Monday, June 21, 2010

Where the money goes

This year marketers will spend $25.2 billion online, nearly 15% of all marketing dollars.

That's an incredible amount of money for a medium that barely existed ten years ago. From websites to banner ads in context text links, social media campaigns, viral efforts and more, the promise of accountability and the ability to track consumer behavior and interaction with marketing campaigns has been the big lure. But is it really happening?

Sure we can track clicks, see who visited our websites, measure tweets, create e-coupons, etc. to get some understanding of peoples' behavior on the web, but good marketing has always been more than that.

It's about building preference, not just through functional benefits and price promotions. Great brands create memorable experiences with emotional benefits. They light a fire of desire in the hearts of consumers. If you're not doing that with your online communications, then how much long-term effect is it really having.

In the early 1900s, John Wannamaker the department store pioneer said, "Half the money I spend in advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don't know which half."

I'm not sure we've come very far in the 100 years since.

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