Agencies -- traditional or interactive -- build brands. Brands that succeed have marketing strategies that weave together online and offline efforts, direct mail, and mass- media messages. That's integration. That's what wins business and keeps clients happy.
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Napster is being sued by the RIAA, which wants $100,000 for every song swapped. Who knows if they'll win, but they've already lost the battle. The music industry is going through dis-intermediation, that process that the Net has gone through so many times, where the middleman gets eliminated. Todd thinks there's a lesson in this for every industry out there.
Companies spend a lot of time, energy and money trying to get inside their customers' heads. It starts with a simple question, evolves into a complex theory, and ultimately becomes a full-blown research project with expanding budgets and corresponding scope creep. These same companies invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in their web sites. Yet when there's a question of customer attitudes, virtually no one thinks to ask the current users on the web site.
Todd spent 15 years crafting information for a daily newspaper before going digital. He knows what large media companies should be doing, like riding high with an aggressive Internet strategy, harnessing opportunities for targeted, personalized communication that complements their offline strategy. Instead he sees mainstream media rotting on the cyberworld's fringes like beached whales. Problem is they don't understand what they do. In fact, there are companies out there charging old world media firms huge fees to help them get back to the basics of their business online.
It's the holiday season, so here's a freebie Internet strategy: Become a gamer. That's right, a stay-up-all-night-playing, while-away-your-days-waiting-to- play-again PC game player. You can learn a thing or two from computer gamers. Game companies have learned a lot about supporting their distribution networks, something most companies still don't understand. Too many companies invest heavily in their own web site then do nothing to support the online efforts of the distributors who ultimately deal with the customer.