May 18, 2015

Take The Refrigerator Test


Despite all the yapping by marketing experts about the amazing power of online advertising, it has been my impression that, overall, digital advertising has been a weak force.

Yes, there have been some notable exceptions. Google has certainly replaced the yellow pages as the place people go when they are actively looking to buy something. Facebook can certainly make it easier for you to find left-handed plumbers who drink chocolate milk. And every now and then there's a big one-off social media success.

But if you believe, as I do, that the highest ambition of advertising is to build a successful brand, you have to wonder about the past twenty years. Where are the big non-web-native brands that have been built by online advertising?

Twenty years into their lives as mainstream media, tv, radio, print and billboards -- what we now call traditional media -- had built thousands of successful consumer brands in hundreds of categories (made-up number alert.)

People often ask me how I can maintain such an obviously unfashionable opinion about digital advertising? I tell them this: The proof is in your refrigerator.

Open your refrigerator and take everything out. Take out the juices, and beers, and jams, and cheeses, and snacks, and yogurt, and meats, and peanut butter, and mayonnaise, and...

Then make two piles. In one pile put all the brands that were built with traditional advertising. In the second pile put all the brands that were built by online advertising.

I think you will find that you have one pile.

By the way, if you are the guy who was going to write a comment that said, "Oh yeah, well you know everything we buy doesn't go in the refrigerator," don't bother. You can do the same test in your cupboard, your garage, your medicine cabinet, your closet and your desk and you'll come up with the same result.




68 comments:

John Douglas said...

I have a small online pile. It's a book by some bloke called Bob Hoffman.

James said...

You would get the same result because these are product categories that far predate the birth of digital advertising. I mean, can't you see the bias in the question "Where are the big non-web-native brands that have been built by online advertising?"? Where are the big web-native brands that have been built by offline advertising? You keep making those observations about how weak digital advertising is compared to non-digital, but you never mention trends. It doesn't matter if digital is 2% of non-digital if it's growing 10% per year.

LeShann said...

Bob, I think you're taking the wrong end of the stick on that one because you put a narrow definition on digital.

The fridge test doesn't work as traditional vs digital. Advertising can work, online or offline, and today you can launch a brand using digital advertising. Xiaomi or GoPro are good examples of brands built using digital only. I think we'll soon see a car brand do the same (Tesla?). Cosmetics and fashion are other areas where digital is increasingly enough to launch and build brands to a decent size. And as digital increases its reach, it will provide more and more examples of brands that do so, because at the heart of a medium's performance is its ability to reach people. This is also why digital only is not enough past a certain size, because it's limited in reach. So your Cokes of the world will still need to use a mix of media.

I think the real fridge test is whether you have interacted/engaged/built a relationship with these brands in order to buy them, or whether you have known them through good old advertising/availability in stores, online and/or offline.

richard huntington said...

To clarify your defintion of real brands - 'big non-web-native brands that aren't absolutely free to acquire and use'

Jim said...

Yes but if digital was so powerful couldn't mayo, toothpaste, cars, corned beef and crisps now rely on digital solely?


Or couldn't a manufacturer come along and stick it to 'em with some powerful social media (see pepsi refresh that Bob bangs on about like a kid wanting an ice cream on a hot day) and digital marketing campaign,

Some products don't do much re advertising at all they just have shelf space and people buy them in shops. Remember shop that were all going to be closed down and we'd get everything except haircuts on-line? A street full of beauty treatments, restaurants and tattoo parlours it's like a dream come true. I assume I could notice a go pro in a shop?A surf shop maybe? Or a bike shop?

There is plenty in my fridge that hasn't even ever been advertised including own brands cheese, celery sticks (how did they get in there) carrots, potatoes, milk, chutney (must have been a gift), french mustard (posh wife) and home-made pickle onions. Of course there is some Heinz in there, Danepak and a packet of cheesy strings (kids aye).

If something is at 2% and growing at 10% it will take 7 years to double, so in 7 years will become 4%...humm (insert ceteris paribus stuff here)



The problem with technology is that it is not as amazing as it needs to be at the moment. Technology needs to alter production more than consumption. And as it does historically prices drop, consumers like that as does competition.


Marketers just talk in the main about how things are bought and how digital can push a message around - cheaply. But the biggest waste areas is in production not consumption. The biggest areas of gain for a consumer is in how stuff is made not marketed, historically change came from mass-prodution techniques canning food, improved transportation and refrigeration, robotic manufacturing...

Samuel Scott - @samueljscott said...

