Digital Media is NOT a strategy

A recent Comscore article said

Today’s digital media environment is rapidly evolving, driven by the proliferation of devices people use to consume content both at home, at work and on the go. With smartphones, tablets and other connected devices, consumers have become digital omnivores.

There is no doubt that digital media is here to stay and that it has changed the landscape for brands that are trying to reach and own the consumer.  

But lest we get sucked into a singular focus on digital as we did into web marketing in the late 90s and into social media in the last decade, I’d like to remind you that none of these are strategies.  They are channels to reach the customer and should not the “be all” and “end all” of your strategy.

Although those companies that dominate the digital space and those that make a living doing research on these channels would like for us to believe that they have hit upon the Holy Grail, consumers are still multi-channel and contrary to popular belief, they do not buy everything online or via mobile.

Case in point, the hospitality industry.   TravelClick reported that in Q2 of 2011, 46% of bookings for the major hotel brands still came through the travel agent community and their call centers.  And while Internet (including mobile) bookings year over year were growing, 1.6% growth is hardly meteoric.  

Source:  TravelClick™

By putting the medium at the center of the equation, it is easy to forget that our strategic focus should actually be on the consumer and if we are smart, on driving business through the most profitable channels, not necessarily the hottest ones on the scene.

And yes, we do need to keep the web, social and digital in our strategic sights, but a knowledge of channel profitability and an integrated customer centric distribution strategy across all channels is what will lead to profitable growth.  
And where I sit, profitable growth IS the Holy Grail.
If you need help with development of an integrated customer-centric strategy, give us a call.
Stay tuned for more this week about developing a profitable, multi-channel distribution strategy.
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