Is Paid the New Television & Broadcast Investment Haven
I was recently at the MarTech Conference in San Francisco and it was obviously a fascinating event that lasted two days of non-stop learning and collaboration, you can view more thoughts on the event on my last post “Marketing Technology Breaking the Technology Barrier”. Besides all the Technology Wisdom I got, my biggest take away was this one case study shared by Gerry Murray of IDC when he was speaking on “Leaps of Imagination: Creativity in a Data & Process Driven World“.
It was about General Mills (and of course I am Para-Phrasing to the best of my abilities here but it was the idea that was more compelling than the specifics) and their approach towards challenging the internal teams to think differently and creatively about Content, think more positively about driving higher ROI and stronger consumer engagement through their Owned & Earned assets and channels.
Instead of coming up with complex strategies and huge investment needs, they decided to experiment by laying down a couple of simple rules:
- Rule out the blind investment on Paid Media
- Deprive the team of the usual comfort of a bloated Media Budget
Regardless of how accurate these facts are, this concept highlights a growing pattern in the world of marketing and advertising:
- Is Paid Media becoming the new Television and Broadcast safe and at times unyielding bet, a safe haven and starting point for any planning strategy?
- On the flip side, are we really challenging ourselves to maximize the return on owned and earned by thinking smartly about content, data, consumer insights, reach and technology.
I will not be surprised if most of you agree that both A and B are true statements, it is a very simple human behavior. Doing B is clearly more challenging, requires more thinking, stronger collaboration, deeper connectivity across data, content, media and technology, requires more agile thinking and processes. It is clearly not a “flash in the pan” like a blanket investment into Paid Media is.
NOT UNDERMINING PAID – A wind of caution because I start getting hate emails and comments which has happened a few times J – I am not by any means suggesting that Paid Media is irrelevant or does not drive ROI or should be ignored. Lack of a paid media strategy ((Programmatic or Not) is often the cause for many online graveyards today.
But what I AM saying and challenging though is the over commitment towards Paid Media, the “default” approach towards paid channels often overshadows and leads to underwhelming strategies, effort and results across owned and earned which if and when used the right way for the right idea, can yield as big if not bigger results.
The solution isn’t to put the buck from one basket and put it in the other either. Rationalize the channels and the investment strategy based on the idea with no per-conceived notions.
The enforcement idea to strip your team off budget as a pilot, is a good “tactic” I thought to shake the status quo and challenge what is becoming the “new-traditional” thinking.