Phil Lynagh is regional managing director at Tag: MENA
“This social media bubble needs to pop. I had a fascinating evening with a couple of young social media turks and it was blindingly obvious that although a growing number of marketers would entrust these two cutting-edge intellectuals with marketing their brand, their actual understanding of what a brand is and how it needs to create aspiration and get itself into a basket of choice was seriously lacking.
Although I remained completely intrigued with how many ways these young chaps could get a message to a mass market through the digital ether, I was equally astonished by a complete lack of why and what. Now, technology changes constantly, and anyone who doesn’t embrace the opportunities change can offer is a lunatic, but fundamentally the song remains the same. Unless you understand the core issues of product + personality = brand; therefore brand = differentiation, which then creates a reason to purchase, how can you possibly plan an effective campaign of any sorts, no matter which channels you elect to specialise in? Too often, the campaign jumps on the social media highway and heads off into the distance with little thought of desired destination, and what it should achieve on its journey.
Having voiced my opinion, I was smacked over the head with the usual Facebook numbers – one billion of this, one trillion of that. Impressive. But how would they ensure that the brand in question, when it gets onto my home page, talks to me, bearing in mind Facebook users seems to range from 8 months to 102 years old? They didn’t have an answer.
This blunderbuss approach of targeting a hugely disparate audience reminded me of something. Anyone old enough may recall that this type of cure-all, gung ho, mass-market, hit-and-hope gig used to be called brand advertising, something we’ve spent the past 15 years trying to move away from. It’s not well targeted and therefore a waste of money. Different media, same issues? We’ll see, but it can make traditional media sound New Age.”