Direct Response Copywriter on the Slow But Welcome Death of Branding Advertising ... And Why It's Great News for Some ...

There's a publication out there called Digiday. Quite frankly, I had never seen it until last week. I don't know if it's just digital or available in print as well. In fact, I'm not sure how I found it.

Either way, it's unpleasant reading for those in the branding or "big agency" world. There's a lot of bad news in the publication plus a lot of really unhappy people.

One piece caught my attention because it was about a professional copywriter at an agency.

You can see the piece here.

The copywriter laments about the lack of respect for copywriters. This comes from a changing agency culture but also from a change in the "big agency" model.

I don’t work in the branding agency world, thankfully, but it seems the “agency of record” model is heading out the window. Companies want a project model. They’re also bringing a lot of work in-house, essentially creating their own internal agency.

Here’s something else I’ve noticed in Digiday … the increasing influence of accounting and consulting firms in the decision making.

I have no proof but here’s what I imagine is happening.

The “consulting” firms are telling their clients, “there has to be some sort of measurable ROI on the ad spend.”

Put this another way … where’s the accountability?

So companies of all sizes are looking at their agencies and asking for more defined results. The agencies are making the usual excuses like "it's all about brand authority and it's really difficult to measure." Or they're pointing to awards. Or they're blaming Brexit or something silly like that.

Here’s my fearless prediction. The branding agencies are going to HAVE to be more oriented to direct marketing. They’re going to need more direct marketing experts and they’re especially going to need highly-skilled direct response copywriters.

The most intelligent agencies will understand the importance of the direct response copywriter because this importance will become apparent in actual measurable data. Agencies will find that a top direct response copywriter brings much more revenue while a really bad copywriter will bring no money. Over time, professional copywriters will have more respect and will once again be at the top of the creative ladder.

Branding copywriters like the one in the article I read will have to make the switch to direct response copy. Some will hate this. Others will love the opportunities.

There will be some branding stuff around but the advertising world is finally moving toward the model that David Ogilvy so accurately predicted so many years ago in this most magnificent video.