A brand don’t come for free
There has been an underlying narrative in some corners of the marketing ecosystem that employment of digital tools is easy and cheap. Get some young folk in to play around with the socials and viral things will happen.
The assumed promise of digital – that it can offer reach at lower cost – is nonsense of course. Proper employment of digital tools and technology requires investment in people as well as media.
That is a reality recognised by Unilever, whose CEO Alan Jope this week said it was splitting investment between brand, digital programmes and “future-facing skills”.
He continued: “The balance between brand and marketing investment that we spend in traditional media behind our brands, versus the investment we have to make in people for a more manpower intensive marketing world where digital programmes take more resources, is larger.”
Digital isn’t cheap and requires upskilling. Proper marketing organisations like Unilever understand the value of training. My only counter is brands need to ensure that everyone has the requisite training in marketing before they move to digital capabilities. Having a generation of marketers versed in digital, but not marketing, is a shortcut to ineffectiveness.