Friday, February 17, 2006

Consuming thoughts (Pam)

As you might imagine, I get lots of calls from suppliers who think they can solve all of WWF's problems.

Just got off the phone with a fella who does "word-of-mouth" marketing.

Here's the situation for WWF. We don't have a lot of money. (The bean counters at FCB have recently figured this out. Ahem.) So everything we do has to be smart, really smart. What that has meant for me in recent weeks, as I begin planning for our next fiscal year (which begins in July), is that I'm reconsidering every single channel we use.

Direct mail. DRTV. Advertising. Internet.

What are we doing and why? What's missing? What's on the decline? What's new out there that we need to investigate?

The sky has been falling on traditional marketing channels for a long time. Or so we've been told. (And have experienced in some cases.)

In a previous post, I talked briefly about these new/newish marketing channels called "viral," "experiential," "buzz," "word-of-mouth". Lots of hype. Lots of interesting little one-off case studies. But once you scratch the surface, you find, well, just some more surface.

This "new marketing" growth industry suffers from too much Anna Nicole Smith, not enough Einstein.

Yet, I remain intrigued. I feel that if I dismiss it, I do so at my peril. Seems to me, just intuitively, that there's something there. There has to be, right? Right?

Here's a scary thought. What if it's all bullshit? What if technology and how consumers use that technology eradicate our ability to get our message to our people?

(ponder....ponder....ponder)

Nah, can't happen. Just because the consumer is in control, doesn't mean they don't want to hear from us. I read Star Magazine. I read The Enquirer. Consumerism is alive and well. Consumers are called consumers because they consume stuff that we give them to consume. They're never going to stop. They'll just do it differently.

So those who figure out this "new marketing" will be the winners.

I think I'll give it a go and just hope for a little Einstein along the way.

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