Signs of trouble in digital platforms?

digitaltroubleWhile brands are planning to up their digital marketing spending there are some signs that perhaps it might be better to get back to basics in online marketing.   The latest shot is Yahoo firing their number two executive after spending a lot of money to recruit him.  Ms Mayer’s tenure, which began in July 2012,  has yet to deliver meaningful profit growth to Yahoo as the company has failed to keep pace with broad gains in digital advertising spending.  There is plenty more to come.As a consultant, I often get a chance to hear clients vent about potential vendors and agencies.  Last week a client called me after touring a potential agency in Boston.  “Everybody was in jeans and some people were even playing games in the break room.  On top of this they even had a nap room !  If they were trying  to make an impression on me they made the wrong one.”

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As he continued to talk over lunch he said “look, they all can wear jeans for all I care but how the hell are these technology people supposed to understand MY business, its customers and the pressure on me to show real results beyond tech metrics that don’t always translate to the bottom line?”

How indeed.

I am a digital marketing person and understand the power of a great integrated digital marketing campaign, but there is just too much hype around things like social media and mobile.

Facebook has admitted that organic posts have a really bad reach (below 1%) and now says that advertisers need to do a better job creating ads.   Despite all the hype of mobile a big majority of consumers still use their PC’s for shopping and branded websites outperform social media in ROI yet brands skip essential website development processes such as usability testing.

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At Yahoo! they are spending money on adding people, but their core ad and search business is declining and a big reason for that is that Ms Mayer is not a business person, she is a self-promoting technologist who uses every opportunity to get in front of the camera while Yahoo’s mail goes down.

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I know there are some very smart people out their in the digital world but what they need to get is that making nice with people online does not always lead to money in the bank at a time when marketers are being asked to produce.