Three doses of digital media reality to empower you to join the conversation.
As a digital marketing consultants, we're in the relationship business. What we're accountable for are bottom line results, sure, but truly, our biggest responsibility is breaking commonly held assumptions of some businesses about digital media. We hear many assumptions on a daily basis but they're usually far from reality.
Ignorance may be bliss, but bliss doesn't translate to the bottom line. Here are three assumptions we commonly hear from businesses and three reality check points for them. Armed with this knowledge, there should be no more excuses for not trying out digital media.
Excuse #1: "I don't know...our market isn't the teenie boppers online."
Get Real! 25 - 44 year old is the target online demographic. 18-34 year olds may work on television, but to get the most bang for your marketing buck, online content should be palatable for 25-44 year olds. This holds true for most online properties, including MySpace, YouTube, and SecondLife. Surprised? You shouldn't be. According to a McKinsey research on how companies can make the most out of user-generated content, while visitors under 25 years old still make up the majority of online use, 25-44 year olds contribute equally, if not more to postings. The user behavior of this working age audience displays a greater sense of sharing than their younger counterparts as well. This means the pass-along effect that marketers aim for with social media tools could be best put to use when put in the hands of 25-44 year olds (up to 30% better).
Corporate CEOs take note: another cool implication of this data is that since 25-44 year olds typify the majority of the work force, we can extrapolate that the growing acceptable here translates to easier adoption for communication tools such as wikis or enterprise blogs. Better internal operating processes via the web? Whowuddathunkit? So don't be so worried that people won't adopt to the technology - or don't use that as a crutch for not making your company better.
Excuse #2: "We're only using a part of our budget for online marketing - it's an experiment because it's so new and unproven."
Get real! Digital media is mainstream. You may know that dedicated online channels such as ESPN Motion and MTV Overdrive are selling out their ad inventory but what you may not know is that those online channels are selling their inventory at costs per thousand (CPMs) that equal or exceed what ESPN and MTV get on TV.
As the Strategy + Business' feature piece on "The Future of Advertising is Now" states, these figures aren't anomalies - they're harbingers of things to come. As Apprentice and Survivor produce Mark Burnett remarked in a February 2006 interview: "To me, the new prime time is 9am to 5pm, because more people have access to a computer then."
There's no more "experimenting" online when online has proven itself as an effective advertising medium.
Excuse #3: "Digital media is marketing and marketing is money-out. We're trying to cut costs and operate lean here."
Get Real! Companies are incorporating online technologies in Six Sigma initiatives. New media technologies are fixing defects by making companies operate leaner. Enterprise wikis and internal blogs are reducing costs in the production and distribution lines by making communication more effective AND efficient. Internal operating activities such as manufacturing, R&D, value chain and use of technology can all be improved with fewer clogs in the information flow.
It takes courage to make tough business decisions. But now armed with this knowledge, you should know that making the decision to dive into digital media doesn't take courage anymore. It's now just takes common sense. ;)