Coding vs Copywriting

A recent post in Fast Company addresses the terror traditional ad agencies are feeling right now. They on the verge of extinction. One line really caught my attention "coding is now prized over copywriting".

That's completely true, just look at what coders get paid versus copywriters. But I would argue that there is a coming sea change already underway and the tables could turn again.

Coding is all about creating reusable solutions. Build it once and use it again and again. It's why companies like Google, Groupon and Exact Target are growing like weeds. Their product is almost infinitely scalable. But consider the destination.

Eventually the code will get so good it may put many coders out of work. It may get so good that anyone can build a website or app without any programming knowledge. We are already seeing this happen on a small scale with free to cheap Web solutions like Wordpress. When it happens, and I believe it will, then advertising agencies can stop worrying about the platform and technology challenges and do what they do best- communicate.

Right now many traditional ad agencies are paralyzed, afraid to enter the Social Media waters or even log into a Content Management System to update site content. But that is changing as well. They are going through a rude awakening and learning to survive- the fastest way to learn.

When code is no longer the obstacle then communication is king. Brand experience and messaging return to the top of the value pile. This is where traditional ad agencies excel. They just need to hang on long enough, while getting up to speed, and they may find themselves surprisingly relevant in the years to come.