Monday, March 18, 2013

Geico gets it

I spend a fair amount of time – maybe too much – pointing out the inane, misguided attraction some marketers have to shiny new things and the ridiculous language they use to justify their infatuation.

Not today.

Because today I want to share an interview with you from a marketer who has thrived in the brave new worlds of interactive and social media without adding to the froth and blather.

Ted Ward is the CMO of Geico Insurance and a very smart marketer.

How do I know he's smart? Well, first of all, he agrees with me.

Actually, this interview in Advertising Age is one of the best examples I've read from someone who understands that the tools of new media are just that, new tools, and do not change the fundamental principles of marketing. This quotation really stood out to me.
There is a reason it is called social media and not business media. There is much less control over the inputs and outputs, and the metrics of success are not as closely tied to direct business results.
It's not that Geico doesn't use social media. It's not that they aren't heavily invested in online marketing. It's just that Mr. Ward and his team know that online and social media all part of a mix and without data proving the efficacy of their activities, all the buzz in the world doesn't matter; an attitude sorely missing in many marketing departments these days.


  1. So where do we turn now? Back to newspapers? Should we invest in radio? Press releases and hope? What I'd social is all a meager budget allows?

    1. Phil, it's not that social isn't a viable marketing tool, it's just that it isn't the television killer some 'experts' said it would be. For a single unit retailer like you, a blend of social, pr, sponsorships, events and good old fashioned direct mail should do the trick.