A month ago I've attended the “Austrian Media Days Conference 2016”(#oemt2016), and it kept me thinking.
On September 20th & 21st, 2016 the country's leading media, advertising and marketing experts discussed the status quo and the outlook of their industries at the University of Economics and Business in Vienna, Austria.
Of course, there was some agitated melancholia about disruption, destructive changes and threats to old fashioned business models in print and TV. And yes, I could even hear statements like
“Google and Facebook are evil.”
Invited politicians picked that up immediately. Hereupon the Secretary of State for Media, Thomas Drozda, foolishly proposed the idea of a new tax for digital advertising. Any believed positive effect of this measure is a strong misconception of course.
The said extra tax of currently 5% on paid advertising already exists for print media and goes back to 1927 (!). Originally it was supposed to be limited for a period of 5 years. Well, we are in Austria: The tax at some point rose to as high as 20% and even 30% and survived all efforts to abolish it altogether. In June 2000 the corresponding tax law was adapted and changed the last time. The Professional Association Advertising and Market Communication within the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber argues with politicians against this industry specific tax for ages. Obviously without much success so far. Now the time has come to tackle it again, and even more vigorously, because an expansion of this obsolete tax into the digital domain is not useful nor acceptable.
To have large international corporations pay higher taxes to individual nations in general is heavily debated not only in the European Union right now. However, it is a much larger issue and cannot be solved on the back of the advertising industry. The problem with tax avoiding practices is of global scope and is not limited to companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple in Silicon Valley.
As if any such tax could save individual businesses or industries that do not embrace change. Outdated business models will disappear inevitably. New generations of founders and smart business owners will embrace the digital age and seize the opportunity.
Media formats like linear TV, radio, print, and certain types of agencies that serve the advertising industry are under high pressure. They are literally forced to find alternative business models, create new offers, and operate on a more efficient and effective level than ever before. What else should they do?
International keynote speakers and successful local business owners shared what works in order to thrive in the digital era. Here is a short list in arbitrary order:
Mobile services, location based features
Anything with high entertainment and fun factor
Unique, quality content goes a long way, e.g. local content or niche content: Free medium with paid advertising or subscriptions paid by readers work in digital space, in print or in a combination of both
Connecting people with alike interests
Providing room for user generated content and user engagement
Collaborating with other participants in the market
Advertising becomes more cost-effective with programmatic advertising, ad re-targeting and cross media marketing. (Works well for publishers and for advertisers.)
And the list goes on.
Much has changed but not those economic principles:
No money is made unless a product or service has been purchased by someone.
People buy what they want from sources they trust if the provided value exceeds the perceived price.
The digital revolution has turned previously expensive goods and services into commodities of which many have become available to everyone for free altogether. It's too late for those young commodities, but there is infinite possibility for creating something new people are willing to pay for.
Let’s have a quick look at this. Both quotes are closely related.
Henry Ford (1921)
“Whether you think you can or you can't, you are right.”
~ Henry Ford
Henry Ford (July 30, 1863 – April 7, 1947) was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and the sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production.
Although Ford invented neither the automobile nor the assembly line, he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford. In doing so, Ford converted the automobile from an expensive curiosity into a practical conveyance that would profoundly impact the landscape of the 20th Century. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. As the owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. (Source: Wikipedia)
Napoleon Hill (1937)
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
Napoleon Hill (1883 – 1970) was an American author and impresario who became an early producer of personal-success literature. At the time of Hill's death in 1970, his best-known work, Think and Grow Rich (1937) had sold 20 million copies. Hill's works insisted that fervid expectations are essential to increasing one's income. Most of his books were promoted as expositing principles to achieve "success". Hill was an advisor to two presidents of the United States of America, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. (Source: Wikipedia)
Focus on what you want to do and not on what you cannot do.
Or what else should I write to start this post? After all I have not posted often in recent years. Let's get started. Just quickly following up with a new story regarding PRINCE and then getting back to business as usual in forthcoming posts.
However, I likely will visit Paisley Park in the future when I come to the neighborhood. That might take a couple of years though. It's a fairly long trip from here — 4,700 air miles with at least 1 stop, minimum 12½ hours.
Distance Vienna, Austria to Minneapolis, MN, USA 4,700 miles
Prince News Resources
There is a plethora of dedicated sites and social media accounts to follow. A good start is the following one:
I am still speechless about this loss. No other Artist has entertained and at the same time influenced me so much. No other Artist that I came that close with - even though he was a Superstar from another continent, from another World. Those are very personal stories. Maybe at some point in the future I will reveal one or another.
Prince's Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, MN, USA 1991
photographed by myself
Thank you, Prince.
John W. Furst (formerly known as John Prince in the early '90s in New York City)
P.S.: Our last encounter 2 years ago when Prince performed a show on his 56th birthday on June 7th, 2014 in Vienna, Austria. Unforgettable.
Ultimate Prince Concert in Vienna on Prince's 56th birthday on June 7th, 2014
David Ogilvy (↑) is said to be the father of modern advertising in the early '60s who answered that exact question in an acclaimed full page house ad for his own advertising agency. Needless to say that the ad worked very well and established Ogilvy & Mather as the leading advertising agency for industrial advertising.
One of David Ogilvy's many tips for creating successful ads is: “Don’t Get Distracted from Making the Sale”
It sounds bizarre but many agencies with or without the help of their clients screw this up big time. Almost if selling were a bad thing. And whoever is ultimately held accountable for advertising that does not work in the short run has tons of logical reasons why this is actually good thing.
You might have heard these before: Advertising is supposed to build awareness, to establish brand identity, to create a community, …, etc. or in other words: The big sales will come sooner (or later) because of all those effects.
Of course advertising should not be treated as one dimensional exercise but making sales today ranks pretty high on my personal and on my client's lists of priorities.
In order to discuss latest trends as well as evergreen strategies I traveled to London, U.K. to the Biz Fest 2015 conference two weeks ago.
John W. Furst at Biz Fest 2015 in London, U.K.
Stay tuned for more tips about advertising that sells and related topicss. I'll be back soon. Just rearranging a lot what I am doing right now.