I don't know the process most editors of monthly magazines use to write their columns, but I will confess that I normally wait until my copy deadline is imminent, and write about what happens to be on my mind at that time. I know what you're thinking: It usually reads that way. Sorry about that. But this month I'm writing about something that's been on my mind for nearly 30-years, or maybe even my whole life.
Some brands only make use of one or two of the four key elements of marketing today: the idea of engagement, the tools provided by new media, the authenticity of word-of-mouth, and the power of offering people purchasing options that are both savvy and socially responsible.
There's no longer a question of going with old vs. new media, but rather how they can be used together to improve ROI. Investment in digital marketing, search marketing and social media has moved from the "garage band days," if you will, to a significant line item in marketing budgets.
Since the meltdown on Wall Street, the media has maintained a deathwatch. It's not helping, and it's incorrect. You've heard it all before: The economy is a mess. Consumers are beset by falling home prices, debt, tightening credit and rising food prices. The gains realized during the dot-com and housing booms have evaporated. Credit markets remain frozen shut. Consumer spending has plummeted. New home sales, orders for durable goods and foreign trade (both exports and imports) are bottoming out, while claims for unemployment benefits skyrocket.
As I write this, no word better describes the 2009 economic outlook than grim. Retail season projections look very pessimistic, and consumer confidence has dipped lower than any point in recent memory. Some marketers have already slashed their 2009 budgets while worrying about how they will respond should things get even worse.
Every week, my wife complains about a few unread magazines lying around the house. After enduring her complaints for a while, I am forced to read the magazines or throw them out unread. She regularly suggests I kill my subscriptions because I can always get the news I want on the Internet, anyway (I'm an inveterate online newspaper reader).
The resounding success of President-Elect Barack Obama's grassroots campaign is a powerful example that proves why social media must remain part of your media mix this year. In fact, your use of and spending in social media should continue to grow - just focus on utility and not application doohickeys.
If you thought it was difficult to launch a campaign that successfully accounts for the complexities of attention economics, then just try launching a campaign that grabs the attention of the ADD generation itself.
As a general rule, we like to think of ourselves as individuals who make our own choices and decisions. Sure, we're informed by the factors around us, but, ultimately, we're independent of them. Mavericks, if you will. The reality, of course, is far less simple. Many of our choices are heavily influenced - if not predetermined - by what we have been exposed to throughout our lives by family, friends and others around us. Leaving aside for now that, by definition, we can't all be mavericks, just how maverick can we be?
The pace of change accelerates every day. My parents no longer just sit down to watch TV, they also engage with online media, mobile content, and, yes, even video games. In other words, their media use has become every bit as diverse and changeable as that of Gen Y. Yet our media plans still carry a 1960s-era broadcast bias. The world is changing, even in the retirement community. How do I know? My retired mother called me earlier this week. "I want to get your father a Wii for his birthday this year," she said shyly. "A ...