Bob, I certainly agree with you, but I'd just add a small caveat.

What some call "outbound marketing" today -- traditional advertising, PR and publicity, and so on -- is great at generating demand ("building a brand"). What some call "inbound marketing" today -- getting found in Google search results, and so on -- is great at fulfilling demand (getting people who now want your product to find you and make a purchase).*

So, yes, if your metric of success is demand generation, then traditional advertising and other methods will certainly win. But demand generation is only half of the story. You've also got to fulfill the demand.

* Credit to Bob for the generation/fulfillment analogy, which he originally used, I think, in the context of Google vs. Facebook.

Samuel Scott - @samueljscott said...

Bob, there are several brands that have been built online: Moz, Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, Hubspot, Amazon Web Services, Search Marketing Expo.


But I'll admit that it's a small pile comprised of Internet-based products and services for people who work on or in the Internet.

Samuel Scott - @samueljscott said...

I disagree with your implication. Real brands can be used freely. In fact, the competition is fiercer when a niche (such as digital marketing) contains a lot of free products because it's very easy for anyone to change tools.


Plus, we have the whole "freemium model" today that didn't exist years ago.

Cecil B. DeMille said...

I'm going to take a stab at this just to play devil's advocate, and that probably means I'm doomed to failure. You make the call! Think about the new brands that have been created in any year AG (After Google, since we need a baseline). Google was founded in 98, so let's round up to 2000. Let's also throw out any brand aimed at older generations.


The one that springs instantly to mind – a new mass-market youth-targeted brand – is Scion (launched in 2002). I was *grumble grumble* years old when it launched. Not old, but not 18-24. I was also a very early adopter of the web. And I saw very few Scion ads despite being what is universally labeled a "car guy." They were ALL OVER television.


What are your thoughts on this? If web is so cheap, successful, and capable, why wasn't it a foundational force? I know it's a one-off example fraught with pitfalls, but I'm hoping it won't be, "That's when the web was young so it doesn't count." (I've had this discussion before.) There are probably better examples. Just hoping for discussion.

Stom said...

Yet I cannot remember one single piece of "digital" advertising from GoPro. I know about them, though. How? Word of mouth (or keyboard, in this case).

Which is simply a traditional form of advertising on a digital playground...

Which brings us to the nub of the argument (for me, at least). Looking at something in terms of digital or traditional doesn't work. We know banner ads don't really work, yet getting your product talked about all over FB, twitter and YouTube does.

It's all the same principle. It's just that people are talking about your product online, not in the pub.

Kyle Rohde said...

GoPro is digital only?? Yet, if you asked about ads for that brand, every consumer who remembers one of their ads at all would remember one of their "POV" TV spots that they've been running for years.

cb said...

By "big web-native brands that have been built by offline advertising," you mean brands like ebay, Hulu, Skype, Facebook, Airbnb, Kayak, Travelocity, Bing...?

Joulian De Souyza said...

Like SEO's claim that we wouldn't need links to identify quality, the same happen to digital marketing, they say we will not need anymore POV tv or word of mouth....

Yes, if we compare online with offline, is like comparing the sea with your backyard pool.

Samuel Scott - @samueljscott said...

Actually, a lot of digital marketing is word-of-mouth. It's just that word of mouth can spread on social media or Yelp in addition to the telephone.

I prefer to say that there's no such thing as "digital marketing." It's still just "marketing" but via a new set of communications channels called the Internet (and those channels may or may not work in a given context, situation, or client).

tkrockerz said...

To all those digerati...what about the proliferation of Facebook, YouTube and Google ads now appearing on TV? If these digital masterpieces were, well, masterpieces, why would they ever have to use "traditional" media?
Well done, Bob!

Jeffrey Summers said...

I think the 1st sentence says it all.

Mark K. said...

Almost all the books I've purchased in the last decade have been because of Amazon—their users' reviews and their recommendation and search engines—including your book. You could argue that this isn't "digital advertising," and you'd probably win, but they're marketing tactics that could have only existed in the digital age.

And although I agree with almost all your points about digital marketing and brand building, it's just so hard to tease things apart these days. I don't listen to radio and I only watch Netflix, so I don't see TV ads, and yet I'm a machine of consumerism—and I see the bulk of that stemming from digital media. It just doesn't look the same as traditional media tactics because…well, why would it?

Joulian De Souyza said...

Whatever they say, Marketing is always as it was in 60s and up till now, the same thing, they just put buzz words to name tools, instead of focusing on the process of marketing a product.

The most robust kind of marketing is word of mouth of course.

