Infrastructure has become an everyday subject for politicians.  Our cities, our countries, our homes – they all need maintenance and improvements to their infrastructure.

The problem for politicians is that infrastructure tends to be invisible to taxpayers — at least until it fails.

Infrastructure is necessary but neither understood or appreciated.  And the underside of a bridge is not aesthetically pleasing nor will it win votes.  Worse are really invisible projects like water mains, gas lines, electric lines and so forth.  Those are problems because they require digging up roads and causing traffic delays.

I recently spoke with a woman who had been working in the high tech sector for the past few years.   She bemoaned the lack of engineering infrastructure in the rush to get new tech products to market.  Short term the company looked innovative, but longer term products failed for lack of documentation.  And next generation products were built on flimsy technology.

Advertising also needs a solid infrastructure.

Effective advertising requires strategic thought and planning for development. It needs a firm foundation – strategic pilings driven below it to hold up the message that is the visible tip of the iceberg.  (Enough metaphors for you?)

The problem for those not experienced in marketing communications is to understand that infrastructure.  Like a bridge without pilings and built on sand, the whole thing can cave in at the first deluge.  It is neither robust or going to serve the advertiser to go anywhere.

Developing effective advertising requires forethought.  Sure, anyone with a computer can put a photo and a headline on a page and call it an ad.  But more often, they should call it a “bad.”  We were recently given an assignment by a new client whose advertising we charitably called “cryptic” because it was a puzzle for the target.

With the quantum sea change to digital and the required quickness of executing and getting results, the industry has erred toward execution without the discipline and thought that should go into the creative message.

What that means is that advertisers’ money is wasted and ineffective.

The creative execution has leapfrogged the development process leaving itself in a precarious balance with out any infrastructure support.  It’s a bridge to nowhere.  Looks nice but not much use.

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