Is the digital revolution overhyped and oversold? Maybe. Certainly the points made in the previous post in this series would suggest this.But without a doubt we live in the most disruptive and exciting times in the history of human communications. Everyday new possibilities are being found and created for brands to connect and interact with people’s lives. These will change the world in ways we have yet to imagine. Though fundamental change will only occur where they add true value to people’s lives, not simply trade on novelty. And this will happen more slowly than many would have us believe. What can be done with technology is still different from what people actually do with it, and it is important to remember digital channels are still just a sub-set of how consumers relate to brands and consume media.
In the meantime some of the ‘old rules’ of marketing communications need to be respected.
The truth is everyone involved with it is still learning how the digital landscape does and can work. And with its daily evolution what we think we know as fact today may be shown to be myth tomorrow.
Some brands will seize the opportunities better than others. Many first movers will as always benefit in the long run. Fortune will continue to favour the brave.But agencies need to stop selling digital solutions to everything just because they can build them.
Clients need to stop asking for a facebook, twitter or viral campaign just because everyone else seems to be doing them.
In practice, agencies and clients need to have open and constructive dialogues about what they are trying to achieve. Two key points are:
- When proposing a digital idea to a client, agencies need to be up front about whether it is likely to engage large numbers of customers or whether the opportunity is about experimenting and learning from it. Or whether it’s about the halo effect of showing the brand or the business to be innovative and at the leading edge.
- The basic thinking about any given audience always needs to be done - how they live their lives, what they prefer to do, how they really interact with a category, its brands and media including digital and social.
Glenn Myatt, Strategy Director