Marketing is my day job and I typically reserve the blog for geeking out, but I’ve just read a great post by Hugh MacLeod over at gapingvoid entitled, “So What’s All This New Marketing Stuff, Anyway?” I agree with what Hugh has written and think it’s a good read for anyone remotely interested in marketing,
There is a lot of information out in the ethos about marketing 2.0 and I think it’s important to bring a little old school marketing arithmetic in to help us keep things in context, lest we all begin to think that internet advertising is a silver bullet.
Internet advertising does a descent job at helping shape opinion, but when it comes to driving desire or purchase intent it lags behind — behind TV, Radio, Magazines, Newspapers, and some guy yelling on the street corner. The caveat here is, as with all things, it all depends on what you are selling and who you are selling to.
Let us resurrect an old concept here, called the purchase funnel. I know it is archaic and many gurus think it’s dead and has been replaced by the long & winding path (the tumbler) or the model approach, but this is my blog, so it’s back.
The purchase funnel is beautiful because it is a simplistic approach that gives us a point of reference for the consumer from start to finish. [As a personal side note: The reason 2.0 marketers and internet folks in general don’t like the funnel is because it doesn’t bear them particularly good news when it comes down to driving purchase intent. It’s hard to sell advertising if you have trouble delivering a positive ROI.]
To review some marketing 101, at the top of the funnel is awareness & at the bottom is purchase, what comes in between is oft debated and generally something like; awareness—>interest—>opinion—>desire—>intent—>purchase—>retention.
I am breaking the funnel into the standard two tier approach with the upper tier being awareness & association and the lower tier speaking to favorability & consideration. [I throw retention at the bottom because I think that’s where the internet can really play a key role, keeping customers happy and bringing them back to purchase again.]
Some old school stats.
Television and magazines have a higher incremental effect across the purchase funnel.
Television and magazines have a higher incremental effect on the Brand Metric, things like Brand Awareness & Message Association.
In addition, many offline mediums perform better in driving online search traffic than online vehicles.
Why doesn’t internet advertising perform in delivering purchase intent? It’s about receptivity & retention. Ask yourself these two questions: 1) What was the last great TV ad you watched? 2) What was the last great internet ad you watched/read? Most folks are going to be able to answer number 1, despite living in the TiVo age, we still enjoy a good TV commercial.
Getting consumers to accept your ads as unobtrusive has been on the minds of advertisers since dawn of time (maybe that’s overly dramatic, but I’m leaving it in). This is where the internet has a dubious reputation. In the beginning it was all the pop-ups, pop-unders, and flashing hit the monkey banners. Today, it is concerns over privacy and targeted marketing programs. This malaise has effected the entire medium and has led to a higher negative view of internet advertising.
What does all this mean?
First: It’s about engagement.
Hugh MacLeod and Robert Scoble nailed it on the head. It’s about love, friendship & connectivity. The internet works best at bringing people together. The more you engage your consumers in a positive way, the more likely you are create brand champions and evangelists, that’s where the true miracle of internet comes into play.
The places where the internet can have the biggest impact for your advertising dollars are in the upper teir & after the sell: Opinion & Retention. How often have you gone online to research before buying? After buying, how often have you gone back to register the product? We can all answer yes to the first question, if you can answer yes to the second question I would argue that the brand has kept you engaged. If a brand can incent you to register and follow-up it up with relevant & timely information they will probably make a sale to you or one of your friends in the future.
Second: One size doesn’t fit all.
Selling toothpaste isn’t the same as selling content. Every brand requires a different media mix depending on what they are selling and who they are selling to. We all need to spend some time figuring out who our consumer is and what they want before we go spending ad dollars.
Third: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Remember the 4Ps: Product, Price, Placement & Promotion. The old adage, the main thing is to remember that the main thing is the main thing, is still relevant. Deliver a quality product at a reasonable price where your consumer shops and letting them know it’s there, still works. If you want to keep the customer, follow it up with excellent service.
That’s my brief take on marketing 1.0 – 2.0. Remember that you get what you pay for and I am not offering refunds.