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  • 10.20.08

Is Digital Marketing Enough?

You don’t need to look far to see the challenges facing marketers today: consumers are more wary than they’ve been in years, and feel as though they have less latitude for spending than they did even a month ago ago. Credit and stock woes are forcing companies to cut back on everything, and critically scrutinize everything else. Sales are down. Costs are up. Pressure on the top-line and bomttom-line equals a perfect storm. What’s a marketer to do?

You don’t need to look far to see the challenges facing marketers today: consumers are more wary than they’ve been in years, and feel as though they have less latitude for spending than they did even a month ago ago. Credit and stock woes are forcing companies to cut back on everything, and critically scrutinize everything else.

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Sales are down. Costs are up. Pressure on the top-line and bomttom-line equals a perfect storm. What’s a marketer to do?

The latest examples of experimental creativity in brand marketing have centered on digital activities, such as social and viral campaigns. They’ve promised to deliver desirable eyeballs at a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising (like broadcast TV), so many companies have shifted budgets to these channels. We’re going to see more of it positioned as a response to the challenges of our terrible business climate.

Only is it enough?

Not many clients or employers are going to tolerate us talking to our customers, engaging them, or otherwise spending ever-rarer company dollars distracting people while the rest the enterprise is focused (and dependent) on us selling them stuff. Investments in brand are fine and dandy, but the pressure of that perfect storm means that we need to see payoffs faster, better, and more often.

Or we’re going to see those digital marketing budgets get slashed, just like their more expensive analog counterparts.
So would challenging our own conceptions of branding, and how we deliver it, be a bright or dim idea?

About the author

My technology experience mirrors the development of social technology, having first participated in interactive online gaming in the early 1970s while playing “Empire” on the University of Illinois’ pioneering PLATO system. I was an early user of the Whole Earth’s WELL (one of the first online communities) and I can program in FORTRAN and COBOL.

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