The Truth said...

Nearly everything in my fridge does from Amazon.com. Same for my cupboard. I'm currently eating gourmet popcorn bought on Amazon and sipping a cab from wine.com.


Ask Warby Parker how many pairs of glasses they're selling online.


Ask Dollar Shave Club's 200,000 members why they don't buy razor blades at stores anymore.


Ask wineries with large wine clubs how much more business they do for out-of-state customers than before.


GNC does more business through GNC.com and LuckyVitamin.com than all its 3000+ stores combined.


ESPN.com revenue is $3.3 billion.


Staples just did $22 billion in revenue - almost $11 billion of it online. Brick and mortar stores now have lower sales every quarter while online is the only segment of their entire business gaining strength every quarter.


30% of Targets store visits are to pick up an item ordered online.


Open your eyes. It's so simple to disprove your thesis with just a bit of searching.

The Truth said...

Um... because they're smart. Only a fool would discount and entire medium.

LeShann said...

I don't disagree but 2 notes:
1/ Stating banners don't work is wrong. It's not my favourite media format by any stretch of the imagination, but I've seen enough campaigns where they can work. It all depends on the creative you use, the objective you have and so on. For one of the largest advertisers in China we were able to demonstrate that banners were more effective (and efficient) than search to deliver quality traffic, which was highly counter intuitive to us before we explored us. There is a lot of shit banner work / planning, but they can play a role - when they are seen by a human being that is, but that's another (important) discussion.
2/ Beware of using advertising recall as a evidence. Advertising works in ways that might not always be obvious to you, or that we are very poor at noticing.

Mark said...

ESPN, which launched in 1979, has built its brand entirely online? Fascinating.

While you make good points with Warby Parker & Dollar Shave Club, you didn't disprove the thesis because you clearly didn't understand it.

The Truth said...

Read the premise again: "Where are the big non-web-native brands that have been built by online advertising?"



ESPN's brand has been SIGNIFICANTLY enhanced due to their online marketing. Millions participate in their online Final Four games. Hundreds of millions interact with this offline brand primarily through their online marketing. Their most-popular sportswriter (Bill Simmons) comes from their online property. This offline brand builds itself to the tune of $3.3 billion every year thanks to online.

The Truth said...

http://thenextweb.com/entrepreneur/2014/10/29/4-brands-built-empires-without-traditional-advertising/

The Truth said...

Stanford has proven you're wrong: http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/wesley-r-hartmann-where-build-better-brand-television-or-internet

"If you are evaluating brand advertising and have a preconceived notion that television is better, you need to rethink that."

Mark said...

Again, you are confusing social media followers and sales with the actual building of the brand and its following.



Krispy Kreme? A brand founded in the 1930's? Pretty sure they were humming along just fine before they got all of those FB followers. Where do you think those five million FB followers came from? They just saw an ad online for KK and decided to follow them? No, they had been eating Krispy Kreme since they were kids.



GoPro? I see TV spots for them all of the time and have for years. I see point of sale displays for them everywhere I go. They were not built solely with web advertising.



You are missing the point on all of this and you might want to consider changing your screen name.

The Truth said...

GoPro has 1110 brand videos on its YouTube channel. How many tv ads have they run?

No brand is built on a single medium - not even TV. But many are built primarily through digital.

The Truth said...

And if digital branding didn't work, brands like Krispy Kreme would be dying, not growing.

The Truth said...

GoPro has 1110 YouTube videos with millions upon millions of views. If you can't remember a digital ad from them, you're in the minority.

ChrisPollard77 said...

But when did a Google search become the same as paid digital advertising? A consumer actively seeking a product via their online presence has NOTHING to do with a consumer following a digital ad (that perhaps actually made it through the litany of ad blocking software actively in use today) - which is what digital advertising is.


A business website is not digital advertising. Today, it's as essential as having a phone line or a mailing address. But don't confuse someone hitting search results with digital advertising success (unless they click one of the paid ads at the top of the search results and go somewhere they had no intention of going).


On the flip side, demand fulfillment means nothing if there was no demand in the first place - at which point, go back to your point about demand generation. :)

Guest said...

ROFLMAO
are you saying they're using TV to get more reach?

The Truth said...

No. I'm saying there are a million ways to reach your target. And it's different for every client depending on their target. So only a fool would issue some ridiculous blanket statement like "digital doesn't build brands" since it clearly has for various brands.

