Why The Entertainment Factor of Digital Marketing Matters More Than Ever

We all know the jibes that go back and forth among different camps in the marketing world… “Brand advertising is dead–experience drives brands today.” “TV is not dead, it’s still the single fastest mass awareness medium no matter what the Twitterverse believes.” “Digital may be measurable, but all that means is now coupons live online–whoopee.”

But like all sarcasm, each insult contains a grain of truth, even if it’s ridiculously exaggerated.

When it comes to digital efforts, you must start by realizing that anyone online is only ever two clicks away from sports, gossip. comedy, prOn–the endless parade of distraction that makes up the world wide web. You must be relentlessly self-interested, but the self in question here is their self not yours.  Or your brand’s.

Dennis Ryan, Olson, AdvertisingAnd worse, you also must realize that you’re vying for attention amidst a Niagara-esque deluge of digital information that anyone even remotely plugged in deals with these days.  Our computers, our phones, our iPads–every platform presents endlessly renewed tsunamis of information and distraction. Which makes even something as light as Facebook both a joy and a chore.

But that’s anecdotal research. Now some smart people, the kind who probably wear lab coats, have actually done studies on the subject. Not surprisingly, their results match how most of us feel: we can’t quite keep up.

Of the people polled by Magnify.net for their April Digital Lifestyle survey (download it here), almost half admitted to being connected to the web  “from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to bed.”  Oh man…  Worse, nearly three-quarters of them called their data stream “a roaring river”, “a flood”, or “a massive tidal wave.”

This access is literally changing human behavior. Over three quarters of us regularly respond to emails on nights and weekends, half of us never turn our cell phones off, and perhaps worst of all, 40% ignore family and friends with over 35% answering work emails while with our kids.

And technology will only increase that data stream.

So the real hard question to ask is this:  is your idea worthwhile enough so it can pull people away from their friends and kids without making them resent you?

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By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Olson

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