Technology and Branding
The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.
As a child of the 80s, I was fortunate to grow up during the evolution of the cell phone, the home computer, and the Internet. In the early days, cell phones were carried in bags, computers were slow and bulky, and to get online you had to sometimes wait 20 minutes for your modem to kick in. Today we live in a world that I could not have imagined when I was in college. Although I am still waiting for my rocket jet pack and personal robot to clean my house, I am constantly amazed by how technology has continued to not only changed our lives, but also change how we do business.
When it comes to advertising, technology has been both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it has increased productivity, improved analytics, and created new media opportunities. On the other hand, technology has increased productivity, improved analytics, and created new media opportunities. Like I said, a blessing and curse.
Increased productivity, for example, sounds great until ad campaigns all begin to look exactly the same. This is a direct result of pre-designed templates, the lack of time needed for research, and pressure to develop strong ideas with expectations of unrealistic turnaround times. I was taught early on in college (thank you Dutch Kepler) that through quantity comes quality. When you don’t have time to work through the expected, it is rare that you will come up with the extraordinary.
Improved analytics can also be an Achilles heel for many businesses when they choose to live by numbers alone ignoring the emotional connections needed to build better brands. Don’t get me wrong, having this type of information is incredibly useful and important, but numbers alone don’t always tell the whole story. Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper allowing your target audience to help define the messaging that will motivate and inspire them to action.
New media opportunities would also seem like a huge advantage at first glance, until of course you have to decide which ones are best for your target audience as well as your budget. Between the multitude of traditional media, social media, and online media channels, it can be a daunting task to say the least.
Some media outlets push the fact that they are reaching more of your target audience, but in reality their ROI may be significantly lower when other more effective vehicles are taken into consideration. In the end the choice of which media channels are best for your product or service should be based on the habits of our target audience, frequency, and bargain cost per point. Having this knowledge allows you to make better choices rather than settling on a “spin the wheel” marketing philosophy.
Technology has changed how we do most things in life, including how we market and advertise. They key is to never let technology be the only driving force in your marketing decisions. Instead, allow time for good ideas, use analytics for measuring, not to direct your creative, and listen to your audience to select which media channels are best for them.
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