Digital at the heart of the economy

by Julian Westaby.

net191cover130I’ve just been reading the latest issue of .Net magazine and as usual, there’s lots of new, ground-breaking ‘stuff’ being mentioned in it. Techniques, ‘apps’, nav tips, 3D design techniques…tons of zany aspects. All of which I didn’t know about last week. Now, you could look at this alarming speed of change in two ways. You could try and keep up and read EVERYTHING, using this depth of digital knowledge to give your clients a superficial glossary style guide to everything that’s of the ‘now’. Loads of stuff that they’ll probably find quite interesting but never, in a million years ever want to use.

Alternatively, you could look at the marketing conundrum they face and work out how best to conquer the challenge, beginning in a good, old-fashioned way, before looking at the tools you might use, to get the concise message across. I read a comment recently by Ross Laurie, who’s the head honcho at ‘Line’ in Edinburgh and he’s suggesting that you shouldn’t get too worked-up about the very latest aspect of technology. In other words, don’t put all your marketing eggs in one twittery basket.

Like a lot of people, we’ve been having a massive amount of fun with Twitter recently and it’s clear the short, sharp message platform can work as a tactic for loads of commercial concerns. However, you’ve got to strip it back. Start by looking at the fun, concise, different and exciting snippets or messages you might have that’ll help you stand out. Get them planned properly and then start to look at the various new and ground-breaking ‘apps’ that may or may not work for you. The booze firms are getting good at this.

In essence, although you can now do basically anything, there’s got to be core values and a core creative spark to make it successful. The ‘tone’. People expect ‘good’ and ‘quality’ on wee ephemeral things that cost a couple of quid, so it’s just a ‘given’ that an air of quality should be draped around the incredibly important entity that is your valuable marketing strategy. So, by all means have fun and look ahead but get focused and invest in the basic, ‘nice’ things like clever writing and gorgeous photography.

Don’t get too hung-up on the latest ‘thing’. Okay, it might revolutionise your sales approach or double your market penetration but it could equally, turn out to be just a fad. As Austrian Fashion Fop ‘Bruno’ seems to be shouting out (from everywhere) at the moment, Borat was sooo 2006! What’s really funny and super-clever one minute can quickly seem a bit lame and rather crap, pretty soon after. After all, as .Net mag will show you, technology changes all the time but look around you and you’ll see that the people, products and Brand personalities that ooze style and quality, they never go out of fashion.