Guest said...

but it's true. digital is for support. always was, always will be. it's not a core brand-building tool. even more, most of the time it's a ludicrous attempt to save money by not using more EFFECTIVE media.
I bet you anything that all of the brands that you give as an example (and I haven't heard of) would love to make a Superbowl spot, but don't have the money to.

The Truth said...

Tell GoPro digital is for support. Tell Amazon. Tell a million web-based companies. Tell almost any B2B company.


TV is only good if you have a very broad audience and a big budget.


The fact that you think digital can't be effective only shows your limited imagination and overall lack of knowledge.

Guest said...

"Cosmetics and fashion are other areas where digital is increasingly enough to launch and build brands to a decent size."

no, they're not. they're all about distribution and availability. digital aspect is virually (pun intended) meaningless.

Guest said...

1. so that's why Amazon ran TV ads 10 years ago?
2. a company is not a brand. never was, never will be.
3. B2B don't rely on digital (it's H2H, stupid). but they use it as support. and support only.
they primarly use TV (in Amazon case) and H2H (in B2B case) cause they're more EFFECTIVE and use digital merely for support.

I know it's hard to understand for most people, but it's true.
unless you're onedimensional like yourself. in this case you're of no use.

The Truth said...

Yawn. You're starting to rival Bob for the King of Strawmen.


You're really going to cite a 10-year-old TV buy as proof that Amazon built their brand on offline advertising? THAT'S funny!


A company can be a brand. Netflix: company or brand? You tell me.


H2H? You're getting paid by the buzzword, right?


B2B absolutely relies on digital. I have multiple B2B clients and none do offline advertising other than maybe a trade show booth here and there. They build their brands through a website, online video/content and email.


And the you throw out "one dimensional." I'm not sure you understand that word. "One dimensional" is someone who issues blanket statements that have no basis in reality because they simply don't understand the other options. You know, like you.

The Truth said...

Read this. Learn something. http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/wesley-r-hartmann-where-build-better-brand-television-or-internet

thegreatonymariani said...

Please do share some of your B2B success stories.

Yeah but said...

Eating popcorn with wine kind of renders your opinions meaningless.

Ordering stuff online has NOTHING to do with how or where those brands were built.

Yeah but said...

Brand videos are hardly digital advertising. If I make a TV ad and upload it to youtube that's not 'digital'.

The Truth said...

Of course it does. Every interaction with a brand is a chance to build that brand.


Do you seriously think the online ordering experience has nothing to do with how people perceive a brand???

The Truth said...

So if GoPro takes a previously digital-only video and runs it on the Super Bowl, is it not TV advertising?

LeShann said...

Because they need the reach and digital media isn't enough for big brands.

LeShann said...

I'm yet to encounter a category that is not deeply about physical availability. So what's your point?

Mine is simply that I increasingly see a lot of fashion and cosmetics brands relying almost exclusively on digital marketing - and often on digital distribution. In China we see some brands doing extremely well only using these channels. Alibaba launched their own cosmetics brands using only Tmall distribution and online ad platform.

Meanwhile, I see plenty of big, established brands in these categories relying increasingly on digital channels to maintain mental and physical availability.

So digital can help build brands, otherwise these wouldn't exist. The biggest ones? Sure they're more traditional, and for very normal reasons: they need the extra reach, the benefits of combining touchpoints (1+1=3 in media), and the fact that traditional advertising still works brilliantly well.

But then, what do I know? I only work for some of the largest leading brands in these categories. Surely your reading of How Brands Grow surpasses my understanding of these categories.

The big lie in our industry is not that digital can work, it's that traditional doesn't anymore.

Andy Bobrow said...

Mack Weldon undies are a good example. I'm not sure what you mean by "non-web-native" but I assume you mean physical goods. Anyway, I saw the ads on Facebook, went to the site, liked their pitch, tried a pair and now am brand-loyal. Will they become Hanes? I think it's possible. Maybe, at this point in history, they can't become a household name without mass media. But Twitter, Facebook and Youtube are on their way to becoming mass media anyway. In my usage, "the computer" is basically another tv network.

Yeah but said...

You may have bought them on Amazon, but was the wine you chose built digitally? And the popcorn? Unless you're completey oblivious to everything but digital banners and user reviews you didn't choose the brands you bought THROUGH Amazon based on digital advertising or brand building. If you claim you did, you're either in an exceptional minority or you're not recalling where you first encountered brand X.



Buying popcorn via Amazon doesn't prove digital built a brad any more than buying one at you local supermarket proves that Tesco built a brand.



