It continues to amaze me how many brands do not invest in digital, choosing instead to stay with the safety of traditional mass media (ie TV and print). When asked why, you will hear a lot of different answers, but none that haven’t been proven wrong time and time again. Digital is measurable. Digital can provide solid ROI. Digital can drive trial and awareness.
But if you are still struggling with justifying your digital investment, I think there are 4 important reasons digital should matter to your brand:
- Digital enables relationships and community
- Digital tells a story around your brand
- Digital is a key part of an integrated campaign
- Digital builds brand equities in new ways
Enables relationships and community: Must marketers grew up in a world of one-way communication where you push a message to consumers. The power of digital is that it allows for a two-way conversation where you can build a relationship and cultivate a community around your brand. This allows for a deeper interaction with users of your brand. It’s a relationship that will last much longer than the :30 seconds of a typical TV spot. In mass media, you pay for every :15 or :30 seconds of interaction. But in the digital world, the opportunity for interaction has no time limit based on media buys.
Tells a story around your brand: Marketing has always been about telling a story around your brand. The creative challenge has always been doing so on a one page print ad or in a :30 TV spot. Digital throws away these chains, allowing a brand to create a truly deep story about the brand. That is what makes the marketing behind Halo 3 and others so amazing. These brands have recognized that they can bring their most passionate brand advocates deep into the story of the brand by harnessing the unlimited potential of digital. In turn, they create a story and experience deeper than any TV spot could ever deliver.
Is a key part of an integrated campaign: While I preach about the power of digital, I’m not saying that traditional mass media should be abandoned. After all, it is still the most cost-effective way to reach the largest number of people. However, digital should be seen as a way to extend a marketing campaign. At minimum, it is a way to extend the reach and frequency of a campaign beyond the point of TV wear out / point of diminishing returns. At its best, it can serve as the center of an integrated marketing campaign, allowing mass media to drive the highest potential consumers into a deeper story or community (see points above).
Builds brand equities in new way: Brands are constantly trying to establish a strong brand equity in the hearts and minds of consumers. Digital allows new ways to express and reinforce these equities. For instance, FedEx launched a “virtual delivery” campaign on FaceBook. FedEx has always aimed to own the equity of “fast delivery” and now this campaign allows them to extend that equity to “virtual delivery.”