June 2, 2010

The Digital Arm Wrestle

As we quickly get to two billion people online, this is no longer something of a boutique or alternative behavior.

I chuckle when I hear terms like “digital marketing” and “new media” because when you have almost a third of the world’s population participating in an activity that is by definition mainstream. I realize we need these terms for those who haven't caught up but everything you do in your business is marketing and everything you use is media.

What is Traditional?

Most refer to “traditional” media as television, print, outdoor and radio. All remain viable for content, entertainment, information and advertising. Radio is not dead. Print is going through a transition while direct mail remains the biggest form of advertising. Billboards and bus boards remain filled with messages. And the television model is evolving.

Facebook has over half a billion users, Twitter is close to 100 million and the CNN website receives over 20 million unique visitors a month.

I heard a radio sales consultant recently talk about how his medium was the most intrusive. He’s right – if the radio stations you activate are any good. There is great content in all media so before you blindly focus on the strengths or weaknesses of each choice, ensure the specific outlets are of any quality.

Advertising on a bad radio or television station is just as dangerous as assuming a Twitter stream will save your business.

But this is not solely about advertising. As someone who has been in radio, television, print, outdoor and digital, I can assure you that without a quality product you won’t see black ink no matter how many layers of marketing lipstick you put on it.

We Share What We Like

I’m a product guy, an idea guy, a creative guy, a strategic guy and that includes all content. We share with others when we see a great movie or a great commercial. We rarely discuss what medium we found it on – that is irrelevant.

As the chatter increases about this medium or that, let’s stop and be very honest about the content. Is it any good? And if the boss isn’t convinced that the Internet is a place to find new customers, ask her to put down her smart phone for a moment and listen.

What are your thoughts?

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