MIAMI – When agencies and clients get sidetracked with each other over business issues they can become disconnected with consumers, a phenomenon not unlike the ongoing presidential election campaigns within the Republican Party.
This worldview comes from Chris Weil, CEO of the global brand Interpublic agency Momentum, as he takes in the early sessions at the annual Transformation conference of the American Association of Advertising Agencies. Amid the talk of client relations, compensation, competition for new business and social concerns within the ad world, Weill sees a direct link to the election primaries.
“I think what you’re seeing on the Republican side is they have lost the connection with their consumer. They have forgotten who their consumer is and they don’t know what they’re looking for, and they’ve been talking to themselves in Washington,” Weil says.
He believes advertising and media agencies can stumble down the same type of rabbit hole.
“When we start talking to the client and we get thinking about the wrong things, we can get disconnected with the consumer. The consumer is first,” Weil says. “What we’re seeing on the Republican side is you have a guy who walked in a said, ‘Hey, nobody’s listening to the people and I’m going to tell them what they want to hear.’”
With more ways than ever to measure and engage with consumer sentiment in social media and on other platforms, agencies have never had more tools at their disposal. Couple this with the outgrowth of ways to measure the return on advertising investments and the future looks bright to Weil.
“I’m still a big believer that we’re in a growth business,” he says. “Technology is going to allow us not just to connect, but to measure what we do. Then we really are in a growth industry and not a share game business.”