I had the mixed fortune of being a media buyer on the Virgin Atlantic account in the very early stages of their international expansion. We, the agency, were constantly minded to develop strategy and were frustrated (albeit sometimes delightedly so) that the airline’s communication strategy comprised a series of one-off ads and the high profile antics of its founder. Sir Richard Branson truly was social media and viral marketing in human form. Eventually someone sagely observed that it was “quite possible for an aggregation of broadly related tactics to be a strategy”.
Wither digital media. Many bemoan the lack of proven brand effect of digital media in general and social media in particular. The argument goes that newness produces impatience and a lack of tolerance for the long game. As a consequence there are hundreds of executions – measured on highly short term metrics – but few stories for sellers and buyers to use that compel clients into long term, programatic and strategic use of the platform.
To me the channel is in transition. It has moved beyond experimention, it is also established as a direct channel but very few advertisers have a fully realized vision of how their digital presence and subsequent interactions impact brand health and long term vitality. To do that requires three things:
- A well ariculated strategic framework through which to execute specific programs
- A set of measurement criteria that can disaggregate the effect of the digital strategy from the surrounding noise
- The courage to recognize that greater commitment of time and money is required to measure effectiveness and value over time
Long term effectiveness and the creation of demand is at the heart of marketing. It needs to be at the heart of digital strategy.