“Blog It Out” - The Confusion of Digital Marketing

Josh Chambers, Former Viget

Article Category: #Strategy

Posted on

UPDATE PT. 2Thanks to Joel, you can now view the commercial I was mentioning at his blog here. Thanks Joel! UPDATE: Thanks to Muriel's comment, here is the link to the DirectTV commercial series I was referring to. Unfortunately it doesn't have the exact spot, but it does have some others that are in the same vein and equally as funny. Hopefully they'll be posting the "Blog it Out" spot soon. Direct TV has a new TV commercial series out featuring John Micahel Higgins and a chunk of the Christopher Guest Crew (Waiting for Guffman, Best In Show etc.). I bring that up because not only did the most recent commercial I saw make me laugh out loud; it was incredibly poignant. The group is sitting around a drab executive style oval table, and they all look bored to tears. They are playing the part of the unnamed cable company executives. Higgins begins by stating that cable TV is losing it's steam and something must be done. Rather than changing their policies, he says to the crew "We're going viral. We're gonna get online and start blogging it out." I wish I could find that commercial on YouTube--if you find it, please let me know. Anyhow, that is just a perfect picture of a typical view of digital marketing and social media. Someone, somewhere, heard of social media and decided they needed to be leveraging the new shiny toy. It was clearly not in Higgin's original business plan to utilize digital marketing. Digital marketing is not a quick fix or a limited one-off; but rather a long-term invested approach of discovering where your customers are, and finding relevant ways to join their conversation on their terms A recent study by Booz Allen Hamilton and the Association of National Advertisers suggests that fewer than 1 in 4 of the participants in Marketing & Media Ecosystem 2010 consider their organizations digitally savvy. Furthermore, AdAge reports that,
While every marketing executive recognizes the pervasive pull of the internet, most allocate only 5% to 10% of their ad budgets to digital media.
The article goes on to say,
Leading marketers such as Nike, Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble are indeed recognizing that digital and interactive are no longer niche capabilities; they are a requisite skill set for all marketers.
Currently, the way in which legacy marketing treats digital marketing is akin to buying a cell phone for the sole purpose of replacing your land line: You never take the phone with you. You leave it at home, you plug it into your answering machine, and you bolt it to your wall. You now have your shiny new toy and you've now become 'relevant.' Great concept, but missing the point. The issue for Higgin's crew in the Direct TV commercial is that is that not only was it too little too late; but the culture supporting the "blogging it out" is not conducive to blogging.The aforementioned AdAge article continues by saying,
Beyond experiments with new marketing techniques and tactics, most marketing departments remain structured around organizational legacies, chiefly the output of TV and print advertising. What they need is to integrate analysis, thinking and planning across all communications and media technologies. In practice, that means media must become strategic, rooted early in the fundamental architecture of brand planning...[They must] cultivate a progressive culture that embraces -- and uses -- new technology and media.
Relationally based digital marketing is the future. If you're still on the fence, I encourage you jump on board. In order to effectively utilize digital marketing, it requires an admonition of the need as well as possibly rethinking your strategies--and perhaps even your culture. It can be a big task, but it will be well worth the switch.

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