It’s the experience not the budget or the channel that counts
Thinking outside the silo
As the age of blow it all on TV marketing driven by the silo-centric interests of mega agency networks sputters in and out of temporal existence, I notice a worrying trend: rumour has it that mobile advertising is set to reap the budgetary fallout. Didn’t we go through this a few years back when TV budgets shifted to online advertising? Awareness plummeted while media pundits droned on about buzz. TV fought back with all kinds of discounts and production deals and the budgets returned to the safety of blunderbuss marketing. Don’t get me wrong, TV is epically significant, but the immediate effect of raising awareness is the immediate triggering of mass search and mass search leads to the introduction of alternative choices. Ergo, big TV equals big news for the collective as much as it does the individual brand. So don’t just blow the money on mass media, do what Red Bull do.. pile it into product development and I don’t mean different flavours. I mean the experience the brand facilitates. The entertainment service it provides. The degree to which it proves eventfully useful in the lives of the audience.
The leap of faith
To change the way we work marketing in the digital age requires a leap of faith such as that taken by Red Bull a few years ago which has no seen them become one of the all time great brands. Of all the on-screen experiences I have enjoyed in the past year, Red Bull videos of sponsored T-Type risk-takers who push the boundaries of human potential to the limits to entertain me and remind me that my mind and body could do with a little stimulating, tells me great marketing is more about the content than the mainstream media spend. So go ahead, blow the TV budget on mobile advertising but make sure the content blows my mind first. I am not saying that we all have to embrace extreme marketing. Extreme is a relative term anyway. I have a son who is a cage fighter so I know what extreme really means.
So what now?
I am talking about creating content that is useful to your audience in any given context: if they want entertaining, so be it. If they just want the answer to a single question, do nothing more. If they want you to leave them alone until they indicate they are ready to talk, keep it in your trousers – the money I mean. I know my pals in media agency land will keep taking the clients’ money and blowing it as fast as they can. It is, frankly, not their problem, it’s their job. It is clients that need to reinvest the wasted media gazillions in making better product experiences. The reason they don’t is that it is easier and faster to blow the budget than it is to improve the product or service experience. In the digital age, the experience is the product. Ask anyone who runs PowerPoint on a Macbook Pro, plays online games on a 60″ Panasonic 3D TV, launches their first Google AdWords campaign, sells their first product from their own online shop or earns a Diploma in Digital Marketing from the IDM. They won’t talk to you about ad campaigns. They will talk to you about the experience. You feel me?