Random thoughts on Digital Marketing

Couple of weeks back, I was in Malaysia, attending a 5 day workshop on Advertising during these times (read tough times). Everyone was of the unanimous opinion that times are indeed tough, especially for the advertising industry. With lower profits, bleak economic forecast, companies are cutting down their budgets – especially their marketing budgets.
While the overall mood was somber, everyone were gung-ho about digital medium. Internet / Mobile they say are the way to go. Advertising can be measured, sales quantified, and at end of the day – the client gets to see the ROMI (Return on Marketing Investment)
What makes digital such a favorite amongst marketers and advertisers is the fact that controllable, measurable, and all on real-time basis. Until the advent of Internet, most marketing campaigns were like a bullet released – you could only aim and shoot; once the trigger is pressed, you had no control on it… however, now it is like a guided missile – you can target, shoot, change direction in mid-air, change target, do anything and everything till the last minute – this greater degree of control is what everyone likes.
The marketers and advertisers are saying that - Consumer is the King. This is the biggest hoax. No Brand or company would like to leave the control of what they own into the hands of the multitude. No, it is only that they (Marketers & Advertisers) want the ‘consumer’ to ‘believe’ that they are the King. When was the last time you changed your toothpaste saying that “I do not like this company/brand anymore”. Closer to the digital world – there are numerous blogs, BBs, comments, about Microsoft and its offerings…. Reading those bits online would make one believe that half the internet population is against Microsoft and its products… but Windows/Microsoft products are by far the ubiquitous thing that is in 90% of the personal computers in the world.
As humans, we tend to ‘quantify’ everything… it is our ability to ‘count’ that helped us reach where we are today in the evolution process . Performance of any individual or activity needs to be measurable. The success depends on the measurability factor. Advertising of all the promotion activities used to make up for most of the budget, but was the least directly measurable activity, thus far. The digital advertising opportunities, with the measurability factor put in is a boon for all the marketing managers – here is something that has proof of performance attached – not just the creative or something vague like “brand connect”
The rise of social media in the digital world has brought in a new problem – consumers have began talking in the cyber-space; this worries the brand managers and advertisers – as this gives the consumers a platform to vent their feelings (especially if negative)about a product attribute or service guarantee denied to their expectations.
But a good brand manager would know what it takes to make the consumer believe that he / she is in control… while actually the story would be something different… very different

Cheers

Santosh

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