Recently I have been writing a lot about a profound question that was asked by Jim McDowell, the head of the Mini division of BMW. His question was:
"why do we start from a position of assuming that traditional media must be the core of a marketing plan, and that non-traditional elements can be added in only after clearing some threshold of justification?"
If you read the questions a few times it will become clear that this is not simply a question about what comes first rather he is questioning the entire advertising industry as it is today.
Traditionally you have your big agencies using smaller firms and even smaller firms and then even using freelancers to handle what until now was considered the minor part of the campiegn, the "web".
For years I have been having to justify the web to many clients and how its importance to advertising is basically biblical. I would get questions from old timers asking "is the web here to stay?" or "it a passing trend" to "no one really pays attention to those annoying ads anyway"... on and on and on...
Guess what folks, not only is the web here to stay, and not only is internet advertising extremely effective but it has now surpassed television as the pipeline into our minds. More and more people are watching television on the web, downloading movies, and looking for fresh and entertaining content rather than another Seinfeld rerun. YouTube, Google video and similar sites have become serious competition to the same old syndicated crap on TNT or TBS, im talking 12 - 15 million viewers. Even sports has become a popular web content viewed on screen along with its many statistics and interactive components, watching sports on the web will become something more and more common. Look at this years College Basketball tournament.
So when you examine Jim's question you have to really appreciate what he is asking. Why start with traditional means of advertising, print or TV? Why not start where it is most effective and then base your print and television ads on the interactive content and viral aspect of your web initiative?
Genious! Finally the power is starting to shift and us "web people" now have the ball in our court.