The digital marketing mindset: the DM brief and why digital marketing will get more expensive

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The right digital marketing mindset is an elusive concept in a world of short-term results.  As companies continue to pour resources into their digital marketing efforts, the pressure is heightening on marketers and agencies to perform.  Briefs — even if they are supposedly tailored to the digital marketing universe — remain strictly amateur for the large part.  The declared objectives in these briefs reflect the digital marketing mindset of the brand/organization.  More and more brands have integrated the notion of digital into the marketing mix.  However, all too often, in the brief alone, one will uncover a painfully mistaken conception of digital marketing.

Where people err in digital marketing mindset

Brain digital marketing mindset, The Myndset brand strategy

With this increasing pressure to perform, the Pavlovian tendency is to look for eyeballs (or “reach”).  The search for quantity blinds us.  The real problem?  Pretty much everyone is playing the same game.  The chase for numbers — the inevitable short cut in the traditional marketing mindset — is centered around the urge to build traffic, increase the number of fans and/or spawn more views.  Demand flowing into Google, Facebook and Twitter — among others, of course — is driving inexorably higher.  The issue is that the supply — the famed eyeballs — is limited (even if the world’s population continues to increase!).  The result is right out of good old fashioned microeconomics: higher prices.  I like to describe the error in the traditional marketing mindset as a need to communicate to an audience as opposed to converse with an audience.  {Tweet this}  And, for the most part, as agencies don’t make enough money in that model, they don’t want to encourage their clients (brands) to take the right path.  Certainly, in part, it is also because the brand in front of them isn’t wired or mobilized correctly, either.  The bottom line is that, to the extent brands want the “easy” short-cut, they had better be prepared to pay more every year (at least for the foreseeable future) to get the same or less.  This is just the logical extension of publicly traded companies — such as Google and Facebook — needing to maximum their potential.

The flawed digital marketing mindset

There are several major flaws in the digital marketing mindsets that one can observe in business:

  • The corporate de facto belief is profit first
  • The short term results and customer acquisition are put ahead of the long-term results and customer loyalty {Click here to Tweet}
  • Digital marketing is viewed as the next shiny object (the boss wants to make it as important as was stated in his/her speech to shareholders)
  • Digital marketing is considered as a separate entity (for example: internally there is the digital marketing person as well as the “traditional” marketing person)
  • Digital is limited to marketing as opposed to be considered as part of a bigger eco-system for the company and the services it provides (sales tool, studies and research, research & development, retail experience…)
  • The customer experience is subjugated to other phenomena (budget, technological constraints, political posturing…)
  • The internal company culture doesn’t accept mistakes or failure (aka does the boss actually have a sense of humor?) {Click to Tweet this out!}
  • The internal culture is bound by procedures and a decision-making chain that is a far cry from the “real time” response desired by the client
  • The boss doesn’t tweet (or really understand the social media conversation); aka he/she doesn’t walk the talk
  • The internal corporate culture is not truly “social” (i.e. has an intranet that is moribund or full of corporate platitudes…)
  • The IT team is overwrought fire-fighting as opposed to being integrated upstream with a strategic dimension
  • Customer service is still considered a foreign entity in the marketing department (or worse yet, it is outsourced)
  • The people working in HR are not digital
  • Do the employees believe in your product deep down?

This is not a definitive list, and I would be happy to read your comments!  What are other flaws that I miss out here.  For how many of these do you nod and say: that happens in my company!

Then the big question: what are you doing about it to change?  I look forward to your thoughts.

10 Comments, RSS

  1. martin husar

    You've highlighted a number of great points, Minter. What stands out for me is when you refer to "the increasing pressure to look for 'eyeballs' (or reach)" … Building an effective brand ecosystem ("doing the right thing") should involve the whole customer lifecycle, from Awareness to Advocacy. And this means "doing" in the other layers of one's Brand Ecosystem beyond reach (ie. depth and egnagement).Forrester does a good job of codifying this, and it's one model I use to try and shift the marketing mindset.
     
    Contrary to "the corporate defacto belief", sales and profit will always be a result but never a successful reason for doing; consumers will never buy anything simply because they want a corporation to make money. And one needs this true reason, or 'WHY', that drives the Brand and everything it does in order to successfully "do" in reach, depth and engagement. The corporate defacto belief and follow-through should in fact be 'WHY?'; otherwise, all we're left with is passion-less, number-tracking mediocrity as an organization.
     
    Keep up the great posts, Minter!

  2. martin husar

    You've highlighted a number of great points, Minter. What stands out for me is when you refer to "the increasing pressure to look for 'eyeballs' (or reach)" … Building an effective brand ecosystem ("doing the right thing") should involve the whole customer lifecycle, from Awareness to Advocacy. And this means "doing" in the other layers of one's Brand Ecosystem beyond reach (ie. depth and egnagement).Forrester does a good job of codifying this, and it's one model I use to try and shift the marketing mindset.
     
    Contrary to "the corporate defacto belief", sales and profit will always be a result but never a successful reason for doing; consumers will never buy anything simply because they want a corporation to make money. And one needs this true reason, or 'WHY', that drives the Brand and everything it does in order to successfully "do" in reach, depth and engagement. The corporate defacto belief and follow-through should in fact be 'WHY?'; otherwise, all we're left with is passion-less, number-tracking mediocrity as an organization.
     
    Keep up the great posts, Minter!

  3. @Martin, Great way to position it: sales and profit are never a successful reason for doing business! All over finding the reason "why"!

    Yes, getting the brand "out there" means enrolling all the layers of the organization. Even the finance department should understand the levers and values of the brand in order better to decide on where to cut costs!

    Thanks for the comment and for the support!

  4. @Martin, Great way to position it: sales and profit are never a successful reason for doing business! All over finding the reason "why"!

    Yes, getting the brand "out there" means enrolling all the layers of the organization. Even the finance department should understand the levers and values of the brand in order better to decide on where to cut costs!

    Thanks for the comment and for the support!

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