Last night’s Beancast guests — Crayon’s Joseph Jaffe (come on, admit you envy his self-promotional prowess), the brilliant Ben Kunz, real writer James P. Othmer (The Futurist and Adland), and yours truly — took on what appeared to be a divergent set of subjects.
Drawing on the week’s news, host Bob Knorpp’s topics for discussion included everything from the “direct marketing” dilemma discussed at the recent DMA, to creativity in the age of social media, my favorite topic. Tossed in for variety were new findings about dynamic logic, the question of Hulu’s efficacy, and the proliferation of screens in consumers’ lives.
At first glance you’d think each of these is a very separate topic. But what becomes apparent, as it often does in all aspects of marketing, branding and even life, is this: everything is connected to everything else.
The DMA rethinks its own name and identity because the label “direct” has come to stand for unpopular tactics designed to generate short-term results at the expense of long-term brand relationships.
Social media is being embraced by consumers and forward-thinking brands because of its potential to inspire word-of-mouth (consumer-to-consumer marketing), which is far more effective (though perhaps not yet as scalable) than direct.
Dynamic logic and its progeny addressable TV, with their promise of more efficient targeting, remain hot topics as marketers strive to elevate consumer engagement with advertising that those consumers often resist, bypass or find irrelevant.
Industry pundits and analysts question whether Hulu is good for the networks or making a tragic mistake by following the print industry’s failed model of giving away content for free.
And finally, Morgan Stanley announces what we all know intuitively: more screens don’t mean more opportunity for advertisers; they mean consumers have more ways to avoid those pesky interruptions.
But take all of these subjects and conversation and opinions and studies and they all come down to just one challenge: in a constantly evolving digital environment in which consumers have more choice, more control and even more influence over each other than any marketer can possibly hope to exert, how can we connect with consumers in a way that will get their attention, be remembered and drive results?
To me the solution is simple. We need to do three things: listen to what our customers really want; create advertising and content that they find wonderful enough to welcome into their lives; and make sure we invite their participation in the experience. Note the latter is the best way to achieve the former.
Anyway, if you haven’t already, take a listen to the Beancast. Or go get it on iTunes. We may not have all the answers, but we have plenty of opinions and a good time expressing them. Perhaps you’ll have fun listening. And whether you agree with any of them or not, I hope you’ll share yours in the comment section below. Thanks for stopping by.