Would I be the last publisher? I wondered when I noticed a headline that read, “Condé Nast Retires Publisher Title Amid Leadership Shakeup.”
Recently, I ran into a client from a few years back, an advertising director at one of New York’s most prestigious stores. She was curious about how things had changed.
I reminded her how we did most of our work in her office and once in a while we’d have lunch. At lunch we caught up on our families, social lives, news, and movies. When our plates were cleared and dessert and coffee on the way, we got down to business.
Then I would present my value proposition to gain a greater commitment from her brand, offer collaborative marketing partnerships to support it, and came away with a clear idea of what New York magazine needed to do to further strengthen this client relationship and increase business.
Everything shifted in the 2008-2009 downturn. One person in an office started doing the work of many. So who had time to meet, no less have lunch. A CMO could pull planning stats off our electronic media kit, and anything beyond that could be put in a PowerPoint and emailed. That’s usually the way it goes now. No need for lunch. No need to see a person. Friendly, calls to clients about their plans are replaced by electronically submitted RFP’s. Questions, problems, challenges are worked out online. It’s a more efficient, more accurate, and a more performance driven way to work. Everyone gets more done.
When I was able to break through the electronic communication wall to show up and meet a client, there was an authentic exchange. Ideas sparked, proving that the best results occur when you combine human connection and digital innovation.