12 Dec To Digital! The cause of and solution to all marketing problems
OK, full disclosure, I’ve paraphrased Homer Simpson who once said, “To Alcohol! The cause of and solution to all life’s problems”. And, while I’m at it, the statement is not entirely true is it? I mean the first part of this sentence is right, digital is fairly core to most problems facing marketers now. But the second part, as in the solution, is far from proven.
Most marketing challenges can be traced back to digital disruption being the root. Lead generation, audience segmentation, content creation, engagement, reach, brand purpose, conversion, talent attraction, omni-channel, data utilisation, customer expectations… so many headaches, all of them either manifested, or made worse by the rampant digitisation of our world.
Now this isn’t a sob-blog, beneath these challenges lie some spectacular opportunities, which is why marketing is more exciting now than it has ever been. But, is digital really the solution to all our problems?
Consider the well publicised digi-fails from a marketing perspective… Facebook lying about numbers. Google’s monopolistic control of Search (good thing they’re all about “Do no Evil”). An entire industry spawned by content marketing, which still cannot distinguish itself from regular marketing. And of course there are the issues of online video viewability, measurability and ad fraud all being landed squarely at the feet of digital media. All warranted and all of significant concern.
So what’s a marketer to do? It has been said that you can’t fight tension with tension when it comes to dealing with abrasive people, perhaps the same is true of digital.
You can’t fight digital with digital.
Perhaps in our quest to address the major problems facing marketers, we need to go more organic, more analogue, more visceral. The further the advertising pendulum swings to digital, the more marketing needs an analogue counter weight to balance it.
What does an organic, analogue approach focus on? To start with: the tangible, the people, the experience, the sensory, the emotional, the memories – these are what connect people-with-people and people-with-brands. Not impressions, clicks, likes and views. I know this sort of attitude attracts the guffaws of the digi-cool elitists who preach that digital can do it all. Call me old fashioned, but there is something to be said for balance. So do away with a ‘digital strategy’ and define your actual strategy, then work out the digital and non-digital tactics to get you there in a balanced and considered way.