Alan Mitchell’s call for marketers to rise to the challenge of the Internet should be taken very seriously (MW February 18).
It is absolutely true that the rapid development of the Net is pushing marketing paradigms. Many companies already appreciate this and are reaping the benefits. However, these early-adopters are typically forward-thinking in every aspect of their marketing operations.
For example, easyJet extended its reputation for innovation and “boundary-pushing” into its Website and led the way in online booking and online promotions. This not only makes good marketing sense and makes it easy for the consumer, but it also relieves the pressure on the call centre and thus reduces costs.
On its new site, Douwe Egberts is proving that the Web can work for packaged goods brands too.
Alan raises the issue of who will champion this process within the marketing function as the Net forces boundaries between disciplines to blur. As with other disciplines, brand owners will need to be able to rely on a good agency. It needs to be one which will be able to think creatively and strategically, think big and keep an open mind, while delivering the effectiveness needed for a brand to succeed in the most exciting and limitless medium of this century.
The World Wide Web will radically alter the way companies conduct business and, although it is still in its infancy, it is maturing rapidly and those who recognise the potential of the Net now will have a huge advantage when their competitors finally catch on.