Barriers to Embracing Digital Starting to Wear Thin
The annual World Federation of Advertisers Global Marketer Week (#gmw2013) kicked off in earnest in Brussels yesterday. The highlight of the first afternoon was the presentation of the CMO World Tour by Frederic Colas (@fredcolas), Chief Strategic Officer of the Fullsix
In 2012, Fred took time out from a hectic marketing career to travel the world with his family, and during this time he interviewed and filmed world-leading CMOs about their personal use of social and digital media, how new media have changed their view of marketing, and how this has impacted upon their jobs. With the backing of Facebook, Colas has produced a low-budget, high-quality content snapshot of contemporary CMO opinion of the most talked about and misunderstood aspect of modern marketing.
Some consensus views emerging from Fred's research include:
- Social media makes the requirement for products to stand up to quality scrutiny - or else they'll go down in flames under peer review (Keith Weed, Unilever)
- Brand custodians ignore consumer influence at their peril. Those who succeed are harnessing the power of independent endorsement and commentary by actively letting go. Trying to control everything just leads to a loss of relationship and trust (Chris Burggraeve, AB InBev)
- CMOs have unanimously adopted digital as an owned and paid source of influence, but not necessarily in the earned media space. Many think it's just too risky to give up that much control
- Campaigns that win are those with B.I.T.E. - Built In Talkability and Engagingness (Vipul Chawla at Yum! Restaurants)
But in a spread that continually seems to beggar the rules of the normal distribution, most companies claim that they are actually lagging behind the drive to digital. The barriers Fred identified to more effective adoption of digital communications include:
- Risk aversion and fear
- Lack of knowledge
- Structure - both clients and agencies are not structured to follow and capitalise on engagement, communities and reaction. They're stuck in silos that actively block progress
- The lost generation of 30-something marketers controlling budgets who are neither digital natives nor being dragged by their bootstraps into the digital age by their tweenage and teenage children
- Client and agency processes moving too slowly to adapt to the speed of the outside world
But these barriers, reasons and excuses are starting to wear thin, particularly as many brands are starting to make real progress and deliver genuine, measureable ROI through digital.
|Titbit of the day: we learned that more people are connected to mobiles than to running water in India - one of those killer stats you want to repeat until mobile marketing properly takes off.|
Ebiquity is the Effectiveness Partner of the WFA and sponsor of the WFA's 60th anniversary dinner on Wednesday 6 March 2013 in Brussels.