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A familiar response

How many times have i experienced, or heard from peers, the same response to a marketing proposal: "I want a digital marketing campaign."?

A recent example was a classic case in point. I had a good hour long initial meeting with the prospective client at which I took the brief (not written!). I asked all the usual questions to ensure i accurately understood the brief including whether he had a view on traditional and digital activities. He said he was open-minded - music to my ears!

Anybody who reads my blogs will be familiar with my views on digital marketing: it is one part of the marketing mix and should be added to the pot for any marketing campaign and its suitability assessed against the brief alongside all the other marketing activities.

I went back to the prospective client with a proposal demonstrating rigorous analysis of the market and his company's position in the market. I set marketing objectives and developed a strategy to achieve those objectives. I then wrote a marketing plan describing the activities that best matched the strategy. Both traditional and digital activities were included.

After about two months the prospective client responded to the proposal saying he wanted to spend his marketing budget online. When I pointed out that my proposal included a digital campaign, he said he didn't want any of the traditional activities and he was going with a digital agency who, of course, only presented digital ideas.

I know digital alone will not work for this client but he, along with millions of others, is clearly obsessed by digital to the exclusion of rational marketing insight.

How long is it going take for digital to be seen for what it is: not the marketing holy grail but one part of the marketing mix?

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