I mean the industry in the macro sense and us in the micro sense because we ain’t alone in this…
Chew on this thought a while;
“People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out.”
Warren G. Bennis
We need to continue to differentiate and to build on our strengths. It’s easy to say we need to reinvent ourselves and open a sandwich shop—the real way to stand out is to add value based on experience, expertise and ability.
It’s about bringing insight and wisdom to new ventures and making them better.
We can always follow the crowd, become whining chasers of others’ ideas and then wonder why our new clothes don’t seem to fit right, why we look awkward in good company and take on that patina of unwanted guest. In fact, we went there once…..anyone ever hear of Impiric?
Or we can stand out. We can continue to stand out and reinvent (as opposed to follow). We can add depth and in general stay focused on the truths that won’t change (haven’t changed and I don’t think will ever change).
• All relationships are local
• Follow the customer to the store they have all the answers and all the money
• Companies should acquire customers with the intention to loyalize them. But the right customers must be persuaded to want what the product does rather than what the promotion offers
• CRM = Customers Really Manage
There are others. But start here. Ask yourself these questions about MSFT and Google. Do they deliver? Can they deliver? Will they deliver?
Some yes, some no; some who knows? But the bottom line is we can—as long as we continue to reinvent…