Written by Vaughn Rachal
The fact that some companies expect digital investments to produce returns immediately, shocks me. To expect that just because you use digital tools or channels that results are going to instantly appear is delusional.
I remember when my kids were young and we played video games, my wife would sometimes tell me, “Come on honey, let the boys win”. I responded, “They will, one day”. I knew the day would come when I would never win a video game against them again, unless we played an old school game like “Galaga”, one of my favorites. My boys were 6 & 8 the last time I beat them on Playstation or XBox (14+ years ago). I love it that now they soundly beat me every time.
Some may be offended by the title of this post. But you see, I don’t believe that everyone should get a trophy just for trying; there I said it. Now before you hit the back button or click away, hear me out. What honor is there in receiving a trophy if all you have to do is show up? Life doesn’t work that way, so why should we teach that message to our kids through our actions. Are you with me on this?
Ok then, let me bring it home. Just because you buy software applications or have certain web and social channels, in other words “show up”, do you expect to gain trophy customers or gain productivity, efficiency, or drive profitability? I think that some people do, or at least they behave like they do. Companies dole out money to get into digital and then act like they shouldn’t have to keep on investing. Think about it for a second; would you open a store and then stop maintaining it? Cleaning it, changing light bulbs, displays, merchandising, and a host of other activities have to continue long after the initial investment if you expect it to produce results.
I find that a number of companies, institutions, and/or firms make investments in digital to close or reduce the number of brick and mortar storefronts, or to extend their business models. Unfortunately many don’t continue to make the necessary investments, or shift resources to support the growth of this newer “virtual” storefront. Some expect Digital Marketing to produce business in the first 90 days and then get upset or unsupportive of it when it doesn’t.
I don’t know what to say to them or how to coach them. Maybe they are the ones who received trophies for showing up. I know exactly what I WANT to say. Pull your head out… but I can’t say that (I guess I could, but it would be unkind!). You get the picture though, don’t you?
Look, here’s the point. Digital is a new tool that offers great potential. If I have to write a bunch of words to convince you of that, then come back in another year and read this again. Creating digital connections extends our ability to engage others. It takes time and investment. If you expect it to replace a storefront, a bank, a meeting place, etc… It takes work to get it going and it takes continued investment as well as resources to support it.
The promise of returns is real for those who appropriately strategize on what to do and invest accordingly. If you expect it to be different, shame on you…Now let’s go out and EARN our trophies. Once you really get it going, you’ll be glad you did!
Written by Vaughn Rachal
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