Delivery channels, in this case Amazon, is not the same as an advertising medium. The vast majority of things bought online, people we're made aware of offline. Nobody is buying Seiko watches after hearing about them for the first time through online reviews.

Yeah but said...

I doubt a youtube video, shot purely for youtube would ever be placed during the superbowl. If it did happen, the spot would definitely have been created with a superbowl (or an TV) broadcasting in mind.

Whereas it's easy to upload anything to youtube as it is seldom a big brands primary medium.

In summary, taking a print ad, TV ad etc and merely broadcasting it via a digital channel is a poor use of the medium, and calling it 'digital' to make a point is at the very least disingenuous.

The Truth said...

True - throwing your TV spot on YouTube and thinking that's the sum of your digital branding is a bad idea. But that doesn't mean you can't use digital as your primary method of branding.


Of GoPro's 1100 videos, you could very easily edit hundreds of them down to a :30 or :60 and they'd make excellent TV brand spots. But just because they're on a digital channel now doesn't make them any less effective as branding.


In fact, one could easily make the argument that 3 million free views on YouTube - where you get quantifiable information on who watched, how much they watched, etc - is a lot more valuable than spending a ton of money to run a TV ad where you get 3 million "views" with no provable data to show for it.

The Truth said...

I'm not talking about the online/offline branding of the wine I bought. I'm talking about the brand I brought it from.


I bought from Wine.com because I like their brand. I love the email recommendations they send and the digital brand-building they do. They're a friendly brand who communicates well and has positioned themselves as a brand that's very knowledgeable about everything they sell.


I could very easily go down to BevMo and buy from that brand. But to me, their brand is cheap, with semi-sleazy promotional gimmicks. As a brand, they don't come across as knowledgable about wine. They come across as trying to hawk me whatever they have in stock. That's not a brand I want to deal with - no matter how many TV and radio spots they run. (And they run a lot.)

Yeah but said...

For every wine.com example you have, that same online store sells 1000's of products and brands that we're not built online.

So yep, wine.com may have built it's brand predominantly online (though I'd imagine they send out many many coupons/DM pieces too to drive people to their site, some of which would be digital of course), the products you're actually buying far outnumber the web-native brands/store fronts that was initially clearly mentioned as a caveat we're most definitely not.

Yeah but said...

You have your Go Pro example, which works on youtube because of the product it is. Creating content for 1100 videos is easy and more often than not exciting viewing, showing off the product better than you could with 1 TV spot.

They thing is, youtube makes sense for THAT brand specifically. How many cheese brands would that strategy work for?

Nobody has said there aren't examples of successful digital campaign executions but screaming on and on about GoPro and a handful of other specific examples doesn't really prove your point so much as it proves ours.

If you could rattle off 100 major brands all built primarily through digital you'd have an argument, but for every 5 or 10 you've mentined there are 100s built more traditionally.

The Truth said...

The only thing that's even remotely proving your point is the artificially narrow parameters in which Bob set up this straw man of an argument.


My point is, ZERO brands are built entirely through a single channel. There are so many different interactions with a brand from a consumer standpoint, you can't attribute anything to a single channel - be it TV, digital or something else.


But as pointed out, you absolutely can build a brand PRIMARILY through digital. Will a primarily digital focus work for every brand (cheese for instance)? Of course not. But it will work for way more than this article claims.

bob hoffman said...

Hey Morin, This is not your personal soap box. I'm tired of you clogging up my mailbox with stupid comments that don't even indicate you understand the premise of my post. One more comment on this and you're out.

The Truth said...

Then delete me now, Bob. You never could actually respond or debate your own premises with me. You just talk shit and delete people who you can't respond to.

The Truth said...

Your argument is you can't build a brand with digital advertising.


Your "proof" is there are no big non-digital brands that have done so.


That's like arguing solar electricity is a failure because people who live where it rains a lot still use the power company.

Yeah but said...

Digital is not a channel. And you need to re-read the post. Or list more than YOUR narrow selection of brands that have built themselves primarily through digital. The ratio of digital to traditionally built brands is so large it really renders your argument moot.

The Truth said...

The ratio is so large, because digital marketing has only been around for 20 years, while the majority of "big, non-web companies" have been around much longer.


I find it sad that you can't see how Bob gamed the system by artificially narrowing his criteria. If his premise - that brands can't be built by digital - was sound, it would apply for the majority of companies regardless. But if course it doesn't. So he sets up a straw man just to sound smart by knocking it down.

Yeah but said...

So you can never have a discussion with parameters? Parameters are useful in that they stop people veering off topic, and draining the life out of the topic by pointing out every single minor exception.

