Internet user experience expert Joe Arcuri helps cut through the confusion when it comes to...
The Integrated Advantage
Indeed, Internet ad spending is now routinely about 15 percent of a major marketer’s budget, and for smaller advertisers, it can be as high as half their paid media activity.14 The California Milk Processor Board, for example, spent 60 percent of its ad budget on TV in 2006. Today, that’s down to about 35 percent—and not coincidentally, the milk marketer rolled out its extensive faux rock band campaign, White Gold, on MySpace, not television.15
Digital communications force marketers to diversify their mix, but it also allows them to reach the consumer at many different touch points. Almost every network or cable TV buy, for example, now includes some sort of digital component—online, mobile, social media. (Episodes of hits like “The Office” streamed online frequently draw audiences of 1 million or more.)16
Unilever, in fact, is considered a benchmark for how digital communications is used. In 2008, it parlayed the success of its “Campaign for Real Beauty,” in which real women, not models, starred, by launching a social network called Dove.msn.com for women that offered entertainment content, blogs and advice. And its “In the Motherhood” web series for Suave was picked up by ABC (although its network life was short and spanned less than a season).
The future promises even more innovation. Emerging tools include augmented reality, in which information appears over video, often on mobile screens; hybrid online communities, the social media/virtual world combination start-ups that were attracting the bulk of technology venture capital before the recession hit; and sensor technology, which allows for real-time exchange of information such as traffic conditions or directions.
There’s plenty of room to improve the current digital tools, too. And going forward, a popular mantra in today’s communications efforts may prove to be the ultimate ingredient in any successful digital effort: content is king.
“Technology is a great facilitator, but it’s still about the work,” concludes digital marketing pioneer Wenda Harris Millard, former chief sales officer for Yahoo!, co-CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, and now president of media consultancy Media Link. “The answer is not an algorithm.”