Saturday, May 20, 2017

Is Digital an Effective Mass Marketing Medium?

Synopsis: This article focuses on the impact of digital media dynamics for brand marketing. Specifically, this article focuses on the interplay between digital media’s proven, short term effectiveness with targeted brand marketing to targeted audiences relative to the potential long-term effectiveness if utilized effectively in brand marketing to mass markets/audiences. This is based on an article with the same post-title written by Charlotte Rogers.

The question then seems to be; how do we effectively undertake brand marketing to reach people at scale with digital media while still keeping (not losing) the advantages of targeted advertising? Since I have only taken one, 3-hour digital marketing class at a world-class, Ivy-league business school, my initial reaction to that self-posed question is “......ummm I dunno?!”

So, I start reading this article with a bit more fascination. After all, if I am ever going to get rich with my own brand-focused business, I better pay attention and know how to build a market and if digital is the new color television, I better know how to use it effectively while still attracting television addicts like my parent and me!

My thoughts on the article, you ask (here goes my extremely deep and impactful summary):

1 – The article is too damn long for a fellow like me with zero attention span! (I will never get those 15 minutes of my life back – thanks, Charlotte Rogers).

2 – Understanding the difference between brand experience and brand marketing is probably a first step to any successful brand marketer trying to maximize the utility of digital media. (Sounds so deep and smart, I actually patted myself on the knob of my head for that one).

3 – Adopting a segmentation strategy that your entire business can use that is not too broad (a one-size-fits-all) or micro-targeted (too narrowly focused). In English – where is the sweet spot in the segmentation strategy that can be used to find the niche market and is usable across the entire business/organization (good luck finding that one. To solve for this, I say hire a Columbia EMBA, put them in a top-floor corner office with an amazing view and watch them hire 5 HBS alums to get you the answer).

4 - The IPA Director of Marketing Strategy “done lost her darn mind!” Why do I say that? I am paraphrasing a bit here, but, for starters, she believes that the insights (read “data”) from personalized/individual (read “targeted”) marketing can be expanded, since it provides more nuanced insights that can be creatively expanded to improve the advertising quality both online and offline. Okay….thanks, I think. While I get the niceties of targeted advertising, I also get the creep-factor even more so and it turns me OFF! Besides, drawing creative conclusions based on some data point about my supposed individual-level habits over a short period of time cannot possibly create a full picture of the person in the highly complex and socially uniform (read “copycat”) world we live in today. The fact that I go through a phase of loving the idea of fancy food at fancy restaurants, for example, does not mean that I will want to be targeted along those lines in three months when I go broke (thank you, expensive restaurants in NYC – I clearly refuse to take responsibility for my spending) or decide that I am over it!

Secondly, well, her title is just too fancy. Although, in fairness, I think every business should have a marketing strategy boss, otherwise you become like (I still don’t get how any of their ad’s correlated or made sense).

Where was I? yes, personalization can drive conversion for only so long before….well, before we all get bored or creeped out and want more and then it loses its allure, so it needs to be balanced with the en-mass marketing too.

5 – The “always-on” approach, as demonstrated by The Economist (haven’t read one since 2011) with its successful ‘Raising Eyebrows and Subscriptions’ approach of “targeting” a wide audience of already similarly-inclined, potential customers in a measurable manner, with defined Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is a proven approach.

6 – Facebook lied! And maybe Google too!! How did I miss this one (I was watching TV and I guess my news anchor forgot to tell me). In reality, the issue of accurately capturing the effectiveness of ad spending is an evolving art, sorry, science that will continue to be refined as we, the people, continue to evolve in our adoption of technology that in itself, is also evolving at an even faster pace.

Impressions, pay-per-click (PPC), click-through rates, conversion rates and other such measurement tools are effective in themselves, but to really maximize the social and digital media platform, the inclusion of an “attentive reach” factor that accounts for how much of an audience is captivated by the marketing and for how long and with what effect (sales result) should be considered. Here, the idea of ‘WAVE’ is introduced – measuring Watch time, Audibility, Viewability and Engagement.

7 – Defining success is personal, at least to the business (the company shelling out the dough on marketing). Here, the idea is that each organization spending on marketing should define the effectiveness of their marketing plan/campaign and ad-spend in a manner that uniquely captures their pre-stated objective(s)/marketing plan /strategy. This allows the measurement of results to be more significant in determining the success or failure of the approach. It also ensures that the business is able to better understand how/when to stay the course and believe in a marketing plan through the long-run, or abandon a marketing plan as the results are tracked and translated in terms of sales or revenue versus the cost and impact on the business.
I’m tired! My ramblings here might be longer than the actual article, so enough of this. Bye for now!

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