Different Dog, Same ol’ Bark

“You can be traditional in a non-traditional medium and as well, you can be non-traditional in a traditional medium.”

I heard this for the first time on the Six Pixels of Separation podcast.   Joseph Jaffe said it to Mitch Joel talking about what is currently taking place across all mediums.  I think that statement is very applicable for areas such as Saskatchewan, that have a much slower adoption rate for online technology and media.  Let me explain.

In Saskatchewan companies need to focus on bridging the gap between traditional and new media.  It would be ignorant not to be exploring what you could be doing online as well, to spend your entire budget on internet marketing.  If you can figure out how to be non-traditional in a traditional medium you already have a head start on the competition.  So how could you go about doing this?  Simple.

Begin by knowing that your customers have the most marketing influence in the World, give them the tools to spread your message.  Put your web-site on all printed material, if you’re on Twitter put your username on your business cards and e-mail signature.  Start producing content that your followers would want to consume be it video, pictures, audio, or a blog.  Put that content in one easy place for them to access.  Now finally they have a reason to go to your website.

Refine it.  Get better at it.  Keep improving.  In no time you’ll have a strong online presence that will pair nicely with your communication offline.

The other route that many companies are taking is the default, a traditional message in a non-traditional medium.  These campaigns standout because they just don’t seem to fit, they’re lame and their creators obviously don’t understand the medium.

Using Twitter as a one-way messaging service like a commercial.

Starting a Facebook group for no apparent reason.

Unsolicited mass e-mail marketing.

Anytime you interrupt me to put your message in front of me I probably won’t like it or remember it.  On the flip side, if you have a interesting and innovative way of telling me what you’re about or you start a conversation, I’ll probably listen, if I like what I hear I’ll support you and most likely try to influence others to do the same.

Just because you’re “online” doesn’t give you the right to dictate your message to me, all we hear is the same ol’ bark coming from a different dog.

What impression do you get when you see a company in a new medium using the same traditional messaging?

Thanks for reading! If you want to learn more about what you could be doing in the online world check out this post: 56 Uses of Social Media in Saskatchewan
1 reply
  1. Scott C
    Scott C says:

    Another thought provoking article Jeff. I have a story regarding the adoption of e-business.

    About eight years ago, a good friend of mine worked on SaskTel’s technical sales team designing IP Wide Area Networks (WAN’s to you geeks out there) for our largest customers. SaskTel’s customer base kept asking our sales team for an online method to place orders that had an audit trail and kept people informed from a central location. The sales team thought that using e-mail equated to e-business and rebuffed the system.

    The successful adoption was not driven by SaskTel. In fact, SaskTel was doing everything in their power to stop this innovative service from pressing forward. It was driven from customer demand and listening to the customer base to see what they wanted and how they would like to place their orders.

    By just saying we have a website and an e-mail address does not constitute an on line marketing strategy. Your article identifies the highest level requirement of a well planned e-marketing strategy that is driven from the bottom up, not top down.

    The bottom up approach MUST be taken. Customers need to know they are being listened to and cared about. By listening to how your clients wish to contact your organization via the internet, wireless services or a converged type platform, you open yourself up to the possibility of more sales and in the long run possibly securing a primary, proprietary means of supplying a customer. Going back to one of Porter’s Five Forces (see Competitive Advanatge by Michael Porter) that is part of the supplier power realm.

    Being first to market with an effective means of inter-business communication will help shore up relationships between businesses and customers.

    So how has the interface worked out at SaskTel. Well, it works pretty damn good. SaskTel has tried a number of times to remove that interface with much customer revolt; to the point where organizations threatened to take their business elsewhere. Every time we migrate a new customer to this platform, they all state they wish this had been around for a while. To me, this is a great example of using the web as a customer interface to drive further sales.

    There are times when I feel that social media flogs dead horses well after the carcass has decomposed, but with a strong, effective, memorable message is required in order to hit many portions of target markets. Remember, old people use social media too…:)

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