I spend a lot of time visiting and evaluating corporate marketing plans, retail strategies, and Ecommerce programs and the one thing I find is consistent about all of them is how obvious it is that the companies behind them have no clue about new media.
The core reason new media is poorly implemented by most companies is due to executive leadership not taking it seriously or understanding how to really embrace it. Many of today’s corporate leaders have grown up in the old school of offline and other traditional marketing and generally picture new media as a small and barely significant part of their marketing right now. Of course they recognize how quickly it is growing and changing yet none seem to be ready to dedicate to it. Isn’t it time they accepted the future and invested in it by dedicating staff and resources to developing, executing and managing new media strategies?
Most everything I see is implementing web video, social networking, blogging, twitter, etc. as an ancillary accessory to their marketing campaign. They are still bringing in the masses by the old spray and pray of old media and just tagging their new media program in it. They are missing the biggest part of what new media has to offer by starting from the inside out and rallying consumers to help grow your brand or product. I have seen it first hand inside organizations and reviewed some of the most short sighted marketing decks you could imagine.
It usually happens something like this- A brand manager or team gets handed a campaign to build and they immediately begin with the old school methodology of building logos, tag lines, a checklist of publications, websites, radio and/or TV of which to spread their message and branding. They then go through all of the work to build the program and somewhere in the middle of a meeting someone says “we should have a myspace page and facebook profile for this” or “ooh, maybe we could have our corporate blog to promote the launch”.... Then the brainstorming continues with how they twitter, use youtube and so on. The new media elements get added on mid stream as shiny bling to what they consider the heart of an effective program.
This is the heart of the problem. The entire logic is flawed, seriously. The above process doesn’t embrace nor make effective the beautiful tools that new media provides a brand. Now picture the right way to do it by actually utilizing new media to build and become the backbone of the campaign. What happens can be magical. Instead of the handful of marketing people or an agency making a decision in a vacuum about which messaging, colors, logos, tag lines and campaign elements will generate the best consumer response you can actually shape your campaign by actually talking to and interacting with the audience directly to make these decisions.
The long time process of finding a need an filling it can thrive better than ever today. Never before has there been so many ways to ask people exactly what they want directly, instantly and honestly yet only a select few marketing executives get this.
One of the other problems is that many companies have really talented, smart and savvy new media people on their team but have a culture that doesn’t allow them to shift the marketing direction of the company to their adapted way of thinking. This has to happen from the highest levels of an executive team. For most companies lets hope this happens soon.