As Sir Martin Sorrell questions digital spend it seems that it is now a good time to pause for thought. First and foremost I question the existence of the phrase 'digital' given pretty much everything has a digital component. But I applaud the debate. Marketing has always required an integrated approach and understanding what various channels can bring to a broader marketing strategy is essential. There is no doubt that proponents of various components of digital have over promised, but this is no different to what a print advertising organisation have promised. A debate about whether budgets should go on banner adverts, or PPC, social media or SEO is much more mature and insightful as opposed to the rather bland pronouncements around 'upping digital spend' that some senior personnel have demanded. The mechanics of the target market also need to be considered. Different markets determine unique strategies to penetrate them and obtain the best return on spend. For some a web site can be the prime buying space for others it is largely there for verification and confidence building. With so much variation across sectors and even segments we need to be wary of broad statements and review our ever expanding marketing tool kit to deliver the best possible return on our marketing spend.
Not a week goes by at the moment where digital marketing isn’t getting a kicking. Last week, perhaps the highest-profile boot was put in. Delivering his quarterly state of the marketing nation address around WPP’s results, CEO Sir Martin Sorrell pointed to the swell of questions over ad fraud and viewability, as well as Procter & Gamble’s recent admission that it was pulling back on micro-targeting on Facebook, as evidence brands are starting to question whether they have over-invested in digital channels.