Friday, July 25, 2008

The "No money down" economy.

Last year, starting around this time I wrote a few posts--with my usual de Toquevillian perspicacity--about something I was calling the "low-bid economy." You can read them here if your time-sheets permit any non-billable time whatsoever:

This morning, amid the housing crisis, the oil crisis, the credit crisis and news that the nation's foremost stock exchange has lost 20% of its value over the last 12 months, I am visiting the low-bid notion again but with a slight twist.

We are still living in a low-bid nation. Even worse, however, we are living in a no-money-down world. The world of $150 take-out, $1200 handbags, and $15,000/month summer rentals. Of course as agency people this affects us, perhaps most overtly in online marketing.

Here's what I mean. Clients routinely build expensive websites, develop ornate applications, capture compelling content (capture that content! it's getting away!) only to leave these marketing elements unpromoted and floating around cyber-space--never telling consumers where these things are or even that they exist.

As they used to intone on the old TV show Dragnet, dum de dum dum.

This is because clients don't want to pay for real marketing. They bought their marketing with no money down, no money to propagate what they've produced. Ah! Another example of marketers believing that consumers are waiting and waiting eagerly for yet another message.

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