Recently I have experienced the gap between on and offline marketing in South Africa. The online industry in south africa, more specifically digital marketing is growing at a rapid race. But are brand managers, marketing directors and managers on the same growing rollercoaster?
There is no doubt that focus had been shifted towards alternative forms of marketing, including digital and online marketing. The advertising industry has changed to a point where the consumers are in control and communication is all about conversation. The value of the internet lies in facilitating a platform where information can be displayed and adopting social media and multimedia features where conversation can be stimulated.
So in essence, what is the most important part of an online marketing strategy, whether it is for a microsite, campaign or general website – URL marketing – more than often the one chapter missing in emarketing textbooks. No online marketing strategy will be successful without being part of an integrated offline strategy, based on relevance to the consumer, supporting a consistent message in a way that affiliates best with the product offering itself. No one is going to buy toothpaste online, but an interactive game might keep the brand top of mind. No one is going to search for business consultants on Facebook, but the initial research for a new alcoholic beverage might be hidden in Facebook Events.
I think it is time that the active digital marketing network include marketing directors of major brands as guest speakers, and visa versa, because it is only through real collaboration of information and initiatives supported by prior evaluation of needs of the business as a whole that on & offline initiatives will be able to make a real difference to the bottom line. And this collaboration is exactly what the world wide web enables companies to accomplish.
So lets not get too lost in all the creative ideas associated with the very exciting online marketing industry – and take out our marketing 101 & corporate strategy textbooks to bring us back to basics in a time where the only thing that really matters is meeting objectives and increasing the bottom line – not the number of Loerie awards up agains the wall of your advertising agency.