Mi9's View
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Turning a medium into great

Turning a medium into a great

Recently there was a headline in an industry magazine that accidentally quoted me as saying "Digital is too hyped".

Accident or not, that bothered me a lot. Not because I work for a company that proudly and passionately believes in the power of digital. Not because I live in a country – China – that uses digital on a scale that is hard to comprehend. Not because ninemsn had kindly asked me to speak at their fantastic digital summit event. But because it was wrong.

While I’m no digital expert – I have been involved in it for 18 years and have seen it metamorphosize from ‘new media’ to ‘media’ to ‘a part of life’ and I have been very vocal about how pervasive, persuasive and powerful it can be.

Hell, it’s infiltrated our lives to such a degree that it is the only medium that can continuously get around the ‘personal firewalls’ we have in our minds to filter out all the unwanted messages and noise that surround us.

That’s power and influence.

That’s wonder and amazement.

The issue I have – and the single word that was missing from my quote that would have made everything alright – is 'BAD' digital is too hyped.

The stuff that doesn’t reflect the audience.

The stuff that doesn’t add value to people’s lives or clients commercial objectives.

The stuff that's done for the ego of the client rather than the meaning of the audience or the brand.

The stuff that is trying to brainwash rather than engage, delight, inspire, motivate and empower the audience.

The stuff that feels like it was done with the same approach as banner ads in the mid-90's.

The stuff that's been done by people who think as long as its on digital, it's alright.

The stuff that thinks good digital marketing is different to good marketing.

The stuff that confuses quantifiable with effective.

You see good digital needs work.

It needs meaning and understanding … meaning and understanding of people that goes beyond just their digital and social media habits.

In my mind, some people get too focused on the next big thing and forget that it has to do something that adds value and meaning to the audience and the brand.

Don't get me wrong, technology is an amazing thing, but in marketing terms, it's not what it is, it's what people can do because of it.

There are countless examples of brands that get it right … commercially sound, creative digital ideas … but sadly there's also a number of hyped up stunts, whose goal appears to have been to attract some PR for what has been made rather than what has been achieved.

Digital is still a relatively young medium and yet it's already infiltrated many people and cultures lives - and while I question how some people approach it, there’s a ridiculous amount of stuff that gives a glimpse of what it is and what it can be – and that should be hugely exciting for all of us which is why I believe it it so important to always approach digital with the highest of standards and meaning, because if we screw it up, we're only screwing ourselves.

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