I recently sat on a panel to discuss trends in the advertising and marketing world, and the conversation was so interesting, that I’m inspired to share it with you.

Yeah, yeah…I know industry insiders and advertising publications like to cover “digital trends” at the inception of the New Year. But hey, since marketing tactics and strategies are ever-evolving, now seems as good a time as any to talk about them. And truly, as the ad game changes so quickly, a case could be made for having this conversation daily.

As moderator, I was thrilled to have a group of top Denver advertising strategists on the panel. Great conversation is easy to inspire when you’re working with brainiacs like these. Members of the group represented some of the most well-known organizations in the world. And we discussed executions for brands ranging from Dove, to Doritos.

On several of the questions, the panel was united. For example, everyone felt as if calling digital advertising out specifically is a thing of the past, as every marketing plan MUST include digital today. It’s not digital versus traditional anymore. It’s all just advertising.
Additionally, although we all agreed that Snapchat certainly has reached the point where it’s a serious channel; with the spend requirements and clear demographic focus, many brands don’t (yet) belong there.

Other topics sparked a bit of debate. The (incredibly overused) word “content” brought on some disagreement among the group. Our social media expert strongly supported the statement that every agency MUST be a content agency to stay current. Others argued that we’ve always dealt in content, the social format may be different than historical advertising and the schedule more robust, but the goals remain the same.

Possibly the most interesting moment in the conversation (for me), was when I asked if anyone had followed a trend that they later regretted or felt embarrassed about. I confessed that I’d once used QR codes. This generated some joking comments about the failed executions of my fellow panelists.
Then one gentleman changed our perspective with a simple statement. He said, “it’s rarely the fault of the conduit itself – many brilliant delivery methods have failed, and many mediocre ones have succeeded. The difference is how you use them.”

And that, my friends, is a bit of wisdom that we should all take to heart. The next time you’re considering trying out tomorrow’s version of Periscope, or buying satellite-generated shooting stars for a product launch, instead of thinking, “is this a digital trend that only has short-term validity,” let’s look at it as, “does this concept have so much synergy with the delivery method that it will impact our customers in the very best way.”

Cassie Augustine Jones – Partner, Agency Zero