What you're showing is that parameters are no match for someone who's willfully ignoring them.

if we limited our comparisons to companies started in the last 20 years only, the results would still come out in favor of traditionally built brands as you'd still limited to touting GoPro, a bunch of online stores and a handful of others..

The Truth said...

Parameters so narrow they're meaningless don't lend for a discussion. Especially a discussion so broad as "you can't build brands with digital."


I notice you willfully ignored the link I posted to actual research that shows brand building is more effective in digital than traditional.


If we limit our discussion to all brands started in the past 20 years, I can point to many, many brands built on digital. How about Google - a brand built entirely online until they ventured into TV just a few years ago? Netflix was a brand that built a passionate following online. Warby Parker has already been mentioned. Yelp. OpenTable. Uber. Twitter. Facebook. Gilt.com. I could go on and on.


All those brands COULD have built their brand offline, but chose (very successfully) to build them either completely online or nearly all online.

VinnyWarren said...

You've said it many times Bob: the Internet is great at fulfilling demand but lousy at creating it. Demonstrably true and at this point an ingrained behavior. And targeting does not equal opportunity to create demand.

Geet choudhary said...

Great Article...A blog main source of revenue is in most cases by Advertising

Sell! Sell! said...

That Stanford piece is an interesting article but I don't buy it. Hartmann says "That’s why for some really great ads — like ones we see during the Super Bowl game — we often can’t remember what brand it was” - I'd say that if you saw an ad and you can't remember what brand it was for, it's because it was a shit TV ad, not because TV ads don't work. His definition of what makes a "great ad" doesn't tally with mine. Also in the article: "The presurvey found that people who are consistently exposed to the internet have lower recognition of brands than those systematically exposed to television." But they said in the article adjusted out of the results the fact that TV was already doing a good job of brand recognition. I think the problem starts when people with a vested interest take articles like that as read, without interrogating them properly.

The Truth said...

Funny, I'd say if you did a digital brand campaign that didn't help build the brand,it's because it was a shit campaign, not because digital brand building doesn't work.


Yes, I totally acknowledge that's just a single, imperfect study. But it's also done by someone with no vested interest either way. In fact, he says they assumed the results would be the opposite at the beginning. Data is data, and until I see other studies contradicting this, I'll go with what I have.

Guest said...

"I'm yet to encounter a category that is not deeply about physical availability."

watches. yachts. luxury items. not based on availability but on something else. care to take a guess? go on, I need a good laugh.


"Digital can help build brands, otherwise these wouldn't exist. The
biggest ones? Sure they're more traditional, and for very normal
reasons: they need the extra reach, the benefits of combining
touchpoints (1+1=3 in media), and the fact that traditional advertising
still works brilliantly well."

I rest my case. digital is merely a support.

Guest said...

"Surely your reading of How Brands Grow surpasses my understanding of these categories."

I know. sad, isn't it?

LeShann said...

I'll put yachts aside, I don't work on this and don't have the data. But you're taking one of the most hyper niche market in the world there, and your supposedly diligent reading of how brands grow probably taught you a few things about these (I hope).


As for watches and luxury items, I'm really curious to know why you think physical availability doesn't play a big role. My largest client is LVMH group in China, and I regularly see the importance of physical availability, even for these luxury brands. They don't have to be (and should not be) ubiquitous in the sense of being available everywhere around town (perceived exclusivity is very important), but it's still of paramount importance for these brands to be available in as many areas where consumers would expect to see them. If a brand is not there, the competitor is more likely to sell. And, when you look at the data, you see that distribution and availability is still one of the key drivers of growth, it's just relative to their market dynamics. Even the top of the top expensive ones work very carefully on their availability, and look for smart ways to expand on it to reach their extremely niche clientele without setting up brick and mortar retail.


As for your case, I'd like to remind you that it is not "digital as a support" (a truism that applies to most media nowadays), but digital being "meaningless" - which it certainly is not.


I'm not sure what's resting, but it certainly is not a strong case.

Jim said...

Here's some - https://econsultancy.com/blog/62903-consumers-believe-traditional-media-trumps-digital-for-ad-effectiveness-study

http://www.wired.com/2013/07/email-crushing-twitter-facebook/



Not exactly the place you'd expect to see these figures. And fort he record they all say -'we expected the results to be the opposite - it's a marketing trick. Wow - we were as surprised as you...blah.


There is load of other large reports on the hyperbole of digital marketing be it by McKinsey's or even Adobe.