Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
June 19, 2010 7:45 PM

You Are Free To Try Everything

While figuring out a Digital Marketing strategy (or method to the madness) is all well and good, let's also not forget that we can try everything now.

If you wanted to test the waters and do some advertising (prior to the commercialization of the Internet), the barriers to make that happen were not only complex but expensive. Sure, you could do a minimal advertising campaign, but from strategy, ideation and creative to the media buy, tracking, etc... it simply wasn't a simple, cheap and easy task.

All of that has changed.

Usually, brands would advertise in media that provided relevant and timely content that fit the context of their brand story. Now, brands are (can and should be) publishers. They can create the timely and relevant content for next to nothing. Forget the fact that the "gatekeepers" (as Seth Godin calls them) are gone, we've come to the point where technology is actually pushing us to try new things. We're also at the point where technology is no longer one of those barriers. I'm currently in the middle of reading Clay Shirky's new book, Cognitive Surplus, and - like all of Shirky's writing (check out his business book best-seller, Here Comes Everybody) - it is jam-packed with gems like this:

"Access to cheap, flexible tools removes many of the barriers to trying new things. You don't need fancy computers to harness cognitive surplus; simple phones are enough. But one of the most important lessons is this: once you've figured out how to tap the surplus in a way that people care about, others can replicate your technique, over and over, around the world."

It may read as obvious to some, but the implications are truly staggering.

Most brands still face the whole analysis/paralysis syndrome when it comes to Digital Marketing and Social Media. There is so much choice and opportunity that they wind up doing nothing, little or struggle with whatever it is they're currently engaged in. We need to be trying more things and we need to stop getting hung up on the technology. Most of the tools to publish, market and advertise exist. They're cheap, easy and friendly to do. Brands no longer have to grapple with a complex content management system while trying to balance that with a sound search engine optimization strategy. In most instance, a WordPress and a strong theme can take you the distance. If you're looking to connect with a community, there are a multitude of places online to connect and share in whichever way you are most comfortable. It's an important thought that must always be at the front and the center.

Always remember: you are free to roam about the cabin.

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Eric Pratum
    Mitch Joel

    A lot of people think that, if their social media efforts do poorly, they will be seen as failures by the same number of people that saw their last TV commercial bomb or their billboard ad get torn up for being insensitive, too racy, or whatever else that might have made it not a success. What they need to understand is that a lot of online marketing efforts take time to ramp up. Unless you're Scott Stratten, your first blog post is not likely to get 10,000 page views no matter how good it is. So if it misses the mark a bit, you should have some time to tweak and iterate before you really gain any traction. Knowing that, why not do a little planning, start small, and see what happens.

    Reply
  • Posted by Sita Bhatt
    Sita Bhatt

    very motivating post! Also key to remember, that there are no free lunches :)
    The price to be paid for anything free is mostly in terms of value provided. It is extremely easy to work with a Wordpress blog and Twitter feed, as far as technology is concerned. But it takes a lot of focus and time to update both these interfaces. You don't want to be writing just about anything, so the value is based on time spent on these interfaces, which is also a premium. So, yes its free to try, but little less than free to maintain :)

    Reply
  • Posted by Ken Honeywell
    Mitch Joel

    I think one of the biggest roadblocks that keeps companies out of social media is the idea that they'll have to give up control of their messages. The need for control makes them wary. More marketers should understand that they already don't have control of what people are saying about them. They can join the conversation vigorously, or fall behind.

    Reply
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