More than three decades ago I forced my way into the advertising game the old fashioned way – I rode the coattails of a family friend. Fresh from four years at Penn State, I spent the better part of two months shipping out resumes and knocking on doors. No one wanted a green kid full of theory but short on real world experience. Seeing the desperation in my face, my father traded in a favor and secured an entry level – and by entry level I mean just above gopher – position at a tiny ad agency in Nowhere, Central Pennsylvania. I spent my first years cutting and pasting ads, running down copy, playing secretary during meetings with clients and sweeping the shop floor at the close of every business day.


Those first few seasons were tough; I was sure I had more to offer the company but no avenue in which to exercise those skills. Lucky for me, I kept my mouth shut and my ears open. I listened, watched and learned – how to handle a disgruntled client, how to close a deal, how to open a pitch, how to work with the media, how to measure a print ad, when color was needed, what makes an ad work and, most importantly, how to reach and motivate consumers.


In the time since, I’ve expanded my formal training and embraced the expanded scope of what was once known as advertising. The term “advertising” gave way to “marketing,” an endeavor that melded advertising, public relations, direct sales, creative development, market research and brand management into one cohesive monster.


I thought, at least for an old dog, I had stayed fairly hip to the new methods. Now I find myself, despite the imposing title on my office door: Francis Macomber, vice president marketing, adrift in a sea of swiftly evolving technology and ever-changing terminology.


Join me as I set out to explore this new high-tech jungle of RSS feeds, widgets and Podcasts. Together, we’ll discover if these new efforts at connecting with consumers are truly the next generation of marketing or merely a lot of hot air!