Dave Birss

“I’m dreaming of a future where we put the audience before the channel.”


When I started in the advertising industry there were four main slices of the marketing pie: advertising, direct marketing, sales promotion and PR. They were simpler, more innocent times. It made sense to split them as specialisms because of the way you dealt with the media itself. You bought advertising space, you printed direct marketing pieces, you created in-store collateral and you liaised with journalists. And the sales journey was relatively predictable.

Not so these days. I've now lost count of how many slices the marketing pie has. And the sales journey has become a non-linear, ever-shifting ramble. Yet the industry is still structured around specialisms. This often leads each agency putting their own spin on the brand, the audience and the messaging. And makes the job of agency-wrangling increasingly unmanageable.

I'm dreaming of an advertising future with unified brand messages and truly cross-media thinking. A future where we put the audience before the channel. One where the most valuable specialism is the ability not to specialise.

Hello tomorrow. I'm waiting.