This is the prepared text of the speech and may not reflect the verbatim presentation
Thanks. It's good to be here to talk about the new media horizons about which I promise you only one thing; I have as much to learn about them as any of you in the audience do. In fact, I think the new media themselves are still very much in the learning process and will get even better as they go forward.
Before I get to the new media, though, let me start with one concern that I believe all marketers share, though we don't often discuss it. And that is the concern that as marketers we have become the enemy, that we have taught people to run and hide when they see us coming. And, of course, we're coming from everywhere -- not just TV, print and outdoor, but movie theaters, gas pumps, building roofs and bathroom stalls!
Consumers can't escape us. As media and as advertisers we've made them comatose. TIVO only kills television commercials. You'd need blindfolds and earplugs 24 hours a day to effectively drown out all the other touch points that consumers never asked for but we as marketers are continually subjecting them to anyway.
Then along came the dot coms - And a new, fresh media alternative, interactive media. And marketers bombarded them with our advertising messages, too, at the same time, ironically, that those same dot coms are saturating the television airwaves -- our traditional media -- and driving up our advertising costs and clutter. There are literally tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands more commercial messages in the atmosphere today than there were a just a few years ago.
What's wrong with this picture?
Well a lot of things. But there's one thing right about it and that's the fact that there's something very different about the dot coms and interactive media. A twist that changes the whole dynamic. And that twist is that for the first time consumers can choose to receive and act on our messages when and where they want to receive them.
(Like the TV commercial with the guy in his underwear placing stock orders off his PC.)
Think about it. Television, print, radio and outdoor are essentially passive media -- or at least they have been until very recently and T-commerce isn't far off. But the internet is fundamentally different. It's active. It provides a direct, fully engaging experience that the consumer has chosen to engage in. The depth of information is unlimited and the choices are endless. Which makes it critical that the messages we put out there are relevant messages every step of the way. And the way to make sure they are relevant is to continually challenge ourselves and our agencies to develop creative that compels consumers to want to learn more about you.
Having the internet as a marketing tool is like giving every individual a complete reel of all your TV and print ads, all your catalogs and order guides for every product and every model you sell, and giving them the choice to use all of it or none of it whenever it suits them. And it gives consumers the opportunity to identify themselves as individuals with specific needs. It's a way for them to say "here I am…I haven't decided yet, but I'm intrigued and I want to learn more about your product."
The instant they push that button is what marketing on the internet is all about. The instant they make the choice to visit your site should be marketing nirvana. It's not the end point. It's just the beginning.
Now, all this says to me is that we as automotive marketers -- or any other marketers for that matter -- need to disassemble our old models, add in the new media and rethink and redefine the role of all the media. The old model said "See the ad (on TV or radio or print), like the message and visit the dealer to learn more."
The new model says "See the ad, like the message, visit the brand web site for more details, add the product to your consideration list, gather information from a host of "neutral" web sits, compare the alternatives, calculate and compare the price/value, check the web for financing and then cut your best deal with a dealer down the street or one 200 miles away who makes it worth your while to take the drive." Or, if you prefer, let him deliver the vehicle to your home.
Bottom line, the fundamental shopping process is changing and, unless we force ourselves into it, we're in danger of being left out.
So for a marketer to win the game he's got to use all the tools (and that's all the new or the old media are, tools). He's got to use them all to deliver a consistent and relevant message to an identified customer. That may mean rethinking how you use each medium.
For example, start with television and use it for broad based brand building messages, visually stimulating 30 or 60 second teasers that combine the rational and the emotional to grab the prospects' attention and make them want to learn more. Television, particularly network television, has become too expensive to be an on air encyclopedia. Use it to build the brand image and let the other media serve as the encyclopedia and fill in the blanks.
Bring in print to continue the brand building message while at the same time adding more details and aiming it more squarely at specifically targeted demographic audiences.
Use radio for the time sensitive stuff -- promotions, sales events, dare I say it? incentives. Use it to hammer your message - tastefully if possible, over and over.
And with all of them, include the web address or 800 number so consumers who want more information can find it.
Meanwhile, spend some time and money making sure your websites really work for you. Make them easy to find, simple to navigate and worth the customers time to visit. Fill them with "wow" features about your products, facts and figures that they want and need to know, things that will make your products stand out versus the other guys!
And when you've got it all set and ready to go, find ways to link one medium to the other and extend the message even further into the marketplace through creative convergence. Convergence is more than just the current marketing buzzword. It' a good thing that will enable both marketers and media to be successful. Fifty-five percent of advertising buyers and seventy percent of sellers are working on cross media packages right now according to recent Ad Age survey. And both those numbers should and undoubtedly will, grow.
Which brings me to the title of today's session: "Marketing, Media and the Internet: Who Loses?" My answer: As long as we're all ready to embrace the changing media market place and use it to our mutual advantage, nobody has to lose anything and everybody has an opportunity to win, including the customer. The new media will not replace the old media. They'll enhance it and add to it and as the industry comes up with new ways to measure the impact the new media are actually having on our efforts -- for example pay for performance -- they will increasingly find their way into our marketing plans and media mix.
I want to close today by tossing a bone of sorts to some of the traditional media, specifically, network TV.
With all the talk over the past few years about traditional media going the way of the dinosaur…or the prediction that the 30 second commercial could soon become an endangered species, I'd like to close with two relatively -- by today's standards -- old television commercials that speak volumes about product and attitude without ever saying a word. You've seen the first one before. And you may or may not have seen the second but, regardless, if you believe in the future of direct, personalized messages, then you'll really appreciate the second spot.
These two spots remind us all what truly is the single most important thing about any advertising or any media: At the end of the day, whatever the media, great creative will always triumph.
And despite the lure and the very real promise the new media brings, there will always be a place in the automotive mix (and in our hearts) for traditional media because we are infatuated by its broad reach and its creative imagery and we love what it can do for our sales efforts.
Thank you very much.