Digital marketing: Just how bad is it?

how bad digital marketingIn a renewed effort to lure a bigger share of the advertising dollars that now flow to major TV networks, Google’s YouTube is making a number of concessions long sought by marketers, ad executives say and the headline reads ” Facebook Exec Snarkily Confirms Brands’ Big Fear: Their Content Isn’t Important“. So what’s going on here?  A little something called accountability, which most social media “experts” have been able to dodge.

In discussions ahead of this spring’s TV ad-selling season, YouTube has told marketers, it will offer audience guarantees to advertisers that make advance commitments, according to people familiar with the matter. YouTube will guarantee to air ads across its channels until they reach a certain percentage of the target audience that the marketer is trying to reach, according to several of the people.

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In the meantime Facebook is in the process of becoming just another online media option as executives confirm that organic reach is ineffective. Why?  There are two possible reasons:

1ne: Brands are not really engaging consumers in social media, but rather they are using it as another broadcast channel.

2wo: Consumers don’t have the time to engage brands because they are too damn busy trying to live their lives.

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Of course, there is another reason; too many damn social media experts have had the spotlight too long and while selling books they forgot to tell clients about the downside of social media.  This is important because although large majorities of CMOs saw higher revenues (69%) and budgets (83%), four out of 10 senior marketers also saw flat or declining market share. This is consistent with CMOs’ belief that it will be harder to obtain and keep new customers and sell more to existing ones.

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Then there are online marketing agencies that bombard us with ideas of inbound marketing, but what they are really selling is their expensive software solutions.

To me the real issue comes down to digital marketing talent, or lack thereof. An outstanding digital marketer is not some geek who wears jeans to the office and uses a bicycle to commute to work.  Good digital talent is someone who strives to understand everything they can about your customers and is hungry for every bit of market research you have.  They want to understand what is the moment of truth when a consumer becomes a customer and they want to develop digital marketing initiatives that, both, meet user needs while driving brand objectives.  They also have to have the business acumen to win over key organizational skeptics so more dollars can be invested in digital marketing.

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Online properties are bending over backwards to try and show marketers the golden road to a better ROI and marketers need to invest in people to get to first base.  The problem is will they also invest in the talent?