Thursday, March 20, 2008

Who Are the Online Leaders?

Most of us would sadly agree that we’re not one of them. What may surprise you is who some of the leaders are. Here’s some of the headline news that has caught my eye lately:
•According to AdAge, GM plans to have half its $3 billion ad budget into digital and one-to-one marketing within the next three years. GM has been active in the digital space for years with its interactive website, blogs, new wiki and more. It intends to accelerate the move from offline to online media.
Unilever headed AdAge’s digital a-list for the year. Their campaigns included the various Dove “Real Beauty” programs and a series of webisodes for Suave. Degree deodorant sponsored webisodes for of the popular 24 television program; check out the website and click on the Absolute Protection tab. Unilever marketers are quick to point out that none of these campaigns are purely digital; they are masters of integrated communications using a variety of media.
•Some of the others on the a-list are the usual suspects among agencies and brands like Apple’s iPhone, Google, and ESPN. Others might come as more of a surprise: The NY Times online division and, if you’re not familiar with it, J&J’s baby center.
•Other online leaders like Toyota, American Express and Procter and Gamble are leading the way in the search for metrics that meet the needs of marketers in a digital world.

The corporate names I’m dropping here are not small, innovative start-ups. They are corporate giants and long-time leading advertisers. Clearly, marketers of all kinds are following their leads. Search marketing is a leader in the budget race, both because it works and because it’s easy to measure. An Ad Tech survey says that behavioral and rich media are getting even more budgetary attention. The recent SEMPO survey adds what we pretty much all know; the growth in interactive is coming at the expense of traditional media—print, TV and even direct mail.

In the last few days I’ve also read that another marketer said that digital is beyond experimentation. It is now part of the mainstream media mix, something I've been saying for awhile. There are still questions about how,when, how much and the best executions. But there should be no more questions about WHETHER!
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Anonymous said...

I have been reading your daily posts with great interest, and each day, reflecting on how I might best use the information shared to improve the marketing at the organization where I supervise the marketing effort. It's challenging though... and I wonder if you or other readers have any advice.

I work for one of the leading international organizations for people who are blind or visually impaired. In the last 15 years or so, many incredible devices have been invented which allow those who are blind to search the web, read email and participate in a digital world (e.g. screen readers like JAWS which read the text to the user).

However, the rich media and videos, including the web site you just pointed us to (Absolute Protection), cannot be utilized in a meaningful way by those who are blind. Obviously, audio clips work (music along with a spoken message). My question is, are there other online techniques that can be utilized to build awareness, create involvement and increase brand equity, which are also accessible for the blind and visually impaired?

MaryLou Roberts said...

The only thing I know of is encouraging writers to tag photos and videos so readers will at least pick up the alt tag. I hope others will have additional techniques and ideas!