Adams & Knight Marketing Blog
POSTED BY: Jill Adams

Stop chasing digital crazes


So much of the talk these days is about how marketers must adapt to survive in our new digitally driven world. And CMOs are certainly listening. In fact, a recent IBM study of global CMOs found that over 60% expect to continue increasing their interactive/online spending and decrease their allocation to traditional advertising.

No doubt, it’s a brave new world. But the brands that will truly rule in this new world order won’t be led by digital gurus. They’ll be championed by marketing visionaries who advance “interactive” marketing to a new level — where a fusion of tactics powers a new era in brand building.

That advancement to “fusion marketing” will require marketers to stop trailing after digital crazes as well as to move beyond the stereotypes of integrated marketing communications. Here’s what it will take for you to lead your organization in this new cosmos.

1. Beyond “multiple touchpoints” to seamless connections. Too many marketers still plan and measure singular “transactions.” For example: How many people watch the program? Read the magazine? Click the banner? Follow you on Twitter? But today, emails drive people to websites where they watch “TV spots” that drive them to Facebook pages that link to feature articles published in magazines whose ads feature QR codes that take you to YouTube videos.

That requires a new type of marketing planning, one that doesn’t list each tactic on a separate line in the campaign spreadsheet.  Today we need organic strategists — those who can analyze each medium’s specific strengths and synthesize how they can best work together to turn emotion into motion. So stop viewing social media or any media as a “tactic” and recognize it as just another channel in the surround-sound that’s essential to reaching today’s B2B as well as B2C audiences.

2. Beyond Web analytics to integrated analytics. So much of the shift to digital marketing has been driven by the panic to prove ROI. But just because digital marketing is more measurable doesn’t mean it’s more effective on its own. With all the noise in the Websphere, one timeless marketing principle is more timely than ever: People won’t want to talk to you unless they know of you. So if you’re serious about pursuing the new holy grail of “brand engagement,” you’ll also need to be smart about deploying public relations and “traditional” advertising in a fresh way to build brand awareness. And together, we all need to demand—and to develop—better ways of measuring those integrated marketing results than just clicks, likes, fans or followers.

3. Beyond standing out to standing for something. Of course, getting people to know your brand is only the first step. Getting them to care about it takes building trust — something in very short supply these days.  So brands need to be more than memorable. They need to be admirable. That means organizations need to stand for something. And marketers need to reach across the organization to work with those involved in community relations, customer relations, human relations, and every other kind of relations to collaborate on building—and living—the brand.

These are just a few examples of the new levels of fusion thinking that will characterize the next generation of marketing leaders.

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