Back in the early blogging days of 2004, I wrote a little online rant called “The Hughtrain Manifesto”, influenced by all the stuff I was reading at the time: Tom Peters, Seth Godin, Mark Earls, The Cluetrain Manifesto etc.
The question I was asking then was, “What comes after advertising?” If this new Internet thingy meant all old-media bets were off, what would become of the Industry that drove 90% of the latter?
My answer (at least to myself) came in Part Four:
“The hardest part of a CEO’s job is sharing his enthusiasm with his colleagues, especially when a lot of them are making one-fiftieth of what he is. Selling the company to the general public is a piece of cake compared to selling it to the actual people who work for it. The future of advertising is internal.”
In other words, internal communication designed to create real cultural change. Articulating Mark Earls’ “Purpose-Idea”. All that positive disruption for pennies on the dollar… compared to what you get from conventional ad campaigns.
The logic being that, if you can change your own culture, then you can change the culture of others around you. And if you can do that, you would have a huge competitive advantage over the other guys.
Culture matters. Cultural change is big business, and getting bigger by the day. It’s a huge opportunity for advertising folk; let’s hope some of them actually take it.