The Coming Chaos Scenario —Sherburne
Brown-Forman's Southern Comfort brand is leading the charge. Restricted to a narrow nightly advertising window on cable television like other spirit brands, the company spent $6 million on cable TV advertising and $1.5 million on magazine ads last year.
In 2009, both those numbers will drop to zero as the company focuses its efforts on online properties such as Facebook, Spin, Fader and Hulu. While not a huge advertising budget in the whole scheme of things, it is big enough to be a startling and dramatic move for a well-known brand.
According to Garfield, this "dialog with the customer" is the future of everything. In fact, if you wish to survive for long in media, marketing, politics or any other institution accustomed to managing its affairs from the top down, it is the right now of everything. Survival means institutionalizing dialog with all of your potential constituencies and sometimes total strangers for the purpose of market research, product development, customer relationships, corporate image and transactions themselves. The last of those benefits is especially important because, when you sell goods or services, you get money.
So what does that mean to us in the printing industry? I've written a great deal in this space about the transition from print service provider to marketing services provider, and the value of integrated, multichannel marketing campaigns that include both print and electronic media, with linkages such as personalized URLs or QR codes. Garfield's book reinforces that and fleshes it out.
Although I admit, as I write this, that I haven't finished reading the entire book, I did a search and found that the word "print" only shows up nine times in the whole book. "Direct mail" appears once. It is an example of how poorly we are representing ourselves as these changes occur. The thought leaders are simply not thinking about print.